Farming, Cannabis and Energy. These were some of the topics Mayor John A. Dell'Osso and his council members oversaw during Tues. night’s Cotati City Council Meeting.
The meeting had its usual opening where members of the community had the opportunity to speak their mind about issues they have with the city. Some members wanted ethics charges, others were concerned about roads and there was even a discussion about Pocket Park.
Once this was over, Dell’Osso and his crew got into the agenda. Tuesday’s meeting started off with a presentation from the founders of Farmster.
Farmster was a project started by Alumni of Sonoma State University back in 2015. In fall of 2018, Farmster signed a 3-year license with the city of Cotati to be stewards of the environment. Farmster’s main goal is to divert food wastes and make the environment healthier. According to the presentation, Farmster have seven type of livestock on site; pigs, horses, cows, goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits. They host community programs such as Open Farms Friday, Farmers’ Market, youth programs and Farm to Table Series. Community members have continued to help Farmster grow with donations and showing up to support.
The topic of cannabis licenses is another issue close to the heart of the Cotati community. There were two groups who presented in this section; Henry’s Original and Clear Lake Growth Fund. Both of these presentations were geared towards convincing the board to let them have permission to grow here in Sonoma County. Henry’s original is based in Mendocino County and Clear Lake Growth has business in Lake County, Marin and Sonoma County.
Henry’s goal is to create 60 jobs over the next two years and they also source from 30 family owned farms. Henry’s pitch was for a Clean Green Certification while Clear Lake Growth Fund was appealing for a grow license. Clear Lake pitched themselves as a vertically integrated company who have been using the internet as their source of income.
Since the marijuana business is expanding every day, the board granted these groups grow licenses. Though they were given grow licenses, both Henry’s and Clear Lake Growth Fund must meet the safety requirements.
The topic which netted the most discussion was a company called Sonoma Clean Power (SCP). SCP presented themselves as an alternative to PG&E. The company prides themselves as being for the community of Cotati since it was created in response to the 2000 energy crisis. SCP wants to create more competition and give community members more choices. Another stand out from the presentation was the 49 percent renewable power, which is half the emissions of PG&E. Finally, SCP closing argument was about the future. With the climate crisis the world is in right now, transitioning to renewable power is the way to go.
What followed was a passionate debate. Some community members were for SCP and others argued against it. This was the one topic where the board seemed to have differing opinions. The biggest argument against was how much it’s going to cost. Most community members want their money going towards other things like infrastructure and healthcare as opposed to cleaner energy. This discussion went on for about half an hour.
After this discussion all the community members left, which left the Dell’Osso and company to finish up the meeting. As with any city council meeting, it’s open to the public and the members want to hear from members of the community. The next meeting is July 15 for any community members who are interested.