Santa Rosa approved a $357 million budget Wednesday that begins restoring some community services scaled back during the recession but which critics say continues funding public safety at the expense of other pressing city needs like roads, parks and unfunded pension liabilities.
Despite years of talk about improving diversity at Santa Rosa City Hall, little progress has been made in changing the ethnic, gender or geographic diversity on city boards and commissions, according to the annual report on the issue.
The nitty-gritty of Santa Rosa’s budget deliberations doesn’t get underway until Wednesday at 9 a.m. But in some ways the most important budget decision has already been made.
For years on end, it wasn’t a Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting without a gravelly plea for fiscal restraint by old-school Bennett Valley rancher Bill Pisenti.
The Santa Rosa City Council formally rebuked Councilman Gary Wysocky on Tuesday for what it called his abusive behavior toward city staff, a move that came despite a raucous and belligerent crowd of Wysocky’s supporters who shouted down, hissed at and booed the council majority as they sought to justify their unprecedented censure vote.
Santa Rosa Councilwoman Julie Combs on Tuesday called for a review of the legal guidance the City Council has received about the state’s open meeting law in light of an opinion she said contradicts advice given to the council by City Attorney Caroline Fowler.
Santa Rosa has been paying residents to rip out their lawns to save water for years. Now the state is paying the city to do the same thing.
Supporters of a plan to build a park and bike path network on a strip of vacant land through southeast Santa Rosa — property once eyed for a Highway 12 extension — were buoyed by developments in Sacramento this week that could accelerate the transfer of the 55 acres from the state highway system to the Southeast Greenway campaign.
Santa Rosa officials have picked a new consulting firm to lead the development of an emergency water supply for the city following a contract dispute with the Sebastopol firm that managed the effort for years.