The Sebastopol City Council plans to ask voters this fall for a hand in putting the city on stronger financial footing, through two tax measures expected to share ballot space with a proposed hike in the county sales tax, city officials said.
Customers enrolled next year with Sonoma County’s startup public power agency could see some savings on their electricity compared to rates proposed by PG&E for 2014.
Left-leaning Sebastopol has elected Green Party candidates to the City Council, fought PG&E SmartMeters and declared itself a nuclear-free zone.
Sonoma County’s startup public power agency is poised to enter into a secondary energy supply contract with the company that operates The Geysers geothermal field on the Sonoma-Lake county border.
With five newly seated city representatives, an expanded board of directors for Sonoma County’s startup public power agency got to work Thursday, reviewing a preliminary first-year budget and a timeline geared toward a power purchase deal, plus various staffing and financial decisions looming over the next four months.
Board members overseeing Sonoma County’s startup public power agency unanimously approved a revised governing agreement Thursday, satisfying Santa Rosa’s core concerns and paving the way for the county’s largest city to officially join the venture Tuesday.
Sonoma’s mayor appears to have overcome his reservations about Sonoma Clean Power, the fledgling public agency, possibly paving the way for the city to become the fifth in the county to join the program.
Electricity from Sonoma County’s fledgling public power agency can be cheap or green, and there may be conflict over the choice, Sebastopol Mayor Michael Kyes said.
‘Green costs more,’ said Kyes, who will be seated later this month on the governing board of Sonoma Clean Power, the local agency that aims to displace PG&E as the area’s leading energy provider.
But Geof Syphers, interim CEO of Sonoma Clean Power, said the agency aims to deliver power that is both cleaner and cheaper than PG&E.
Buoyed by a rebounding economy and a new voter-approved sales tax, Sebastopol’s City Council will consider approval Tuesday night of an $11.7 million budget, up 7 percent from the current city spending plan.