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Local News

Goleta Plans to Purchase 1,300 Streetlights from Edison, Make Switch to LED

City also hired an interim city attorney and received an update on public-safety operations

Goleta is moving forward with plans to purchase 82 percent of its streetlights from Southern California Edison and transition them to LED lighting.

The move is intended to save money, increase energy efficiency and provide better lighting. Three-quarters of the city’s annual energy costs come from Edison-owned streetlights, according to city sustainability coordinator Cindy Moore.

Of the city’s 1,576 poles, 1,296 are sellable because they don’t have wires and other utility equipment attached to them. As part of its approval Tuesday, the City Council decided to retrofit all 1,576.

Edison set the cost to purchase them at just under $500,000. The city has $644,000 socked away to cover the costs, and will take over maintenance responsibilities after the purchase is completed.

“It seems like a win-win situation. It’s going to save us energy, it’s going to save us money over a long period of time,” City Councilman Kyle Richards said.

At a future date, the council will review the financial side of the switch to the energy-efficient LED lighting.

Goleta is enrolled with The Energy Network, a Los Angeles County-administered organization that assists public entities navigating projects to boost energy efficiency.

Eric Bornstein, a project manager with The Energy Network, projected total city savings to top $1 million after 15 years after all is said and done.

Goleta names interim city attorney

Three months after Tim Giles resigned as Goleta’s city attorney, the City Council named as interim city attorney Michael Jenkins of Manhattan Beach-based Jenkins & Hogin.

Goleta is the latest in a long line of city attorney posts for Jenkins, who also has that role with Hermosa Beach, West Hollywood and Rolling Hills, in addition to a handful of general counsel positions.

The city projects his compensation to run between $12,000 and $18,000 a month.

“When we became incorporated, we had a model of contracting services,” Mayor Paula Perotte said. “We’re looking at that, and have this opportunity to see how that works before we make a final decision” on a permanent hire.

Michael Jenkins of Jenkins & Hogin, LLP was named Interim City Attorney for Goleta on Tuesday. Click to view larger
Michael Jenkins of Jenkins & Hogin, LLP was named Interim City Attorney for Goleta on Tuesday. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

During a Jan. 10 closed session, the council voted 4-1 to request Giles’ resignation, with Councilman Roger Aceves dissenting. When Giles complied, the council voted 4-1 to accept his letter of resignation and pay him severance. 

None of the council members have spoken publicly about their dissatisfaction with Giles, who had been with Goleta since 2008.

Up until Tuesday, Deputy City Attorney Winnie Cai had filled in as acting city attorney.

Modest improvements seen in public safety

Law enforcement and County Fire Department leaders outlined public safety in 2016 at Tuesday’s council meeting as well.

Goleta is the largest city to contract with the county Sheriff’s Office for policing services, with 34 full-time personnel, including a new parking enforcement officer who started in December.

Last year, robberies, burglaries and motor vehicle theft were found to have dropped marginally over previous years. At the same time, larceny and theft increased slightly.

Only one traffic fatality was tallied, in comparison to three in 2015 and none in 2014.

Goleta also contracts with the County Fire Department for services.

Goleta Police Chief Lt. Kevin Huddle (left) and County Fire Department Division Chief Steve Oaks discuss public safety at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Click to view larger
Goleta Police Chief Lt. Kevin Huddle (left) and County Fire Department Division Chief Steve Oaks discuss public safety at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Fire Station 11 saw little difference in the number of calls it typically receives, while Fire Station 12 became a bit busier, and Fire Station 14 saw significantly fewer calls.

Another fire station, to be located at the western end of the city on Hollister Avenue, is currently in the design phase.

Jaime Valdez, the city’s economic development coordinator, said Goleta had been ranked the 50th and 58th safest city in California in 2016 by the websites SafeWise and ValuePenguin, respectively. The ranks were based on 2014 data.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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