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View the latest version (Jan 16, 2018) of City Council Goals & Priorites


December 1, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Diana Rich and Neysa Hinton sworn into their seats on the Council, winners in recent election.
  • Una Glass named as Mayor, Sarah Gurney as Vice-Mayor for the next year.
  • Tobacco retailer license fees discussed and adopted.
  • Committee assignments made, with some heat on who gets to be on the very popular Budget Committee.

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 17, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Ride your bike, while you still can.
  • Various infrastructure-related projects approved, one rejected.
  • City's insurance company joining with others to widen the pool.
  • AB 571 will put limits on campaign contributions for local elections at $4,700 per donor.
  • Election is nearly complete.

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 2, 2020 - City Announcement - New Police Chief:


SEBASTOPOL, CA, November 2, 2020 — Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin today announced that Commander Daniel Healy, currently second-in-command with the Suisun City Police Department, has been selected as Sebastopol’s next Chief of Police. Chief Healy will take the reins from Interim Chief Don Mort on December 14, 2020. The appointment follows a 10-month search, prolonged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following the retirement of Chief James Conner in December of 2019.

Read more details here.


October 20, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Recognition with vast praise for Linda Civitello, retiring Director of the Senior Center.
  • Some streets to get much needed repairs, Park Village Apartment renovations.
  • 2020-2021 Budget ratified, projected to have a $2.2M shortfall, but no one can say what revenues will be these days.
  • Council Member Carnacchi proposed a series of governance/election reforms. Odd timing at best given the election in 10 days, and that he is a candidate. Throw in some personal attacks, and we are reminded that politics in Sebastopol is a contact sport, though that is tough over Zoom. If you miss Necker's Notes on this, you will miss a great line...

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 6, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Openings coming up at yearend on Planning Commission, Design Review Board.
  • City Engineering Manager to retire in January 2021.
  • $2,000 to be spent on public art, awarded in $500 grants, probably via lottery.
  • City hopes to get approval from CalTrans or the State for 4 parklets on downtown streets during holiday season.
  • Hearing held for capital improvement plans; looks like $450k going to street repairs, exactly where TBD.
  • Playgrounds are now open with strict restrictions.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 15, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • The tobacco ordinace is now law, goes into effect in 30 days, adds licensing requirements and prohibits some products.
  • Sebastopol streets are funky in many cases, limited repairs coming.
  • City fees for all sorts of services and permits are going UP, expect to generate $180k more.
  • A virtual League of California Cities Conference and Expo will be attended by Council Oct 7-9, dicey topics perhaps.
  • Florence Ave will NOT be closed for Halloween, Covid thing. Awaiting County advice re Halloween at all.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 1, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Don Mort assigned as acting Police Chief, replacing current acting Chief.
  • Joe and Linda Maloney named as this year's "Locals Who Make A Difference."
  • 16 Seb volunteer firefighters with two engines, have been on the front lines of wildfires, and will be through Labor Day.
  • 3-hour parking limits are coming to several sections of Morris Street.
  • Tobacco retail license ordinance passed 3:2.
  • CoMission contract extended through end of fiscal year, not to exceed $60k.

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 18, 2020 - City Council Meeting - Cancelled

August 4, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • A whopping 13 speakers for Public Comment, half denouncing vandalism of BLM mural on town plaza.
  • And several more with concerns about potential purchase of Sebastopol Inn by the County for a homeless hostel.
  • Letter of support headed to County for imposing fines on COVID contrarians, i.e the maskless.
  • Recology given a $25k gift, given permission to stop Saturday call in customer service.
  • Looks like we are headed to a 5-candidate race for 2 spots on City Council.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 21, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Marghe Mills-Thysen appointed to open seat on the Public Arts Committee.
  • Extended to August 2021 the urgency ordinance for moratorium on new non-hosted vacation rentals of over 30 days.
  • Something happened with parking on Florence Ave, but only Abbott & Costello really understand it.
  • Independent review of the Seb Police Dept approved, with Jerry Threet to conduct it, $30-40k.
  • CoMission spent the first $40k, granted another $40k, towards revitalization of business effort.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 7, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Schedule for 2020/21 Budget approved. Be there, your dollars in action.
  • A tobacco retail licence ordinance is in the works.
  • One result of the special Council meetings is interest in painting Black Lives Matter on the plaza.
  • The idea of a Small Business Loan Sustainability program was introduced.
  • Banners coming too, to mark the "Grand Re-Opening" of downtown, if that should ever occur.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 16, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Yes, there is an election in November. And two Council seats are on the ballot. Your time is here?
  • Remodel of Community Center Kitchen going to bid, estimated cost of $136,620.
  • Community wide conversations regarding the Police Department to be held June 23 and June 30.
  • CoMission presented some findings for the Sebastopol Community Vitality Project, they have spent $30k of the $40k budget since approval May 5.
  • Recology rates are going up.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 2, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Still meeting virtually, or is that virtually meeting, public comment returned.
  • Joel Neuberg appointed to the Sonoma County library Commission.
  • Annual audit reports the City is on solid financial ground, good for another year.
  • However budget adjustments are needed, expecting 19% decrease in revenues.
  • Vice Mayor Glass is working to save Gravenstein Health Action, funded through the Health Care District, set for imminent demise.
  • What? No Parting shot?

