WatchSonoma Watch

20 apply for Petaluma council seat


Twenty Petaluma residents, including former longtime Councilwoman Pam Torliatt, jumped into the political frying pan Thursday, submitting formal applications to fill the potentially game-changing vacant seat on an ideologically split City Council.

The seventh member will likely be called upon to cast deciding votes on major, controversial votes that divide the council 3-3.

As expected, six candidates from the November City Council and mayoral races remain interested in serving on the council. Torliatt lost in her bid for the Sonoma County supervisors 2nd District seat.

Several others not as well known also submitted the seven-page application, which asked applicants to discuss their values and priorities about issues including development, budget and collaboration.

In addition to Torliatt, the candidates are: Durward “Chips” Armstrong, Gene Beatty, Wyatt Bunker, Paul Clary, Harry Clifford III, Jason Davies, Dmitri Evdokimoff, Daryl Johnson, Ray Johnson, Christina Kauk, Gabe Kearney, Jeff Mayne, Rob McGaughey Jr., Bryant Moynihan, Karen Nau, Rick Parker, Dennis Pocekay, Sara Sass and Louis Steinberg.

The person appointed will fill the remaining two years of the seat vacated by David Glass, who was elected mayor in the midst of his council term. The term expires at the end of 2012.

“With 20 people applying, we definitely have people with varying backgrounds that have applied and I’m sure there is somebody in that group that can serve for the next two years,” said Councilman Mike Harris.

The current makeup of the City Council means the appointee will likely have considerable power as a swing vote. The existing six-person council is split 3-3, primarily on views about how strictly growth and development should be managed in Sonoma County’s second-largest city.

The split follows a two-year, 4-3, majority of slow-growth council over the more development-friendly minority. That majority was led by Torliatt, mayor for the past four years of her 18 years in city government.

Although all candidates in November talked about the need to collaborate and compromise better in a newly configured council, the first key vote of the new council on Jan. 3 fell along the clearly established political lines and deadlocked at 3-3.

Some on the sharply divided council, many of whom expressed deep disappointment and frustration with the first unsuccessful attempt at cooperation, have said a special election may be necessary to seat a seventh member.

Others have said they are opposed to spending money the city doesn’t have to ask the voters to make a decision the council, by city charter, is charged to make.

The council is scheduled to discuss the applicants – and possibly appoint one – at a Jan. 31 meeting. An appointment would require four votes, a majority of the six-member council.

Bunker, Davies, Ray Johnson, Kearney and Nau sought council seats in November, while Mayne ran against Glass for mayor. Petaluma is the only city in the county that separately elects its mayor, who serves a four-year term and leads council meetings.

Beatty was a Petaluma police officer from 1974 to 1983, serving as lieutenant in his last six years. He was assistant city manager from 1984 to 2001 and served as the appointed interim city manager in 1997 and 2002 during the periods between permanent hires.

Kauk, Parker and Steinberg are all former Petaluma school board members. Kauk lost a reelection bid in November to the Petaluma City School board and Steinberg resigned from the board in early 2010, citing health reasons. Parker didn’t seek reelection last year with the Old Adobe Union School District.

Armstrong owns an auto shop in Petaluma, Clary is a winemaker, Clifford has been active in city parks and sports issues, Evdokimoff is a former youth sports director who has business experience and Daryl Johnson is a construction manager.

McGaughey runs a printing company and his family owns Mr. McGoo’s restaurant. Moynihan is a former council member and real estate broker. Pocekay is a retired physician and chef. Sass is a bartender and co-founder of a nonprofit, www.goodgirlsdoinggoodthings.com.

The candidates’ full applications will be available Monday afternoon on the city’s website. The city withheld them pending a review to redact any private information.

41 Responses to “20 apply for Petaluma council seat”

  1. Alic says:

    and the elite fiddle while Petaluma burns

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  2. Michael Sheehan says:

    @Laughing but not funny:

    I stand corrected.

    But you should attend a Cotati city council meeting just once. You’ll discover where the term “kook”-tati came from. Plus you will leave laughing and you don’t have to live here!

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  3. Kim says:


    While I concur with your thoughts about a career politician, I beg to differ with you on some of the rest.

