(Please click on the title above for my list of all items on the March 15 Agenda.)
(Please click on the title above for my list of all items on the March 1 Agenda.)
2/24/22 Update: Ordinance Passed: Last night, the City Council passed the new parking ordinance, as proposed, with no changes. See final signed ordinance HERE. It will be effective on March 26, 2022. Participation by the public was substantial, with voices heard both in support and in opposition. The Council recognized that there would likely be a need to "tweak" the ordinance in the future, and specifically requested that the following be brought back to the Council: (1) Clarifying language stating explicitly that the 72 hour exception in residential zones allows RVs that are visiting residents to remain in place for 72 hours, and (2) A proposal (including staffing cost) for a permitting process for the City Council to consider.
Original 2/23/22 Post:
- What are the terms of the parking ordinance?
- Why do I support the parking ordinance?
- Where will visitors to our town be able to park their RVs and similar vehicles be able to park?
- Why do we have to prohibit RVs and similar vehicles from parking in commercial/industrial areas during the day?
- Why can’t we let RVs and similar vehicles owned by residents or their visitors park in the neighborhoods?
- Would a permit system provide more flexibility?
- Why can't we have a permit system?
- What will happen with the vehicular unhoused that didn't get into the RV Village?
- Why can't we limit daytime parking in commercial/industrial, but allow it in residential areas?
- Is there 100% support for allowing residents and their visitors to leave their RVs and similar vehicles parked in front of their homes?
- Why can't Sebastopol set up more RV Villages inside the City limits?
- How will the parking ordinance be enforced?
- When will the parking ordinance go into effect?
- How can you make your opinion about the ordinance known to the City Council?
Please click on the title above for my personal answers to the questions above.
Second Reading is on Feb 23: The second reading of the parking ordinance is Wednesday February 23@6pm. Click here for the full staff report. Note the ordinance would go into effect 30 days after the second reading.
Info for Attending Feb 23: If you'd like to attend the February 23 meeting, here's the Zoom Link. You can also go to the City Council Meeting Page for full information (with agenda, reports, and zoom link).
Please click on the title above for my summary of the proposed parking ordinance.
PS: The Ad Hoc Committee for the Unhoused will be submitting a full Report at the March 15 City Council meeting.
The Horizon Shine RV Village in Sebastopol is up and running. All 18 RV dwellers are on site, plus the on-site resident manager Ben Peterson. The project manager Hector Gutierrez is on the job also, case managers are working one-on-one with residents, the place is neat and tidy, with portalets, trash and garbage organized, and an overwhelming sense of security and hope for a brighter future. What a wonderful contrast to the situation we saw on Morris Street! Wow. Sebastopol really stepped up for the unhoused. Lots of credit to St Vincent de Paul - they bought the land and leased it for this use - and to Sonoma Applied Village Services, the amazing nonprofit operating the Village. I am so proud of my community.
(Please click on the title above for more photos.)
PS: The Ad Hoc Committee for the Unhoused intended on submitting a full Report at this February 15 meeting, but we were told there simply wasn't enough time to accommodate that item. Please look for the report on the March 15th Agenda.
(Please click on the title above for my list of all items on the Feb 15 Agenda.)
St Vincent de Paul, owner of the property, is installing a really attractive redwood fence for the Horizon Shine RV Village. This is the conceptual drawing. Installation should be complete by next week. Nice, right??!!
In an order dated February 1, 2022, Judge Arthur Wick of the Sonoma County Superior Court dismissed the case, stating that: "Petitioner's request for relief at this time is denied in its entirety." The case, as can be seen from the pleadings included in the full posting, challenged the RV Village on the basis of various counts related to CEQA, zoning, and notices.
(Please click on the title above for the full posting, including links to all the pleadings.)
(Please click on the title above for full text of this posting.)
That's an excellent question. It has an excellent answer. Once again, the reality of making the right decision in a not-so-perfect situation faced us. Did we choose the right not-so-perfect option? Most definitely.
(Click on the title above for the full posting)
There are four so far who are vying to be elected as Sheriff of Sonoma County. Inform yourself. See the Press Democrat article here. And remember to VOTE!!
(Click on the title above for more info, including video interviews.)
Answer: As usual, there's LOTS on the agenda. (Let's hope we get done before 10pm this time.) Highlights on the topics list: Locals Who Make a Difference Award for Jim Pacatte, Healthcare for All Resolution, Apple Blossom Parade (April 23!), Calder Creek Restoration options presented (yes, one affects Polley Field), Mid-Year Budget Adjustments, Report from the Committee for the Unhoused...and yes, there's more!
