Kyriaco, Reyes-Martin to be sworn in tonight
James Kyriaco will be sworn in tonight for his second term on the Goleta City Council, and Luz Reyes-Martin will take the oath for her first term.
The council members will be sworn in during the 5:30 p.m. meeting at Goleta City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Goleta. It marks the first such ceremony for council members elected on a district-by-district basis. Councilmember Kyraico will represent District 2, and Ms. Reyes-Martin, District 1.
In advance of tonight’s ceremony, Mr. Kyriaco talked to the News-Press about major issues such as traffic congestion, the revenue from the newly passed sales tax increase, crime, homelessness and efforts to revitalize Old Town Goleta.
First, Mr. Kyriaco addressed the lack of street lighting in some areas.
“I will continue to work toward additional street lighting throughout the city, particularly focusing on more equitable distribution of lighting in areas like Old Town that are asking for more lighting as a matter of safety,” Mr. Kyriaco said.
The News-Press asked Mr. Kyriaco about how he hopes to improve traffic congestion.
“I look forward to seeing traffic improvements such as the Ekwill-Fowler extension that will add another East-West option through Old Town, as well as the new San Jose Creek Bike Path project and the Hollister Avenue Interim Striping Project,” Mr. Kyriaco said. “I am proud that, rather than spending tens of millions on a permanent project along Hollister, we are instead embarking on a solution that is quick to implement and will have ample opportunities for evaluation and adjustment as needed.”
Mr. Kyriaco addressed how the revenue from the newly passed 1% sales tax increase will be used.
“I intend to keep my word and follow the priority spending plan that the council supported, prioritizing road and infrastructure improvements, improving emergency response times and implementing our plans for preserving and protecting our beaches, creeks and streams, as well as addressing housing and childcare needs for our local workforce,” he said.
The News-Press asked Mr. Kyriaco about how he plans to reduce homelessness. “The city just hired a homelessness services coordinator (Chuck Flacks) and will be investing more resources towards successful implementation of our Homelessness Strategic Plan and ensuring the successful launch of Buena Tierra, the new supportive housing that is being added at the former site of the Super 8 motel.”
Mr. Kyriaco also addressed how he plans to boost Goleta’s businesses.
“One of my top priorities will be ensuring the successful development of a new Economic Development Strategic Plan for the city, which will do much to promote a strong business climate,” he said. “I also look forward to ensuring that upcoming Old Town improvements and the Old Town Visioning Process are done in a way that helps protect our existing local businesses.”
“Goleta has grown significantly in recent years, adding over 1,300 new housing units,” said Mr. Kyriaco. “It’s critical that future growth be affordable to our local workforce and planned carefully and thoughtfully so that we don’t suffer unwanted negative impacts that harm our quality of life.”
Mr. Kyriaco spoke about how he hopes to bring affordable housing to the city. “Goleta will continue to contribute additional affordable housing to meet the needs of our local community. There are current projects under consideration that can help meet the need for more affordable housing, and Goleta has taken action to ensure that at least 20% of all future housing development in the city includes real affordability.”
The News-Press asked Mr. Kyriaco to address the issue of crime.
“I am thankful that our law enforcement partners at the county sheriff’s office continue to do an excellent job and that Goleta continues to consistently be named one of California’s 50 safest cities. While there are some concerning trends like catalytic converter thefts that are plaguing much of the western United States, I am pleased that overall crime remains low and that Goleta remains a safe place to live, work and play.”
Mr. Kyriaco also noted that Goleta enjoys first-rate service from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and that he looks forward to working during the next four terms on adding a fire station and more personnel to protect Goleta from wildfires and other emergencies.
Finally, Mr. Kyriaco spoke about the revitalization of Old Town.
“Old Town revitalization is well underway with the Hollister Interim Striping Project, the improvements to the Goleta Community Center, the San Jose Creek Bike Path project, and the Ekwill-Fowler project all moving forward. However the Old Town Visioning Process, scheduled to begin in early 2023 will be a wonderful way for the community to come together and help inform traffic circulation, zoning and economic vitality plans for many years to come.”