Moore enters a new line of public service
Councilman, who has been involved with city government vicariously through his wife, gets his chance to make an impact on city government
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By Dave Williams  March 22, 2013 12:00 am


Although John Moore has never been formally elected to public office, he has been tied to Cotati city government for quite some time.

His wife of nearly 25 years, current planning commissioner Lisa Moore, served on the Cotati City Council from 2002-06 and was mayor in 2005. During the council meeting to appoint a new member to fill the seat of Pat Gilardi, she said when one spouse is involved in government, so is the other. With Moore being named to the council, the two are fully immersed in city government. Moore will serve out the term that expires in 2014.

Several posts held

Politics and government, however, are a small part of John Moore’s involvement in the workings of Cotati. He currently is treasurer of the Cotati Chamber of Commerce, he has served on the Rancho Cotati Little League board and was on the Rohnert Park Girls Softball Association board. 

More importantly, Moore has been a volunteer for a number of different causes in Cotati and Rohnert Park. And that spirit of volunteerism delivered to him one of his proudest moments.

“Receiving the (Chamber’s) Citizen of the Year Award in 2005 was pretty cool because that encompasses a lot of things,” Moore said.

Moore has lived in Cotati since 1984. But he and Lisa at one time considered moving to Sonoma.

“We decided on Cotati because it was more convenient for us,” he said. “Lisa was at the JC (Santa Rosa Junior College) at the time and it made more sense than going to Sonoma. But we found Cotati to be a nice, quaint town.”

The Moore’s have three children between the ages of 14 and 23. Their oldest son currently studies at the University of Pacific in Stockton.

Shaking up BUNC

Moores more than 30 years of community service also includes membership on the City of Cotati Rent Appeals Board and the Community and Environment Commission. Currently, Moore is a delegate to the North Bay Labor Council as a representative of SEIU Local 1000 and serves on the Bargaining Unit Negotiating Committee (BUNC) for SEIU Local 1000.

“When I first got involved with union, it was hard to get on that BUNC team,” Moore said. “In the summer of 2011, myself and some newcomers came in and shook things up a little. New people got elected to that position. Having an insurance sales background helped in working with different people, negotiating and selling your ideas. A lot of people were surprised I got on there so fast.”

Moore said he has a few ideas to sell to the council, one of which would be reestablishing the city’s recreation department. He also said one of his priorities is helping the city establish a more sustainable economic base. 

“I’m looking for something that is attributable to the economy as a whole, something that will be around for awhile and won’t have to be on such a shoestring budget,” he said.


Debunking critics

Critics of the Cotati council in general and Moore’s selection in particular have lamented how the council is stacked with people of like-minded thought. But Moore shunned that criticism.

“If I see something I don’t understand or agree with, I’m not afraid to ask questions,” Moore said. “I can disagree in a professional manner and not make a personal issue out of it. There were times when working with him on other things where (Vice-Mayor) John Dell’Osso and I didn’t always agree, but I respect him and we can work together. And I don’t see Wendy (Skillman, councilwoman) as a person who’ll just go along with everything. Just like the council we had with Pat and Janet Orchard, this is going to be a council that really studies the issues.”

During his years in Cotati, one thing Moore has seen change, and not for the better, is the propensity for citizens to let emotions rule when it comes to some planning issues.

“Issues get taken to the ballot box that sometimes are not studied as well by the voters,” Moore said. “I don’t think some of the issues of planning should be ballot box issues because they’re taken out of the hands of leaders who have spent a lot of time studying them. They become emotional issues instead of common sense issues.”


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