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Goleta State of the City Address draws large crowd

Goleta State of the City address draws large crowd to the Elks Lodge on Wednesday night
City of Goleta
Goleta State of the City address draws large crowd to the Elks Lodge on Wednesday night

GOLETA, Calif. – More than 100 community members turned out for the State of the City address in Goleta on Wednesday night to hear city officials speak of the city's accomplishments and challenges ahead.

Wednesday's event marked the first time in two years that the address has been held in person, after it was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and held virtually in 2021.

Mayor Paula Perotte spoke of the city's infrastructure improvements, it's homeless strategic plan, and its COVID-19 response over the past year, including shelter and rapid housing programs, meals for seniors, and small business loans and grants.

In the coming year, the city plans to add another electric vehicle charging system at the Goleta Valley Community Center, continue increasing safety infrastructure near the school-area crosswalks, and participate in the county's broadband for all initiative.

"It is not enough for the state of our city to be strong today. It must be strong in preparing for the future. When you think about it, much of our city's infrastructure and processes are rooted in the 20th century," Perotte said.

"While we are grateful for the public buildings, transportation infrastructure and parks we inherited from the last century, we are working hard to move them into the 21st century.”

City Manager Michelle Greene also provided an update on the city's finances.

“As of today, revenue recovery has begun in earnest and the city’s financial outlook is improving after the initial shock of the pandemic-related downturn," she said.

“But while the financial forecast looks brighter, we face challenges in keeping up with the city’s aging infrastructure. While the city weathered the downturn, it came at a cost of deferring capital and maintenance projects. Substantial investment in infrastructure is required to keep up with the needs of the community.”

The event concluded with city staff answering questions submitted by the audience.

A recording of the address will be rebroadcasted on Goleta TV Channel 19 on Sundays at 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and Fridays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. beginning Sunday, April 24.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

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