Three faces. Three windows. One oath.
Last Tuesday evening Cotati made history by remotely administering her oath of office to the winners of the Nov. 2020 election, officially certifying their victory and pulling out the chair for their seat on the council.
Laura Sparks and Ben Ford—two new names and two new faces, but the existing the council welcomed them with open arms. They’re the first new members to join since John Moore took his seat back in 2014. Councilmember Susan Harvey secured her fourth term in office.
A full bio for each incoming councilmember will appear in our Dec. 18 publication.
But there are still only five seats on the council, so Cotati bid farewell to two of its longest standing public servants: Councilmember John Dell’Osso and Mayor Wendy Skillman. They stepped down.
“It’s definitely mixed emotions tonight. This has been an amazing eight years,” Skillman said. “It’s enriched my life. I’ll be sticking around and show up as a member of the public, just to check in and see how things are going.”
Dell’Osso echoed her words.
“I’ve learned so much from all of you. Even when we didn’t start on the same page, we almost always get there for the greater good of the city,” he said. “I will be around to help this city--my city--to be successful. Don’t hesitate to call on me.”
Measure S also got the official stamp of approval Tuesday night. It makes a one-cent sales tax put in place back in 2016 permanent. The city expects about $2.2 million a year off the tax, most of which gets dumped into the general fund. But for the 2019-2020 fiscal year Cotati’s revenue sat at a little over $10.7 million. If Measure S had not passed then the city’s budget could have run pretty far into the red. Cuts to services—fire, park, police—were expected to follow.
Now, though, the revenue is secure until voters decide otherwise.
And some of that money could be coming from marijuana. At that same meeting Cotati approved two new licenses, TetraCert and New Tropic, to cultivate and distribute cannabis within city limits.
TetraCert wants to open up a commercial cannabis nursery at 445 Portal St. The 1,280 square foot property won’t retail the product directly, but it will distribute what it grows to other dispensaries or manufacturers.
Manufacturers like New Tropic make cannabinoid oils. They wish to expand their operation to the 369 Blodgett St. property and will remain wholesale distributer.