On Friday, February 10, 2023, the City of Santa Barbara held a Special City Council meeting to discuss Council priorities, updates to Council Rules and Procedures, and new legislation.
“The meeting was a great opportunity for the Councilmembers to really roll up their sleeves and work together to find some common ground and determine what near-term issues they want to tackle,” said City Administrator Rebecca Bjork.
During the morning session, the City Attorney provided Brown Act training and updates, along with overviews of new legislation on Council meeting decorum and campaign contributions. The Council also reviewed their Rules and Procedures, and revisions will be brought to a future Council meeting for consideration and formal adoption.
In the afternoon, the Council focused on areas of priority for fiscal year 2023. Discussion focused on five areas of particular interest for the year: Fiscal sustainability, State Street, Homelessness, Housing, and Youth Safety.
Mayor Randy Rowse said the meeting was a chance for the Council to develop an understanding of what is needed to reach their goals for the City.
“The meeting offered an opportunity to share issues important to us, but also to discuss the actions needed to get there,” Rowse said.
The Council established three initial items for staff to address in the coming year. The first is to develop downtown building and maintenance standards to ensure storefront upkeep, the second is to identify barriers to adaptive reuse for housing in the downtown corridor and ways to promote housing projects, and the third is to work with the school district on youth safety programs.