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October 16, 2021
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Planning Commission and Annexation

By: Paul Matli
February 12, 2021

Every time the Cotati City Council gets together, a different theme emerges. Community members who attend don’t know what the topics of discussions are until they tune in or check the website. Tuesday night was no different. It consisted of two major themes, discussion about annexing parts of the Jamie Laine Community District and nominations for the Cotati Planning Commission. Both of these, along with talk about the fiscal budget and City Manager Damien O’Bid’s report, took up the bulk of the time.

The meeting started off as always with normal housekeeping items, the council introducing themselves, confirming the nightly agenda and giving community members a chance to talk. After that was over a group called MERJE came into talk. 

The spokesman was speaking on behalf of a resolution declaring the intention to annex certain properties to Community Facilities District No. 2017-01. The presentation said the annexation of Jamie Laine Community District would help pay for police protection services, maintenance of park lighting, parkways, streets, roads and open space, maintenance of related facilities, equipment, vehicles, supplies, along with flood and storm protection.

This presentation also included an update on Cotati’s sign program. The sign program would be something like Wayfair. Community Members are probably aware of the Wayfair signs around town. Those signs are part of the sign program MERJE is doing.

 The council had a discussion about the annexation, plus the sign program. They were receptive, but also said some changes could be made to the program as well.   

 Maybe the most thorough part of the meeting was the nominations for the Cotati Planning Commission. A resolution was put forth by City Manager O’Bid explaining that there should be more leeway regarding council members choosing community members to serve on the commission.

 Simply put, there’s no guarantee the current council will stay intact after election, since two or three of them face re-election every year. Because of this, a resolution was put forth asking to revise the planning commission appointment process to allow for interim continuing service of existing members until new members are appointed.

 This means that even if a member is voted out, they can still serve on the commission until a new member replaces them.

Councilwoman Laura Sparks nominated Johnathan Rodriguez to the Planning Commission. The council took time to congratulate him and Rodriguez said a few words to those in attendance. Also, the city council was asked to review the applications and provide Mayor John Moore with direction for voting at the upcoming Mayors and Council members Association and City Selection Committee meeting.

Finally, Angela Courtier gave the council a presentation on the mid-year fiscal budget for the fiscal year 2020-21.

After her presentation was over, City Manager O’Bid shared updated information about the vaccination program and that the city bought more tents for outdoor dining.

The vaccination program is still in the early phases. At the present the essential workers are still getting vaccinated and they will be followed by the 75 and older age group, then the general population will have access to the vaccine.

 O’Bid also said the city bought more tents around the end of January and are working on acquiring more so restaurants will have additional room to seat people. O’Bid talked about how much restaurants are hurting and said the tents will help with business now that indoor dining is open.

Tuesday night’s council meeting wasn’t as thorough as some, but still covered a good bit of information that’s important to the public. For those who wish to attend, the meeting times and agenda are posted on the Cotati City Council website.