A tussle for control over the future of Sonoma Clean Power dominated the agency’s first public meeting Tuesday, with county officials rejecting for now a request by smaller cities for more say over how the agency is governed.
Sonoma County’s two largest cities appeared headed down divergent energy paths Tuesday, with Santa Rosa vowing to move swiftly toward a decision on whether to join the Sonoma Clean Power Authority the day after Petaluma delayed a decision until at least September.
Santa Rosa’s City Council is planning to tackle some thorny issues in the next two years, including the annexation of Roseland, requiring labor agreements on public projects and relaxing the city’s medicinal marijuana ordinance.
The San Francisco developer who once planned a sweeping transit-oriented retail and housing complex in Railroad Square has abandoned a scaled-back version of the project, citing political opposition by the City Council.
A modest plan to kick-start development around Santa Rosa’s downtown train station got kicked to the curb Tuesday by the City Council. The council rejected by a 4-3 vote a developer’s bid to build 93 units of affordable senior housing instead of a more ambitious plan he says no longer makes financial sense in the current economy.
Santa Rosa leaders on Tuesday said they are receptive to a law aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians from harassment. Much like the laws passed by Sebastopol in December and Sonoma County last month, the new law would make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to sue people who harass or intimidate them.
A spirit of cooperation and compromise appears to have taken root on the Santa Rosa City Council as newcomers unscarred by ideological skirmishes of the past are working hard to forge pragmatic solutions to the city’s pressing issues.
Two recent policy debates underscore how the dynamic has shifted since three new members have taken seats on the council since the November election.
Julie Combs and Erin Carlstrom were both elected to the seven-member council in the fall, and Robin Swinth, a former Board of Public Utilities member, was appointed in January to replace now 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin.
The Santa Rosa City Council voted Tuesday to support paying 5 percent more for the water it buys from the Sonoma County Water Agency, agreeing that the increase was necessary to build reserves for large upcoming construction projects.
Three Santa Rosa City Council members were appointed to represent the interests of Sonoma County cities on county and regional boards Thursday night.