The Rohnert Park City Council on Tuesday approved changes to a long-stalled housing project just north of Sonoma State University that could add up to 1,645 homes starting as soon as next year.
They have watched their city’s budget deficit slowly shrink for four years, but on Tuesday the Rohnert Park City Council bent under the accumulating — and rising — weight of retirement and medical benefits and unanimously agreed to declare a fiscal emergency.
It will be up to Councilwoman Gina Belforte whether Rohnert Park residents see one of their public swimming pools, which has been closed since 2010, reopened this year.
The Rohnert Park City Council unanimously approved its city manager’s request to look into hiring an assistant city manager, but not without pressing home the message that they wanted economic development to go to the top of the to-do list.
As it turns 50, Rohnert Park still outwardly resembles the vision that led to its creation in 1962: A tightly planned suburb of look-alike neighborhoods, each with its own school and small-town amenities of parks, pools and convenient shopping centers. Change is under way in the form of major development projects on the city’s south, east and west edges.
The Rohnert Park City Council voted unanimously Wednesday morning to reappoint the three councilmembers running up for reelection, thus cancelling the city’s November council election. Mayor Jake Mackenzie, Councilman Gina Belforte and Councilman Joe Callahan will, barring the unlikely events of early retirement or recall, occupy the dais for four more years.
The three Rohnert Park councilmembers up for reelection this year have taken out nomination papers, indicating their intent to run for another term. No opponents have yet emerged to challenge Mayor Jake Mackenzie, Councilwoman Gina Belforte and Councilman Joe Callinan in their bids for four more years in office. Prospective candidates have until Aug. 15 to file nomination forms with 20 signatures.