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June 15, 2019
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New fire station gets final direction Cotati fills Planning Commission Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Illegal robocalls and spoofing Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Enroll in Transportation Security Administration RP moves to curb false alarms Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee SSU named one of the best universities Students almost ready for kindergarten SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Cotati honors and appreciates CRPUSD district’s good news in May Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes SMART to offer free rides... Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening Sheriff’s canine apprehends convicted felon Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area 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 Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard 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 A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Mayors of So Co write angry letter Dodd’s college student food bill passes Rohnert Park caregiver arrested 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! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms 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 PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration 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 Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU 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 Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: 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 CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant 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 New laws take effect Jan. 1 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

Cotati’s code of conduct

By: Lanny Lowery
May 31, 2019

Calling on my Muse, Judson Snyder!  I am learning your business the hard way, by doing it with no training.  Why can’t we meet at The Friendly Kitchen for a cup of coffee and, oh, by the way, bring the Hinebaugh Creek Philosopher with you.

Remember all of those “Nobody Asked Me” columns that you blessed us with all those decades?  Well, somebody is asking you, me, the Cub Reporter.  How would you handle the current Cotati City Council meetings?

“What’s the problem?” You ask.  “Follow the agenda, note comments and action, tell it like it is.  Not all the assignments flow as smoothly as covering the fishing derby or the kindergarten job fair.”

The agenda appeared to short, sweet (that’s the cupcakes), and simple.  I told the dogs, cats and my lovely wife that I should be home by 9 p.m.  One reception, two items on the consent calendar and four more on the regular agenda:  Discussion, votes, city manager’s and council members reports and out of here.

My mentor tells me to start at the beginning and just tell the story.  “Add the cupcakes and critics as you go.”

After the pledge, a short intermission took place.  “The public is cordially invited to enjoy refreshments at a brief reception in appreciation of retiring City Attorney, Robin Donoghue.”  Before the cupcakes were offered, the city manager and the Council members praised Donoghue for her service and she responded:

“As I have served as Assistant and City Attorney the past seven years, it has been my honor and privilege to work with all of you.  Thank you for your devotion to the city, collegiality and work ethics.  Goodness is in the future of Cotati.”

Down to business as the last cupcakes remain untouched on the side table.  Citizen Laurie Alderman called for an ethics charge against Council Member John Moore and another against Council Member Mark Landman for influencing people who have shamed her.  “Nextdoor.com took me apart as Landman’s supporters sent me messages.”

Citizen George Barich expressed his concern that the city planned to cancel its regular meeting of July 9.  “We have plenty of issues to resolve” as he cited a variety of problems that council members had made campaign promises to fix, according to Barich.  Then he complimented the mayor, John Dell’Osso, for welcoming citizens to the council meeting.  “Cookies, coffee, we ought to have that come back.”  

Next, Barich declared, “Mr. Moore approached Ms. Alderman and bullied her in private.”  And he concluded by criticizing the postponement of the July 9 meeting by stating, “You need a catch up night like July 9 to discuss homeless, weed abatement and make sure we are a fire safe town.”

Council Member Moore responded by reading an email response and drifting off with “If that’s bullying. “

On to “Direction on Future Agenda Items” without any suggestion of dealing with the issues just brought up.  council members showed concern about climate resolution and want to bring that to a future agenda looking at zero waste and ground water management, how it feels and how to fund it.

The headliner item of the evening began the regular agenda:  “Proposed letter of concern for new gas station at 7180 Gravenstein Highway.”  This proposed gas station, convenience store and car wash would be located at the corner of Highway 116 and Stony Point Road.  It was recently suggested that the council write a letter to Supervisor David Rabbitt pointing out the many negative impacts of such a project even though this project will occur outside of city limits.

The city manager and council members discussed writing the final draft of the later.  Council Member Moore approved of the letter as it was written.  After hearing from the public, some consideration of making a more intense appeal was expressed.

Five of six citizen speakers opposed the project citing environmental and climate issues, increased water usage, a negative impact on current Cotati businesses, loss of rural character and an intrusion on the scenic corridor.  One speaker thought that Highway 116 was commercially earmarked for such business.

Mayor John Dell’Osso said, “This doesn’t sit well with me; is it to become a major thorough fare?”  John Moore believed that the project was not appropriate for that location.  Susan Harvey agreed and encouraged members of the audience to send letters to the supervisors.  Mark Landman liked the letter campaign idea and said that the project would force small businesses out.  He was also concerned that the car wash would rely on wells and he felt like the letter should have a stronger tone.  Wendy Skillman stated, “We can express that we do not support this type of project.”  Dell’Osso added his concern about Cotati’s potential loss of tax revenue.

The council voted 5-0 to send a letter that opposed the project.

Next order of business, Cotati staff recommended that the city council review the applications and provide the mayor with direction for voting at the upcoming Mayors and Council Members and City Selection Committee meeting.  The council approved this 5-0.

Staff then recommended that the city council receive a report on the 2018 housing production report to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.  No motion was made nor action taken.

The final action related to the engineer’s report for the landscape and lighting assessment broke down into three parts.  The report was approved, as was the allowance to increase the maximum assessments in accordance with the law, 5-0.  The date for a public hearing was set for June 25, 2019.

The city manager’s report, brief and to the point, preceded short reports by council members.  In the final public comment section, Laurie Alderman stated that she would like to see in a future agenda a discussion of a code of conduct covering social.  George Barich told the council that it is naïve to rely on the city attorney as a federal judge had said that the City of Cotati needed schooling.  He then asked if any of the members believed in a Code of Conduct.  Ms. Alderman pointed out that no one raised a hand.

“Besides the cupcakes getting stale, I don’t see the problem,” offered my mentor.  “Democracy in action, Citizens expressing their views, Council members taking action.  Cupcakes and critics make up a good city council meeting.