Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Interactive Fire Map


This is a useful map, which should be shared with your family and friends trying to understand our situation.



S.R. City Council Agenda, Oct 10th


Thanks again to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, and her report on this week's City Council Agenda. 

The meeting has been postponed until Wednesday, Oct 11th, and  the District Elections Public Hearing until next Tuesday, October 17th:


  There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting.

   There are 2 Consent agenda items asking the Council to approve payments made to contractors in the past which were made incorrectly, without the usual system, but in which the equipment has already been installed.  Essentially, retroactive approvals.

5PM Public Hearing
 15.1 District-based City Council Elections: Compositions of Districts (California Voting Rights Act).   
Why is this happening?   First, the City received a letter from an attorney who has been successful in suing other cities at their great cost, alleging violations of the California Voting Rights Act. When the cities lose the court cases, they have to pay millions in public money to cover attorney expenses, the litigant's and their own..
   Second, Santa Rosa has been ripe for District Elections (DE), as it has annexed a 700 plus acre area in the Southwest, wherein much of the City's Latino population lives.  Spreading the political power in the City, in addition to lowering to a large extent the cost of running for City Council, is the aim.   

   This is the 2nd hearing of 5 to be held. Last week citizens came forward with ideas of what guidelines should and should not be used in the new mapping of districts.
    At this hearing, the same will happen, but with the likely addition of suggestions from several groups for where the lines should be drawn for the districts.
    After this hearing, City staff and the demographic consultant they hired will draw some draft maps and they will be available for the public to comment on.
 Check on the City's website (https://srcity.org) for the maps to see what will be presented to the Council on November 1, at the next Public Hearing.
See you there!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, Sep 26th


Once again, our thanks to Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for her analysis of this week's City Council meeting agenda:

Friends:    There is a Study Session, held in the Council Chambers, at 3PM.
  3.1 Overview of Homeless System of Care.      Staff from City Community Services and the Sonoma County Community Human Development Commission will provide information on current homeless needs and the effectiveness of the existing system of care.   
https://santa-rosa.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=5439590&GUID=8F37FC7C-028F-4ABC-A374-8FF123140380 Homeless Care System
4PM Council Meeting

 10 Mayor's and Councilmembers' Reports
     10.1  Sonoma County Secure Family Fund.  As a result of the President's actions concerning immigration, the Sonoma County Community  Foundation is leading an effort to provide grants to eligible non-profits for deportation defense and other programs to aid at-risk families to take advantage of protections available to them under current law.

  12.3 Multiple Bid Award and Approval of 3 Professional Service Agreements for Temporary Help Services for a period of 3 years with up to 3 years of extension options for an amount of $1.5 Million to each company or $4.5 Million total.  Read below about all the job types to be covered. 

  14.2 Acceptance of the City's Violence Prevention Partnership's 2017-2022 Strategic Plan.

  14.3 Proposed Renter Advocacy and Legal Representation Services.
  The Council could contract with Legal Aid of Sonoma County to provide renter advocacy and legal representation services.
My note:  With the defeat of the Rent Stabilization and Just Cause Eviction ballot measure last year, some members of the Council have been looking at ways renters might still be helped.

See you there!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Santa Rosa Welcoming Downtown High-Rise Development Proposals


I attended two meetings recently at which the City told local business owners and developers that it is courting developers of potential housing projects.  At the Downtown Subcommittee and the Economic Development Subcommittee, the Mayor and three members of the Council heard staff presentations which outlined both the housing developments currently being approved, as well as the opportunities being discussed with developers involving City property which it hopes developers will buy and turn into housing projects.

Approvals for six hundred and thirty-two units are being processed by the Council now, in addition to 306 new hotel rooms.  On four City properties (Ross & B, 2nd & E, 3rd & D, and the City Hall), it is hoped that developers will take advantage of generous density bonuses and height limit variances to retain existing parking and build 7-10 story residential buildings.  Here is a link to the Downtown Development Update PowerPoint presentation used in the meeting.

Why the interest in raising the roofs?  If you'll remember, a series of workshops was sponsored by local architects last year in which the case was convincingly made that the best combination of increased tax revenues to minimum public infrastructure expenses was to build up in the city's core area.   Given also that Santa Rosa's budget has a $5 million deficit, and it owns several large vacant or under-utilized parcels downtown, and you can understand some of the motivation.