    I mentioned that Torliatt has never lost an election that was contained within the confines of the city of Petaluma. Yes, she lost the Assembly race (outside Petaluama) and she lost the Supervisor race (also outside of Petaluma) but any other time she ran for office “INSIDE” Petaluma, she has yet to loose.

    Would I vote for her, not a chance. I’d rather see Beatty or Ray Johnson get the seat. OK, all you progressives, hit the thumbs down icon….LOL

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  4. Laughing but not funny says:

    Sorry MJ, but Cotati and Sebastopol are mere side shows in comparison to Petaluma. Looks like it will only get worse with the first two meetings with Glass at the helm.

    Do agree that Torliatt would bring huge opposition in a special election. The eastside of Petaluma has not been represented at all by the last few councils.

    Also agree that Glass has no intention to appoint a middle ground council member. He has said as much in his editorial. Sure looks like the “movement” is more important to Glass than running the city. They are a laughing stock, but unfortunately it is not very funny when you live here.

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  5. MJ says:

    Thank goodness Cotati and Sebastopol have city councils, or else Petaluma would be the number one laughingstock of Sonoma County.

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  6. why says:

    Excuse me but Torliatt just lost an election within Petaluma. She got 46% of the vote in the Supervisor race, but within the City of Petaluma, she got only 44%. She lost the entire, we are talking ALL of East Petaluma. If you think people came out of the woodwork to defeat her for Supervisor, just wait until she tries another election. People are flat out fed up with career politicians such as Torliatt that have never had a paying job and continue to feel they are entitled to talk for us working people in Petaluma that just want a job and a place to shop.

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  7. Kim says:

    If you listened to Glass near the end of the City Council meeting last night, right after Albertson made a comment to the effect that out of the 20 applicants that one could be found to fill the vacant seat, Glass laughed and told Albertson that he was being optomistic.

    What that tells me is that there WILL be a special election. Glass wants Torliatt on the city council (so does Renee & Barrett). The three KNOW that Torliatt will not garner a fourth vote. The three KNOW that Torliatt has never lost an election inside the City of Petaluma. When there is a specail election to fill the seat, Torliatt has the best chance of winning that seat. Why “appoint” someome you may have to compromise on, when you can get exactly what you want if you just wait a little while longer?

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  8. Progressives ARE special interest says:

    Your making my case for me with your long list of special (progressive) interest groups. Why is it so hard for you to accept that Progressives are a special interest group? Seems pretty self apparent.

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  9. BigDogatPlay says:

    Another election opined…

    ‘It’s worth noting that Lynn Woolsey Chairs the Progressive Caucus and beat Judd by a landslide. That says something for where the voters are here and where our center is, like it or not. So let’s just be honest. The center in Petaluma is Progressive. By definition, that means Progressives are moderates.’

    Lynn Woolsey represents far more than the City of Petaluma, so your argument that her election means Petaluma is Progressive” is specious at best. Her overwhelming base of support is in Marin. Yes, Petaluma votes for it’s ‘favorite daughter’ but find me a town in America that doesn’t, really.

    And the assertion following, that it somehow makes progressives politically moderate assumes some type of sliding scale that is not rooted in the reality. Please refer back to the rejection of Pam Torliatt (twice) for higher office for less (stridently) progressive candidates.

    Petaluma is becoming increasinly Marin like as yuppies who can no longer afford to live in Marin are moving to Petaluma. The bargains in distressed real estate here have plenty to do with that.

    But at the political core the constant seems to remain…..

    ** A relatively small, and exceptionally vocal, progressive left.

    ** A relatively small, and exceptionally vocal, conservative right.

    ** A large middle that pays it’s taxes and has to live with the results of the ever growing government incrementalism that progressives stand for.

    And so long as you progressives continue to stand for larger government, greater control, more taxes and less economic development you are going to continue to alienate that large middle.

    Ask Pam Torliatt if you don’t believe me.

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  10. Public Interest not a special interest says:

    The idea that serving the public interest is in itself a special interest defies logic. By definition, one who is charged with project approvals (council) that accept contributions from a developer (special interest) and announced before final reports are presented from a planning commission they will be pushing the project through (from same developer), is not equal to one who has grassroots support from members of the public at large that have nothing to gain financially, but simply want to ensure projects serve the interests as a whole.

