The Cotati City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday to seek applicants to fill a vacancy on the dais created by the resignation of Pat Gilardi, who is taking a job with new 1st District County Supervisor Susan Gorin.
In a development that may upturn Cotati’s election season, the son of the late California conservationist John Olmsted is jumping into the race as a write-in City Council candidate, billing himself as a ‘fresh voice’ who understands the needs of a small town.
A former deputy district attorney, two incumbents and a once-recalled councilman have taken out nomination papers for Cotati’s November election. Should they all submit those papers by Aug. 10, the city, with three council seats up for grabs, will have its third contested election in four years.
The Cotati City Council indicated Wednesday it will place a voter-driven initiative that would prohibit roundabouts on the Nov. 6 ballot, after first being told its passage would disrupt key city policies and public works projects, as well as potentially reduce safety on its streets. Such impacts were suggested in a report the council asked for last month and that effectively served as a pre-emptive election argument against an ordinance it clearly opposes.
Several cities in Sonoma County are quietly cutting their taxes on most real estate transactions, a tacit acknowledgment that for years they may have been charging too much. Cloverdale, Cotati and Sebastopol have reduced or are proposing to decrease their so-called documentary transfer tax rate, which tacks hundreds of dollars on the sale of an average home.
The elimination of redevelopment agencies has put in doubt Cotati’s ambitious — and controversial — plan to revive its downtown, even as the city remains on the hook for more than $500,000 for design and planning work on the project. The Old Redwood Highway redesign project was to rely on about $2.5 million in redevelopment funds for much of its costs. Now, the redevelopment agency’s remaining money — about $2 million — will be allocated by a seven-person oversight board to be formed in May.
Opponents of a plan to remake Cotati’s downtown into a narrower street that includes roundabouts have told city officials they will pursue a ballot initiative unless they change course. The initiative would bar the city from building roundabouts anywhere within its limits. Its backers want the city to adhere to a concept it previously outlined, a four-lane street controlled by traffic lights.
A math professor, a former mayor and a once-recalled council member are among five applicants for a vacant Cotati Council seat. The two others are a self-employed business consultant and a former planning commission chairwoman. See who’s being considered to fill the seat vacated by the death of Councilman Robert Coleman-Senghor.