(Please click on the title above for my list of all items on the Agenda.)
There's the practical answer, and then there's my personal opinion on what would have happened with the vote if the item had remained on the February 1 agenda. As you'll see when you read the full posting, it's probably best that it's not being considered until February 15...The first RV dwellers arrive at Horizon Shine, the RV Village operated by Sonoma Applied Village Services.
(Please click on the title above for full text of this posting.)
This is a statement by me, as one elected City Councilperson. I do not speak on behalf of any other City Councilmember , and certainly not on behalf of the full City Council. This statement and the views and opinions it reflects are mine only.
The City learned January 21 that a lawsuit was apparently filed*, seeking to prevent the RV Village at 845 Gravenstein Highway North from moving forward. The lawsuit requests various types of relief, ranging from an order that would temporarily delay the RV Village, to one that would set aside the RV Village decision entirely. One of the claims supporting delay is that "It will not harm the public interest for the Morris Street settlement to stay in its current location as the status quo while the Court resolves this Petition.” This is a claim that may not ring true for those who are neighbors and business owners in the Morris Street area and have suffered the consequences of that situation, as well as those who have seen first hand the distress being experienced by the unhoused population struggling to survive there.
*1/27/22 Update: Note that the City has not received or been served with an official endorsed file-stamped copy of the lawsuit. What has been received is a document that appears to be final but carries no official indication that it has been filed with the court. This is most likely a result of Sonoma County's current electronic filing system, which was implemented as a result of the pandemic, and causes some delays in the Court's filing system.
(Please click on the title above for full text of this posting.)
The First Village Council for Horizon Shine, Sebastopol’s RV Village. Ben, Elightza, Ronda, Israel, and Steve.
(Please click on the title above for full text of this posting.)
Click on the title above for a personal perspective and for a beginning list of Best Books of 2021.
Family - The Best Part of Holidays
Community Church Warming Center - It’s SO cold outside!
Today, with the temperature projected to dip below freezing, the Community Church of Sebastopol (1000 Gravenstein Highway North) joined forces with SAVS to open a warming center. Friday night and Saturday night, 8pm to 8am. Amazing joint effort pulled together on an urgent basis! Other resources for the homeless in this cold time are HERE.
Old Auld Syne by Phil Lawrence
Too Much Trash!!! With Way Too Much Food Waste = More Methane = BAD for the planet!
(Please click on the title above for more details.)
There are many options for Covid Boosters. Here's the links. Make sure you try them all. As you can see, there isn't one site that gives you access to all potential booster locations. That makes it a bit awkward to navigate the options, but it does increase the chances of success.
For general information about Covid, the best source continues to be the Sonoma County website (socoemergency.org).
(Please click on the title above for all links to booster appointments.)
On January 18, the City Council considers a draft parking ordinance. Directions were given to Staff on December 21 to provide an ordinance that met certain basic parameters. If this is important to you, there are various ways you can contribute your input. Please click on the title above.
(Please click on the title above for details.)
So worth the calories! Plan for next year!
(Please click on the title above for the recipe, courtesy of my husband the fabulous cook!)
Local musician Joe Gonzales singing with his daughter. Wonderful. Check out his gig dates on his website.
Mtg Tonight - City-Wide Parking?
Tonight the City Council considers a proposal for City-Wide Parking changes. Now that there's a commitment to move RVs from Morris Street and Laguna Parkway into the RV Village at 845 Gravenstein Highway North, what are we going to do about overnight parking of RVs throughout town? The motivation for the RV Village was addressing the encampment on Morris Street. It's clear that our town doesn't want to have that happen again. So what to do? That's the question before the City Council tonight.
Parking options proposed by the Police Chief:
Option 1: Adopt an ordinance of no street parking of oversized vehicles (e.g., RVs, trailers, buses, etc.) in residential neighborhoods at any time.
Option 2: Adopt an ordinance of no parking of oversized vehicles (e.g., RVs, Trailers, Buses, etc.) in commercial and industrial areas between 6:00am and 10:00pm
Option 3: Adopt an ordinance of timed daylight parking in commercial and industrial areas (e.g., 3-hr. parking)
Option 4: Adopt an ordinance that incorporates one or more of the above options
Our process tonight will include consideration of the above options, plus others that are produced during the discussion.
