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.
An independent political committee funded by Codding Enterprises, one of Sonoma County’s most prominent developers, played a dominant role in Rohnert Park’s City Council election last year, campaign finance reports show. The Protect Rohnert Park committee spent $62,309, nearly as much as the $70,567 spent by all six candidates together.
There has been no shortage of drama in the Rohnert Park City Council race. A blizzard of attack fliers. The re-emergence of a controversial former city manager. The disappearance of one candidate from the campaign trail amid personal troubles. And there’s still three weeks ’til Election Day. Today, we turn the WSC spotlight on the campaign in Rohnert Park.
Former Rohnert Park City Manager Carl Leivo, trying to win a City Council seat in the city that he was fired from five years ago, is the top spender so far in this year’s race. A recap of the campaign finance disclosures filed this week in Rohnert Park.
Independent political committees spending tens of thousands of dollars will play a key role in Rohnert Park’s City Council elections. While five candidates have spent a combined $44,000, two opposing committees alone have already spent a combined $26,500 on campaign signs and mail pieces. See who’s funding the power struggle.
A divided Rohnert Park City Council on Wednesday approved the Sonoma Mountain Village housing and commercial development. Supporters said the $1 billion project is a model for environmentally responsible development. But two councilmembers said it contained too many homes and would strip the city of land that could be used for industrial development.
It is the biggest project in Rohnert Park since the 1980s, one that could eventually increase the city’s population by 10 percent. The City Council tonight is expected to approve Codding Enterprises’ plan to build about 1,900 housing units on the former Agilent Technologies campus east of town.
County leaders and renewable energy advocates are taking a hard look at creating a local agency that would buy power and resell it to Sonoma County residents. The effort has been energized by voter rejection of Prop. 16, the PG&E-backed initiative that would have made it more difficult to form such agencies.
Advocates say a local power consortium could have more control over energy prices and shift the county into greater use of renewable energy resources.
What do you think?
A Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit committee decides to place its final train station near Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. It pulled the plug on plans to put the station on Jennings Avenue, a site that is closer to SRJC and a low-income housing project.