Goleta’s First Mayor to Retire from Council

Margaret Connell Announces Current Term Will Be Her Last

Margaret Connell, two-time mayor of Goleta and an eight-year veteran of the Goleta City Council who ushered the Goodland through its incorporation process, announced Wednesday that her current term will be her last.

“It’s time,” Connell said, referencing her upcoming 82nd birthday. “There comes a time when there are other things you have to do in your life.”

Margaret Connell
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Margaret Connell

For Connell, that could include a number of things. And not having a plan, she said, may be the best part. “Relaxing and reading books,” she said, when asked about her post-council agenda, also sharing her desire to spend time with her husband and their “slew of grandchildren.”

Connell said that it was important for her to make this public announcement now to give any potential candidates time to campaign. But her term’s not over yet, and there are many issues she’d like to work on before the election.

In addition to preserving the city’s open spaces, upgrading Old Town, and keeping the city safe, Connell expressed her desire to institute a public arts program and better foster “a sense of community.” Addressing the homeless population as well as affordable housing options are also important, she said, noting Goleta could use its own parks and recreation commission.

It’s a long list of goals, but Connell is confident in the city’s government — even when it will no longer include her. “I’m hoping we’re in a position where we can keep the excellent staff we have,” she said. “Everybody’s working very hard.”

As the first mayor of Goleta, though, don’t expect Connell to completely call it quits. “I’m sure I will stay involved in the community,” she said. And the community, she said—“the citizens of Goleta” — have meant a lot to her.

“It’s been a rich experience and very exciting to be a part of this new city,” she said. “It’s been a great ride.”

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Dos Pueblos High School Stirs Political Pot

Senior-class picture features MAGA and LIBERALS!

Community Forum Provides Updates on Immigration Enforcement

About 9 percent of people in Santa Barbara County are undocumented.

Santa Barbara Launches Interactive Street Sweep Map

Users can identify dates, times, and routes for street sweeping by address and colored areas.

Santa Barbara Zoo Bids Farewell to Beloved Elephant

Sujatha passes away at 47 years old.

Disaster Relief Rundown for Santa Barbara 

A tally of nonprofit giving since the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.