September 26, 2021
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Issues and recognition but no council meeting

  • The Rohnert Park Cal Ripken Blue team was presented a proclamation from the Mayor Gina Belforte and Vice Mayor Joe Callinan on behalf of The City Council. The team member are: Anthony Barbato, Gauge Cummings, Ma'tia Fa'agata, Nathan Greiner-Hicks, Legend Haile, Gerardo Hernandez Jr., Blake Kearney, Marshall Lemons, Dylan McReynolds Jr., Dario Sparks, Roman Torres, Joshua Tucker, Jamie Norts-Vozaitis and Bay Boy Brayden Mcreynolds. Their coaches are: Manager Erik Tucker, Coach Jim Lemons, Coach Dylan McReynolds and Coach Ryan Bullard. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Lanny Lowery
August 30, 2019

Community members gathered, an entire baseball team entered, the council chamber filled with concerned citizens, and two council members, Mayor Gina Belforte and Councilman Joe Callinan sat on the dais.  However, Council Members Susan Adams, Jake Mackenzie and Pam Stafford were dealing with either pneumonia, post surgery recovery or a sick relative.

No quorum (having at least three members present) meant no city council meeting.  Mayor Belforte explained the problem to the room full of spectators.  She and Callinan would however recognize the Rohnert Park baseball team for its winning of the state championship and its participation in the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Belforte read the Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition:  “The Rohnert Park Cal Ripken U10 team, team member’s parents and coaches, for claiming the NorCal State Championship title and their participation in the Cal Ripken Regional Championship games in Hawaii on July 13 through July 21, 2019.”

Head coach Erik Tucker, along with assistant coaches Jim Lemons, Dylan McReynolds and Ryan Bullard stood with Belforte and Callinan for a photo opportunity as Community Voice photographer Robert Grant and many parent photographers captured this moment of honor and recognition.  

Wearing their game jerseys and caps, the players smiled and held up the city certificate of recognition:  Marshall Lemons, Roman Torres, Joshua Tucker, Dylan McReynolds, Matai Faagata, Blake Kennedy, Jamie Norts-Vositos, Legend Haile, Anthony Barbato, Gauge Cummings, Nate Greiner-Hicks, Dario Sparks and Junior Fernandez.

Many people had gathered to hear discussion regarding the Preliminary Northeast Area Specific Plan and the consideration of the elimination of Glyphosate and the Addition “Non-Toxic Neighborhoods” Approved Herbicides to City’s Integrated Pest Management Program.

The city had offered eight letters supporting the suspension of the use of synthetic pesticides and one letter showing concern about urban sprawl and unchecked growth.

Lee Rosichan wrote:  “I used pesticides like Roundup myself for several years around my home until I read about the harmful effects linked with its usage.  Further, in 2017, I developed Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, which has been directly linked to the use of Roundup.  I survived my bout with cancer, but others may not be so lucky.  The evidence is clear, and I’m sure that the city wants to make the responsible choice to ban the use of these harmful pesticides.”

Mercy Sidbury urged the city council, in a letter, “to suspend the use of synthetic pesticides on city owned property.  There is substantial evidence that synthetic pesticides are harmful to humans, particularly children and are a contributing factor in a wide variety of health concerns, including autism, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma to name the most widely known.”

The other letters make many of the same points.  There were no letters supporting the use of synthetic pesticides.

Regarding the Preliminary Northeast Area Specific Plan, one letter expressed concern about the potential loss of open space.  This writer worried about urban sprawl and the loss of natural habitats.  One other important point noted:  “The existing roads can’t handle all of this extra infrastructures.”  

Pesticides and sprawl will have to wait until Sept. 10 when, hopefully, the city council can field a quorum.  It was great to recognize the baseball team.