Monday, May 8, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, May 9th


Thanks once again to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Friends For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's Santa Rosa City Council Meeting.

Friends:    The Study Session before the 4PM Council meeting starts at noon in the Council Chambers.  This is just the beginning of the budget-setting process.
   3.1 Review of Fiscal Year 2017/18 Department Budget Requests, Capital Improvement Program Funding requests and Community Promotions Funding Requests.  They will consider the bigger-budget department requests next week, 5/16, such as Police and Fire Recreation and Parks, Transportation and Public Works.
Below find a link to some general information about the budget - where it comes from and where it goes.

4PM Council meeting 
10 Mayor's and Council members Reports
10.1.8 Appointment of a City representative and an alternate to the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA).  This new agency is one of 3 in Sonoma County just now being created (others are the  Petaluma River Watershed and Valley of the Moon watershed).  This is a State-mandated program.  California is the last state in the Union to implement groundwater sustainability measures.   Each agency will each make a GSA Plan by 2022 to ensure groundwater sustainability.  Each City in the SR Plain, the County, the Water Agency and a few others will have seats at the table.

14.1 Courthouse Square Reunification project Update.  I hope you've all had the chance to experience the new plaza.  There are still some things to be installed, but it is a great improvement over a street going through the heart of downtown.
99DA-4EF1-9E51-84AFA1D72B2D  Courthouse Square Update Staff Report

5PM   Public Hearing
15.1 DeTurk Winery Village.  The Council will consider two things that are recommended by the Planning Commission.  First, a vacation of city real estate adjacent to the project and second, awarding a Density Bonus of 35% increased density.  The project is at 9th and Donahue Streets.  To be built are 185 apartments, with 15 designated for low-income people, while maintaining 20,000 square feet of existing commercial buildings.
     Below are links to a map of the project site and then the justifications given for the increased density.

See you there!    Anne

Saturday, April 15, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, April 18th

Friends:    There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting

7. Proclamations and Presentations
  7.1 Sexual Assault Awareness Week
  7.2 Roseland Beautification Week

8 Staff Briefings
  8.1 2017 Earth Day Onstage Festival

15 Report
  15.1 Approval of Amended and Restated Joint Exercise Powers Agreement for the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency (SCWMA).  This item is for the Council to decide to extend the agreement for one more year.

  15.2 Annual Police Auditing Report and Contract for a Professional Services Agreement with Robert Hunter Aaronson. 

  15.2 Request to Vacate Public Right of Way on Melita Road in 2 Areas

  15.4 Approval of the Preliminary 2017/2018 Regional Water Reuse Budget. This refers to the Subregional Wastewater Treatment Program that Santa Rosa administers.

15.5 Appointment Of City Attorney and  Approval of City Attorney's Employment Agreement.  It's to be Sue Gallagher, to be paid $17,083 per month.

16 Public Hearings 
  16.1 Gasparini Rezoning at 368 Yolanda Avenue from CG (General Commercial) to IL (Light Industrial).    Is this the same parcel on which considerable effort was applied several years ago because it maybe was going to be a Home Depot?

See you there!   Anne

Saturday, March 25, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, Tuesday, March 28th


Thanks to our good friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizen For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council agenda:

4:00 A Joint Meeting of the City Council and Planning Commission for a study session.
   3.1 Southeast Greenway Preferred Alternative  After years of work by a committed and inspired group of people, this project held 2 public meetings about which of 3 designs should be the preferred alternative.  Each has different combinations of development - commercial and community, gathering places and wildlife protection areas.  Come and tell the Council and Planning Commission which alternative you prefer!
     See the link below for the staff presentation on this.

5:00 City Council meeting
   14.2 The purchase of 3 new Police vehicles in anticipation of their need for when the annexation of Roseland happens in late 2017 or early 2018.

   14.3 Designation of a Recreational Trail Across Land Belonging to the Oakmont Treatment Plant.   You've read about the objections to access for pedestrians and bicycles from Channel Drive to Annadel State Park.   This is part of a solution to that.

14.4 Urgency Ordinance To Impose a Moratorium of Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation for Personal and Commercial Purposes.
     While a draft comprehensive policy is being created, this 45-day moratorium would protect against some problems already seen with outdoor cultivation.

See you there!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Recent Grants in Santa Rosa


Here are recent basic needs grants to Santa Rosa-based nonprofits from the Community Foundation Sonoma County.  The Santa Rosa Office of Community Engagement is working with us to assemble a list of neighborhood resources, and new grants given in the community are often opportunities for our residents to volunteer.  Look for the contact information on the agencies in the blog of our Directory of Santa Rosa Nonprofits.

