De-prioritzing Old Town Goleta?

City Council Splits Vote, Does Not Form Special Post-Redevelopment Committee

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
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In a rare split 3-2 vote, the usually unanimous Goleta City Council decided on Tuesday not to form a special committee focused on the future of Old Town, which is where most of the city’s redevelopment money was being spent before the state killed those funds last year. Instead, the council majority decided to place such considerations under the purview of the existing Economic Development and Revitalization Committee.

As the only councilmember who resides in Old Town, Ed Easton voted against the measure along with Paula Perotte, both believing Old Town deserves steady attention since redevelopment funding was killed by the state last year. “If you want to charge that committee with what is going to be a major task, you take away from the economic development that is citywide,” said Easton, who does not sit on the economic committee that is now in charge of the neighborhood. “And just on a personal basis, to leave me off hurts me badly. I’d like to think I offer the council both the experience and the location and the dedication to Old Town that doesn’t exist on the rest of the council.”

While assuring Easton’s ideas would certainly be considered, Roger Aceves, Michael Bennett, and Jim Farr — the latter two of whom comprise the economic committee — argued that any future plans for Old Town have to be considered from a citywide perspective. “This is no longer just an Old Town issue,” said Aceves, who also cited legal concerns about having a new Old Town committee analyze issues currently being studied by other committees. “This is a citywide issue….The economic development committee needs to have a holistic view of the City of Goleta.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Every city needs a "Heart," a central place that the community recognizes as being its center gathering place. Goleta currently lacks that. Should it be in Old Town? If not there, where? If the City Council is not prepared to make a decision on this, what was to point in Goleta becoming a City?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 3:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I heartily agree with Blackpoodles.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 3:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I third the agreement. Maybe Goleta thinks a mall is the heart of the city...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 5:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More Goletans need to be active, nobody ran for City Council last. Issues will never be discussed nor problems solved if no discussion is possible. For better or worse, it's in elections we really hash things out.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Jim Farr is turning out to a lot worse than I had feared.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2013 at 10:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Long time Goleta followers know Jim Farr and this is exactly why he ran for office. With Margaret Connel gone a sea change has occurred and this is just the first reflection of that. Things have changed at the City of Goleta and now we shall begin to see what that means. Also curious if the SBNP endorsement of Aceves for 2nd District Supervisor is flavoring his actions as City Councilperson.

sbreader (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This action in addition to the rush to approve a big-box store less than a mile down the road indicate the city leaders' priorities. Old Town will continue to be neglected while resources are devoted to "develop" other areas of the city. More big-box stores will only further detract from the heart and soul of Old Town Goleta. What a shame. Thanks to Easton and Perotte for taking a stand.

Nockamixon (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 12:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What's especially ridiculous making about the new big box construction are all the empty large scale buildings on the Hollister strip. Where once was a beautiful wetlands filled with birds and other wildlife is now just a pile of dirt and equipment. While I'm glad people have jobs they could've been just as gainfully employed refurbishing the pre-existing buildings , and yes old town continues to decay.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's face it. There are two downtown Goletas. One is the original, called Old Town. The other is the 'strip mall' on Calle Real. One is Anglo white, one is Hispanic brown. The new Council majority represents the strip mall folks. To be honest I don't long as they leave Old Town as it is. Goleta does not need a version of Paseo Nuevo.

dontoasthecoast (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 2:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I maintain Old Town can get a facelift without repeating the mistakes of Santa Barbara. Are there incentives for property owners to paint, remodel, etc?
There are some great businesses in Old Town including TWO bookstores. Not even State St can boast one (as the Book Den etc are on sides). The only real social business is the Mercury Lounge to my quick recollection, a cool coffeeshop could also do wonders for the street, a theater another plus.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 3, 2013 at 2:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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