September 20, 2018
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Cotati residents decry lack of enforcement

By: David Rheinhart
September 14, 2018

Tempers ran high at the Cotati City Council meeting Tuesday when a few residents expressed their displeasure at the city’s perceived lack of ability to enforce its own zoning laws. 

The comments sparked off a measure put forth by the city to enlist the services of Robert Smith, a Sonoma based attorney, for the purpose of bringing a number of backlogged code violations to the district attorney’s office. Previously, zoning violation cases within Cotati might languish for years at a time, prompting some residents to question their efficacy. 

“I think we’ve had a lack of code enforcement in Cotati for well over twenty years,” Police Chief Parish said. “We’ve had citizens coming forward to the council over and over again, complaining about a lack of code enforcement and it falls on deaf ears.”

Parish went on to express his fears regarding the transparency surrounding the new attorney. 

The council empathized with Parish and the other speakers. In many ways, Smith was selected to solve the lack of code enforcement and the council hoped that his contract would put the resident’s concerns to rest. 

“This particular system when you think about it, it stretches on forever, but there’s no real way to force someone who doesn’t want to comply to comply,” said Cotati Mayor, John Dell’Osso. “It’s pretty toothless.” 

At the same council, the city also gave its approval for a new taxi company to begin operations with Cotati. 

J’s Taxi, owned by Kaitlin Gorden, is a Petaluma based company with 10 subcontracted drivers. The city found that J’s Taxi would not have a noticeable effect on traffic and it would require Gorden’s drivers to undergo a background check before they were allowed to operate within the city limits. 

Changing gears, we come to Oliver’s Market and their upcoming 30th anniversary. The Cotati City Council proclaimed that Sept. 15th, 2018 would be known as ‘Oliver’s Market Day’. The honor comes in recognition of the company’s long standing record of charitable donations and fair treatment of its workers.

But Oliver’s isn’t the only special day that demands recognition in Sept. The Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Sept. 22nd. The plant is offering free hayrides, a tour of its facility, and a barbeque lunch. It encourages everyone who might be interested to attend.