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Mayoral foes give vision for Petaluma

David Glass


The top candidates for mayor in Petaluma offered their plans Tuesday on how the City Council can guide the city to financial stability as the economy recovers from recession.

David Glass, a current councilman and mayor from 2003 to 2006, said “catalyst projects” such as the Theater District and transit-oriented development around the SMART train stations are what will right the city’s economic ship.

Jeff Mayne, president of the business group Petaluma Downtown Association, said Petaluma needs to diversify its economy, restore cash reserves and create a balanced budget for it to move forward.

In a forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the two faced off on several issues, most related to the budget but several about Petaluma’s growth and planning process for developments. About 80 people attended the event, which will be broadcast on community television over the next few weeks.

Jeff Mayne

Mayne, Glass and two others are running for mayor on Nov. 2. The other two candidates haven’t shown up for community forums.

The amount, type and even the definition of what constitutes “smart” growth illustrated the candidates’ differing philosophies.

Mayne said facilitating projects such as the Target-based East Washington Place and Lowe’s-anchored Deer Creek Village proposals would give Petaluma residents what they want.

“What I want to see in our community is a diversification of our shopping opportunities so we can get off 101,” he said. “It’s interesting to me that the environmentalists don’t recognize the carbon footprint increase of our having to be on 101 all the time to get those things we need. That’s not smart growth.”

Glass, a proponent of mixed-use and pedestrian-, bicycle- and public-transit-friendly development, said the SMART train that’s planned for 2014 will be an economic stimulus for Petaluma.

“That is the catalyst,” he said. “That is the future.”

Mayne challenged Glass’ promotion of his leadership skills, which he said have helped the council remain civil and functional.

“Not only am I good at talking, but I’m good at getting to the nut of the issue and bringing out all of the council members’ perspectives and listening to them,” Glass said.

Glass was right about the need to listen, Mayne said, but wrong about his own follow-through.

“Otherwise we wouldn’t have had so many different 4-3 votes, we wouldn’t have had the acrimony there, the challenges, the speaking in platitudes,” he said, referring to the current council’s ideological split that surfaces in many votes.

Glass said the test wasn’t whether the vote was 4-3, it is: “Did you get the decision right?”

One of the significant 4-3 votes recently was the adoption of the 2010-2011 budget, which has spending outpacing revenues by $1 million and exhausts nearly all remaining reserve funds that are meant as a cushion for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Since 2008, the $8 million in reserve has been whittled to $5,000.

10 Responses to “Mayoral foes give vision for Petaluma”

  1. For Mayne says:

    Received a great mailer today from all 3 major city employee associations – Police/Fire/AFSCME – endorsing Jeff Mayne.


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  2. TK says:

    Luke – stop comparing Petaluma to Rohnert Park. RP built all those big box stores (like Santa Rosa) a long time ago. RP’s budget is in peril because they pay ALL retirement costs for their public safety employees – city’s share plus the employees share plus medical after retirement. Petaluma public safety pays their own 9% and get no medical after retirement. Kohls vs Target? each offer different products. Same with Lowe’s and Orchard. But they all offer JOBS for the whole spectrum of the workforce – including many who have no JOBS – from teenagers and college kids needing PT jobs to families needing a second or third income to make ends meet. Don’t like the stores? Don’t shop there. Economic prosperity comes with having a little bit of everything. All Glass promotes is boutique hotels and a downtown that most can’t afford to shop in.

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  3. BigDogatPlay says:


    What is the occupany rate of businesses and apartments in the Theater District? What has been the real economic impact to the city? How about the occupancy on that monstrosity across the street from Golden Eagle? Speaking solely from personal observation, they aren’t by any means full.

    Until someone can answer those questions it is very hard to call what David Glass did in helping push the Euro-centric approach to development downtown a success.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result. If you want more insanity in the city council chamber, then vote for David Glass.

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  4. Luke says:

    @Tilly: Rohnert Park built all of those big box stores to generate tax revenue, but Rohnert Park’s budget is still in peril. So, big box development is not necessarily a path that will restore Petaluma’s fiscal health.

    The theater district is an aesthetically pleasing section of town occupied by classy shops and restaurants. This was developed during David Glass’ tenure as mayor.

    On the other hand, if Mayne were elected mayor, the stamp that he would leave on Petaluma would be Target and Burger King.

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  5. tilly says:

    @Luke….where do you buy a 2×4? Do you ever drive to Rohnert Park or Novato to shop? Millions of dollars of taxes have been spent in neighboring cities by all of us who drive 101 to go shopping. Mr. Glass is not what Petaluma needs. He did not like being Mayor before, so why would we want him and his pathetic progressives at the helm again? They have obstructed all progress in our fine city.

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  6. Sophie Hinder says:

    David Glass takes credit for everything good in Petaluma and nothing that is bad. He is bad leadership defined.

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  7. Luke says:

    “Mayne said facilitating projects such as the Target-based East Washington Place and Lowe’s-anchored Deer Creek Village proposals would give Petaluma residents what they want”.

    If you want Petaluma to become more like Rohnert Park, vote for Mayne. First of all, stores such as Target and Lowe’s will adversely affect existing stores such as Kohl’s and Orchard Supply Hardware. Secondly, Mayne promotes himself as a pro-jobs candidate, but businesses such as these only create low wage jobs.

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  8. TK says:

    So we have to wait until 2014 for the \economic stimulus\ of the SMART train? And that’s going to be up and running on schedule? I thought they were short on funding to even buy the train cars. What are your plans, Mr. Glass, for the next 4 years? Hold our breath and hope for the best? Your comeback to the Council has been disappointing at best – its time for a change. Vote Mayne.

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  9. n4p says:

    So Glass wants “catalyst projects” to get Petaluma back on track. We usually think of those as things that “jump start” something.

    Glass certainly has done that with Target – 7 years and counting for the first shovel to turn over. Buildings around the SMART stations in 2014 – that sounds quicker. I guess for Glass that’s a jump start when you consider that time frame vs Target.

    And here’s the clincher, the Theater District was his catalyst for downtown. Mr. Glass that was built by a private developer, one of your bad guys who you have now so enamored yourself with that they are actively campaigning against you.

    The only thing Glass is good at is talking, red tape and red ink.

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  10. BigDogatPlay says:

    David Glass, a current councilman and mayor from 2003 to 2006, said “catalyst projects” such as the Theater District and transit-oriented development around the SMART train stations are what will right the city’s economic ship.

    What’s the occupancy rate of the apartments in the Theater District Mr. Glass? What has been the business failure rate? Are the business spaces and lofts along the river even close to 100% occupancy yet?

    And how is building a bunch of multi-story apartment blocks around the railroad station on land owned by, conveniently, SMART, going to stimulate anything? People aren’t going to want to live where the train rumbles through and toots it horn.

    This is America… not some Euro-socialist enclave. Give people freedom to choose and they’ll choose not to live in your infilled crackerboxes. But since you are the government you’ll just keep building them and eventually force people to live in them somehow.

    More pie in the sky, progressive pap from a wannabe leader. Yet another reason I wouldn’t vote for David Glass if he was the only candidate on the ballot and I was blind drunk in the booth.

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