A push to make it easier in Sonoma County for bicyclists and pedestrians to sue drivers who threaten or harass them will get its first test Tuesday when a proposed ordinance goes before the Sebastopol City Council.
Following an election in which the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank project played a pivotal role, Sebastopol’s newly constituted City Council on Tuesday will name two new Planning Commission members. It is seen as a chance by at least one new council member to appoint someone who shares his vision of what downtown Sebastopol should look like.
Two new members were seated on the Sebastopol City Council Tuesday night, in a meeting where the outgoing mayor made an eloquent plea for the city to reunite after what had been a divisive and bitter election season.
Greenhouse gas emissions declined in Sonoma County in 2011 for the third straight year, reflecting an expansion of renewable energy sources and a down economy, which lowered demand for power and transportation. Still, Sonoma County’s goal of reducing emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2015 remains elusive, officials said Tuesday.
The Sebastopol City Council is expected tonight to give final approval to the controversial CVS Pharmacy project but not before giving opponents a platform for a last-minute effort to try to derail the proposal.
After two years, 25 public meetings, hours of sometimes acrimonious debate and under a cloud of potential lawsuits, the Sebastopol City Council on Tuesday is expected to make a final decision on the controversial CVS Pharmacy project.
The Sebastopol City Council on Tuesday voted uninanimously to put a measure on the November ballot to raise the city’s sales tax to 8.75 percent, which would be the highest in Sonoma County. The proposed half-percent increase would generate about $1 million a year — the equivalent of 20 percent of the current general fund budget — and would expire in eight years.
The Sebastopol City Council broached the subject of seeking a new half-cent sales tax Tuesday, at the same time it gave tentative approval to a $5 million budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. ‘Nobody wants to jump at a tax, but inevitably we will have to look at that,’ said Mayor Guy Wilson.
Borrowing money to pay for improvements to Sebastopol’s water and sewer system is not cost-effective and would raise the price of the project by $2.2 million, according to a city study. As a result, city administrators say that doubling residents’ water and sewer bills over the next four years is the best way to finance the project.