UPDATE: Interim Santa Rosa Fire Chief Mark McCormick, a 20-year veteran of the department, has been permanently named to the post. City Manager Kathy Millison says he will bring fresh ideas and innovation to the department during financially challenging times.
Since the beginning of the year, the Santa Rosa Fire Department has required a separate review of building plans for residential solar arrays and inspection of them once installed. On Monday, it announced it would turn over that role to the city’s building department. Critics said the additional bureaucracy was time consuming, expensive and unnecessary.
Plentiful sunshine, environmentally conscious residents and innovative public financing options have contributed to Santa Rosa outshining others when it comes to installation of photovoltaic systems. But that success is being threatened, some in the solar industry say, by burdensome fire regulations that reduce the size of many residential solar systems, increase their cost and in some cases may be unnecessary.
Healdsburg, Geyserville and the County of Sonoma are getting more than $118,000 from a fund established to offset the impacts of River Rock Casino. Most of the money is going to the county to build a path next to Geyserville Bridge to make it safer for pedestrians
The Santa Rosa City Council approved $2.1 million in concessions from its employees Tuesday, including a divisive deal that gives firefighters 6 percent raises but requires them to contribute most of that increase over the next two years toward the cost of their pensions. Is it a money-saver that moves the city closer to long-term pension reform? Or a short-sighted move that locks the city into a bad contract for another year?
While I would still argue that Santa Rosa voters never intended to set baseline funding for police and fire, that is exactly what they did with Measure O — whether they knew it or not.
Santa Rosa firefighters have negotiated a deal calling for them to begin paying for a portion of their pension costs in exchange for raises and a one-year contract extension. The vote sends the issue to the City Council on Tuesday, where it is likely to get vastly different receptions from council members.
Santa Rosa firefighters have agreed to begin contributing to their pension costs in exchange for raises this year and next and a one-year contract extension. The tentative deal is likely to spark heated debate between council members who say it provides needed financial savings to the city and others who are against giving employees raises.
It looks as if the Santa Rosa City Council has decided to take a direction that will gut the quality of life in Santa Rosa.