    To label progressives as a special interest also demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of the root of progressive politics in the US which have a long and proud history for creating much of the social safety nets and public interest protections we enjoy every day such as child labor laws, social security, civil rights, desegregation, worker’s rights, environmental regulation, anti-trust laws, and many other \mantras\ that developed over time.

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive \trust buster\ who went after corporate monopolies that prevented fee market competition, and FDR’s New Deal started social security to help solve the issue of an aging population that wasn’t well-cared for. And when Johnson proclaimed a \war on poverty\ and launched his \Great Society\ program that brought us medicare, medicaid, and federal education funding, that too was a progressive idea.

    These are not simply different special interests. The programs brought about through progressive reforms have always had as their primary concern, protection of the greater good, for the greater whole. Before slamming progressive as a special interest, ask yourself if you would accept medicare to pick up the tab for treatment of a life threatening illness. If it hadn’t been for progressives fighting for you, you might not survive. And that’s exactly what used to happen. And children lost limbs working in factories while retired people lived shorter lives with an often depressing end if they had no family to support them.

    I get the \fair and balance\ mantra that each side (developer rights, versus public interest) is equal. But this is simply an erroneous tactic to to diffuse the differences between policies designed to protect the greater good, versus those that leave it up to an individual, corporation, or developer to decide what’s good enough. It’s no different than those who would claim creationism and evolution are equally plausible scientific explanations, or those fighting for oil drilling rights off our coast are just as much of a special interest as those working to oppose them. They are certainly both competing interests, but they are not equally supporting the public interest.

    If you want to call the public interest a special interest, you can certainly do that, but it doesn’t make it true. As for \moderate\, \left\, and \center\, these are relative terms and must be taken in context. As one poster mentioned, Lynn Woolsey is considered a progressive and did win by over 70% against conservative Judd. Now, if you’re talking Arizona or the central valley of CA, I would agree that Progressives are not in the mainstream there. Ask yourself how many people in Sonoma County support efforts to repeal healthcare reform? I would guess that most who voted for Woolsey don’t support a repeal which makes Conservatives who do favor it out of step, or perhaps even, dare I say it, radical. Certainly not moderate.

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  11. new development says:

    McGaughey didn’t sign his application and it was tossed out.

    2004 (or so) Clark Thompson was appointed to replace keith Canevaro partially because he represented the same campaign donors, I mean values. So that means someone who represents David Glasses contributors or values should be appointed this time. Right?

    The bottom line is that each of the two factions want a fourth vote. The problem is that one faction supports the people and the other supports special interests (and in turn themselves). COMPROMISE HERE DOES NOBODY ANY GOOD. Sorry but this will only be fairly solved by a special election… unless they appoint Jason Davies.

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  12. Progressives ARE special interest says:

    Typical response from another Progressive zealot. Cannot even acccept the fact the both sides are connected to special interest groups. They are.

    Also typical of progressive thinking are your statements that, because you think that way, you are right and anyone that does not think that way is wrong. You can’t even stand for middle ground. You must have it your way and everyone else bedamned.

    Continuing the typical Progressive mantra, you slide right into name calling. Much like a bully on a school yard, you have nothing else to rely on.

    The vast majority of people would like to see middle ground. Reasonable decisions. Compromise and cooperation. All traits the Progressives do not seem to value or possess.

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  13. Another election says:

    I think there are legitimate areas of disagreement that very much go back to the view of the role of government. On one extreme, a developer should be able to do whatever they want. On the other extreme, they should be lucky to be able to do anything.

    Depending on one’s personal views/party affiliation, either side is considered extreme. It’s worth noting that Lynn Woolsey Chairs the Progressive Caucus and beat Judd by a landslide. That says something for where the voters are here and where our center is, like it or not. So let’s just be honest. The center in Petaluma is Progressive. By definition, that means Progressives are moderates. But I get that some don’t like that. That’s a good thing. Always good to have debate. But maybe we should let the people decide rather than the council try to convince either side that their choice is between the two. That happened before and it was a disaster.

