Candidate for Mayor of Goleta
|Why are you running for office?:
|Having lived and worked in Goleta for 40 years and served 10 years on Goleta's City Council, I care deeply about Goleta, and I’d like to continue to make a difference as Goleta's Mayor. I'm running to keep us on our upward trajectory while overcoming the economic and social challenges posed by Covid-19. I'm committed to providing leadership in preserving our community character, protecting our environment, getting our infrastructure, especially water and road capacity in line with Goleta's recent growth. I also want to ensure that we have sufficient jobs and housing so our young people don't have to move away.
And I want to work with our wonderfully diverse community to ensure needed changes to our justice system, so that every individual can live with equal treatment, dignity and safety with the same opportunities as everybody else.
|What makes you qualified for the job?:
|During my 10 years on Goleta's city council I was appointed Goleta Mayor by City Council members 3 times before Goleta switched to an elected Mayor with a two year term. I am honored to be Goleta's first elected Mayor. I’m the only candidate running who has a solid record of advocating for the "right" development at the right pace. My record shows that I've provided the leadership to support the needs of both residents and local business, while protecting the character of Goleta neighborhoods and its environmental resources that make Goleta a great place to live, work and visit.
As Mayor I have provided leadership in several key areas - increasing emergency preparedness and public safety, increasing community participation through evening-only meetings and establishing a resident academy on how local government works, ensuring fiscal responsibility and increasing Goleta's financial reserves and finalizing the long awaited new zoning ordinance for greater clarity and transparency.
At the same time we've made progress on several fronts. We enhanced our quality of life with Old Town improvements such as new and safer sidewalks and crosswalks, completing a bike and pedestrian master plan, securing nearly $4 million to provide safe and easy access to Ellwood's Preserve, butterfly habitat, and beach. We are well positioned to make progress toward an ever better and sustainable future now, and especially when pandemic challenges are behind us.
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:
|My first and highest priority is ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our city's residents, city staff and visitors, especially during this time of the Covid Pandemic. At the same time we need to step up to the unprecedented financial/economic challenges to our residents and the city itself resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 impacts. I am committed to guiding our city through this crisis in a way that ensures a strong and resilient economy, enhances public safety, while continuing to carefully manage growth and its impacts.
I'm dedicated to preserving Goleta's small town feel and high quality of life, an environmentally friendly diverse community where residents want to live, work and play. As we focus on the challenges immediately before us, our planning must also move us forward on a path to a sustainable, vibrant future for generations to come.
|How will you interact with other governments?:
|Many of our challenges are regional and require mutual cooperation and collaboration to achieve regional solutions, as graphically illustrated by our current coronavirus issues. Similarly, other key challenges such as promoting a vital economy, good jobs, appropriate housing, excellent infrastructure, public health and safety services, a dependable water supply to support residents and businesses, all require a regional approach.
The long and diverse list of leading elected officials at the federal, state and local levels, community leaders and key organizations that have endorsed me demonstrates that I am the person they trust to work collaboratively with them to help our region achieve a bright and sustainable future. Working together, while vigorously representing Goleta's interests to the best of my abilities, presents the greatest opportunity for success.
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:
|As always, my first and highest priority during this time of the COVID Pandemic is ensuring the health and safety of our city's residents, city staff and visitors. Our Council made important decisions early on to protect Goleta's safety and wellbeing. That included an early closing of Goleta parks and playgrounds, protecting residents and businesses from evictions and foreclosures, supporting our restaurant businesses with a special "Goleta on the Go" campaign, and embarking on an active Census count effort to ensure that our City will be entitled to the most federal dollars possible to help in bringing our economy back.
We are carefully monitoring city revenue impacts, and making budget adjustments, such as a hiring freeze. We are committed to ensuring that our core city services will continue to be delivered effectively and efficiently. Our decisions will continue to be based on expert analysis of benefits to and burdens on our residents and our businesses.
The ultimate impacts of the pandemic don't begin or end at our city's boundaries - they are regional, statewide and national. Much of our success in reopening our city and addressing those impacts will come at the guidance of and in coordination with decisions made by the county, state and federal governments. We are part of those decisions and actions at the local level.
|Which two issues are most important to you?:
|It is vital that we ensure public safety, and I'm especially honored to be endorsed by and working closely with both the SB Firefighters and the SB Deputy Sheriffs. Other aspects of public safety I'm focused on addressing include safe air, water, traffic and threats to the environment such as from climate change and oil drilling, processing and transportation. I'm committed to guiding our city (and region) through the covid-19 pandemic, so that we emerge with a strong and resilient economy, powered by a local workforce. With the right leadership, we can foster jobs of the future needed to sustain our local workforce, that also fund vital public health and community services.
I'm committed to protecting and preserving the character of Goleta's neighborhoods and environment, managing growth and its impacts now and for future generations.