Jack Hawxhurst Dies

Jack Hawxhurst on the Goleta City Council in 2006
Paul Wellman

One of Goleta’s city fathers, Jack Hawxhurst, died in his sleep in Hawaii on November 27 at the age of 76, his family announced on Sunday. Hawxhurst, said to have a love of warm weather, sailboats, brats, and beer, came to the city in 1970 as an engineer with Mission Research. It was Hawxhurst’s impatience with the lengthy conversations about Goleta’s boundaries after three failed attempts at cityhood that compelled him to gather people to form a committee he named GoletaNow! He recruited members from across the city neighborhoods, recalled Margaret Connell. “He did not let us go on talking,” she said. “He wanted us to act.”

GoletaNow succeeded in 2001, after facing down the City of Santa Barbara’s simultaneous and better-funded annexation proposal, propelled by Hawxhurst’s energy and refusal to quit. With Connell, he was voted onto the first City Council, along with GoletaNow members Jonny Wallis and Cynthia Brock. While Connell was the city’s first mayor, the outspoken Hawxhurst was chosen to be the second. In the 2006 election fight over the city’s growth, Hawxhurst lost his seat, as did Connell and Brock, but he continued to wage the battle to preserve Goleta’s small-town character. During the Measure G initiative to protect Bishop Ranch in 2012, Hawxhurst put in the hours to collect petition signatures to get it on the ballot, Barbara Massey said: “There was no one who worked harder than Jack to keep the city from building all the housing and wrecking the wonderful place called Goleta.”


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