A slowly improving economy has helped brighten Santa Rosa’s budget picture, but the ballooning cost of public pensions, the annexation of Roseland and covering Bennett Valley Golf Course’s debt all threaten the city’s financial recovery.
Seventeen years after Santa Rosa began talking about reunifying Old Courthouse Square, the City Council on Tuesday moved the project one step forward, though it still has a long way to go.
The studies detailing how much the annexation of Roseland will cost haven’t even started yet, but the jockeying over how to divvy up what is sure to be a multimillion-dollar price tag is already well underway.
The Santa Rosa City Council approved two years’ worth of water and sewer increases Tuesday, reversing last month’s decision to only approve a one-year rate hike.
The Santa Rosa City Council narrowly approved steep increases to permit and development fees Tuesday over the objections of industry leaders who warned doing so could jeopardize a fragile economic recovery.
The way Santa Rosa officials responded in the wake of the shooting of Andy Lopez continues to divide City Council members, with some continuing to criticize key decisions while others are seeking to move on.
Plastic shopping bags could be largely prohibited countywide following Tuesday decisions by the city councils of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park to back a law that institutes the ban but allows cities to opt out — which Santa Rosa did on a split vote.
Santa Rosa has hired a second outside consultant to help it get to the bottom of issues at City Hall, this time paying a trained psychologist from Napa to help the council review the performance of top city managers.
Santa Rosa is working to update its campaign finance rules to help the public better understand who’s behind those pesky political robocalls.