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November 25, 2020
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Safety and power outages

By: Paul Matli
October 11, 2019

Tuesday night’s Rohnert Park City Council meeting was a straightforward affair. Mayor Gina Belforte and Rohnert Park Councilmembers met for about three hours in front of community members discussing topics regarding public safety, the impeding power outages and other items.

The meeting, as usual, started off with public comments and then City Manager Darrin Jenkins declared that Sonoma County is under a red-flag warning. This is regarding the forthcoming power outages which will affect parts of Rohnert Park. According to Jenkins, about 250 people in Rohnert Park will have their power shut down. This red-flag warning is from PG&E., estimating wind gusts up to 80 mph and trying to prevent wildfires from spreading because of how dry Sonoma County is.

After the City Manager’s report, it was time to move onto the Smart Train again. Mayor Belforte and her colleagues again discussed how to stop the deaths on the smart train tracks. Her proposal was to possibly slow down the speed of the smart train. 

“Rohnert Park is the only city where this is happening,” Belforte said. “Couldn’t we just slow down the train a little bit?”

According to the council, the Smart Train goes about 75 mph through the City of Rohnert Park, which is much faster than Petaluma or Santa Rosa.

Vice Mayor Joseph Callinan and Councilmember Pam Stafford both went after Smart Train asking why the city is paying for the Smart Train. The Smart Train is paying for the Z Gates, while the city is paying for everything else. This was a point of discussion for the council and City Manager Jenkins.

Belforte seemed annoyed that representatives from Smart Train weren’t there to discuss these issues.

“We invited members of Smart Train, but they didn’t show up,” Belforte said.

After the discussion of Smart Train, the council moved onto the important agendas of the night.

Resolution 8A. was a discussion and direction on proposed local amendments, policies and fees to be included with the adoption of the 2019 California Building Standards Code. This discussion was based around a number of items and lasted about an hour.

The next resolution was a proposal for necessity and authorizing the city manager to initiate Eminent Domain action to acquire fee interest. This resolution passed the council 5-0.

The final item up for debate was a discussion and direction pertaining to Shopping Cart Management Options. 

Option three was the one best liked by the council. This option included education and resource-based, efficient and effective approach, places responsibility where it belongs. This resolution passed the council 5-0.

One more thing for community members to note is that Sonoma Clean Power announced at the meeting they are looking to expand into Lake County and City Manager Jenkins moved the closed session discussion because of the earlier Emergency Declaration.

The next city council meeting will be Oct. 22 and the topics are unknown, but if you have something on your mind, the council is the place to share them. The agenda should be posted on the Rohnert Park City website shortly so community members will have an idea what will be on the menu.