The April 11 Rohnert Park Council meeting met with the five council members present.

A resounding pledge to the flag was given by nine students from Evergreen Elementary School.  They proudly took a photo with the council and showed off their awards given by Mayor Rodriguez.

Mayor Rodriguez proclaimed April 2023 as sexual assault awareness month in the City of Rohnert Park. Emily Donahue and Vernice Mendez from Verity  approached  the podium and spoke about all the good work Verity does for the community especially the work they do with children. However, the services provided are really needed every day in Sonoma County.

David Armstrong approached the podium and related to the council that he was having issues while putting in a modular ADU on his property.

Will Connor stated his opinion on wanting to change the site of the Farmers Market to the community center. His complaint was when the vendors come to set up for the Friday night market half of the parking lot gets roped off, therefore there is no room to park for those people that wish to go to the library Friday evenings.

Don Schwartz, assistant city manager, and Paul Carey, senior analyst, presented to the council a very long hour discussion of the council is being asked to endorse the Sonoma County Continuum of Care (CoC) a five-year plan to prevent and end homelessness.

The CoC has the lead responsibility for conveying and prioritizing services and access to shelters and disperse monies and advising the county how to allocate the funds. 

The report showed there should be about 200  more units for interim housing and 1,000 more for permanent supportive housing. Schwartz said, “ we should do more prevention and make better use of the resources.” Along with housing the CoC should strengthen support services and coordinate service partners.

Since there are no overnight shelters in the immediate area, most are referred to the two cities nearest to Rohnert Park and those shelters usually have waiting lists.

Labath Landing a 60-unit  interim housing program opened last October and does offer supportive services for people who are experiencing homelessness such as individuals with physical or mental disabilities.

According to the city’s web page 129 people have been placed into permanent housing, have engaged with 569 people through the outreach program and has moved 146 individuals into interim housing.

Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson brought before the council to adopt a resolution to accept a grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation’s first responders outreach program to install a firefighting training prop that is valued at nearly thirty-three thousand dollars. 

A  moment of silence was observed for Cassandra Albaugh, who was a staunch  advocate for gay and transgender people. Cassie covered the city council beat for four years whiling writing articles for the Community Voice newspaper.

Mayor Rodriguez said she will be throwing out the first pitch at the April 15 opening of the little league softball program. Also, a Day of Service will be at Honeybee Park on April 18, join the mayor and other dignitaries for a day of goodness.

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