Campaign Update from Paula

This is the first of several updates I plan to send to keep Goleta residents better informed about what’s going on in our city. And there is SO MUCH going on, from Old Town Goleta improvements to measures to help our drought-stressed Ellwood Preserve and annual butterfly visitors.
I know it’s hard to keep up with our local news as we miss the Goleta Voice, the last printed newspaper dedicated to Goleta. Plus people are busy in our work and private lives and can’t always attend or watch Goleta City meetings on TV or streamed on the Internet.
Right now I’m even busier than usual, trying to balance my day job as Goleta’s Mayor with my newest role as mother-of-the-bride. It’s a blessing for sure, one that I know will be over before I know it.
So enjoy this first “edition” with more to come highlighting what’s happening in our fair city.

Goleta Highlights

Goleta Elections
For Mayor & City Council

As you might have heard, the candidates for this November’s election for Goleta Mayor and City Council are set. With two city council vacancies and only Roger Aceves and James Kyriaco running, their election will be uncontested.

Also, for the first time, Goleta residents will elect a mayor. Until now, Goleta’s Mayor was selected by Goleta City Council members. I am one of two candidates who filed for this office, the other is City Councilmember Michael Bennett.

Elected to City Council in 2010, I’ve been serving as Goleta’s Mayor since 2016. Councilmember Bennett has been on City Council since 2006. Leading up to the November election, I’m looking forward to continuing to meet with residents, hear your concerns and share my vision for an ever brighter Goleta.

Goleta Library
Newly Independent, and Looking for a Few Great Trustees.

The Goleta Library has recently gained independence! As a member of Goleta’s Library Committee I advocated for a City-managed Goleta Library in order to provide better service at a lower cost to taxpayers. Many thanks to volunteers who re-tagged 75,000 books and the efforts of library staff. Under the City’s new management, we are now looking for a board of trustees. Here’s how to apply to be a trustee.

Traffic and Safety

I am thrilled that the City will receive a $13 million State grant for the construction of a new train depot . With the recent purchase of the former Direct Relief International building on South La Patera Lane, the City is well positioned to expand our rail service and create a multi-modal transportation center in this area.

Exciting improvements are being made in Old Town to make it safer and more accessible for bikes and pedestrians. The sidewalk infill project is in the right-of-way phase and will fill in gaps to improve pedestrian safety in the residential areas of Old Town. When done, all blocks will have a sidewalk on at least one side of the street.

Goleta is moving forward with our Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan . This City-wide plan will address the safety and accessibility of pedestrians and bicyclists, encouraging people to walk and bike, reducing automobile usage and fuel consumption, and promoting transportation equity. The plan will soon be reviewed by the Planning Commission and then sent to the City Council for adoption this fall.

The Complete Streets Project will address circulation of autos, bikes, and pedestrians along Hollister Avenue. Traffic studies are currently underway to compare three options, and more opportunities for public input will be available soon.

Construction is expected to begin next year for both the Ekwill-Fowler road extension — which will provide a new east-west corridor to connect Fairview Avenue to Kellogg — and the Hollister Avenue bridge replacement and roundabouts.

More Good things happening in the Good Land

Lots of great things are happening in Goleta, including many notable achievements that have been formally recognized. Only a few include:

  • The City of Goleta started off 2018 by making the National Council’s list of Safest Cities in California, the safest in SB County.
  • We completed the Hollister Class One multi-purpose path near Ellwood School, which was awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers Award.
  • We received a 3-STAR Community rating for national leadership in sustainability. This reflects our progress in local sustainability and will be used as a benchmark for future efforts.

You can learn more about Goleta’s highlights and challenges by viewing our Spring 2018 Goleta State of the City; watch here .

Below I’ve highlighted some other exciting news of happenings that are just around the corner:

  • Target will offer residents more retail opportunities sometime in 2019 at the current Goleta Kmart shopping location. For more, see this.
  • Thanks to State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblymember Monique Limon, California has allocated $3.9 millionfrom the state to implement Ellwood habitat management plan. This will secure safe access to the now stressed Ellwood Preserve and the ocean.
  • Venoco’s bankruptcy is proceeding and City Council is working with the State Lands Commission to decommission the Ellwood oil processing facility and return that area to its recreational zoning for access to the public.
  • Groundbreaking on Old Town Goleta’s new park just took place. This is only one of many exciting new upgrades to Old Town while retaining its special character.