    The fairest way to settle it will be to have an election in June. Whatever the outcome, it will clearly be what the people wanted. That’s serving the public interest and I think the public can stomach the cost in exchange for having a voice. Without doing this, it’s going to be far worse because the appointee will never be seen as legitimate by either side.

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  14. Not hopeful they'll appoint says:

    I would love that the council could find someone that would be amenable to both sides, but I don’t see it happening. They are going to try to do their job and find someone, but it’s doubtful they’ll find someone qualified enough and agreeable to either side. The applicants are for the most part all associated with one side or another. And in a way, I would hope that to be the case because we should want someone who has been interested enough to be involved and support some of the candidates, regardless of sides.

    There is Sara Sass. Maybe Petaluma Patch was right to suggest her.

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  15. Public Interest isn't a special interest says:

    The ones working to protect the interests of Petaluma as a whole, not greasing the wheels for developer pals, are NOT working for a special interest. They are working for ALL our interests and are supported by grassroots organizations who want the same. Follow the money. The council makes decisions on approving development projects. Developers want as few hurdles as possible and responsible council members ensure we, the public (not a special interest) isn’t left holding the bag from shoddy development that fails to comply with emerging green building standards. Progressives compromise all the time and when they reach across the aisle, get their arms chewed off.

    If those on the right aren’t acting for developers, why announce in advance they will support Deer Creek without evening having (let alone understanding) all the facts. And, they took money from the developer while doing it. That’s acting for a special interest, not the public interest.

    Don’t confuse the two. If you don’t see the difference, you either lack depth of intellect or are simply so blind as to ignore reality (just like climate change deniers). Those pushing for reducing greenhouse gas emission are not only working for the public interest, they are obeying the law (something Californians overwhelmingly reaffirmed by voting no on prop. 23). Smart growth advocacy isn’t a special interest, it’s the law and serves the public interest.

    Your definition of “middle” is right of Petaluma’s center and you simply can’t handle the truth that you and Republicans like you are out of step. We had a majority for a reason, the majority of Petaluma residents elected them, and for the most part, reelected them despite the attacks, untruths, and far more money thrown at them by special interests fighting for their own project approvals. “Follow the money” has it right and you’re probably one of the candidates who took that money by the tone of your post.

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  16. farmer west says:

    Jason Davies is not a leader. Check out this article from the Press Democrate.


    This gives insite to his personnality, he has some real growing up to do.

    Petaluma does not need another short fused person telling us how to act.

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  17. Progressives ARE special interest says:

    Enough already with the whining about applicants being connected to special interest groups. Davies is connected to a long list of special interest groups. Glass, Barrett and Renee are all associated with a long list of special interest groups. Are you going to tell me Maguire and Keller aren’t special interest groups all unto themselves?

    What we need is someone as close to the middle as possible. Both the progressives and the moderates will win and lose some but maybe, just maybe, the city can move forward. That just isn’t good enough for Glass, Barrett and Renee. Glass is committed to win at all costs. It is the progressive way or nothing. Meanwhile the city slips further into debt because our Mayor and the Progressives must have it their way.

    Do your job Council!! Debate the applicants and chose someone. Then move forward.

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  18. We won't get fooled again says:

    Looks like one or more of the developer backed candidates is trying to assert Beatty as “the one” who is supposedly “above the fray”….nice try.

    It’s a trick. Beatty endorsed Harris and was likely asked by him to step up as their stealth candidate. Same with Steinberg, Parker, McGaughey, and Daryl Johnson.


    Harris was asking many of his Republican backers to step up to be his yes man on the council. Not going to happen. They will stop at nothing to ensure the council is packed with candidates eager to rubber stamp projects at the expense of the public interest – while posing as wanting to move past divisions and do what’s right for Petaluma. It’s a complete scam.

    In the words of the Who, “We won’t get fooled again”.

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  19. be smart says:

    “Facts” has a great post – I encourage everyone to read it – I’ll add a couple of informational points in the context of…

    How uninformed and manipulable do some of the elected officials think we are?

