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Goleta City Manager announces her retirement

City of Goleta

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- City officials announced Wednesday that Michelle Greene, who has served as City Manager of Goleta since 2014, will begin transitioning into retirement this summer.

City officials said Greene has worked for Goleta for almost 18 years, during which she became Goleta's first female City Manager.

Greene will work remotely until her retirement goes into effect on June 30, and then she will transition into serving as a Special Advisor to support Goleta during the nationwide recruitment for a new City Manager.

During this transition process, city officials said Greene will continue to work on projects that are still in progress.

"It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the Goleta community for the last 18 years, particularly during the last 8 years in the role of City Manager," said Greene. "It is with great sadness that I must now look to ending the successful partnership with the City Council, as a need to support elderly family in Vermont requires that I relocate for an indefinite period of time. But my heart will always be in Goleta. It is an incredibly special place, with an amazing City staff that it has be an honor to work alongside, so I know that I will leave the City in very good hands when the time comes. I wish the Goleta community all the best as the City enters the next phase of its evolution."

Jaime Shaw, Community Relations Assistant, listed milestones achieved by Goleta during Greene's tenure as City Manager:

  • Building an effective and innovative organization, including creating new departments, hiring stellar staff and cultivating a positive organizational culture that reflects the values of the Goleta community;
  • Completing the new Zoning Ordinance process and adoption of Title 17 of the City’s Municipal Code;
  • Creating a municipal library and taking on direct management of the Goleta, Solvang and Buellton Libraries;
  • Effecting the purchase of the City Hall facility at 130 Cremona Drive;
  • Acquiring the parcel for a community park in Old Town Goleta and constructing Jonny D. Wallis Neighborhood Park;
  • Obtaining $3.9 million in state funding for restoration of the monarch butterfly habitat on Ellwood Mesa;
  • Acquiring the former Direct Relief parcel on S. La Patera Lane and obtaining $13 million in TIRCIP Grant funding for the Goleta Train Depot project;
  • Creating a Public Engagement Commission to advise the City Council on issues related to transparent public participation and governance of the City;
  • Establishing the LEAD Academy to help community members learn about City operations, and how they can effectively participate in local governance;
  • Achieving a new level of professionalism and regional recognition with the City’s public engagement and communications efforts, including keeping the community highly informed during numerous emergency events, such as wildfires, closure of the 101 Highway due to an unprecedented debris flow event, heavy rains and flooding, and an oil spill that impacted the Goleta shoreline;
  • Creating, adopting and implementing the City’s first Homelessness Strategic Plan;
  • Constructing capacity and fish passage improvements in San Jose Creek and adopting a Creeks and Watershed Management Plan;
  • Establishing a robust Sustainability Program that reaches across several City departments and addresses climate change, recycling and reuse, efficient, clean and renewable energy in City facilities, streetlights, vehicles and in the community;
  • Approval of critical fiscal improvements, such as the City’s Investment Policy, a Section 115 Trust for pension obligations, the City’s first long-range financial forecast, and helping grow the General Fund’s unassigned fund balance to ensure increased budget stability;
  • The City’s response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including maintaining critical services at all times, successfully addressing unprecedented fiscal ramifications, and assisting the local economy with the creation of an Economic Recovery Plan.

"The City Council feels so fortunate to have Michelle at the helm of this organization, and we are sorry to see her go, both professionally and personally," said Mayor Paula Perotte. "We are pleased, however, that she is willing to work with the City to transition to new management in a way that works best for the Council, the organization, and the community."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Lily Dallow

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