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WatchSonoma
WatchSonoma Watch
Brown, Thompson step in to aid PACE loan program for homeowners

Gov. Jerry Brown and Rep. Mike Thompson are involved in separate efforts to boost Sonoma County’s groundbreaking program to help residents pay for energy-saving improvements to their homes.

3 vie for spot on Sonoma County court bench

One year after the retirement of Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Mark Tansil, Gov. Jerry Brown still has not appointed a successor, leaving court officials wondering if a replacement will be named before the deadline for the next election.

Brown’s pension deal to have big local impact

After spending a day digesting the details of Gov. Jerry Brown’s complex pension deal pending in the Legislature, local officials say it would impact not only future local public employees but thousands of current workers, too. By enacting ‘anti-spiking’ provisions for existing workers, requiring employees to pay half the cost of their pensions and shifting the landscape for labor negotiations, it is becoming clear that the governor’s plan goes beyond state employees and would have wide-ranging implications for local governments. Future employees would face caps on pensions and less generous pension formulas.

Brown’s pension overhaul could apply to cities, counties

The details remain murky, but local government officials in Sonoma County said Tuesday it appears Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension deal will have an impact on local workers. The City of Santa Rosa expects to get clarification today from its attorneys specializing in pension issues, but the plan appear to affect not just state workers but future municipal workers, said Human Resources Director Fran Elm.

GOLIS: The $54 million injustice

Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to prentend it was no big deal. About the $54 million state parks surplus that went unreported for a dozen years, Brown joked Wednesday, ‘Hallelujah! More money it better than less money.’ Nice try. This particular dance is what we expect from a politician who hopes voters will approve a tax measure in November. But Brown knows the political damage is done. Anyone who worked to support parks in Sonoma County (or even wrote columns in support of local parks) knows the feeling. People feel disheartened. There is a sense of betrayal.

Healdsburg continues to spar with state over $27 million for redevelopment

Healdsburg is pressing ahead in its attempt to salvage more than $27 million in redevelopment projects, despite being rejected by the state the first time around. Healdsburg is pursuing a different approach than most cities, arguing that a judge previously upheld the validity of its projects and that they are ‘enforceable obligations.’

North Coast legislators at odds with Brown over budget cuts

The North Coast’s legislative delegation is in the unusual position of opposing Gov. Jerry Brown over his proposed budget cuts to California’s social safety net and to higher education. It’s not just that Brown and North Coast lawmakers are all Democrats. Brown’s proposed cuts also go to the heart of what Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, called the party’s ‘core values.’ In budget hearings held Tuesday, Democrats outlined their opposition to the governor’s proposed cuts to welfare-to-work, In-Home Supportive Services, child care and Cal Grant scholarships.

GOLIS: Wary voters watch and wait

As California winds down another lackluster campaign season, you can sense the mood of voters in the angry letters to the editor, the guarded promises of candidates and even the lack of political talk at your favorite coffee place. Californians are worried about the future and discouraged about state government’s inability to make it better.

Brown approves Rohnert Park casino compact

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed AB 517, the bill that ratifies his gambling agreement with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The agreement, called a compact, allows the tribe to start work on a 3,000-slot machine casino outside Rohnert Park.

Governor grants gaming compact for Rohnert Park casino

The Indian casino-resort proposed for the outskirts of Rohnert Park cleared a crucial hurdle Friday, securing the state compact it needed before construction can start. Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on a gaming contract was one of the final governmental agreements that the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria needed before moving ahead with the controversial $433 million project. It could have up to 3,000 slot machines, 5,500 parking spaces, a 200-room hotel and restaurants and bars. If built to completion, it would become Sonoma County’s largest private employer and one of its most costly developments.

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