A bucolic 9-acre pasture grazed by cows on Sonoma’s northwest edge has become an unlikely battleground of late, pitting local government officials who want use it to manage flood and drought concerns against neighbors who say the county promised to preserve it forever in its natural state.
The pasture, protected by what is known as a conservation easement, is the southern point of the 98-acre Montini Preserve, which spans the oak-studded hills above it. The Sonoma County Water Agency is eyeing the pasture for a $4 million detention basin big enough to hold almost 4 million gallons of water.
The proposal has a group of area residents up in arms.
Negotiations that could determine whether cities in Sonoma County agree to send their garbage to the county’s central landfill for the next 20 years are making significant progress and could result in a deal being struck soon.
Santa Rosa winemaker Ken Churchill, an advocate of overhauling public workers’ pensions, has jumped into the race to replace Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire.
The head of Sonoma County’s startup public power agency Tuesday shared a stage for the first time with an official from PG&E as the electricity providers vie for customers ahead of Sonoma Clean Power’s May launch.
A state appellate court on Friday rejected on all counts an appeal by the city of Petaluma and environmental groups that challenged county approval of the Dutra Materials asphalt plant just south of Petaluma.
State prosecutors and a lawyer for Supervisor Efren Carrillo remain far apart in settlement negotiations to resolve his seven-month-old misdemeanor peeking case. Judge Arnold Rosenfield met privately with both sides Wednesday and said they appeared to be nowhere near agreement on the appropriate resolution for the case.
Sonoma County supervisors got a treat last month to mark the coming of the new year — a 1.4 percent pay hike and a lump-sum payment because the raise was retroactive to July 1.
The little-noticed pay hike boosted the supervisors’ base pay by $1,878 to $135,969. The back paycheck was $763.20.
The hike was not the direct handiwork of the supervisors, however, but rather an indirect effect of actions by the state. For more than four decades, Sonoma County has pegged supervisor salaries to judicial salaries as a way of reducing any appearance of conflict of interest in having elected officials set their own salaries directly.
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s trial on misdemeanor peeking charges was pushed back by more than a month Friday after the two sides were unable to meet with the judge to discuss a settlement.
Sonoma County Supervisors are expected to declare a ‘drought emergency’ Tuesday, a move designed to make the county eligible for possible state and federal aid.
Plea bargaining continued Friday in Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s misdemeanor peeking case but a pretrial settlement remains at least a week away.