Windsor’s Town Council on Wednesday unanimously approved Bell Village, one of the biggest developments proposed in Windsor in years. The mixed-use project, just east of the Town Green, includes 387 rental apartments and townhomes and 80,000 square feet of commercial space anchored by Oliver’s Market.
Windsor is the latest city in Sonoma County to reluctantly decide to pay the state to keep its redevelopment agency alive. Mayor Steve Allen referred to it as “shakedown money,” and Councilwoman Robin Goble described it as “ransom.” But in the end, the Town Council unanimously agreed Wednesday night to give the state $1.1 million this fiscal year and about $270,000 subsequently for the next 30 years.
Windsor council members don’t have control over where a new school will go, but they voiced strong objections Wednesday to building one on the town’s periphery — and questioned whether it’s even needed. “It will create a circulation nightmare,” Councilwoman Robin Goble said of the controversial Jensen Lane Elementary School.
Times may be tight, but that’s not going to stop Windsor’s free Independence Day fireworks show. The Windsor Town Council agreed Wednesday to plunk down a $7,250 deposit toward the cost of the July 3 fireworks show, although it expects to be reimbursed by community donations that will be collected in the next three months.
Mayor Steve Allen said he is “in awe” of the good job Windsor has done with its budget. The town is arguably in the best fiscal shape of all Sonoma County cities, with a comfortable cushion of reserves in its general fund. But even though it has been able to avoid layoffs and many of the cutbacks experienced by its neighbors, there are still trouble signs.
The Windsor Town Council selected Steve Allen to serve as mayor for the next year. No one ran to oppose him in November, when voters handed Allen his fourth term in office. “It was a race well run,” Allen quipped at Wednesday’s council meeting. See why he thinks challengers sat out this year’s election.
Windsor is having an election Tuesday, but the outcome is already known. Steve Allen, Robin Goble and Sam Salmon will all be re-elected. No one filed papers to run as a write-in candidate. The city will spend $26,000 to stage an election with no challengers.
Should Windsor spend $26,000 on an election when no one bothered to challenge the three Town Council incumbents who must face voters in November? Canceling the election would prevent anyone from staging a write-in campaign. But it would also save the town money. That’s the decision facing the Town Council.