|Nine in running for appointment to Cotati council
Expect things to get pretty lively at the next Cotati City Council meeting on Wednesday, March 13.
That’s when the four current councilmembers – Mayor Mark Landman, Vice-Mayor John Dell’Osso, Susan Harvey and Wendy Skillman – interview and choose one of nine applicants to fill the spot vacated by Pat Gilardi.
The crop of candidates includes Isaac Freed, Linell Hardy, Ed Hirsch, Sky Matula, John Moore, Ashley Veach, Alan Wintermeyer, George Barich and Eris Weaver. Gilardi resigned her seat on the council Jan. 25 to accept a job as district director for Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin. On Jan. 23, the council chose to appoint the new councilmember rather than appointing the new member by fiat or spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000 to hold a special election for the seat. Law mandates the council must appoint a new member by March 26.
The last time anyone was appointed to a Cotati City Council seat was in 2011 following the death of Robert Coleman-Senghor. It also marked one of the few times in the past couple of years Cotati City Hall was packed for a council meeting, with the exception of meetings where roundabouts were on the agenda.
Three of the candidates – Barich, Veach and Hardy – have been involved in city government in some capacity. Veach currently serves on the city’s Community and Environment Commission.
Hardy, a 35-year Cotati resident and genealogist, had served on the planning commission. She also submitted an application when former Mayor John Guardino vacated his seat in 2009.
Barich served less than a year on the council before being ousted by recall election in 2009. But one thing can be said about Barich – he’s not a quitter. He applied for the appointment that went to Dell-Osso in 2011 and was fourth on the four-person ballot in the November 6, 2012 election. Barich also ran and finished last in the 2010 election, when Landman won his first election and Gilardi was reelected.
Moore, whose wife is currently on the planning commission, has been one of Barich’s leading critics, and he worked tirelessly on the effort to recall Barich in 2009.
Hirsch works as an IT specialist in San Jose and has been a Cotati resident for 11 years. He has no experience in Cotati city government. Matula has lived in Cotati for seven years and is a small business owner and contractor. She also has no city government experience.
Weaver is a 10-year Cotati resident and works as a conflict resolution facilitator. He’s never worked in city government. Wintermeyer has been in Cotati for 30 years and is a nurse practitioner. He also will be new to city government if appointed, as will be Freed, a six-year Cotati resident and a solar energy contractor.