My gripe is not with Courthouse Square, although I would not vote for it personally. My frustration is over the lack of due process in allowing this project to pass the correct milestones in relation to timing of community input for design review, as well as for community input over finance and funding mechanism for this project. The budget is for $10 million, which will likely cost much more than that, or about 20 million over 30 years due to the fact that counsel motioned for a funding mechanism called certificates of participation, which is a form of finance that will cost much more in interest payments, risk, and administrative costs. Whereas if counciil chose traditional funding or if they put the cost of the project to a vote for a bond, then the project costs would be much lower. As it is, the community advisory board officiated by counsel did not give the courthouse Square (finance review) the required four community meetings to review the funding mechanism. This is a violation of the city charter. Are you out raged yet? If this project is such a great idea then what is the fear Council has in putting it to a public vote? Answer; because they know it will not pass two thirds majority vote. This project has been opposed for more than three decades, which tells us that the public does not want it. Yet counsel insists on pushing it down the gullet of the taxpayer. Our group has worked tirelessly to attempt to get answers out of council members, city attorney, the city manager, the CFO; of whom obfuscate the details. It is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree getting a clear answer out of them, akin to a shell game. One extreme measure to take would be to repeal the city charter so that Council will stop violating city charter governing laws put into place by the voters. We could replace it with state general law, which is much more restrictive of local government, but that has its drawbacks to. Frustratingly, it would be a pleasure to take the sandbox and toys away from counsel for a while and replace it with stringent general state law until they know how to play by the rules for the people by the people.
Good points. It never hurts a business to go the extra mile with a customer. People talk about their experiences with businesses, and that's called "Word of Mouth".
Only last month, Chipoltle honored an expired 2 for 1 coupon, which was very appreciated.
As you must know, people can get away with criminal behavior for a long time before they're caught. This happens a lot in government, because many people don't realize it, don't believe it, and/or blindly trust.
We need whistle blowers, like Jennifer, to do the time consuming research, then risk telling the truth. Many times, they risk their own safety to protect others from being abused and controlled by those in power.
Doesn't the fact that $42 million went missing cause some suspicion that things might not be on the up and up with SR City Council?
The Courthouse Square reunification project has been discussed by City Council, and written about by the Press Democrat, for YEARS. Why is Jennifer Coleman only now becoming an "activist" about it?
I am still pissed that they removed the redwood trees. The 2 new side streets are unnecessary, there are 3 parking garages within 2 blocks that are usually half empty. Why can't people walk anymore? This removal of beautiful old redwood trees for the sake of cars is so short-sighted. We want walk-able cities that encourage pedestrians, not more streets and cars. And now they have the nerve to host Earth Day in the Square again...I encourage a boycott or protest that day. The City leaders are completely out of touch and operating in a vacuum.
Thank you Jennifer, for your well researched and documented article on Santa Rosa City Council's failure to uphold the city charter guidelines for including resident input for spending their tax money for capitol improvements.
The charter's constitution is ineffective if it's rules aren't enforced. That would seem to make it easy for "special interests" to influence the City Council, and bypass citizen review of proposed expenditures.
I think this could be a big case for an attorney willing to step up to the plate, and "step" on some toes of the offending parties, who's actions would be considered criminal activity in a court of law.
You've done the preliminary detective work, so it should be easy enough for an attorney to take up this very important cause.
This is just another action, in addition to the missing "millions" that should have been spent on much needed housing.
Looks to me like Santa Rosa City Council is getting away with illegal activity bordering on embezzlement. I hope that your hours of dedicated research to represent Santa Rosa citizens is recognized, and honored with a lawsuit.
Also, it would have been nice to have RP city councils support, but I wonder why, if this parcel is on county land, they should be able to "veto"--anybody know?
THANK YOU MR WIIG FOR WRITING THIS! You put it way better than me. Here's what I wrote to the to city council.
"I am writing to you in support of the incubator farm. I am a small-scale organic farmer in the county (entering my 6th year). I benefited from an apprenticeship at an incubator farm (at Hidden Villa, in Los Altos) and came back to Sonoma County, where I grew up, to start my own farm (Let's Go Farm) and run the vegetable portion of Shone Farm. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to see this absolutely necessary institution be blocked by a few neighbors and people who don't realize that the money collected from an Ag preservation and open space district-our money-is supposed to go to Ag preservation as well. Please know that there are many of us in the farming community who want to see this incubator take root. It is essential if we want to support not just our rural citizens, but our urban citizens - after all - everybody eats!
Please take action to support the incubator farm at tonight's meeting.
