January 17, 2019
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RP Downtown project underway ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency RP has a new director of public safety Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA 2018 local stories which made history Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation Help save lives by donating blood El Camino graduates A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities PG&E has a prediction model Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cougars beat Bulldogs Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion Rohnert Park road updates Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon New laws take effect Jan. 1 Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cardinals rout Cougars How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

 RP swears in new council member

  • Susan Hollingsworth Adams officially joined the Rohnert Park City Council Tuesday night after the swearing-in ceremony. Pictured in order from left to right are Council Member Pam Stafford, Vice Mayor Joe Callinan, Mayor Gina Belforte, Council Member Susan Hollingsworth Adams, and Council Member Jake MacKenzie. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
December 14, 2018

It was a changing of the guard at the Rohnert Park City Hall Tuesday as the council bid farewell to one of its own and welcomed someone new to their number. 

The outgoing councilmember was Amy Ahanotu and it was with a solemn tone that he spoke his final words to his fellow councilmembers and the citizens of Rohnert Park that had gathered to witness. 

“Somebody asked me what I wanted people to remember me for. I said that if they remember I served at all then that will be enough,” Ahanotu said.

Ahanotu joined the council back in 2010, but his time in Rohnert Park goes back still further. He first moved to the city in 1985 to work a job at Taco Bell as an assistant manager. Since then he’s changed hats a few times.

Eventually Ahanotu married and got a job with Redwood Credit Union as a branch manager where he worked his way up the ladder. Most recently the bank promoted him to vice president, which is quite an accomplishment for the naturalized Nigerian immigrant. It’s also the reason why he chose not to run for reelection. 

“In January when my work and the city council started clashing I had a discussion with my CEO. He said, ‘If you can make it work then try to make it work.’” Ahanotu said. “I tried...but it didn’t work.”

Susan Hollingsworth Adams is taking Ahanotu’s chair. 

Adams served previously on the Rohnert Park Planning Commission as the commission’s senior most member. She’s been there since 2003. That’s quite a long time to learn the inner workings of local government and city planning. 

And it’s not just experience. Susan Adams has blood on her side, too. Her father, Art Hollingsworth, is a long time Rohnert Park resident and a previous city councilmember. She’s following, more or less, in his footsteps.

Adams was practically beaming as she accepted the position and spoke the oath of office.

“It’s a very special honor. I really appreciate the voters trust in the council’s community decision making. I’m excited,” Adams said. 

 A new council member wasn’t the only change in the roster. Pam Stafford’s term as mayor has also come to an end. Joseph Callinan, the current vice mayor, was expected by the city and the rest of the council to act as her replacement, but in a last minute change of heart Callinan declined the position. 

Callinan works as a contractor for his day job, and with the recent 

rebuilding effort from last year’s fire he’s got 14 houses that he’s responsible for putting together. He felt that the added responsibility ‘of a mayorship on top of his business would prove to be too much. 

“I just can’t give the mayorship the commitment that it deserves for the city of Rohnert Park this year. I don’t think it’s fair for the citizens of Rohnert Park for me to take that position, as much as I would love to,” Callinan said. “Anybody who knows me knows that it’s tearing at me not to accept this.”

So Callinan passed the torch to the next council member in line: Gina Belforte. This will be Belforte’s third term as mayor. She’s been on the council for almost a decade and that history gives her quite a bit of experience to draw on. Belforte has also announced that in 2020 she will run for the job of Sonoma County Supervisor, competing for the position currently held by Shirlee Zane.