A spirit of cooperation and compromise appears to have taken root on the Santa Rosa City Council as newcomers unscarred by ideological skirmishes of the past are working hard to forge pragmatic solutions to the city’s pressing issues.
Two recent policy debates underscore how the dynamic has shifted since three new members have taken seats on the council since the November election.
Julie Combs and Erin Carlstrom were both elected to the seven-member council in the fall, and Robin Swinth, a former Board of Public Utilities member, was appointed in January to replace now 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin.
Santa Rosa got an early start to its annual budget battles Tuesday, with some of the newest faces on the council driving a lengthy and often confusing debate about funding for next year’s Police Department budget.
Robin Swinth, a former member of the city Board of Public Utilities, received a brief standing ovation Tuesday afternoon as she was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of the Santa Rosa City Council.
The Santa Rosa City Council on Monday night selected Robin Swinth, a member of the city’s powerful Board of Public Utilities and a former Agilent Technologies engineer, to fill the remaining two years of Susan Gorin’s council term.