Council sends letter of support of new Central Coast region
More COVID-19 relief and financial assistance will be provided to small businesses and individuals in Goleta.
The Goleta City Council authorized the city manager to allocate funds for the following: up to $15,000 to rental assistance and working with homeless service providers; $200,000 from the General Fund for immediate COVID-19 relief efforts; $100,000 for the Memorandum of Understanding between the cIty of Goleta and the Santa Barbara Foundation; $50,000 toward the United Way’s Low-Income Individual Assistance Program; and $50,000 toward an emergency rental assistance program for tenants who earn up to 80% of the area median income.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the next 20 years and it occurs to me that for a lot of our residents, and particularly for people who are small business owners, they’re just trying to figure out what they’re going to do for the next 20 days,” Council member James Kyriaco said in the council’s special meeting on Thursday.
The motion passed by a 4-1 vote, with Council member Roger Aceves as the one dissenting vote.
“We just spent over two hours talking about what dire financial need we are in,” he said. “We need revenue. I am not questioning these programs, I am not questioning that we have extreme needs…
“One, we can’t afford it, and two, we’re not being strategic.”
Mr. Aceves said he believes all communities should be rowing the same boat and working together.
In response, Mr. Kyriaco said, “We have a little bit of a different viewpoint about whether we can afford to do it versus whether we can afford not to do it.”
Mayor Pro Tempore Kyle Richards supported the motion, but added that he wishes more can be provided for the residents and businesses.
“I’m always struck by the totals,” he said. “When I see that $50,000 in emergency rental assistance with awards totaling up to $500 each, that’s only 10 people we’re going to help with that. Maybe more, but still, it does feel like our impact is small.”
In other news, the council unanimously voted to authorize Mayor Paula Perotte to send a letter of support to Gov. Gavin Newsom of the County Board of Supervisors’ request to remove Santa Barbara, San Luis Obisop and Ventura counties from the Southern California region and create a new and separate Central Coast region for the regional stay at home orders.
“I think we take our direction from county health,” Mr. Aceves said. “They’re the ones that are charged with monitoring and keeping us safe and it would be in line for us to respond now.
“The bottom line is the council goes on record supporting separating us from Los Angeles County.”
Mr. Richards expressed similar sentiments.
“I’m very swayed by the fact that it’s our public health officers that have written this letter and I really do put a lot of credence into our Public Health Department and our team that’s looking out for the community,” he said.
Members of the council did express proceeding with caution, however, saying that they don’t want to reopen too quickly and cause a spike in cases or open the door to residents of other counties such as Los Angeles to travel to Santa Barbara to escape the shutdowns.
Lastly, the council unanimously authorized the transfer of funds currently set aside in reserves for CalPERS unfunded accrued liability in the amount of $170,000 and OPEB unfunded accrued liability in the amount of $333,500 to the city’s Section 115 Trust.
They also directed staff to pursue new revenue and debt financing options, return with a CIP Funding Plan, further analyze Unassigned Fund Balance and return with a recommendation for a CIP project funding reserve level.