    Rob McGaughey is Harris’ campaign manager, sits on the County Republican Central Committee, and is quite friendly, to say the very least, with the likes of Kerns, O’Brien from the past (remember him?) and the right wingers.

    Gene Beatty, a nice guy in general, supported David Rabbitt in the Supervisor’s election. Beatty never spoke up, nor did Rabbitt, about the racist bigotry that infiltrated the Rabbitt campaign. If Beatty is such a gerat guy and former police officer, etc., he could have demonstrated character by speaking up – like many in the community did. He did not. Neither did his Supervisorial candidate, Rabbitt. Along with Rabbitt’s supporters, including Harris, Ray Johnson, Karen Nau and – well, check the list. There are choices for excellent informed candidates among those who have taken the time to apply. Beatty is basically a man from Petaluma’s past. A lot has changed in the world and our region and in Petaluma in just the last few years. Beatty is also not a moderate. He’s much more of a friend to the right wingers, including the former Supervisor, Mike Kerns. With friends like that, we surely do not need Beatty seated on the City Council.

    And someone in one of these posts wrote the “most important” issue facing Petaluma in January 2011 is the proposed development by Merlone-Geier.

    Get real – there are much more significant and important issues facing Petaluma in 2011. This is a retail development proposal.

    The days are past when the only issues facing Petaluma are develop or not develop and for the developers to try and find every way to avoid being responsible for impacts and paying fees.

    If anyone were to be appointed to the 7th seat, it needs to be someone who’s as informed as the person who vacated the seat, David Glass. It also needs to be someone who’s up to date on the economic development strategy to be implemented – which is multifaceted and requires quick thinkers with both business and community experience, with a strong expression to protect and enhance Petaluma’s environment and natural resources as part of the big picture – and act to move Petaluma forward. People are quick to forget that we HAVE an economic development strategic plan ready to be implemented, based on the hard work and determination of our former Mayor, Pam Torliatt, and then Councilmembers David Glass, Tiffany Renee and Teresa Barrett.

    The Councilmembers backed by the Chamber of Commerce – Healy, Harris and Albertson – have contributed basically zilch to that process – only build, build, build – with no consideration for anything else. Also, the Chamber of Commerce itself has only contributed a big YES on the Dutra asphalt plant and support for that old war boat full of PCPs and asbestos to come over and fill up the Turning Basin in Petaluma.

    The best candidates on the list, without question, are former Mayor Pamela Torliatt and recent candidate Jason Davies.

    If the Council cannot be successfully manipulated by the right wingers – and let’s hope Glass, Barrett and Renee maintain their stability and dedication to the community and are NOT manipulated – and the right wingers refuse to vote to appoint the qualified candidates, then leave the seat vacant or go to the people for a special election, so the people have a voice.

    Everyone knows Harris, Healy and Albertson don’t want a special election and will try to manipulate the process and hide information so one of their cronies can be elected.

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  20. Jason Valez says:

    @Follow the money You nailed it well, I don’t understand why anyone would give you a thumbs down for giving them valuable and insightful information. Special interests abound and the people who will not look at the information are the reason we keep getting the wrong people elected. Most of the elected officials are bought by special interest groups. We need to stop voting for anyone taking money for their influence, great post.

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  21. Beatty is the one says:

    What excuse can anyone possibly come up with of not appointing Gene Beatty? He has all the experience in the world.

    “Beatty was a Petaluma police officer from 1974 to 1983, serving as lieutenant in his last six years. He was assistant city manager from 1984 to 2001 and served as the appointed interim city manager in 1997 and 2002 during the periods between permanent hires.”

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  22. Follow the money says:

    Shouldn’t we be concerned that the candidates who answered an emphatic yes to approving Deer Creek even before the project studies were complete were recipients of campaign contributions from Merlone Geier (Deer Creek developer) – that’s politics at it’s worst and doesn’t serve the public interest.

    See for yourself – Mayne, Harris, Nau, Johnson, Albertson all received contributions not only by Merlone Geier, but Barrella, Ghilotti, Bill White and family (Basin Street), and more (most aren’t even residing in Petaluma)…


    When our elected officials charged with protecting the public interest are backed by special developer interests, and they have their minds made up on project approvals even before studies are completed as required by the General Plan, how is that serving the public interest?