Over the next few months, the city will be asking its citizens to comment on key components of the incentives offered to developers to get them to partner with the City on these projects.  David Guhin, Director of the Planning and Economic Development Department, told the Subcommittee that he hopes to issue his "White Paper" soon on proposals for density bonus elements, low income inclusionary requirements in for-sale developments, and accessory and junior accessory development ordinances.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Santa Rosa Political Earthquake


This Tuesday's Santa Rosa City Council Agenda's last item is an earth-shaker.


BACKGROUND:  On July 17, 2017, the City received a claim alleging that the City’s at-large election of councilmembers is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended by the City Attorney that the Council, by resolution, state its intent to respond to claim regarding the City’s compliance with the California Voting Rights Act. "

We might as well declare a political emergency, and admit that everything else the City is doing is now on the back burner.  The City has 90 days to act if it wishes to avoid the payment of large legal fees, and the imposition of district election boundaries by a judge.

To design your own political maps of the City, start with some of the tools which can be downloaded from the County Registrar of voters website:

Santa Rosa Precinct Maps
Santa Rosa Supervisor Districts

Thursday, July 13, 2017

S.R. City Council Agenda, July 18th


Once again, thanks to our friend, Anne Seeley, of Concerned Citizens For Santa Rosa, for this analysis of next week's City Council agenda:

Dear Friends: This report lack links to staff reports because I'm writing it on Thursday evening, before the links are available.

   There is no Study Session before the 4PM meeting.

  12.3 Request for authorization for a One Bay Area Grant 2 for 2 things: 1) pavement rehabilitation for various streets; and 2) for the design of the Highway 101 Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge planned to arch over 101 between the Junior College Area and the west side of 101.   The intended purposes for the bridge are to facilitate safe connections between west and east (the freeway underpasses have been found wanting for those not in cars) and to make available lower cost west-side housing to those (including JC students) who work and study on the east side of the freeway.

  14.3 Contract Agreement with Employee units Representing Executive Management, Middle Management and Confidential Staff. It's a 3-year contract with a 3% salary increase in year one, 1.3% in year 2 and 2.25% in year 3, for a total of 6.5% increase over 3 years.  The total cost for the next fiscal year is $588,164.00, to come from the General Fund Unassigned Fund Balance.

  14.4 Two Year Contract with Police and Fire Management units.  Total cost is $163,971 to come from the General Fund Unassigned Fund Balance.

No Public Hearings.

See you there!   Anne

Friday, June 30, 2017

Local Articles on Homelessness


Here are some articles you may have missed concerning "Housing First"(most recent on top)

Applause for Tent City and a word of caution about the city’s promises

Juneau’s Housing First opening delayed until September


Madison's biggest attempt at Housing First for homeless produces hope and unease

Move in Day: Amarillo Housing First Furnishes Homeless Woman's New Home

Advocates tout success of Housing First in fight against homelessness

Amarillo Housing First cleans up with car wash fundraisers

HUD makes $2 billion available to homeless programs: encourages Housing First

lnspira Donates $50K to Help End Homelessness in South Jersey County by 2020

Grand Forks LaGrave on First project set for groundbreaking as soon as August

Housing first, then personal transformation for the homeless

Three year Housing First - San Diego plan kicks off

Housing people fast is five times cheaper than homelessness - here's why

Seattle City Councilman says ‘Housing First’ is Key to Solving Homelessness. But Is That the Answer?

Will County Declares and End to Homelessness for Veterans

Is This Complex Affordable Housing Deal a Promising Model or a Unicorn?

Group tackling homelessness one person at a time

Program to Spur Low-Income Housing Is Keeping Cities Segregated

Creating a Home for L.G.B.T. Seniors in New York City

House Republicans want to kill a key federal housing policy. City Hall is not happy

The Disappearing Downtown Shelter

Advocates tout success of Housing First in fight against homelessness

‘Housing First’ only process that’s proven to rapidly end homelessness

Don't Abandon Housing First

Ted Yoho urges Ben Carson to reverse Obama-era ‘Housing First,’ reinstate homeless shelter funds

Madison's biggest attempt at Housing First for the homeless produces hope and unease

Homeless cleanups in L.A. have surged, costing millions. What has been gained?

Miniature Homes: A Possible Solution For San Angelo's Homeless

1 in 5 L.A. community college students is homeless, survey finds

Seattle to Award $30 Million in Homeless Services Contracts

June 29th:

Sonoma County confronts state over $9 million in outstanding Medi-Cal mental health payments

June 25th

June 26th
June 17th

June 16th