District Elections Coming to Goleta in 2022 – Attend a Public Workshop

The City of Goleta is beginning the process of transitioning to district elections beginning in November 2022 for its city council. This means that the city will be divided into four districts, and voters in each district will elect a City Councilmember who lives in his/her own district. The mayor will continue to be elected by voters across the city.

We welcome and encourage input from the public about what these districts might look like. In particular, we appreciate feedback on what communities of interest might exist within the city, which are groups of people who live close together and would benefit from being kept together in a single district. In order to garner such input, we will be holding public workshops during the summer – stay tuned for more information. These workshops will educate the public on the process and some tools they might use to draw maps of their community of interest and any proposed districts.

At our most recent Public Engagement Commission (PEC) meeting on April 22, the Commission received a presentation on the 2022 Electoral Districting Process, including an updated timeline, and provided input on the media and public interest organizations to be included in the City’s districting outreach efforts as well as the local “communities of interest” that should be considered when drawing electoral district lines. The staff report is available at https://tinyurl.com/vmkr5ew, and the meeting can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/addmzumt. At the prior PEC meeting on February 17, 2021, the Commission received a presentation on the process from City staff and our district elections consultant, National Demographics Corporation. View the staff report https://tinyurl.com/3mumxe6j, and watch the meeting at https://tinyurl.com/bbkrajju.

Also be on the lookout for a website about this project, which will launch in May. For questions, please contact City Clerk Deborah Lopez at dlopez@cityofgoleta.org.

Library Website Show and Tell – Watch our Video!

You may not know how much the Goleta Valley and Santa Ynez Valley Libraries have to offer without needing to walk through the front door. It is incredible all you can access at www.GoletaValleyLibrary.org with the click of a mouse or on your phone. The library offers Spanish Language materials for adults and children, as well as Spanish language programs. Bilingual staff are available to assist patrons. 

Don’t miss this show and tell tour of our library website with Library Director Allison Gray where she shows you how easy it is to find everything you could possibly need. Prepare to be impressed. Watch now in English (https://youtu.be/zYi7m0nKDPM) or Spanish (https://youtu.be/U7vN5A8DiTI).

Life in the Orange Tier

Santa Barbara County met the State’s Orange Tier case rate (less than 5.9 daily new cases per 100k) and positivity rate (less than 4.9% positive testing rate) which allowed the County to move into the less restrictive Orange Tier.

The following changes in the state’s orange tier became effective on April 21, 2021, for Santa Barbara County:

  • Restaurants: Indoor seating increases to 50% capacity or 200 people maximum.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers: 25% capacity indoors; indoor pools can open.
  • Wineries and Breweries: 25% or 100 people indoors maximum
  • Movie Theaters: 50% or 200 people maximum.
  • Museums, Zoos and Aquariums: 50% capacity for indoor activities.
  • Places of Worship: 50% capacity indoor activities.
  • Bars with no food service: Open outdoors with modifications.
  • All retail: No capacity limits.
  • Gatherings: Maximum of 10 people and three households

For more information please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/

The Latest COVID-19 Vaccine and Appointment Information

In Santa Barbara County, everyone age 16 or older is eligible to be vaccinated. Minors are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Those 18 and over have two other vaccine options: Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. After a short pause, Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration has resumed. The State of California has posted a FACT SHEET to assist California residents while choosing a vaccine.

Vaccine appointments are available through My Turn California, mobile vaccination clinics, and local pharmacies. To find availability and make an appointment, please go to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department website at https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/.

Those registered for an appointment should bring documentation with your name on it and proof of Santa Barbara County residency.

For more information, and Frequently Asked Questions, click here, or call 2-1-1 and select option 4.

Don’t Miss the 2021 Goleta State of the City on May 27 – Send Us Your Questions!

Mark your calendar for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 27, 2021, for the premiere of the 2021 Goleta Community State of the City. Support our local restaurants by getting #GoletaToGo and gather around to watch the show. The program includes an update on how our City is doing from Mayor Paula Perotte and City Manager Michelle Greene, special messages from your Councilmembers, local entertainment, and a Q&A. It is going to be a special night and we hope you will join us for this virtual event.

Ways to Watch:

Besides watching, we want you to be part of the show! Do you have a question for our Mayor, City Council or Staff? Then send in a short cell phone video of yourself asking your question (you can also email us your question). Send your question to PIO@cityofgoleta.org by May 14th to be included. We will do our best to make sure we answer as many questions as possible as part of the Goleta Community State of the City.

For cell phone video questions:

  • Please record your cell phone video horizontally.
  • Be aware of your surroundings (make sure there is no background noise).
  • Introduce yourself quickly and your connection to Goleta. Example, “My name is Barbara… and I have lived in Goleta for … years. I am concerned about…”
  • Videos must be approximately 15 seconds.
  • Review your video then email the final clip to PIO@cityofgoleta.org.
  • Look for yourself during the Community State of the City.