    It’s not. It’s serving the interests of the developers who back them. Enough already with the \slow-growth\, \pro-business\ labels. It’s the same old land developer interests versus the public interest. Unless we have dedicated leaders who are looking out for Petaluma as a whole, we’re going to end up with unmitigated, traffic inducing, inferior projects at the public expense.

    Now the fight is over trying to slip someone in under the radar that doesn’t have a money trail to follow. We all need to do our homework and find out who these applicants are and whose interests they really intend to serve.

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  23. john bly says:

    Most cities appoint their Mayors from the existing Council. That would seem to be the right way avoid this problem in the future.

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  24. alternativenewz says:

    Just say no to all applicants except Davies & Torliatt.

    Anyone in bed w/Burns should not be considered. Period.

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  25. Why run? says:

    What motivates anyone to run or apply is important to consider. It takes one of a few basic types I suppose:

    1. One who really cares about serving the pubic interest.
    2. One who has special interests to serve.
    3. One who is being placed to serve special interests.
    4. Someone who just wants to be in power for power sake.

    Most of us aren’t people with special interests. We have our jobs, families, and often don’t have or don’t take the time to pay attention to what’s going on. We’re not itching for one project or another to be approved, though we hope generally things improve with respect to common concerns (public safety, schools, traffic flow, roads, shopping, environment, etc.).

    The key is how to avoid a council filled with those prioritizing special interests, but rather the public as a whole. And we hope that, whoever they are, the ones fighting for the public interest stand up to those pushing special interests. But when they do push back, they’re considered obstructionist. But if something goes against the public interest, we want leaders to step up and obstruct – like what happened with the banks and BP.

    Ultimately, candidates in a campaign need money to run (unlike an application process). So a good way to figure out whether a given candidate is of the public interest or special interest type, follow the money:


    This is harder to do though with an application process because it doesn’t cost anything. So how do we know what interests are behind a stealth candidate in this case – assuming it’s a “completely above the fray” unknown? There’s no money to follow and little time to connect the dots otherwise. That in itself is a level of vetting you don’t get with this process, and in the end, it just may be the most important factor of all.

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  26. Leave it empty? says:

    I personally think it might be best to leave the seat open and force the candidates to work together. Nether side is likely to compromise, even though they all said they will. It’s too bad they didn’t change the charter beforehand to make the process more certain. It’s not like we haven’t gone through this before and it must have occurred to the council that Glass could win.

    I didn’t vote for Davies because I didn’t know him at the time and already had three candidates to vote for (Harris, Barrett, and Albertson actually) though I’ve since seen him on TV at Tech & Telecom Committee meetings. From what I’ve seen, he seems like a smart and reasonable guy. He works in a local tech firm and that is certainly different than the other candidates, applicants, or current council members. Tech is an area we need to build. Maybe he’ll still be interested next time and will get elected. We’ll see.

    I do think it’s a fair point some people are making on both sides regarding vetting. Just because someone runs, and just because people serve, still doesn’t give a complete picture. I’m sure there are all kinds of things we don’t know about our candidate and council members. But this is a short application process so unless they choose someone who wasn’t vetted in some fashion before, it’s a fair point that it’s less of a vetting process to simply apply and appear at one meeting versus a true campaign with public forums, Argus and PD interviews, door to door canvassing, etc. I’d say it’s a question of degrees.

    Should be an interesting and probably very long meeting on the 31st.

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  27. PD Questionnaire says:

    @Farmer West, Really, Just Say No

    I just read his questionnaire from the Press Democrat (who endorsed him). He seems to have taken a fairly objective position on Deer Creek that was similar to Bunker, Barrett, and Glass. Without all studies completed, how wise would it be say yes or no and risk possible recusal. That said, here’s his answer:


    “As currently proposed, do you support or oppose the Lowe’s-anchored Deer Creek Village proposal on North McDowell?

