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
Paul Wellman

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.”


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