Ag Innovations & Sonoma County Food System Alliance: to support the 2016 Sonoma County Food Forum
Alliance Medical Center: to support the “Discovering the Hidden Treasures in our Communities-How Community Centers Impact Everyone’s Quality of Life” event in Healdsburg.
American Cancer Society Inc.: to provide medically vulnerable Sonoma County cancer patients undergoing active treatment with free transportation to and from treatment appointments.
Art Escape: to support the Dia de los Muertos celebration at Art Escape
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the Family Support Center.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the basic needs of residents at The Palms.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the Family Resource Center.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa: to support the operations of the DeMeo House.
City of Santa Rosa Housing and Community Services: to support Sam Jones Hall.
Community Action Partnership: to support the Sloan House.
Community Action Partnership: to support “Rally for CAP” event as part of the Annual Day and Night Festival
Community Support Network: for general operating support
Episcopal Senior Communities Foundation: to provide emergency funding to low-income seniors.
FISH of the Santa Rosa Area Inc.: to support FISH’s food pantry.
Hispanics in Philanthropy: to support the HIPGiver Gala.
Integrative Medical Clinic Foundation: to support the “What Matters to YOU” coalition.
InterFaith Shelter Network: to support the Off the Streets project.
Jewish Community Free Clinic of Sonoma County: to provide free medical services to low-income patients.
John Muir Charter Schools: to provide Youth Connection Students the opportunity to purchase the supplies necessary to continue their studies with the Culinary Arts Certificate and Baking Certificate programs.
LandPaths: to support the In Our Own Back Yards program.
Latino Health Forum: to support the 24th annual Latino Health Forum
Latino Service Providers: to support the Fandango Fundraiser
Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy: for staff support to apply for inclusion on the Upstream Investments portfolio.
Living Room Center, Inc. : for general operating support.
Los Cien Sonoma County: to support the 2016 State of the Latino Community in Sonoma County event.
Los Cien Sonoma County: to support Los Cien’s operations.
On The Move: to support VOICES with funding for emergency food and transportation assistance.
Museums of Sonoma County: to support the Art4Kids education program, a hands-on art classroom instruction and museum experience for 5th and 6th graders in four Title I schools in Santa Rosa.
North Bay Organizing Project: to support the Latino Student Congress.
Northern California Center for Well Being: to support “Heroes for Health”, a run/walk event to celebrate the Center’s iDo26.2 program.
On the Move: to support the launch of an On The Verge cohort in Sonoma County.
On The Move: for general operating support for VOICES Sonoma
Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County: to support the 12th annual Winterblast held in the South of A District of Santa Rosa
Pepperwood Foundation: to support TeenNat, connecting youth to natural resource careers through participation in conservation research.
Pepperwood Foundation: to support the professional development of members of the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative.
Point Blue Conservation Science: to bring the expanded Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) multi-visit program to an underserved Sonoma County school.
Raizes Collective: to support the Guelaguetza festival at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.
Redwood Empire Food Bank: for general operating support.
Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation: to support the traveling exhibit ” Patient No More.”
Santa Rosa Symphony: to support Simply Strings, a five-year program providing free in-depth music training to underserved elementary students.
Serve A Little: to provide free auto repair to low-income single moms.
Sixth Street Playhouse: to support an innovative project challenging students in selected middle and high schools in Sonoma County to create an original theatre piece.
Social Advocates for Youth: for general operating support
Social Advocates for Youth: to support the “Girls Empowerment Movement”  conference
Sonoma County Economic Development Board Foundation: to support the “Discovered” project, recognizing exceptional individual artists in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County Economic Development Board Foundation: to engage in a county-wide assessment of arts education instruction in the public schools, K-12.
Sonoma County Office of Education: to support ” Equity at the Core” conference.
Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation: to support the Roseland Cup in Southwest Santa Rosa.
Sonoma Ecology Center: to support the K-6 Watershed Education Program and EnviroLeaders paid internship program for teens.
Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods:  to support the Forest to the Sea programs for K-12 students in Sonoma County.
Team Sugarloaf: 1) Red Barn Campsite construction - to create three new backcountry campsites at the historic red barn compound near Bald Mountain; 2) Hood Mansion Interpretive Panels - to provide permanent interpretive information relating to the history  of Hood Mansion and surrounding properties; 3) Bear Aware Program - ber-proff garbage containers at campsites, signage and interpretive programs to educate the public about black bears. 
TLC Child & Family Services: for general operating support
Verity: to secure emergency shelter and other basic needs for victims of sexual violence and human trafficking.
Volunteer Center Of Sonoma County Inc. : to support 211 Sonoma County.
Women’s Recovery Services A Unique Place:  to provide food, safe housing, and diapers to mothers enrolled at Women’s Recovery Services.
Women’s Recovery Services: to support Women’s Recovery Services programs for homeless women and their children.