    There seem to be many positive aspects to this project, though I would of course need to review the final impact reports before making a recommendation. Should I have the opportunity to serve on the council, I will make every effort to work towards consensus in reviewing and making recommendations on the project. We certainly need a home improvement store with a lumber yard that offers a full range of options for our community and my hope is that a Friedman’s – which is locally owned – could be brought to the Regency Center as initially proposed. There is no doubt that Petaluma needs a full service home improvement store.”

    It just sounds like he was being judicious and didn’t want to make a judgement until all the data is in. In reading the answers from other candidates, I did notice one candidate chose not to answer the question of party affiliation. Anyway, the PD must have vetted him in giving their endorsement, which is not something that is happing with applicants who didn’t run. Regardless, application process it is.

    Heck, let’s forget qualifications, voting, experience, questionnaires etc. and put Sara Sass in there. She’d probably improve attendance at council meetings.

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  28. BigDogatPlay says:

    I’m mildly amused by all the posters referring to the “democratic process” with a capital D.

    That said, regardless of who may or may not have been interested, vettted (like any of the candidates in the election were vetted in the true meaning of the word) or gotten the most votes (for an office far removed for the one in play here… talk about a strawman), the charter is clear. The council gets to appoint someone to fill the unexpired term that Mayor Glass moved out of.

    So in the true spirit of Petaluma, and with a nod to the horribly fractured and bitterly polarized council and council watchers…. why not leave at 3-3 and just enjoy the show for the next two years.

    After all, if the deadlocked council ultimately got nothing accomplished, we’d probably still be in better shape than a majority of either might take us.

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  29. Just say no says:

    Jason Davies is not “vetted”. He came in last minute, went after all Torliatt & Glass’ endorsements and received the endorsements from the Dems, then he and his crew walked door to door two months prior to election. He has not been under any scrutiny and has not stated his position on several important items facing Petaluma including Deer Creek!

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  30. Really? says:

    I like how people are saying that Jason Davies has been “vetted” because he ran for office…ok, going with that theme, then why is it that he didn’t take a position on probably the biggest issue/discussion that will be facing Petaluma in 2011. It’s the discussion about the property across from the hospital (owned by Merlone Geier). If he was vetted, why didn’t he take a position in his Argus Courier questionnaire during the campaign?

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  31. farmer west says:

    During the campain a very interesting website: “Northbay jobs and Prosperity Project” came to be.


    If Jason Davies is all things to all people, how is it he did not fill out the questionair?

    Is he against Jobs?

    Is he against prosperity?

    Did some questions scare him?

    Please check out the site, go through the questions, and ask him why he refused to answer the questions.

    If a canidate does not care about jobs and prosperity, then we should not care about them.

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  32. Gary says:

    I see the few Jason Davies fans are back at it again, trying to get him in that seat. You want the top vote-getter? I will go for that – it was Pam Torliatt who had twice as many Petaluma votes as Davies.

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  33. Trick with no treat says:

    If anyone thinks most of these “new” applicants aren’t pawns for one faction or another, forget it. What we do know is they haven’t been vetted. The voters elected Glass. It’s clear where their intent was. The big development/anti-public interest crowd doesn’t like the results and are pushing their own candidates as supposedly neutral – please.

    They must think the people of Petaluma are pretty stupid. And boy do they want it bad – a slanted letter in the Argus from Healy, and three editorials (Bennet, Balshaw, Burns – all pro Dutra BTW) that twist facts and attempt to portray a process in which the people don’t get to vote as the only Democratic solution is the epitome of Orwellian doublespeak.

    Half of the applicants endorsed Republican Mike Harris and were likely asked by him to apply.

    Don’t let it happen folks. Behind the scenes is an attempted take over by special development interests in league with the Argus, PACC Board, and big developer, dumb-growth Dutra advocates.

    Settle for nothing less. Votes matter. Run-off, Special election, or do what should have been done before, appoint the fourth highest vote-getter.

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  34. Absurd says:

    Crazy. We had an election. People voted. The fourth highest vote-getter should be appointed or we should have a special election. To appoint people who weren’t interested enough to run in the first place and didn’t receive single vote is absurd.