If you prefer to write your question in an email instead of recording a video, please be sure to include your full name and connection to Goleta as well.

We look forward to hearing from the community and hope you will tune in to watch our Community State of the City on Thursday, May 27 at 7:00 p.m.

City of Goleta Celebrates Our Devoted City Clerk Team

The City of Goleta is proud to celebrate and recognize our Goleta City Clerk Division during the 52nd anniversary of Municipal Clerks Week which runs from May 2nd through May 8th.  Tonight, May 4, 2021, the Goleta City Council will issue a Proclamation to honor the City’s talented, dedicated, and hard-working City Clerk Division. If you want to brighten their day and let them know what a great job they are doing, send an email to CityClerkGroup@cityofgoleta.org.

Goleta’s small but mighty City Clerk Team includes 18-year employee City Clerk Deborah Lopez, who has been with the City almost since its beginning in 2003, as well as Deputy City Clerks Liana Campos and David Cutaia.

Mayor Paula Perotte said this team is the glue that holds the City together.  She said, “The Clerk’s Office serves as the information center, providing a vital link between our residents, local governing bodies and agencies of government at all levels!  You could say this office is our central nervous system.  They are central to our city……but never nervous.  On behalf of our City Council and residents, I am extending our heartfelt thanks to them for their dedication to the Goleta community and our City Council and staff.”

City Clerk Deborah Lopez said she is honored to be Goleta’s City Clerk.  She said, “I love my job and because of that it doesn’t feel like a job but rather a journey. I am lucky to work with two amazing staff members, Liana Campos and David Cutaia, who have a work ethic I admire. I was so impressed with how our small team maintained the high level of performance we pride ourselves on, while accepting even more responsibility with virtual meetings due to the pandemic. Since we began virtual meetings for City Council, Commissions and Committees in March 2020, we have held over 200!”

The City Clerk Division serves as the information center on functions of local government and provides a professional link between community members, local governing bodies, and agencies of government at all levels. The Division is also the Historian of the Records, taking care of the entire recorded history of the City.

The City Clerk Division has many duties and responsibilities, including attending all City Council meetings and maintaining a record of the proceedings, ordinances, resolutions, written contracts, and official bonds; serving as the election official for the City of Goleta; overseeing Boards, Commissions and Committees; and much more. Learn more about the City Clerk Division at www.cityofgoleta.org/city-hall/city-clerk.

We commend them for their courage, flexibility, resilience, and dedication year-round, as well as their ability to pivot during this ongoing pandemic to provide virtual meetings to the public and run a virtual election in November 2020.

Pictured: The City Clerk Division in Council Chambers in 2019, pictured left-to-right: Mayor Paula Perotte, Deputy City Clerk David Cutaia, City Clerk Deborah Lopez, and Deputy City Clerk Liana Campos.

Is It Your Time to Paint?

The artists of the Goleta Valley Art Association invite you to unleash your inner artist and learn about your art community.

Each month in the “before Covid time”, members of the Goleta Valley Art Association showed their works of art at the Goleta Library Multi-Purpose room. Now, as we look forward to a time when we can gather together again, we encourage you to take up a paint brush and join us. The pandemic didn’t stop us: we’ve mounted three successful online shows, have “gathered” via Zoom to share our work in progress, continue to have a robust monthly newsletter filled with information about classes, techniques, awards, other local opportunities for art, and more. But most importantly, we’ve kept painting.

You can see the latest work from local artists on our website as well as information on how you can participate: https://www.thegoletavalleyartassociation.org/about-us.html

Whether you are an artist or are just curious about art – you will be inspired by your friends and neighbors who are the heart of your art community.

Pictured: Painting by Janet Hart

Winter Bird Count 4 Kids A Success

Santa Barbara Audubon Society (SBAS) protects area birdlife and habitat and connects people with birds through education, conservation, and community science. We thank the City of Goleta for helping to conserve our unique open spaces and for continued support of SBAS’s annual Winter Bird Count 4 Kids (WBC4K), one of our key education and community science outreach programs. SBAS is excited to bring the joys and wonderment of birds to young families filled with aspiring naturalists. 

This year, due to Covid guidelines, we pivoted the WBC4K from our traditional in-person group gathering to a “socially distanced” event, where individual families went birding at Lake Los Carneros on their own schedules. We were thrilled by the tremendous community enthusiasm for the modified program. Within twenty-four hours, 100 participants were preregistered. Within three days, all 200 spots were full. The majority of families have children who attend schools in Goleta. Participants received a Birding Checklist to identify birds at Lake Los Carneros, a Bird Bingo card, a signature Santa Barbara Audubon Society t-shirt, and other educational and fun goodies. For those who missed registration, the Bird Checklist and Bingo are available on our website. We thank our fearless event co-leaders, Judy Blue and Joan Cotich, and other Audubon volunteers for their tireless work making this event a success.

