The City of Santa Barbara is no longer the manager of Goleta. That would be Fred Stouder.

Stouder is the first city manager of Goleta since it became a city in Nov. 2001. Stouder, who formerly worked as a city manager in Petaluma, Calif., now oversees public safety, street and sidewalk maintenance, transportation, parks and recreation, planning and land use, and carrying out the policies formed by the Goleta City Council.

His first months in office, Stouder said, have been focussed on getting to know the city’s needs and helping to establish a functional governmental structure.

Stouder said he recently has been working with the city council.

“[We] are being as thorough as we can possibly be,” he said. “[We] are setting the tone of how we want the city to operate and be as responsive as we can.”

The initial impression of the people of the new city of Goleta has been positive, Stouder said. The citizens, city council, university and other groups have been helpful and supportive through the city’s growth, he said.

“Both [the community and the city council] have been very cooperative,” Stouder said. “There are a lot of people willing to help.”

Stouder said that as a result of the continued compassion the community has bestowed upon him, he has encountered few obstacles since taking the job.

As the first permanent city employee of Goleta, Stouder had the responsibility of selecting staff members to help alleviate his load. He has hired three new employees: Ken Curtis, Director of Planning and Environmental Services; Luci Romero Serlet, Assistant City Manager; and Steve Wagner, Director of Community Services. Stouder gave them positive reviews for the work they have done thus far.

“They are doing great. They have taken a huge load off me,” Stouder said.

Planning for 2003, Stouder said he has isolated a few issues of high priority to accomplish: the preparation and adoption of the city, securing the city’s financial integrity and hiring more permanent city employees since, other than the current four, all are temporary or under contract.

As he stated in an earlier interview, Stouder’s tenure in the position may last significantly longer than this first year.

“I have a three-year contract and a three-year renewable clause,” he said. “But to really have an impact at creating organization, you need to be there three to five years, and even longer if it’s desirable. I could be there for 100 years.”