RP delays action on Clean Power plan again
Council to hear more from SCP at June 25 meeting
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By Jud Snyder  June 14, 2013 12:00 am

The group called Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) came back to Rohnert Park’s City Council Tuesday night, June 11, to gain the council’s vote to join their campaign. But it appears SCP is still in for a struggle to win over the council.

SCP’s campaign is based on the premise savings for PG&E customers could be achieved by having cities enrolled with them. They’d use alternative sources of energy that PG&E would have to buy, lowering utility bills by about two percent. Some county cities have enrolled, others have not and a few, like RP, are still undecided.

A staff report from City Manager Gabe Gonzalez noted, “Staff is aware that in previous presentations by the SCP, city council has raised a number of questions related to this item. It is the city’s practice to perform its own analysis of proposed policy matters.”

He also estimated legal costs of doing so would be $2,500 to $5,000 and “due to our budgetary constraints, staff does not want to incur costs until so directed by the city council.”

A delegation from Climate Protection Campaign, including manager Woody Hastings was on hand to back SCP. 

Also speaking in favor was RP resident John Haig, who owns a small business in Sonoma Mountain Village. He told the council, “I feel this is right for the city. It gives citizens an opportunity to be educated about utility rates.”

Councilman Amy Ahanotu said, “I’m in favor of it, for it’s in the best interest of the city.”

Councilman Jake Mackenzie said, “Our citizens should have the opportunity to participate. I know Marin County has a successful record with clean power.”

Gina Belforte said, “I still have a lot of questions and if I get answers than I’ll be more agreeable with the city manager.”

Vice-Mayor Joe Callinan noted, “It’s a clear-cut proposition, but I don’t think the city council’s in the best position to take this on. I can tell you there have been no citizens beating on my door telling me to take this on.”

Mayor Pam Stafford said, “I don’t see us taking this on, for SCP has not answered all our questions.”

The council took a vote on whether or not to seek more answers at their June 25 meeting. The result was 4-1, with Callinan the only dissenter. He’s still against the SCP proposal, but will listen to what SCP will have to say in two weeks.

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