On Tuesday, the Goleta City Attorney will ask for the city council’s direction to either amend or terminate the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures.
The city’s ordinance did not provide for a specific date that the moratorium would end, according to the staff report, but the city attorney asserts that there is reason to argue the local eviction protections remain in effect until repealed or the local emergency ends.
“Keeping the eviction protections of the City’s ordinance would meet the public policy objectives of (i) helping financially distressed tenants avoid homelessness, (ii) preventing the movement of large numbers of people, and (iii) minimizing contact in adherence with public health orders to shelter in place to prevent the transmission of COVID-19,” the staff report reads.
If Goleta keeps the moratorium in place, provisions must be added to establish the repayment period. If not, the equities between landlords and tenants would be more balanced.
“Therefore, a key consideration is whether requiring tenants to pay a certain percentage now (by ending the city moratorium) would help decrease the probability of their default on paying back 100% of the debt (plus their regular rent) and prevent possible eviction at a later date,” the staff report continued.
The only regions with moratoriums still in place are Santa Maria, which does not have a specific expiration date, and Ventura, which has its deadline on Nov. 1, 2020. All other entities with moratoriums have had them expire.
In other business, the Goleta Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Director will recommend the city council not authorize the Mayor to sign and send a letter to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown regarding police brutality and racism on behalf of the city council, “since the content of the letter was discussed with the Sheriff during three public committee meetings that included public participation.”
In June, the city drafted a resolution on the city’s position on police brutality and racism and a letter to Sheriff Brown requesting collaboration. They then approved a resolution condemning police brutality and declaring racism a public health emergency after 61 unduplicated public comments on the resolution.
The letter was sent to the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Standing Committee, and the committee met with Sheriff Brown. According to the staff report, the Committee, SBSO staff and city staff met three times for a total of four hours to review the actions in the letter and make revisions, including 33 public comments.
“The Committee recommends that the Council receive and file this report and the revised letter, but not to actually send the revised letter to Sheriff Bill Brown,” the staff report reads. “The Committee felt that the three committee meetings provided a forum for responses and input from the SBSO that addressed the issues/demands in the original Mayor’s letter, thus sending a formal letter was deemed unnecessary and redundant.”
The city council will also receive a presentation from the Assistant City Manager on the city’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, in an effort to “outline a plan for ensuring a culture within the city of Goleta… not focusing on a single policy, training or position, but creating a policy framework, a culture of learning and awareness and an entire workforce mobilized toward achieving these goals,” according to the staff report.
The DEI Plan involves creating a team to educate and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and community. Staff recommends that the city council appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to support and advise the DEI Team in its development of the DEI Plan.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. To watch the meeting live, visit https://tinyurl.com/GoletaMeetings. It will also be broadcast on Channel 19.