Ten people are running for five city council seats in a non-existent city that will probably go broke.
Welcome to Goleta.
It’s a motley troupe of clowns who would be jesters in this crumbling castle. Four candidates come out of GoletaNow! (read: Isla Vista Never!), two flat-out oppose the Goleta cityhood plan and one’s main claim to fame is as a juggling unicyclist in the Summer Solstice parade in Santa Barbara.
The two candidates who oppose Measure H (said cityhood plan), Bill Gilbert and David Bearman, are probably the sanest, as schizophrenic as it sounds to run for city council in a city you oppose.
Back in 1999, when the state cooked the numbers for the proposed city of Goleta, hereafter to be known as the Illustrious Grand Duchy of Non-Existence, they did so before a few things happened. Like a stock market crash, a power crisis and this September’s terrorist attacks – in other words, before a recession.
Back then, the state figured the city would be about $7 million in the black without Isla Vista. With Isla Vista, the Illustrious Grand Duchy of Non-Existence would have had about $40 million, but never mind that, said the GoletaNow! folks, because that money would have come with 10,000 students and 10,000 low-income families attached.
If you can’t keep the kids and poor people out, they figured, what’s the point of having a city?
What’s the point indeed? The Illustrious Grand Duchy of Non-Existence won’t be providing police, fire, road or trash services – you know, the services you usually associate with municipal governance. The non-city will be paying the county for these services, which everyone already gets, and paying more than it does now.
The only big thing the non-city will be able to do is involve itself in planning and development. No surprise there, since the GoletaNow! candidates run the gamut from meddlers to busybodies. Let’s take a look at them now (with thanks to the ever-helpful Santa Barbara Independent):
Jonny Wallis: The driving force behind the plan, Wallis fought hard to keep I.V. out. She’s an Aries and describes her pet as “five pounds of Chihuahua that is 100 pounds of dog and a ton of tail wags and kisses.”
Jack Hawxhurst: President of the Patterson Area Neighborhood Association, Hawxhurst says the most important thing to Goletans is enforcing building codes. He’s a Capricorn and his favorite song is “Great Balls of Fire.”
James Wasil: A self-described political junky, 74-year-old Wasil supported GoletaNow! by writing letters to newspapers. He doesn’t know what his sign is and wears bolo ties.
Cynthia Brock: President of the Santa Barbara Shores Homeowners Association, Brock opposes development. She’s a Scorpio and owns “an 11-year-old Queensland healer mix named Duchess.”
The Illustrious Grand Duchy of Non-Existence may go broke, but at least the people in charge will care how well the lawns are trimmed.