We are truly fortunate to have all this birding action right here in our own Goleta backyard. We appreciate the City of Goleta for sharing the beauty of Goleta birding with our community and for providing a grant to support our growing WBC4K. Goodland readers, we invite you to watch our new video Why are Birds Important? and learn more at https://santabarbaraaudubon.org.

Pictured: Councilmember Stuart Kasdin and his son participating in the Winter Bird Count 4 Kids event.

MTD Seeks Public Input, Resumes Fare Collection May 10th

Throughout the pandemic, Santa Barbara MTD has continued to provide robust public transit service throughout the South Coast, and the essential workers of Goleta have remained dedicated riders. MTD’s dedication to maintaining the health and safety of passengers and bus operators has not wavered, and COVID-19 best practices are still in effect. While service on certain lines serving a few neighborhoods and the closed campuses of SBCC and UCSB have been suspended over the past year, the lion’s share of bus service has stayed at normal levels and ridership is now on the rise. In an effort to continue operations and restore service as the economy reopens, MTD will soon collect fares again and is proposing service changes to go into effect in August 2021.

Santa Barbara MTD recently reopened the renovated Transit Center in Downtown Santa Barbara in anticipation of resuming fare collection on Monday, May 10th, 2021. On that day, buses will return to traditional front door boarding and fares will be required to board. Fares are the same as they were pre-pandemic–$1.75 for adults and youth, and $0.85 for seniors 62+ and riders with disabilities. Riders are encouraged to get their passes before the 10th, in order to avoid a rush.

In addition to returning to fare collection, MTD is currently seeking input on its annual proposed service changes. The public is encouraged to learn more about the proposals and to weigh in by taking a brief survey. There is also a virtual community meeting on these changes scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. To take the survey (in English or Spanish) and to register for the virtual meeting, visit https://sbmtd.gov/servicechanges.

For questions about service changes, bus fares, and bus safety, the public can call 805-963-3364.

Be Water Aware for National Water Safety Month and Year-Round

While May is officially National Water Safety Month, it’s important to be water aware year-round. Swimming is one of life’s great pleasures. It offers many health and fitness benefits, cools you off in the summer, and provides a great opportunity to socialize with family and friends. Make sure you and yours stay safe in the water by being water aware. Follow these safety tips from the World Waterpark Association:

  • Learn to swim: Swimming Lesson Save Lives.™  The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes both adults and children. Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics now supports swimming classes after the age of 1 if the child is emotionally and developmentally ready.
  • Never leave children unattended: Parents are the first line of defense in keeping kids safe in the water. Never leave children unattended near water, not even for a minute. If your child’s in the water, you should be too! Constant, careful supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even when children have completed swimming classes.
  • Wear a life jacket: If you or a family member is a weak or non-swimmer, wear a life vest. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and many facilities provide them at no charge.
  • Read all posted signs: Follow posted safety rules and warnings. Teach kids that being safe in and around the water is a personal responsibility – yours and theirs.
  • Never swim alone or in unsupervised places: Teach your children to always swim with a buddy. 
  • Look for lifeguards: It is always best to swim in an area supervised by lifeguards, but remember, lifeguards are the last line of defense when all other layers of protection fail.
  • Don’t drink alcohol: Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during swimming, boating or engaging in other water-related activities. Never drink alcohol while supervising children around water. Teach teenagers about the danger of drinking alcohol while swimming or boating.
  • Spit it out: Teach kids not to drink the pool water. To prevent choking, never chew gum or eat while swimming, diving or playing in water.
  • Avoid water wings: Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water wings”) in place of life jackets or life preservers with children. Using air-filled swimming aids can give parents and children a false sense of security. These air-filled aids are toys and are not designed to be personal-flotation devices.
  • Watch out for the dangerous “too’s”: Don’t get too tired, too cold, too far from safety, exposed to too much sun or experience too much strenuous activity. Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
  • Note the weather: Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
  • Use sunscreen: Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin to ensure maximum skin protection. Hats, visors and shirts are recommended to prevent overexposure.
  • Keep toddlers in shallow play areas: Zero-depth entry pools have water games, sprays and fountains with no appreciable water depth.
  • Follow age & Height instructions as well as health restrictions: Restrictions apply to many rides and attractions at pools and waterparks.  Size and coordination is critical to safety inside open water flumes.  Guests with neck or back problems, heart conditions, prevalence toward motion sickness or pregnancy should not ride high-speed or rapid-descent rides.
  • Use plastic swim diapers: Many parks require them. Note where changing areas are located and use these designated, sanitized changing spots.

National Water Safety Month is an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with support from the American Red Cross, National Recreation and Park Association and World Waterpark Association. For more information go to https://nwsm.phta.org/.