WatchSonoma Watch
Grand jury finds flaws in vote approving pension increases

The Sonoma County grand jury has picked up on the contention of a local pension system critic that the Board of Supervisors did not follow legal requirements when it approved enhanced retirement benefits for county employees a decade ago. Should that be grounds for rolling back the higher pension formulas promised to current county workers?

Will you vote on June 5?

When he visited with our editorial board a few weeks ago, supervisorial candidate Ernie Carpenter said, “We’ve done our research. We know who’s going to vote, and we’re talking to them.” According to Carpenter, 80 percent of regular primary voters are over 50.

Zane, Rabbitt join public forum on pensions

Sonoma County supervisors Shirlee Zane and David Rabbitt are set to take part in a public forum Thursday focused on the rising cost of pensions for government workers. The event has prompted some grumbling from opponents who say its timing appears to be politically motivated.

How much impact did Brown make with endorsement?

Valerie Brown’s endorsement of Mark Bramfitt to replace her on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is prompting questions about its significance. Two candidates who did not receive Brown’s blessing said it may have little impact on voters. What do you think? How much value will endorsements like this have on the campaign?

Sonoma mayor Sanders to join supervisorial race

The race to fill the open 1st District Sonoma County supervisor’s seat got a major shake-up Wednesday with the news that Sonoma Mayor Joanne Sanders plans to enter the contest. She becomes the third Sonoma Valley-based candidate, alongside Mark Bramfitt and Gina Cuclis.

Common ground at forum for supes’ candidates

Five candidates for an open seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors staked out largely similar positions supporting government programs to aid children and needy families at a public forum Wednesday.

Brown endorses Bramfitt to fill supes seat

Valerie Brown, the retiring Sonoma County Board of Supervisors veteran, has thrown her support behind Mark Bramfitt in the race to claim her 1st District supervisorial seat. She says Bramfitt has the best combination of leadership and public policy experience in the Sonoma Valley among the five candidates vying for the 1st District seat.

Cuclis leads fundraising in Sonoma Valley supes race

Candidates vying to replace retiring Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown are off to a relatively slow start in the fundraising race. Gina Cuclis topped the list of five candidates in the contest for the 1st District supervisorial seat, which takes in Sonoma Valley, the city of Sonoma and parts of eastern Santa Rosa.

Supes halt new hillside vineyards

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved an emergency halt to new vineyards and orchards on forested slopes and hilltops. The four-month freeze was prompted by a wave of new vineyard projects and a need to update 12-year-old farming regulations that don’t deal with tree removal. What, if any, changes would you like to see?

County approves Annadel takeover talks

Setting aside concerns about long-term costs, Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday took their first steps toward assuming temporary management of Annadel State Park. The board unanimously authorized Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart to open negotiations with the state about taking over operations of the popular 5,000-acre park on Santa Rosa’s eastern flank.

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