In front of a small yet enthusiastic group gathered at the steps to the Goleta Valley Community Center on July 16, Goleta City Councilmember Jonny Wallis announced that she would not be seeking re-election and would be endorsing Goleta Planning Commissioner Ed Easton in his bid for a spot on the council.
Easton – who came to Goleta after retiring as an architecture professor at the University of North Carolina and has been a part of Goleta planning as a member of the Old Town Project Advisory Committee – promised to bring the same style of leadership that Wallis provided. He claimed Goleta growth will be the heart of the upcoming election and that development will be scrutinized and fairly negotiated before Goleta multiplies into something Wallis and the other old timers on the City Council would deem “un-Goleta.” As Easton went on to say, “Growth is only good if it is slow and carefully planned.”
Easton also noted the planned expansion of UCSB as something that he has his eye on. “The University is having our lunch. We’ve got to make sure they don’t,” he said, noting that the increased population resulting from UCSB’s expansion will have an effect on Goleta. Easton also professed a need to preserve and protect agriculture lands that surround Goleta and applauded Fairview Gardens for proving that urban farming is a possibility and an example of sustainable living. Finally, he noted Goleta’s revenue-neutrality discussions with the county as an issue that would need his insight and skills.
“I have the time, energy, and I have the experience to do it,” he said of the City Council position in general.”