Your opportunity for input is tonight. Email email@example.com with your public comment, and/or attend the meeting. Tonight's meeting starts at 5:30 - zoom link is here. The full meeting information - agenda, documents (see agenda item 8), plus the zoom link - can be found at the City Council meeting page.
FYI, here's the Staff Report laying out the options presented by Police Chief Kilgore.
Plus other topics at the meeting tonight: Cyber-fraud update (1.2 million in City funds); Follow up issue related to smart water meters; City Council appointments to regional and local positions; Joe Gaffney retirement proclamation.
On Thursday evening December 9th, SAVS (Sonoma Applied Village Services), the nonprofit that will be operating an RV Village for the unhoused in Sebastopol, held a community discussion that was open to the public. At one point close to 100 people were in attendance.
That meeting truly reset the narrative about the RV Village. Recently, with worries and anxiety from neighbors and others, the goodhearted intentions behind the RV Village have become lost. The dominant narrative has been about rules and consequences...really about fears of what might be...but perhaps won't come to fruition at all.
The purpose of this post is two-fold. First, it's to give recognition to.....
(Please click on the title above to continue reading this post.)
On December 7, the City Council approved the full Agreement with Sonoma Applied Village Services (SAVS) to operate an RV Village. This document supplemented the Memorandum of Understanding that had been approved by the City Council on November 30th. The Staff Report from the December 7 meeting is HERE. It includes the full Agreement, which incorporates a detailed Scope of Work as Attachment B.
I recommend that anyone interested in the details read through the Scope of Work section of the Agreement. SAVS (the operator of the RV Village) and the Ad Hoc Committee worked hard to incorporate into the Scope of Work section various provisions to address all the concerns raised by School families and by people in the community at large.
The purpose of this post is go through the provisions that I believe address specific concerns raised about accountability and enforcement, because that has been a general concern of neighbors, the Charter School, and the community at large. However, this is not an exhaustive list of all provisions in the Agreement. For those who want to understand the details, a good solid read of the full document is best.
(Please click on the title above for full details.)
Context for the Proposed Site at 845 Gravenstein Highway North: Morris Street: The unsafe, unhealthy situation on Morris Street is the "why" that explains the decision to move forward with 845 Gravenstein Highway North. Let's not forget how appalling it's become, and the broad section of our population that's been suffering the consequences. Hundreds of complaints have been received from all sectors of the community. This is the inhumane, unsafe, and unhealthy situation that we are facing and need to address, for the unhoused and for our community. This is the situation that demands action.
Next: More Information and Process!
- Tue Dec 7@6pm: City Council mtg. Zoom & Staff Report HERE.
- Thu Dec 9@5pm: !! UPDATE!! 12/9 SAVS COMMUNITY MEETING IS VIA ZOOM - Zoom Link HERE.
- Community Advisory Committee: Concerns, complaints, suggestions discussed and solutions developed to address neighborhood and community concerns. Attend the Dec 9 Community Discussion if you are interested in being on the CAC.
(Please click on the title above for full details on the RV Village and Parking Policy.)
LOCATION CHANGE to 845 GRAVENSTEIN HIGHWAY NORTH. The proposed site for the RV Village intended to provide an alternate location for the RVs on Morris Street (and Laguna Parkway) has changed. The proposal is still largely the same as the one presented to the City Council on October 27, with the Public Works Storage Yard no longer viable, and the new site (845 Gravenstein Highway North) now being presented to the City Council. This location became a real option the day before Thanksgiving, less than a week ago.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT: The City Council considers the new proposed site TONIGHT, TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30, at 6pm. The Staff Report and Zoom Link are HERE. Join us to share your comments, or email your input to City Clerk/Asst City Manager Mary Gourley (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you start your email with "Dear Mayor and City Councilmembers," Mary will immediately distribute your email to all five on the City Council.
(Please click on the title above for full details of developments since November 7th.)
My First Year on the City Council
Wow. It's November 2021. A full year has passed since I was elected to the Sebastopol City Council. It's been exciting, busy, and so worthwhile. Why have I not kept up my news postings here? Because it's been a whirlwind of activity and engagement. How is there time to document activities when life is requiring that you actually fully engage??!! It's been great. However, I post here today because I have decided I need to try to pick up the conversation with everyone once again. Wish me luck!!
For the policy wonks who want the full story on upcoming funding. Click on the image below to view the presentation by Cal Cities.
#1. Hosted by League of Women Voters.
#2. Hosted by Russian River Chamber of Commerce.
