Campaign Update from Paula

Dear Goleta friends,
Recently I sent out a newsletter to help people catch up on only some of what’s happening in Goleta. I appreciate the great reactions plus a few questions I have since received. (If you didn’t get a chance to read it you can view it here .)
So here is another brief newsletter to share the news about good things happening in the Good Land.

Goleta Community Survey Results

We just received a presentation on results of our community survey that took place in July and August of this year. About 450 people answered the survey and here are some of the key findings by our independent survey consultant:

82% of survey responders were quite satisfied with how we provide city services, especially fire safety, library, police and crime prevention, trash and recycling, and animal control.
70% of survey participants registered high satisfaction with how our city is communicating.
There is lots of support for Old Town Goleta improvements. It looks like the majority of responders appreciate Old Town Goleta as a great place to live, work and play.

I’ll add that we are committed to respecting and preserving Old Town’s special character and the wishes of its residents and businesses, as we plan improvements such as more parking and sidewalks, better bike routes and crosswalks.

You can find the complete survey report, a staff report summarizing the survey, as well as the consultant’s presentation about the survey by clicking here.

You can also read the Noozhawk article about the survey here.

Emergency Information

We don’t need the recent damage and destruction resulting from Hurricane Florence to remind us of our own vulnerability from natural disasters. The Montecito fires and mudslides and our own Holiday fire are reminders that we need to both take precautions and also know what to do during emergencies.
We have learned many valuable lessons about how to keep the public well informed when such emergencies occur. In fact, we are working right now to coordinate better with SB County, especially because we depend on the County to provide us with key emergency services for our police and fire protection.
You can help be better informed by letting emergency personnel know how you would like to be contacted in emergencies. To sign up to receive communications on emergencies:
  • Click here to sign up to receive alerts in several ways from Goleta
  • Click here to sign up to receive alerts in several ways from SB County.
  • Click here to sign up for “Nixle” alerts from the SB Sheriff’s office (see top of the web page to sign up.)
Take a minute and do this now so you can maximize your ability to receive information and, most important, stay safe when emergencies do happen.

Registering & Voting in the November 6th Election

As many know, November 6 is Election Day when many races will be decided, not just in Goleta, but also in our County, State and Federal government. In addition to Goleta city elections, there are important elections for members of the Goleta Water District, the Goleta School District, and several ballot measures.
Here are some important dates to remember:
  • OCTOBER 22 is the last day to register to vote in this election so make sure are registered if you want to vote.
  • OCTOBER 9 is the first day ballots will be sent to mail-in voters. Everyone is eligible to sign up to vote by mail.
  • NOVEMBER 6 is Election Day when you may vote in person, just by going to your polling place. You can also drop a vote by mail ballot at any polling station if you prefer not to mail it in advance.
To find how to register, or sign up for a vote by mail ballot, or to find your Election Day polling place, just click here .
I think most people agree that elections matter. I encourage everyone to register and vote.

Q&A

I received many great comments and questions in response to my last newsletter . Below are my responses to my most frequently asked questions.

Q. When will we change to district elections and why?

A. Recent legal developments caused our council to change the way we elect our City Council. Keeping our practice of having our Councilmembers elected by a citywide vote risked a lawsuit we were likely to lose, at great cost to our taxpayers.
So, our Council voted unanimously that starting in 2022 (following the 2020 census) Goleta will have 4 districts that will each elect a district resident to represent it. The mayor will still be elected by all residents. It is hoped that this will increase participation in city government.
We also created a Public Engagement Commission made up of city residents, including one designated youth member. The Commission will help to determine the process for creating the boundaries of each of the 4 districts, in time for the 2022 election.

Q. Our Ellwood Mesa and Butterfly Preserve are really important. How can I keep in touch with developments to keep safe public access to this area and preserve its natural beauty?

A. I’m committed to forming and approving a balanced plan that maximizes public safety, environmental protection and access to the Ellwood mesa, Butterfly Preserve and the beaches and ocean.
We are in the process of working on a plan to deal with the drought challenged trees and related issues. You can click here for an update on the Ellwood Mesa Habitat Project and sign up to receive emails and/or texts on this topic athttp://tinyurl.com/ellwoodmesasubscribe.

Q. Why is there a cannabis tax measure on the ballot and where will the new revenue go? Do you support more taxes?

A. Recently the State of California became the latest of 9 states to legalize recreational cannabis. Our city council was given the option to tailor local regulations to this state law. This included adding zoning rules for where cannabis could be processed and sold, to account for potential impacts on other businesses, neighborhoods and especially children. In addition, we were given the option of applying local taxes on cannabis manufacturing and sales, especially to deal with our city’s cost of public safety, zoning enforcement, etc. resulting from cannabis-related activities.
Sensitive to residents’ input, we have put a cannabis tax ballot measure on the upcoming 2018 Goleta ballot to empower city residents to decide this important question. I have faith in whatever decision voters reach on this ballot measure.

Finally, let’s not forget about fun!

It’s been a busy and exciting summer of events in our city – from our most successful Dam Dinner yet to the just ended Taste & Sounds of Old Townand the Art Festival at Stow House . Next on the list of fun, not-to-miss events is the 27th Annual Goleta Lemon Festival on September 29 & 30 at Girsh Park. I hope to see you there!
Enjoying the first ever "Tastes & Sounds of Old Town"