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Cotati votes opposition to oil leases

By: David Rheinhart
September 28, 2018

The City Council of Cotati voted unanimously to oppose the issuance of new leases for oil exploration in federal waters. While it is true that Cotati is not at this moment a coastal city, the initiative does lend Cotati’s voice to the greater California community in opposition to President Trump’s recent call for increased offshore drilling in the Pacific Ocean. 

To date over 65 California cities and counties have adopted similar resolution, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Their number includes Los Angeles, San Francisco, and all of Humboldt County. That’s quite a hefty chunk of the state’s population, and the declarations comes during an election year. To add to this, California Governor, Jerry Brown, recently signed Appropriation Bill 1775 which severely restricts oil and gas exploration. 

“I remember being a kid down in Santa Barbara,” said Cotati councilmember, Wendy Skillman. “We’d go to the beach, and there was actual tar on the beach. This was such a regular occurrence that they had dispensers all along the parking lot that you could use to get the tar off of your feet. Quite personally I’d like to never see that happen in Northern California.

And finally, Cotati bid farewell to one of its own.

Norm Veloso, Director of Administrator Services, is leaving the city after three and a half years of service. He’s taking a job with a similar title down in Moraga. Cotati is currently searching for his replacement. 

“It’s no longer a job. It’s a calling,” Veloso said. “This is an amazing city, and it was an amazing three and a half years. I’m always grateful from the bottom of my heart that I had a chance to work here.”