Santa Rosa’s open government task force, formed in response to criticism that city decision-making lacks transparency, opened its inquiry Thursday with a wide-ranging discussion about what open government means, where the city has fallen short and how the panel should explore areas for improvement.
The Santa Rosa City Council unanimously and enthusiastically approved a plan to transform a vacant hospital in Bennett Valley into housing for at-risk young adults despite neighbors’ threats to sue to force additional environmental studies.
Santa Rosa’s Open Government Task Force has finished selecting its members and set its first meeting for April 3. Vice Mayor Robin Swinth and Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom are heading the 11-member task force, which is charged with producing a report about the city’s commitment to open and transparent government.
Former Santa Rosa Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm said Thursday he plans to run for City Council in November.
Santa Rosa City Councilman Jake Ours announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election in November. The first-term councilman is the second member of the council to bow out of the upcoming race in as many weeks.
Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Robin Swinth announced Tuesday she will not be seeking election to a full term in November.
Cleaner power and competitive rates. Those twin goals have driven the development of Sonoma County’s startup public power agency since it was proposed years ago by local climate activists and business interests. Now supporters of the venture say they will deliver on both counts, after officials overseeing Sonoma Clean Power on Thursday formally approved retail rates that will beat those set for PG&E for power generation this year.
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.
A divided City Council waived a key design requirement Tuesday for a subdivision in southwest Santa Rosa whose developers argued that affordable housing trumped design guidelines requiring strips of grass between the road and sidewalk.
A Santa Rosa City Council meeting that was supposed to provide clarity regarding advice given to council members about what they could say about the Andy Lopez shooting only made things murkier Tuesday after it was disclosed that an outside law firm is conducting some type of probe into the issue.