It wasn’t the half-million dollars requested, but $250,000 from the City of Goleta will certainly help the efforts to open an ice skating rink on Storke Road. The majority of city councilmembers balked at the $500,000 donation — even when split into half now, half as a pledge for later — due to concerns about the economic future.
“I’m not saying you have a bad project,” explained Councilmember Roger Aceves, although he did express some reservations about the sustainability of an ice rink in Goleta. “I’m just saying we don’t have the money to give you right now.”
The unanimous decision was made only after a motion for the full $500,000 had been offered by Councilmember Ed Easton and seconded by Councilmember Michael Bennett, both of whom wholeheartedly supported the project, although they agreed to split the money into cash now and pledge for money later. Easton, who grew up ice skating, said that monies for Girsh Park improvements could be put on hold, but that “we can’t put off this contribution that makes this project happen.” Bennett understood the economic concerns of Aceves, but argued that, due to a number of approved projects that will be putting more money into the city coffers, the future money was certain to be there when needed.
Nonetheless, when their motion failed 3-2 — Councilmembers Margaret Connell and Paula Perotte joined Aceves in shooting that one down — both Bennett and Easton voted in favor of the $250,000 donation.