YWCA of Sonoma County: to provide food and essential program supplies for women and their children fleeing domestic violence.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

S.R. Council Agenda March 14th


Our thanks once again to Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council Agenda.

    Before the meeting, the Council will be in closed session to consider 3 legal matters, two of them requests from other jurisdictions to join in support in suits against the Trump Administration.  Interesting.

There are 2 Study Sessions before the 4PM meeting.  They start at 2pm..
3.1 Progressive Parking Strategies and Railroad Square Parking Management Plan.
3.2 Development of a Safe Medicine and Sharps Disposal Ordinance.
   The County Department of health will present its model Safe Medicine Disposal Ordinance that could be implemented throughout the county. 

10.2.1 Request for a Future Agenda Item.  On 3/7/17 Vice Mayor Tibbetts asked for an agenda item in which Council members will discuss having a 'Housing First' speaker present to the Council.
12.1 Resolution - Valet Parking Agreement (VPA of course).  It is recommended by the Finance Department that the Council approve a VPA with the Futrell Corporation which will develop a hotel in the Empire Building, on the northwest corner of Courthouse Square.  Cars would be parked by valets in Garage #12 on First Street.

12.2 Changes to Speed Limits on portions of several roads: Bellevue Ave. Bennett Valley Road and Brookwood Ave. All speeds would be set lower by 5MPH.

12.3 Resolution of Support Authorizing an Application to the State's Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) for $93, 257 in funds to support more frequent service on CitiBus trunk lines.  
   These funds would come from the State's Cap and Trade System.

14.1 Resolution of the Council Approving the Argument in Support of the Cannabis Tax Measure that the Council voted to appear on the June 6 ballot.

14.2  Sonoma County Water Agency 2017/18 Budget and Water Rate Increase.  On April 3, the Water Advisory Committee to the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), which is made up of representatives of each contractor, will vote on whether to increase the water cost  for users.   SCWA's new budget shows a need for an increase in usage payments which might result in an average 2.2% increase.
   The purpose of this item is for the Council to direct Santa Rosa's representative on the WAC, Tom Schwedhelm, on how to vote on 4/3.

14.3 An Update on the Cpurthouse Reunification Project and its costs so far.

14.4 Sustainable Cities Memorandum
   The 'Sustainable Cities' program is a nation-wide model for partnership between cities and universities.   The Council will decide whether to partner with Sonoma State University in this program.

14.5 Sesquicentennial Celebration Event Planning.

    In September, 2018, Santa Rosa will be 150 years old.  An ad hoc group involving city leadership and members of the public has been working since 2015 to discuss how to celebrate the City's birthday.
The committee asks for $23,000 to hire an event coordinator to begin work.

There are Public Hearings having to to do with trash abatement.

See you there!    Anne

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Getting to Housing First in Sonoma County

Problems like homelessness have no simple answers.  For decades, we’ve seen poverty and housing costs rise. Wanting to avoid development sprawl, and enjoy a healthy environment, we contained new housing.  And we knew it would result in higher costs, and the poor would suffer.
Eliminating poverty is not a local option.  For many years, I served on the board of directors of the local, federally-funded poverty agency with a mission to end poverty.  The agency has been consumed just aiding our local poor to keep hope and children alive.
Building affordable housing is closer to a local option.  State and local funds, coupled with local zoning and development authority have allowed some reduced price housing to be built.  Federal, state, city and private funds have opened and closed shelters when it got too cold and wet.
So we shouldn’t be surprised by a movement that demands we do a better job of getting our most vulnerable residents into permanent housing without wasting money cycling them through shelters, or trying to change the behaviors mostly brought on by being homeless and poor.
What should surprise us is the ease with which our representatives are moving to end homelessness without asking us to answer the question “What sacrifices are we willing to make?” .
If we can’t make the poor richer, and we’re not willing to dispoil our environment so badly that housing costs drop, then it looks like our only options are to either: 1) squeeze solutions out of housing developers (and all non-poor housing seekers); or 2) squeeze currently-housed residents to provide new taxes to subsidize poor housing development; or both.  
I vote for both, and I think we should have a full community discussion about it.