WatchSonoma Watch
Santa Rosa’s Measure Q goes down in defeat

A ballot measure that would have transformed the election process for Santa Rosa City Council members failed Tuesday night. With all 64 precincts reporting, the vote was 60 percent opposed to Measure Q, while 40 percent supported it. Measure Q would have ended the current system of citywide council elections. Instead, Santa Rosa’s seven council members would have been chosen through district elections, similar to the system used for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

Supes OK study of public power agency

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized further study of the possible formation of a public power agency. Most speakers touted the reported benefits of a public power agency, including the boost it could give to investments in greener, renewable energy sources, faster greenhouse gas reductions and the possible creation of hundreds of local jobs through the construction and operation of local energy projects.

Santa Rosa says it has a jobs plan, too

President Barack Obama laid out plenty of ideas for creating jobs Thursday night, but here’s one you didn’t hear him pitch — tweaking zoning rules to boost economic development. While it may not be on the president’s radar, that’s precisely the approach the Santa Rosa City Council is taking to generate jobs locally. And much like Obama’s plan, it is not without its skeptics.

Did Santa Rosa promise voters free parking at Howarth Park?

Santa Rosa Councilman Gary Wysocky says the City Council promised voters it wouldn’t charge them to park at Howarth Park if they passed Measure P, last fall’s quarter-cent sales tax to support city services. Mayor Ernesto Olivares says that’s not how he remembers it. Who’s right? Turns out, they both are.

Searching for Santa Rosa’s business-friendly solution

What should Santa Rosa stop doing to make the city more business friendly, and what should it start doing? Those are the key questions the city’s Economic Competitiveness Task Force began trying to answer Tuesday. See what suggestions popped up.

Santa Rosa task force to examine constraints on economy

It has yet to hold a meeting, but the city’s Economic Development Task Force this week announced its first formal action – it’s changing its name. Vice Mayor Jake Ours also announced the appointment of seven people, drawn largely from the business community, to identify the problems that are constraining the city’s economic growth. Care to help? Post your suggestions here.

Santa Rosa council revives private dinners

In a bid to foster congeniality, the Santa Rosa City Council has revived its long tradition of dining together after council meetings. There are two ground rules: no one discusses city business and everyone picks up their own tab. But an open government advocate questioned whether the meals are appropriate given the public is excluded from the private gatherings. What do you think?

Reflecting on Jane Bender’s record and legacy

She was the fourth-highest vote getter in the 2000 election behind incumbents Sharon Wright, Noreen Evans and Mike Martini. The political newcomer was backed by pro-business interests but also defied pigeonholing because of her strong environmental background.

GULLIXSON: How a bike bridge threatens a Santa Rosa council tradition

Civility is not high on the agenda these days at any level of government, PD Editorial Director Paul Gullixson says. But the animosity runs so deep among Santa Rosa council members after last week’s fractured vote on the bike bridge that it may jeopardize a longstanding tradition shared by incoming and outgoing council members.

How a bike bridge threatens a City Council tradition

Every other year, it’s customary for the Santa Rosa City Council to keep the agenda light for the first or second meeting in December.

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