WatchSonoma Watch

Cotati City Council to appoint new member

Robert Coleman-Senghor


The Cotati City Council decided Wednesday to invite applications from residents to fill the seat made vacant by Robert Coleman-Senghor’s April 9 death.

Three people in the audience urged that a special election be held instead, including former councilman George Barich, who was recalled in 2009.

The council voted 4-0 to appoint a new member. Interested candidates have until May 12 to apply.

The new councilmember would serve out Coleman-Senghor’s term, which ends November 2012. They could then run for election.

The last councilmember to be appointed was Mark Landman, who in 2009 was placed in the seat of former mayor John Guardino, who had resigned. Landman ran successfully for election in 2010.

Coleman-Senghor died from a torn aorta. He was elected to the council in 2008 and was mayor for a year starting in early 2009.

His time on the council was marked with controversy and he was a favorite target of critics upset at how the city government was run.

Barich, who has often accused the City Council of practicing insider politics, called for a special election and said “the people’s voice needs to be heard.”

He said: “It would be unfair on the community to simply appoint one of your friends, one of your associates, one of your campaign supporters.”

Councilwoman Pat Gilardi said, “I don’t see where friends and cronies were appointed” and said it was “prudent” to appoint someone for the next 18 months.

3 Responses to “Cotati City Council to appoint new member”

  1. anderson says:


    Either you believe the voters should have their voices heard, or you don’t. I read on this site where Noreen Evans was whining about how Republicans legislators were supposedly thwarting “the voice of the people” regarding the June election on keeping taxes high. So why not hold an election in Cotati too so the “voice of the people” can be heard?

    You’re right, the recall required an election. And like now, the city could not afford the cost then either.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Dan Delgado says:


    Your logic confounds. Are you saying the council had the option of removing Barrich by means other than a recall? A “dis-appointment,” in both senses.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  3. anderson says:

    Cotati wasted more than $20,000 it did not have on a recall election to get rid of a council member. In contrast, now most of the same people who supported that recall have decided that appointing a new member to fill a vacated seat is fine. Even if an appointment makes financial sense due to election costs, it also made sense back then not to waste money. Sounds more than a little inconsistent.

    And haven’t the lefties on this site made a big deal over “giving the people of California a voice” in voting on extending tax increases this June? Guess that principle doesn’t apply to city elections.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

Leave a Reply