Lets Go Farm
Santa Rosa, CA
I’m not a medical professional but must comment on this opinion piece. His line of reasoning appears to be “Phytocannabinoids stimulate the vagus nerve causing compulsive consumption of confection”. At best, this is an oversimplification of a compulsive eating disorder; at worst, it is absolutely misleading. This much is correct: the vagus nerves are stimulated by a neuropeptide (ghrelin) produced in the GI tract when the stomach is empty. Specifically, this neuropeptide stimulates vagus nerve receptors, signaling the lateral hypothalamus, initiating appetite and increasing gastric acid secretions. Obviously, the individual’s response to this stimulative process varies and there are people less affected than others. Some people develop an over-sensitive response and have difficulty controlling their food consumption, whether they use cannabis or not. Medical “pot” is clearly not integral to the story and appears to be a red herring.
"When a hurricane wipes out a shantytown, and the science points to the cause being extravagant lifestyles of the global North, we should not be surprised if it results in cycles of terrorism and right-wing reactionary backlash."
There it is. The dumbest damn thing I've ever read. You obviously know nothing about terrorism or hurricanes. "Extravagant lifestyles of the global North" causes hurricanes? What does that even mean?
The Northern Hemisphere is where hurricanes occur, genius. Atlantic hurricanes generally form off the west coast of Africa and travel west. When's the last time a hurricane hit Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Paris? The only "shantytowns" even in the path of a hurricane are in the Caribbean and, the last time I checked, the Haitians weren't blowing up theaters and the Jamaicans weren't shooting up cafes.
Once again, someone who believes himself to be some sort of expert has no clue about reality. Please educate yourself before writing any more of this tripe.
"When a hurricane wipes out a shantytown, and the science points to the cause being extravagant lifestyles of the global North, we should not be surprised if it results in cycles of terrorism and right-wing reactionary backlash. Let's head that off, and work together toward a peaceful, just and climate-protected world."
This is easily the stupidest thing I've read all month. Even IF I accepted the premise that global warming was a root cause of terrorism, which is preposterous on its very face, last time I checked it isn't Haitians and Jamaicans that are exporting terrorism, and no hurricanes are leveling shantytowns in North Africa and the Middle East. Were I the Bohemian's editor, I wouldn't even have considered this for publication.
Excellent Open Mic piece!
I concur 100 percent with each and every one of the excellent points which you have expressed therein.
And to this, I will add that we are now living in a post-Andy Lopez world where the marginalization of our disempowered youth as well as the disparagement of the neighborhoods in which they just happen to reside are no longer going to be tolerated to the unsettling degree which they were in days past.
It is my sincere hope that those who have been so deeply affected by this horrific incident will continue to speak out about the injustices which still plague us, many of which were catapulted to the forefront of the public's consciousness after Andy was gunned down.
In the meantime, let us continue to do all that we can to see to it that a park in Andy's former neighborhood - which, as of the date of October 22, 2013, had been neither conceptualized nor built, 25 years PAST the original date that it was promised the neighbors that it would be - will finally come to fruition and that it will, indeed, bear Andy's name in its official name - as it should be, and as is only fitting.
Dixon, lets just have Jim go down town and show us all this liberty he's talking about while trying to exercise his 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendment rights then come back and let us know how that goes. Oh snap, or drop us a letter from Camp Snoopy!
you are realistic, and see the many ILLEGAL pumps that have been put directly into the Russian River by wineries, and used to irrigate their crops - at unknown and unregulated amounts. THAT is plain and simple fact. 455 wineries are now in Sonoma County, and some richy rich 30 year old yuppie is buying up mass amounts of Sebastopol land, for his precious pinot crop, which will bring the already over stressed highway 12 to a stand still.
In case you weren't aware, we live in one of the richest and most corrupt counties in the country
Jim, it's always nice to get another example of crappy discourse from those who closed-mindedly hold ugly, indefensible positions, (right-wing or otherwise) so thanks again, LOL!
Dixon Wagg, I’ll stand behind my first response to your letter and let your other arguments find enjoyment among your fellow Zinn educated, Bohemian friends.
You show contempt for the ultimate sacrifice others paid to give you the right to do so and you haven’t the wit to recognize the irony.
Debate provides no path for you to crawl out from the stinking hole of that position.
Thank you for recognizing it as an ad hominem attack. I stand behind that too.
Jim Bracco, in my previous response to you, I made a number of arguments which (whether they're right or wrong) you have chosen not to address at all. Instead you have responded with an ad hominem attack. This is not a rational or constructive response. In fact, it's tantamount to acknowledging that you can't make your case but are still unwilling to accept my position even though you can't refute it. This does not reflect well on you.
Dixon Wragg, thanks for showing you're not just a hypocritical ingrate, you're also delusional.
I suggest Guatemala, they have good weed.
Go Sonic Fusion. They know how the programs work. They also know how AT&T works (they don't).
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