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  35. Facts says:

    Anyone can simply put in an application at zero risk – if they were truly interested, they should have entered last year and been thoroughly vetted along with all the legitimate candidates that ran. Throwing in an application rather than demonstrating an actual willingness to campaign is lazy and we’ll end up with disaster as we did the last time someone was appointed who didn’t care enough to run in a legitimate race,

    This is disgrace and utter sham. To think we could end up with a council member, our supposed representative, who never….

    1. participated in a public forum with other candidates
    2. answered the mounds of questionnaires from the press and public
    3. walked door to door
    4. did their homework under the pressure of a campaign
    5. received a single vote from the electorate they are supposed to represent

    This is very sad and so un-Democratic. We had a process and people voted. There was a clear and obvious criteria to appoint. The charter should be changed to prevent such perversion of Democracy. Complete farce.

    And please don’t think most of the supposed “neutral” candidates are anything but pawns thrown in by greedy development and/or Republican cronies: 

    Beatty, right, big Harris supporter probably asked by Harris to step in: http://www.smartvoter.org/2010/11/02/ca/sn/vote/harris_m/endorse.html

    Rick Parker, also in bed with Harris – see link above (Richard Parker).

    Daryl Johnson is associated with Basin Street (owner, Bill White backed Mayne, Harris, Albertson, Johnson)

    Not sure on the others. But that’s just the point. The people of Petaluma deserve a REAL process in which THE VOTERS get to weigh in on VETTED candidates who actually CAMPAIGN. What a concept….

    Sometimes Democracy has a price worth paying. A special election is the fairest way to go forward – allowing the real community to decide, not special interests looking to sneak their candidate in without a single vote from the public. The costs in the end will be far higher if we allow our voices to be ignored.

    There’s nothing Democratic about an appointment process that ignore the results of an election. If anything, there should be a run off between the top three. That would be interesting, fair, and give voters a say in their future.

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  36. farmer west says:

    Wow, it is great the city has some real good choices.

    The Mayor now needs to show leadership by discarding his “Heir Apparent” and the former Mayor, and work to appoint anyone from this steller line up.

    My best wishes are for the city, and the council to make a decision which makes us proud.

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  37. Progressive Zealots says:

    The very first meeting our No-Growth council members (Glass, Barrett, Renee) tried to do was force like-minded Davies into office. When that didn’t work, our cooperatively challenged Mayor Glass declared, in advance, that the Council would not compromise. These three are willing to burn the city down to get their own way. Their actions are coming at the expense of our city.

    The moderate members are already showing more intelligence with Healy saying they should be able to compromise and Harris stating they have a good group of 20 and should be able to find one.

    Glass claimed “Proven Leadership” in his campaign material. That is becoming more of a joke with each statement he utters.

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  38. Good luck says:

    Twenty applicants! This is precisely the reason why it was not fair to appoint Jason Davies at the first meeting of the year. There is an interest to several community members to serve on the council.

    Some applicants are unknowns. The council must take their time and ask the applicants questions during the council meeting for the public to hear. As John Brown stated, anyone can fill out the application for them.

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  39. BigDogatlPlay says:

    Anyone but Pam Torliatt. She has had well over a decade on the council and needs to let someone else have a turn. She took her chances to run for higher office and lost.

    Far as I am concerned she should wait for the next election or for Congresswoman Woolsey to retire… which ever comes first.

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  40. that'sthefactjack says:

    Kind of left out of the main article…
    Daryl Johnson – former Basin Street employee
    Robert McGaughey Jr. – Member of the Republican Party of Sonoma County Central Committee (along with Mike Harris)

    I think that the Petaluma City Council should do EXACTLY what they did in 2004. They should appoint the ex-mayor to the vacant seat.

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  41. Kim says:

    Some names are familiar, others I’ve never heard of. Can this split city council actually come together and select one of these candidates? I sincerely doubt it! One side is dead-set on either Torliatt or Davis and the other side won’t let that happen. On the other hand the oppisition would like to see Johnson, Mayne or Nau and the other side won’t let that happen either. Funny, both sides fear Moynihan LOL

    The only way to have a chance of Torliatt or Davies to get on the council would be to hold a special election, which the city can’t afford…but…it will go in that direction, all for the sake of politics at taxpayer expense.

    If this comes to fruition, I would hope that in two years the voters would remember…..yea, right!

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