The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District focused on a possible memorial on Sabado Tarde Road and Goleta’s proposed city hood plan Thursday night.
During the four-hour meeting, the board discussed the idea of a memorial in Little Acorn Park for the victims of the February accident on Sabado Tarde. The memorial would consist of a bulb garden that would bloom sometime next year, IVRPD Chairperson Pegeen Soutar said.
“We wanted to do a memorial bulb garden in Little Acorn Park. It’d be neat to have it blooming next year,” she said.
The board voiced their reactions to Goleta NOW!’s proposed city, which excludes I.V. The Local Agency Formation Commission will begin consideration on April 26.
“On the 26th of April there will be a LAFCO meeting at 5 at the County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room in Goleta. What this means to us is that [I.V.] may be excluded from Goleta,” Soutar said. “If we are excluded it decreases our chance of, in the future, ever having a better government. If we were included, we’d have better local representation and more money for improvements in Isla Vista.”
IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said the negative side of the assimilation of I.V. into Goleta would be the dissolution of the IVRPD board. If I.V. were incorporated, the affairs usually handled by the IVRPD would then be under the control of the city of Goleta.
“The board is unequivocally opposed to the dissolution of the Park District. There’s no compelling reason to change the status of the Park District. There are no savings indicated or improvements of services,” Johnson said. “Basically, last year LAFCO ordered the development of a Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis and the available options for a government in I.V. The most attractive option is the annexation of I.V. by the city of Santa Barbara or the city of Goleta. This option is most attractive because if we became part of these cities we would have a better capacity to raise revenues and get a bigger proportion of the property tax that is collected.”
Ariana Katovich, IVRPD vice chairperson, said she is skeptical of the ability of the city of Goleta to handle IVRPD affairs.
“IVRPD started out of a major protest in the 1970s so that the community of Goleta would not have control. We have been handling affairs in I.V. since 1972. Goleta has no right to take that away from us,” Katovitch said. “Goleta does not have the experience in I.V. park services. It is impossible that Goleta would be able to provide I.V. with a service that is better than what we currently have. We provide everything we do for free.”