Candidates running for the two seats open on Goleta’s City Council spoke Wednesday, September 10 at a community forum hosted by the Santa Barbara News-Press. Questions ranged in topic from revenue neutrality, to what to do about the City’s lack of recreation amenities, to UCSB’s impact upon the economy and the environment. Two of the council’s five seats are open in this election, and although they are all longtime Goleta residents, the four candidates have diverse approaches to the growing city’s future.
Incumbent Jean Blois asked voters to allow her to finish the job she started, stressing commitment and responsiveness to her constituency. Don Gilman, an engineer turned community activist, was vocal about his desire to renegotiate the revenue neutrality agreement that requires Goleta to hand over to the county about half of its taxes currently—a partnership he said is leaving Goleta wanting. Current Goleta Planning Commissioner Ed Easton said that careful, deliberate consideration of every issue coming before the dais will ensure that Goleta will progress along lines agreeable to its residents. Margaret Connell, a former City Council member who was upset in the last election, was a staunch advocate of adhering to the guidelines set forth in the City’s General Plan when addressing development issues.