The Goleta City Council is delaying construction on their chamber room after failing to reach a consensus regarding renovation options for its assembly hall.
The city chose the current board room in a former manufacturing building seven years ago and was never properly equipped to accommodate the council’s weekly meeting. At last week’s meeting, Director of Community Services Steve Wagner presented council members with three proposals for an overhaul, ranging in cost from $272,205 to $506,776, but disagreements arose over issues including air conditioning and security.
According to Goleta Councilmember Michael Bennett, the current facility lacks proper heating and cooling systems.
“The air handling system can not handle more than 100 degrees,” Bennett said. “It breaks down at the times when we need it most.”
In addition to a broken air filtration system, Bennett said the chamber’s current projection screen is sensitive to light and difficult for the audience to see. Bennett said finances for the repairs would not come from the city’s general fund.
Although Bennett stressed the importance of beginning construction before the building’s state worsens, some council members desired more protection measures before approving the plan.
Councilmember Roger Aceves said he will not approve a plan that doesn’t include additional safety measures.
“There needs to be physical barrier between the audience and the council,” Aceves said.
Goleta Mayor Pro Tempore Ed Easton said the council must recognize the dangers associated with working in government.
“We have a policeman inside the council chamber, because we know that people are drawn to places like that,” Easton said.
Aceves said the selected proposal should also include features to enhance a business-like atmosphere in the council chambers.
“You need to have a professional presentation, especially when you are being broadcast over high-definition television,” Aceves said.