Author Alvin Toffler said, “You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” This is what the Council did recently as it looked at its Strategic Plan.
During their full-day workshop, the Council had a lengthy discussion on the City’s vision statement and the City’s identity. They noted that Goleta has a number of unique elements that should be highlighted—natural beauty, being close to art and culture, and being walkable and bikeable. The concept of the “Good Land” was mentioned repeatedly as an appropriate description of Goleta.
The Council also revised their vision statements lightly. It landed on five strategies and major goals for the upcoming years:
The first is to Ensure Financial Sustainability through enhanced revenues, careful control of expenditures and policy review of structural financial buffers such as reserves.
Second is to ensure the City’s economic vitality through programs like GEM. GEM stands for Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet and is a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the University to help high-tech businesses start and thrive in the Goleta Valley.
The third strategy is to Strengthen Infrastructure through transportation projects and the creation of a zoning code.
The Council felt strongly that a plan to return Old Town as the Vital Center of the City should be developed. They directed staff to investigate moving City Hall to Old Town. They had previously authorized a viability study on the Goleta Valley Community Center. Other initiatives, such as the development of the Old Town Park, the completion of the San Jose Creek Project and ideas that came out of the Love of Goleta events would help to support this initiative.
The Council’s final strategy was to Ensure that Goleta Remains a Safe Community. Some of the items that were discussed included a bicycle/pedestrian master plan, support for programs like Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, concern about adequate fire services in western Goleta and sustainability of the contract with the Sheriff ’s Office. The conversation on the City’s strategic planning is expected to continue through the summer.