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Local News

Goleta Moves to Implement Full-Time Parking Enforcement Program

With parking one of the biggest categories of complaints that the city receives, plans advance for a contract parking enforcement officer position

The City of Goleta’s parking enforcement has been handled by the Sheriff’s Department and the city’s code enforcement staff. Plans are being considered to add a full-time enforcement position that could generate at least $43,000 in annual revenue. Click to view larger
The City of Goleta’s parking enforcement has been handled by the Sheriff’s Department and the city’s code enforcement staff. Plans are being considered to add a full-time enforcement position that could generate at least $43,000 in annual revenue. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Goleta residents may have to be a little more careful about how they park in the coming months.

The city is preparing to start a parking enforcement program, and is working with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to name a full-time parking enforcement officer, community relations manager Valerie Kushnerov told Noozhawk.

Parking issues are one of the biggest complaints the city receives, she said, and the pilot program was established during the City Council’s midcycle review of the municipality’s two-year budget, the fiscal blueprint for fiscal year 2016–2017 that was adopted June 7.

The budget sets aside $105,000 for a “new contract parking enforcement officer” and conservatively estimates additional parking citation revenues from his or her work to be $43,000 annually.

That revenue would help offset the position’s new costs, city finance director Genie Wilson said at the April budget workshop.

Kushnerov told Noozhawk that parking enforcement had been handled by the Sheriff’s Department and the city’s code enforcement staff, but citation data was not readily available under the arrangement.

The retirement of the code enforcement officer gave the city the opportunity to restructure the position during the budget review, she said. After the new officer has been on the job for six months to a year, the city will have a better idea of what the parking-violation environment is like.

City Manager Michelle Greene told the council at the workshop that contracting for an officer would be more affordable than bringing the position in-house and would allow for a quicker start by avoiding a full-scale recruiting process.

The city’s pay rate for the position would be higher in-house, she said, and also would require employee benefits.

“We felt that it was advantageous to start with a contract program since this is not an area that we have an existing program developed and managed the way that the Sheriff’s Department does,” Greene said at the workshop.

“As we move forward with this program, it would be great to have it contracted for a few years until we really got the hang of it and made adjustments to the program per council direction,” she said.

With a better understanding of the scope, she added, the city could reconsider whether an in-house enforcement officer would be more advantageous at that time.

Once the program details become clear during the contracting process, Greene told the council, it would be important for the officer to report daily to Vyto Adomaitis, the director of neighborhood services and public safety, to ensure more city control over the position’s tasks and workload.

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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