WatchSonoma Watch

New mayor in Cloverdale outlines priorities

Bob Cox


Building a new police station is a top priority in Cloverdale, but whether that happens anytime soon hinges on a court battle.

“We’re waiting with bated breath on the outcome of litigation over redevelopment funds,” newly appointed Mayor Bob Cox said Monday.

Cloverdale, like other cities around the state, is hoping a state Supreme Court hearing in January will free up funding for redevelopment projects such as the new police headquarters.

Cities and redevelopment agencies are suing over the state’s re-routing of property tax revenue from the agencies to schools, claiming the overhaul by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown was unconstitutional.

Cox said that the current police station is considered seismically unsafe.

Approximately $4 million is set aside in the city’s redevelopment agency funds to build the new headquarters, along with $2.6 million in existing and anticipated development impact fees. The likely location is near the Citrus Fairgrounds.

But because of the litigation, redevelopment agencies can’t purchase property or enter into new projects for the time being.

“I’m guardedly optimistic,” Cox said of the court outcome. The ruling may not be 100 percent in favor of cities and redevelopment agencies, he said, “but I suspect the courts will find the state can’t keep those funds for themselves.”

Cox, 66, who was unanimously voted in as mayor by his colleagues last week, has been on the council since last year. A retired auto parts manager for a Ford dealership, he was appointed in 2010 to replace Councilwoman Mary Ann Brigham, who resigned with two years left on her term.

Cox said his focus is on economic development, particularly helping local businesses grow, rather than pulling in companies from out of town.

That means continuing to attract tourists and nurture new artist cooperatives, art galleries and local food producers.

Cox said “we don’t want to be a Healdsburg” with a glut of tasting rooms, but also noted that “we have a new wine tasting room and another opening up in the spring.”

Cox said he plans to run for election next year.

“I like what I’m doing. I’m enjoying it,” he said, adding that the council seems to have a lot of support. “There’s good vibes in this town.”

5 Responses to “New mayor in Cloverdale outlines priorities”

  1. Sickened says:

    How about a school bus system so the kids get to school. We have kids outside of city limits with now NO transportation without parents leaving their jobs. Let’s offer a free education for people wealthy enough for cars. GO CLOVERDALE! We’d need less police in the future with more kids IN school…but then we have a 14K camera system for a park that NO ONE USES….that’ll cut back on crime, right?

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  2. Kay Tokerud says:

    If this guy cared about people in his area he would be fighting to keep the rural roads paved. Cloverdale is in Sonoma County and it’s a very rural area. Sonoma County decided to not maintain 85% of the roads.

    As usual, the PD paints an inaccurate picture of what the State is doing about redevelopment. Until now, the State was filling-in (backfilling) all the money that schools were losing to redevelopment agencies. Because every city was taking advantage of this windfall by creating as many redevelopment areas as possible, the State was losing enormous amounts of money to the cities. Now, they want the cities to pay for their schools instead of the State paying.

    If cities hadn’t abused the privilege of doing redevelopment in truly blighted areas and declared every single downtown area blighted, we wouldn’t be talking about so much money. The State was losing over 6 Billion a year to pay for schools while redevelopment agencies were awash in funds to pay for non-essential things like new street lights and colored pavement as well as large subsidies handed out to well-connected developers.

    The State isn’t keeping the money for themselves. That’s a lie. They’re just not going to continue to foot the bill for all the money schools have been losing to redevelopment. The cities are mad because their gravy train is being cut. But if they hadn’t been so greedy and declared much of their cities blighted with trumped up reports, the State may have been able to continue backfilling for the schools.

    Read, REDEVELOPMENT, THE UNKNOWN GOVERNMENT online and you will understand exactly how redevelopment works. The PD should stop misleading its readership about the process.

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  3. Graeme Wellington says:

    Or just use the library for the police station. They need phones, a place to park the police cars and desks with computers to write reports. Petaluma converted a funeral parlor. Why can’t Cloverdale covert their unused library?

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  4. John Parnell says:

    Perhaps Cloverdale could convert its SMART station into a police station, since it will never see the train. It would be nice to see it actually put to good use, so the people of Cloverdale could get some kind of benefit from it.

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  5. truth in law says:

    Build a new police station? Why not use those funds to hire more police? Or contract out to the Sheriff’s department and use those funds for keeping the library open.

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