With a six-to-one vote, LAFCO sent the idea of Isla Vista’s inclusion in the Goleta cityhood plan down the shitter. That was last week’s news. So what now?

What, if anything, does the future hold for our little beachside community now that we are still unincorporated and fully exposed to excessive political influence from North County? Come November, will the residents of Goleta vote with their wallets and say “no” to cityhood (once again), based on Isla Vista’s exclusion and, as a consequence, “no” to the loss of tons of potential revenue in city dollars? I don’t know.

What I do know is that now we are truly on our own, and the local powers must do everything they can to ensure we won’t fall victim to the intentions of the Willy Chamberlain clique that so wants to ruin this area.

We must make sure that our only representation in local government, 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, ensures that the services and funding needed for our area will not be squandered solely on improving Goleta, should it become a city after the November election.

Accountability is the key word here, and a close watch on county and state money will have to be conducted, especially knowing the intentions and sentiments of the “anti-Isla Vista” contingent of the Goleta Now! crowd. They got their cake for now, and they’ll want more icing on it before they eat it. More icing translates to more money.

Redistricting is also going to be a factor to watch for. Will this bring a North County influence into bigger play in the Goleta Valley? Now that it’s on its way to becoming a city, I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the North County contingent is going to want to make its mark on the area just out of spite.

This is the time to consider all available options for Isla Vista and make an assessment of what can be done to prevent any more lack of representation than we currently have, as well as prevent any North County interference in our community.

There’s an old Russian saying that states, “a tame housecat backed into a corner quickly becomes a savage tiger.” And backed into a corner we are. Actually, we’re more like an island, and survival is the way of the wild, especially when you consider the intentions of the obvious good-old-boys network that has tried to get its way in past elections.

But the fact remains that the reason the good old boys didn’t get their way was not solely based on the votes from Isla Vista. Many folks from Goleta don’t want North County influencing politics in their community. Let North County stay where it is – away from us. There are pluses to our exclusion, though. Political maneuvers such as this past one tend to galvanize a community. We now know where we stand in the scheme of things, and a plan needs to be formulated to preserve and improve our area with no help from our neighbors in Goleta. Of course, this is granted that cityhood passes in November.

It is a sad statement that even though the evidence was there, proving that inclusion of Isla Vista would be a financially more feasible option, inclusion of our community was ruled out overwhelmingly. More proof that it was never about financial viability and common sense, but rather just another decision based on the voice of resentment for our community from our neighbors, founded on special interest by those seeking to teach us a lesson for their past political blunders. With the “anti-Isla Vista” contingent of Goleta Now!, it has never been about burning couches or a transient population; it’s all about who they want to usher into the Goleta Valley to increase development under the guise of less government. It was the fears that Isla Vista, as a political power, would not let it happen that led that contingent down the path to exclude Isla Vista from the big picture. It would’ve been a nice picture, but … Maybe if cityhood goes through, the voters of Goleta will get the nightmare they wish for. But don’t push it on Isla Vista because we don’t want it. Now, by excluding us we want it less. You’ve turned us from a housecat in the corner into a tiger.

You may get your little city come November, or maybe not, but it won’t be what it could’ve been, and you will only have your irrational fears of our little community to blame. It is too bad that misconceptions overruled logic. It really is too bad.

Henry Sarria is a longtime Isla Vista resident.