June 24, 2017
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1972 Parks ask school district opinion on development

By: Irene Hilsendager
April 28, 2017

Rohnert Park city council approved a resolution asking for written evaluation of home development from the Cotati School district.

The resolution asks the school district to assess the impact of new residents on school attendance.

Jimmie Rogers of Bart Mitchell Realty said,”The council is taking the easy way out. The state supreme court says education is state responsibility.” “To give school boards the power of no growth is unforgivable of the city council,” Rogers said. “You are handing authority to the trustees.”

“We’re not giving authority, just weight,” Councilman Vern Smith said.

Trustee Tony Carone, who was in the audience said, “Our problem of overcrowding is here and now. We’re just providing for a method of communication. The cities and schools are not separate entities.”

“We are merely putting into words what we would do anyway,” said Councilman Lou Beary, although Rogers termed the resolution “strong language.”

The council authorized City Manager Pete Callinan to seek an agreement with the City of Cotati for sewer and water service for 13 acres of Morrison Homes, near E. Cotati Ave. and the railroad.

Mayor Art Roberts and Smith voted against the measure, both because it was not a regular agenda item. They said they wanted more time to study it.

A contract for $37,048 was awarded to Argonaut Construction for improvement of Snyder Ln. from Southwest Blvd. to E. Cotati Ave. Argonaut will also receive the first progress patent of $48,768 for Rohnert Park Expressway. 

Bill Ross, a pro at Rohnert Park Golf Course asked for re-negotiation of his contract, but Roberts suggested it would be better to look at the situation after Ross completed a year with the city in January.

Ross suggested increasing fees at the course to average $3.50 per round. He said last year 40,000 rounds were played but the course took in only $110,000, short by $15,000.

Councilman Armando Flores said he had heard many complaints about service and prices at the golf course restaurant. Ross said he would look into the situation and rectify any problems, Flores said other operations of the course are “first class.”

Roberts brought up the possibility of better fire service. “We are rapidly approaching the need for a full-time fireman,” he said.

“The Department of Public Safety is doing a fine job. We want to forestall a full-time fire department as long as we can,” said Callinan.

Roberts said the need is approaching for a full-time chief, not necessarily an entire department. Roberts asked Callinan why a 1964 fire rating had been misplaced. Callinan said he did not know which report Roberts referred to.

“We don’t want to lose the public safety concept. It has worked quite well,” Callinan said.

Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.