One of the most important jobs in Goleta’s City Hall was filled this week when Jennifer Carman was hired as the new director of planning and environmental review, nearly six months after Steve Chase left the job for a post in Stockton. Currently overseeing all planning and building operations for the City of El Cerrito, the Whitter native and UC-Santa Cruz grad starts on December 10.

“I was looking for some more challenges and the next step,” Carman told The Independent on Tuesday, explaining that she’d been in El Cerrito for the past 10 years, after getting her graduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and professional planner stints in Alaska, Seattle, and Merced Island, Washington. “This seemed to be a really good fit for my skill set.”

According to a press release from the city, Carman has experience in projects that the City of Goleta is already facing, such as developing zoning policy, implementing a permit tracking system, and getting the housing element certified. Said city manager Dan Singer in the release, “As Goleta moves into its next 10 years, we have a number of opportunities and challenges and Ms. Carman will be an instrumental part of our management team as we seek to address these.”

Carman said she’s “just really excited” about starting her new job. “I’ve always loved Goleta more than Santa Barbara,” said Carman, who has visited the region a number of times over the years. “It’s a lot more relaxed and kind of mellow, which I really like. That’s been a real attraction in coming here. It’s nice to have new places to explore.”


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