Owning a pub can have its advantages in small-town politics. Mary Ann Brigham, owner of Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub, took a two-year hiatus from the Cloverdale City Council, but it didn’t hurt when she ran for re-election. Brigham cruised to victory in the City Council race on Tuesday, capturing 41 percent of the vote. Incumbent Bob Cox retained his seat, with 32 percent of the vote, defeating fellow incumbent Gus Wolter, who received 27 percent.
Plans for a casino in Cloverdale became murkier Wednesday when a portion of the land proposed for the controversial project was reclaimed at a foreclosure auction. With the flat economy and new gambling ventures on hold, Cloverdale officials were divided on whether the foreclosure and auction signaled trouble for the casino project.
Cloverdale’s city employee groups have reached agreements on new labor contracts that for the first time will require the city’s 42 employees to pay a portion of the costs of their medical and retirement plans. “These agreements are a reflection of that (employee) commitment and a recognition of the financial constraints the city is facing,” Mayor Gus Wolter said.
Cloverdale is poised to take title to a 250-acre hillside property once eyed for homes but now preserved as a park and open space. The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, which purchased the Clover Springs property for $7.5 million, on Tuesday formally approved the transfer to the city.
Cloverdale’s new mayor, Gus Wolter, acknowledges that his city has some unique budgetary challenges. The city has seen a decline in property tax revenues and has virtually no reserves. His top priorities are to keep the city solvent, develop the local economy and secure land for a new police station.