Sonoma appears to be the latest city on track to reject joining the Sonoma County Clean Power Authority after a divided City Council on Monday all but turned out the lights on the idea.
The Sonoma City Council is diving head first again into a national debate that extends well outside city limits. Mayor Ken Brown will seek council support Monday to send an official letter to President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking them to deny permits for the Keystone XL pipeline
A heated dispute Monday over whether dogs should be allowed on property that forms Sonoma’s backdrop nearly derailed the City Council from formally authorizing acquisition of the site.
Sonoma on Monday became one of the few cities in the nation to enact regulations on chain establishments, including a ban on large-scale restaurant chains, such as McDonald’s, from opening on the city’s historic plaza.
A controversial proposal to restrict chain stores in Sonoma has been significantly scaled back amid infighting among city leaders who are at odds over the issue. The original proposal called for banning all “formula businesses” from Sonoma’s historic Plaza and enacting new use permit requirements elsewhere in the city. But the latest version, which is supported by a slim majority on the City Council, calls for banning only formula restaurants on the plaza.
Opponents of proposed chain-store restrictions in Sonoma won a victory last week when city leaders backed away from enacting a temporary ban. But with a narrow majority on the City Council clearly favoring the concept, it’s probably only a matter of months before the city of 10,000 joins a select few nationwide that have such regulations. What, if anything, should the City Council do?
After days of making national news, Sonoma city leaders on Wednesday backed away from enacting a temporary ban on chain stores. Some saw the proposal as a way to protect the town’s character, but others said it would shut out economic development. Was it the right decision?
Sonoma’s city finances are healthy compared to many other California cities, but uncertainty over state funding could lead to residents being asked to approve new or higher taxes to generate more revenue. It is unclear whether the city will be able to tap redevelopment funds in the future. “There is a need for more revenue, notwithstanding our performance last year,” Councilman Steve Barbose said.