Rohnert Park and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have agreed to a new revenue-sharing deal worth $40 million more than one they signed in 2003. The agreement is intended to more fully address the impacts of the casino the tribe is now building.
An international development company has purchased three vacant acres near Petaluma’s planned downtown train station, sparking discussion of what kind of development is appropriate at such a significant location.
Petaluma residents’ garbage bills will go up by more than 6 percent in July, part of a new franchise agreement the city agreed to last week that will also bring in an extra $750,000 a year to the city’s coffers.
Petaluma Vice Mayor Tiffany Renée isn’t conceding the election quite yet.
After mail-in ballots and precinct votes were counted early Wednesday morning, Renée, seeking reelection to one of three City Council seats on the Nov. 6 ballot, was in fourth place, behind newcomer Kathy Miller by 1,026 votes.
If the vote holds, it would oust Renée, although she said Friday she still holds out hope. She estimates about 5,000 late absentee votes haven’t been tallied.
Petaluma voters sent a clear message Tuesday as three business-backed candidates appear to have won City Council seats over three others supported by progressive interests. Also, Measure X, a $52 annual parcel tax to fund a variety of parks and recreation improvements, was losing with 61.1 percent of the vote. The 15-year tax needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
Two of three incumbents and a first-time Petaluma City Council candidate raised the most in campaign contributions during the latest reporting period, eclipsing another newcomer who led in early fundraising.
Petaluma is preparing to sue the state in an effort to retain millions of dollars in redevelopment funds the city targeted for three major road projects — including one under construction. At stake is about $38 million the city had been counting on from property taxes collected through its former Redevelopment Agency. The Legislature abolished redevelopment agencies throughout the state last year and has staked a claim to the tax receipts to supplement the state budget.
In the past several Petaluma City Council elections, candidates have been defined by their attitudes toward growth: Skeptical or welcoming, business-oriented or slow-growth, pro-development or pro-environment.
But with the approval of two large shopping centers now in the city’s rear-view mirror, the six candidates seeking election in November are working to differentiate themselves by issues other than how accommodating they are to development.
Managing the city’s precarious budget, fixing potholes and street lights, attracting jobs and revenues, maintaining the City Hall workforce and pensions, and getting along with each other are all priorities cited by the candidates.
First-time Petaluma City Council candidate Alicia Kae Herries raised the most in campaign contributions through Sept. 30 and reported the most cash on hand heading into the final weeks before Election Day. Campaign finance reports released Tuesday show Herries and another first-timer, Kathy Miller, are attracting election contributions equal to or greater than seasoned candidates.