Goleta City Council Amends Budget and Approves Grant Funding for Non-Profits and Residents in Need Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Council Also Approves Annual Solid Waste Rate Increase Following Public Hearing and Approves Ballot Measure to Decide Mayoral Term
Post Date:05/21/2020 1:26 PM
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The Goleta City Council took action at the May 19 Goleta City Council meeting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City Council approved a resolution to amend the City of Goleta’s operating and capital improvement project (CIP) budget for fiscal year 2019/20. Staff presented the proposed budget adjustments to help bridge the revenue shortfalls the City will incur due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which include receiving less sales tax and transient occupancy tax. Expenditure reductions that will lead to operational savings include reducing non-essential service budget line items, delaying projects that have not yet started, and implementing a hiring freeze for staff vacancies to achieve salary and benefit savings as part of the City’s cost containment plan. A proposed update of the City’s fiscal year 2020/21 budget will be brought to Council at a special budget workshop on May 28, 2020. Read the full staff report with detailed information on the budget here: https://tinyurl.com/y92aeukb.
The City Council also took action to help non-profits and residents recover from the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19. The City will receive an additional $132,676 allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds under the federal CARES Act specifically to help address needs created by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Regular CDBG funds are awarded every year and traditionally go to local non-profits serving low-income residents, seniors, and those experiencing homelessness in Goleta. Council approved the City using these new additional funds to provide Goleta-specific assistance to nonprofits and residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be distributed through a partnership with the established COVID-19 Joint Response Effort led by the Santa Barbara Foundation, Hutton Parker Foundation, and United Way of Santa Barbara County with no funds going towards their administration costs. This partnership will allow for quick and efficient assistance to both nonprofits serving Goleta residents and also individual Goleta residents facing hardship due to COVID-19, requiring only one application for assistance, preventing duplication of support, and encouraging a regional approach. Read the full staff report here: https://tinyurl.com/yd46sbu4.
As part of the recovery effort, staff also brought to Council proposals to partner with other local organizations, Women’s Economic Ventures and the Goleta Chamber of Commerce, to provide support to small businesses. Council has asked staff to bring this item back to Council after discussions take place about next year’s budget projections and the proposals have been discussed with the Economic Development and Revitalization Standing Committee.
There was also a public hearing held to evaluate a proposed solid waste rate increase due to operational cost and cost-of-living increases. The Council approved the 4.25% annual increase effective July 1, 2020, for MarBorg residential and commercial account holders. For more information, read the full staff report here: https://tinyurl.com/y82vwrl7.
Finally, the City Council also approved the Public Engagement Commission’s (PEC) recommendation to have a measure on the ballot for the November 2020 General Municipal Election asking the voters to decide whether to increase the Mayoral term of office from two years to four years. The reasons for the PEC’s recommendation to bring this item back to the voters include the time commitment, the personal out-of-pocket expense (e.g., for filing candidate papers), the fundraising burden, and the distraction from important governance issues required to run a campaign every two years. PEC members expressed that they felt that a four-year term was consistent with the goal of lowering barriers for people to run for office and encouraging fuller participation in government. Read the full staff report here: https://tinyurl.com/y9qgp5kr.
If you missed the meeting, you can watch a rebroadcast of it on Channel 19 Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. It is also available to watch at any time on the City’s website at https://tinyurl.com/goletameetings. View the full staff report from the May 19, 2020, meeting at https://tinyurl.com/y9rh7z8a.