Interviewed applicants for the alternate position on the Design Review Board. Appointed Marshall Balfe. Approved administrative corrections to the Climate Action Committee. Authorized City Staff to submit an application for a One Bay Area Grant. Approved the mid-year budget adjustment. Approved a proposal to move to electronic filing of campaign documents and Form 700s. Received a report on Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers. Received reports from the City Manager and City Councilmembers on City-related developments since the last City Council meeting. (Click on the title above for full details.)
United Way: 211 or 800-325-9604/ www.unitedwaywinecountry.org/earn-it-keep-it-save-it/
AARP Tax Help: Sebastopol Center for the Arts (861-1048) / www.aarpca2.org / 707-327-240/ Email Ca2D10@aarpfoundation.org.
(Click on title above for full information.)
Sebastopol Names Kevin Kilgore New Police Chief
Yes, vaccinations are happening! I know because I'm helping at the Petaluma Vaccination Location. It is so wonderful to see hundreds of people in the 70 and over age group get their first doses. Plus we had many Latinos from Petaluma Poultry and Petaluma Bakery come through. The sad but not surprising comment from my experience with this particular group: almost all of them had Covid-19 in November or December. They were SO pleased to be getting the vaccine! It was a wonderful day. Over 250 vaccinated. I can hardly wait to do it again next week!
However, the system is not yet working, just so you know. For example, the County webpage lists local Safeways that are accepting vaccination appointments for 70 and over, but when I clicked through to a local Safeway, it didn't list Sonoma County at all.
So...feel free to sign onto the County central vaccination appointment webpage, but (same old rule here) be patient and don't be surprised if the system seems to not be aligned with what the County is REALLY trying hard to get done. Patience....so hard right now...
Click Here for West County Health Center Website
Sebastopol Walks is on hiatus as a result of Covid-19. But that doesn't stop walkers! Here are maps that you can use for two self-guided walks around town. Fun!!
Little Free Libraries Walk: Download the full map here: Little_Free_Libraries_Map.pdf
Peace Pole Walk: Download the full map here: Peace_Pole_Walk_Map_2021.pdf
Click on the title above for the full details.
WEATHER ALERT. This is from Skip Jirrels, Sebastopol Public Safety Outreach Coordinator. Bottom Line? Windy weather coming!
Click on the title above for full report from Skip Jirrels.
NEWS FLASH! STAY HOME ORDER LIFTED!! We're still in purple tier, but outdoor dining plus other activities can resume. See Lynda Hopkins email here.
Amanda Gorman. Watch the video. Hope, youth, poetry, a message that has deep personal and national meaning.
A Hill we Climb, by Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, 22 years old. So inspiring!
A message from Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, as she tucked her kids in to bed tonight, the end of a day of celebration and reflection as new President Biden was inaugurated. Click on the title above for the full message.
Proudly flying the American flag. The sense of celebration is palpable.
Proudly flying the American flag. The sense of celebration is palpable. I thought I was prepared for this, but the emotion I am feeling is overwhelming. I had no idea how much I was holding in. My heart is overflowing ( and so are a few tears).
In the "Warm and Fuzzy" Category. Sometimes you need something to make you smile.
California Sunshine. Enjoying it with my dog Arya. It’s a beautiful day. If only I could forget the drought. Sorry, but really? Spring, on Jan 18th?!
Business News: Rob Daly is back! He ran Taylor Maid before it was Taylor Lane. Now he's bought the coffee side of Acre Coffee.
Sebastopol has wonderful nonprofits. They're hurting these days. Help them out. Make a donation to one you love - the one you want to see up and running after the pandemic. These groups give, give, give to us, improving the quality of all our lives. They need us to give to them now. Choose a worthy local nonprofit. Send in $25 (or more..the point is to send what feels OK to send in this odd pandemic time when everyone is facing financial stresses). Click on the title above for the full details.
Very interesting report commissioned by the City of Sebastopol, being presented at the City Council meeting on January 19. Read a short introduction and the full report by clicking on the title above.
ADU Workshop - Specifically about building ADUs in Sebastopol. I'm definitely going. Free. Thu Feb 11 11am to 12:30p
To register, CLICK HERE.
FOOD DRIVE MONDAY 10-4. Drop off at the Sebastopol Grange parking lot, on Highway 12.
FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT! Sat Jan 23. Deadline to order food: TODAY Jan 17
Mass Covid-19 Site at Fairgrounds for in-home care givers and private doctors.
