In another step towards creating a city plan, the Goleta City Council decided at its regular weekly meeting Monday night to sign a contract with the consulting firm of Crawford, Multari & Clark Associates. Once completed, the plan will cost the city a maximum of $474,000.

Members of the council voiced some concern about the consulting firm’s involvement and its ability to work with the individual needs of Goleta.

“You hire consultants because they do this [work] all the time, and the impression that I get is that they’ve never done this before,” Mayor Jack Hawxhurst said.

There was no representative of the agency present at the meeting. Councilwoman Cynthia Brock said she had expected a consultant to attend the meeting. The council decided to send the firm a tape of the meeting to ensure the consultants were aware of the ideas discussed.

The council also discussed the plan’s digression from its planned timeline.

“On Jan. 27 we decided that they wouldn’t be ready to go for February, and now we have decided that they won’t be ready to go in March,” Hawxhurst said.

“We are technically behind where we had hoped to be at this date,” Councilwoman Jonny Wallis said.

Wallis moved in favor of authorizing the city planner to sign a contract with Crawford, Multari & Clark Associates.

” We felt then that this was the best firm to work with and that is how I still feel,” Wallis said.

The council also moved to send a draft of the Storm Water Management Program, a water quality control plan, to the regional board. Steve Wagner, a Goleta city engineer, presented the plan to the council. The plan will address standards set forth by the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System requirements.

The plan contains six standards that cover such areas as public education, illicit discharge detection and elimination, and construction site runoff control. Among other initiatives, the plan could create a hotline for citizens concerned about their water quality.