You may have read last week that Councilman Scott Bartley chose to introduce himself as the city’s new mayor by insulting a political critic. Being Santa Rosa, the usual huffing and puffing ensued.
Santa Rosa’s new mayor is refusing to apologize for calling a neighborhood activist ‘clueless,’ but his critics say he’s the one who needs to get a clue about being the leader of the North Coast’s largest city. During his first full meeting in the mayor’s chair, Scott Bartley said he wouldn’t apologize for his published comments about Jack Swearengen, the president of the Friends of SMART and the former head of the Northwest Santa Rosa Neighborhood Association.
The official election results are in, but who’ll be the next mayor of Santa Rosa remains anyone’s guess.
Once new City Council members Erin Carlstrom and Julie Combs are sworn in Tuesday, the new council’s first order of business will be to select a mayor from their ranks.
It’s usually a predictable decision, with the gavel (and an extra $400 per month) passing to the most experienced member in the majority who has not yet held the post.
But this year all bets are off.
The election of attorney Erin Carlstrom has upended the city’s political apple cart, making the 29-year-old political newcomer the swing vote on the issue and leading to intense speculation about whom she’ll support.
Carlstrom says she’s taking the decision seriously and has been listening closely to a variety of viewpoints.
Mayor Ernesto Olivares and Councilman Gary Wysocky will return to their seats on Santa Rosa’s City Council, joined by two challengers, neighborhood activist Julie Combs and attorney Erin Carlstrom.
As the race for four seats on the Santa Rosa City Council enters the final stretch, political observers are focused less on Mayor Ernesto Olivares and Councilman Gary Wysocky and more on which candidates may ride their coattails into office. Both incumbents are expected to hold onto their seats on the seven-member council, leaving the fight for third and fourth place as the real battleground where the balance of power on the next council will be decided.
Santa Rosa City Council Candidate Julie Combs sought Wednesday to explain why she voted in a Republican primary in Ohio when she lived there in 2006.
The neighborhood activist, who is endorsed by the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee, said in a written statement that she and thousands of other Democratic activists voted in the open Republican primary in an effort to defeat a Republican gubernatorial candidate who ‘held many extreme, right-wing positions.’
The eight candidates running for Santa Rosa City Council fielded questions about district elections, gang violence, mandatory solar panels and bridging the council’s ideological divide during a forum Monday, giving voters their best chance yet to size up those vying for four seats Nov. 6.