Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 48

community leader

MICHAEL T. BENNETT

A Lifetime of Service
Left to right: Michael T.
Bennett photographed
at Fire Station 11. Michael
accepting his Lifetime
Achievement award at the
2019 Goleta's Finest. Michael
judging the annual pie eating
contest at the Goleta Lemon
Festival.

I T ' S O N E T H I N G T O L I V E in any community for
more than five decades, but when you've spent more than
30 of those years in service as a firefighter in a city like
Goleta as Michael T. Bennett has, you really become committed to that city.
A local treasure and the most passionate cheerleader of the
Good Land, Michael says, " I participated in the community
because I believed in it. "
Participation indeed-after 36 years, Michael retired from
the Santa Barbara County Fire Department as a Battalion
Chief. That service alone might be enough to garner him the
Goleta Chamber of Commerce's first-ever Goleta's Finest
Lifetime Achievement Award. But there is so much more to
his service and support of Goleta.
He began attending public meetings of the Goleta
Governmental Group regarding local government options.
He knew other people were thinking of new directions,
wanting to do something for the Goleta Valley,
and he knew he wanted to be part of that.

In 1974, Bennett was chosen by a citizens committee to
co-chair the Alliance Against Annexation. By the 1975 election, two-thirds of the City of Santa Barbara and the Goleta
Valley unincorporated populations had said " NO " to Santa
Barbara's annexation.
" I was Goleta's first elected mayor, " he says with a chuckle.
" Elected mayor of not a real city. "
In 2002, Goleta did become a city. Bennett retired from
the county Fire Department in 2006, the same year he was
elected to the City Council. He served 12 years, including as the official mayor-twice. Even more significantly,
Bennett's list of community involvement is long, varied, and
supportive of the causes and organizations he feels strongly
about. To name just a few: Goleta Valley Historical Society,
Goleta Valley Beautiful, Goleta Chamber of Commerce,
Rotary Club of Goleta Noontime, Goleta Fireworks Festival
co-founder, Goleta Old Town Area Committee and Goleta
Valley Library Committee.
" Goleta is one of the most engaged communities where
public input makes a difference, " he says of his vast local
contributions. " Honoring that input makes for a great
community. "

B Y K AT E S C H WA B

48

GOLETA MAGAZINE

SBSCChamber.com


http://www.SBSCChamber.com

Goleta Magazine 2020-2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Goleta Magazine 2020-2021

Contents
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - Cover1
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - Cover2
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - Contents
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 4
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 5
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 6
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 7
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Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - Cover3
Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - Cover4
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