City Manager Transitions to Retirement

Michelle Greene, who has served as City Manager of Goleta since 2014, has announced she will begin a transition to retirement effective June 30, 2022. Ms. Greene has worked for the City of Goleta for almost 18 years and is credited with bringing a new level of professionalism and sophistication to the organization during her tenure as Goleta’s first female City Manager.

Family responsibilities require Ms. Greene to work remotely as she finishes out her tenure as City Manager. She will then transition to serving as a Special Advisor to support the City while a nationwide recruitment for a new City Manager is underway. The transition period will also allow Ms. Greene to continue to work on various ongoing 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. 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,” said Ms. Greene.

Significant milestones achieved by the City during Ms. Greene’s tenure as City Manager include:

  • 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. 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,” said Mayor Paula Perotte.

Ms. Greene began her career in Goleta as a Management Analyst, before being appointed to the position of Administrative Services Director and later Deputy City Manager. Prior to coming to Goleta, Ms. Greene served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Escalon, and the City Clerk for Grover Beach.