Vaccine’s for Anyone Age 65 or Older. Call your provider. The governor announced this earlier in the week.
Vaccine’s for Anyone Age 65 or Older. Call your provider. The governor announced this earlier in the week. If you are in this age group, you should have been notified by your provider. For example, Kaiser sent emails to all patients 65 or older (571-4044 is the Kaiser number to call to make your vaccination appointment). Get vaccinated!!
Inauguration Day Event. The Democratic National Committee. Register so you can join the festivities "virtually."
Ragle Park. Have you seen these woodpeckers busy with their food storage?
Those are acorns! A nod to Kathleen Moore for posting this great photo on Nextdoor. Love what Mother Nature offers us in this beautiful County.
Vaccinations - Major Push. Here’s a news flash.
Yesterday the County reached out to Sonoma County primary care doctors to alert them that ALL these doctors offices’ will be expected to administer vaccines. This is huge. So far it’s only been Sutter, Memorial, and Kaiser, with some clinics and now the Fairgrounds. If we can get vaccinations through all internal medicine and family medicine doctors, that would be great! FYI, the tiers still apply, so no jumping the line! Hooray to Dr Mace and Barbie Robinson!
On the Lighthearted Side...Sometimes you just need a reason to smile, right?
Why? I continue to seek the answer to this question. This article is super interesting.
It's a bit dense-packed with sociology theory, but when I got done reading it, I really felt I understood the motivations behind the high emotions we saw driving the escalation of violence at the Capitol on January 6. Definitely worth reading.
President Trump Just Now Impeachment by US House of Representatives
President Donald Trump was just impeached by the US House of Representatives. 232 to 197 vote, including 10 Republicans, making this a bipartisan vote. The Senate will vote next. 17 Republicans will need to vote along with all Democrats for the Senate to support the impeachment. The Senate is currently not scheduled to reconvene until January 19th.
Celebrating the furry members of our families. This is Arya, five years old today.
Arya is a rescue who has taught her adopted family all about loyalty and love and kindness (and oh-so-much about patience!). She has been our go-to for hugs and unconditional love during these troubling and unsettling times. Love you a ton, Arya. Happy birthday!
FOODIES ALERT. Three Leaves Foods. Yum!!
Congressman Jared Huffman on the violence at the Capitol (Town Hall video).
LOCAL ART FOR LOCAL LOVE. Check out all the great gifts you can buy...
... through Sebastopol Center for the Arts "Valentine Pop Up" store.
In the White House
US Representative Jared Huffman
US Senator Dianne Feinstein
US Senator Kamala Harris (soon to be replaced by Alex Padilla)
In the State Capitol
Assembly Member Marc Levine
Senator Mike McGuire
(Click on the title above for contact information)
Jared Huffman, the US Representative whose district includes Sebastopol, signed onto a list of demands to take corrective action in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol this past week. Click on the title above to read his full statement.
Governor Gavin Newsom provides an update on the state’s response to the #COVID19 pandemic.
Articles of Impeachment just introduced. Vote expected Wednesday.
25th Amendment: No. Next: Impeachment.
The House just rejected 25th amendment move (Republicans objected, which immediately quashed the move.) Next step is expected to be the introduction of articles of impeachment, most likely tomorrow, and a vote on Wednesday.
House: Starting 25th Amendment and Impeachment Process.
25th Amendment: Being voted on by the US House within a few minutes. Expected not to get the necessary votes. Next step: Impeachment vote this Wednesday. Turn to any news channel to watch.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: "My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world."
Are we finally ready to face the consequences of our color biases..now that we see that the impact is on ALL people without regard to skin color??!!
WaccoBB, West County online bastion of open discussion and commentary, closes its (virtual) doors.
Thank you to Barry Chertov for his commitment to giving the community a voice for so many years.
Mike Thompson - US Congressman - Town Hall with Q&A Thu Jan 6@7pm. Covers the attack on the Capital as well as other issues.
Had to share this. I’m not a tik tok fan (don’t get me started!), but this is where it shines - the ease of sharing a warm sweet moment with others.
Our Asst Fire Chief passed away suddenly yesterday. So sad...
It is with sadness in our hearts that we share our Assistant Fire Chief Mike Reeser has passed away. Mike has been with the department over 42 years. Sebastopol has lost not only a member of the Fire Department but a valuable member of the community. Today we would have been saying happy birthday now we are saying rest in peace. Mike we will all miss you.
Remembering Officer Brian Sicknick, the police officer slain while defending our Capitol. So sad...