WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa council bids farewell to Scoles

Wayne Goldberg, left, and Greg Scoles


The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday found itself in the awkward position of lauding the man it snubbed just a few months earlier.

Late last year, a sharply divided council passed over Deputy City Manager Greg Scoles for the interim city manager position following the departure of his boss Jeff Kolin, instead tapping former Advance Planning Director Wayne Goldberg for the post.

Scoles, who had been with the city since 2002, took the hint.

He started looking for a new job and was quickly snapped up by the city of Belmont to be its top executive. He starts Sept. 1.

At his final council meeting before departing next week, the council issued a proclamation thanking him for his work on complex projects such as The Geysers wastewater discharge system, the reuse of recycled water for urban irrigation and negotiating the city’s garbage contract.

Mayor Susan Gorin, who was one of the four council members who voted to hire Goldberg, thanked Scoles for his numerous contributions to the city.

“You are a well-kept secret in the city, you do so many things,” Gorin said. “We will miss you, and we probably won’t know how much we’ll miss you until you’re gone.”

Marsha Vas Dupre, who also voted against Scoles, thanked him for not only his work but his community involvement. “You and your family are going to be missed,” she said.

Vice Mayor Gary Wysocki’s remarks were the briefest. He managed a “best of luck in your new surroundings. I’m sure you’ll do well.”

The three council members who voted to hire Scoles, Jane Bender, Ernesto Olivares and John Sawyer, were glowing in their praise. Sawyer was particularly effusive.

“Thanks for your guidance and your talents and your laughter,” Sawyer said. “City Hall will not resonate in quite the same way as it has before.”

Scoles said working in Santa Rosa was the best job he’s had in his 31-year career, but said he didn’t deserve the council’s praise.

“All the accolades that you’ve tried to bestow on me really belong on the staff,” he said.

Gorin reminded Scoles, who is known for his sly sense of humor, that the city will host a going-away reception for him next Friday.

“I’ll be here ‘til Thursday,” he quipped.

4 Responses to “Santa Rosa council bids farewell to Scoles”

  1. Kay Tokerud says:

    I liked Scoles for the job but the progressive majority had to have Wayne Goldburg, a big smart growth city planner. Goldburg was in charge of advanced planning during the development of the Station Area Plan. That plan coupled with the Gateway’s Redevelopment plan has handcuffed the commercial property owners and business owners by downzoning their properties. Almost all properties in Santa Rosa’s core area are now zoned for mixed-use development only. That market is completely dead now. The City has already had to backtrack on some of this rezoning because otherwise there would be no possibility of development and businesses will go vacant.

    As a leader of the Santa Rosa Area Business Association, I fought the Station Area Plan throughout the process. Mixed-use development is expensive, hard to finance and doesn’t pencil out. It almost always requires subsidies using property taxes that are diverted to the Redevelopment Agency. The City Council just voted to downzone over 1,000 commercial and industrial zoned properties to conform to the mixed-use requirements mandated in the Station Area Plan. When properties do not conform to their zoning, they cannot be significantly altered or expanded. And if they are vacant for more than six months, they cannot be re-occupied with the existing use.

    I’m sure the new city manager they chose is also a big fan of smartgrowth and mixed use. Let’s see if she can do something about reversing some of these rezonings so that property owners can fully utilise their properties and contribute to our city’s economy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  2. @WAH says:

    “High priestesses and Lord of the bicycle”? Ridiculous hyperbole much? The previous writer’s criticism was of the paper’s obvious bias and poor reporting (or “editorial reporting”) I think it’s a good point and well worth making. I thought it strange that the reporter embellished and used innuendo to flesh out what was a fairly regular occurnace in city government and I wondered why the story was even published. “wah wah wah” adds nothing to the debate by the way..

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  3. Wah wah wah! says:

    “Wah! Wah! Why aren’t they on our side?!” You progressives consider anything that doesn’t glorify the high and mighty priestesses Gorin, Jacobi and Vas Dupre, and Wysocky the Savior, Lord of the Bicycle Lanes, to be “biased.” You want the Fox News approach for these four.

    Yes, these four “snubbed” Scoles, anyone who isn’t out to spin for the entrenched Sonoma County progressive machine can clearly see that.

    And you can try to Cheney-fy Herb Williams all you want but the truth is most voters don’t know who he is and simply don’t care. Yelling “Look out, they’ve got Herb Williams!” isn’t a campaign strategy.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  4. More Progressives Please! says:

    More biased writing by the PD. Not very subtle either. How is a “snubbing” to not hire someone? I believe most of us have experienced not getting a job we applied for because someone else was chosen. Many of us managed to shoulder on (some even at the same firm). After all we are adults and this is something that happens to all of us. LEave it to the PD to try to turn it into something else (boy news is slwo around here?) The city council has a right (some would say a responsibility) to hire the best person they can find. Mr Scoles is not entitled to the job just because he applied-or because his boss had it) The Pd keeps up the campaign for their so called “pro development” candidates…looks like Herb Williams is running the paper now….

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

Leave a Reply