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 19, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment finds a silver lining with covid, cycling is less contentious.
  • Vacancies June 30: citizen liaison to Climate committee, seat on the Arts Committee.
  • Banners coming downtown in recognition of 100 years with the women's vote.
  • Big discussion on fireworks sales, given covid and wildfire concerns, by 3:2 vote sales banned this year.
  • City moving ahead with allowing outside dining at restaurants, coming soon to a street near you.
  • Sit back, relax, settle in to your quarantine with this.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 5, 2020 - addendum - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • This is a correction to May 5 notes.
  • There was no vote to approve CoMission for Vitality consultant.
  • Somehow City Staff hired them on their own.
  • Somehow the job went from one part-time person to a multiple person consultancy.
  • Did we really pay 3 people ($94 -$211/hour) to attend a City Council Meeting??

Read the additional notes from John Necker.

May 5, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Better abate your weeds by June 2, or the City may do it for you, on your dime.
  • Untested, first of its kind, BayREN Water Upgrades Savings Program starting in Sebville.
  • Community Vitality Consultant job going to a new company called CoMission. Also untested.
  • Getting used to the ole Zoom format, meeting went 4 1/2 hours.

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 21, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Annual Assessment for street lighting approved, down a tad (LEDs?)
  • With COVID, hotel taxes generated are way down, deferral of payment by our two hotels to the City approved.
  • Climate Action Sub-Committee will wait until after shelter-in-place order lifted to form, a few more members needed.
  • You too can attend meetings in real-time on Zoom. Will the May 5 one be virtual? Here are instructions >>

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 7, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Meeting held on Zoom, and it zoomed by in only one hour.
  • Council endorses Community Center's application for a $1M grant to upgrade the facility.
  • Council to send letter to commercial property owners requesting relief for tenants.
  • The City is maintaining local info re COVID-19, found here on the City website.

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 1, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Wisdom abounds in our City Council, and it is proclaimed.
  • Speaker advocates for return to 2-way traffic on Main, with driving on the left to emphasize the Sebastopol spirit.
  • Sebastopol Citizens to receive much-needed and well-deserved $20k City Funds, in cash. In small brown unmarked bags.
  • In a surprise move, Council says it is now OK to shop at CVS.

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 17, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Shortened meeting due to COVID-19, essential items only. Three physically present, Two via remote access.
  • Local emergency proclaimed for COVID-19, might be eligible for grants from impact. TBD.
  • PGE looking to install microgrid generator for Sebastopol, meets with some objections.
  • Peace Wall to add: Fred Ptucha, Adrienne Lauby, Mary Moore and Joan Baez.

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 3, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • March 15-21 is proclaimed National Surveyor's Week.
  • No public comment. Really?
  • Dollars for seismic safety of Sebastopol homes may be coming, psychoanalysis not covered.
  • Hotel Sebastopol must break ground by March 7, or else?
  • COVID-19 casualty: Sebastopol World Friends has canceled this years exchange.

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 18, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Requests to expand overnight safe parking program for the unsheltered, as done at The Community Church.
  • Annual audit report shows the City is ahead, buckwise.
  • Another Bike to Work Day is coming.
  • Barlow flood plan is just like the old one, except to execute it next time. Dry run yet to be performed. A wet run does not seem like a good way to test it.

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 4, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Feb 12: Analy EcoAction club screening and discussing "Hike the Divide, a Conversation About Climate Action on the Continental Divide Trail"
  • Presentation by Supervisors Lynda Hopkins and David Rabbitt in support of Measure G, sales tax increase for fire services.
  • Vaping discussion, how to discourage use, more to come on this...
  • Little interest in Sebastopol becoming successor agency for dissolving Palm Drive Health Care District.

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 21, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Sebastopol World Friends Friendship Dinner Jan 25 - Japan and Ukraine sister cities.
  • Kincade Fire emergency proclamation officially over.
  • Libby Park playground renewal going out to bid.
  • Cross walk revamp around the town square in works by CalTrans - a MUST read...

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 7, 2020 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • 20th Anniversary of Rialto Cinemas recognized.
  • New water/sewer rates approved. Rates are not going down.
  • Signs for Peets and Supercuts approved. No litigation needed.
  • Formation of a climate action sub-committee authorized.

Read the notes from John Necker.

Bonus Read - Sebastopol's Chinatowns provided by John Necker.

January 1, 2020 - Annual Summary of 2019





Read it here!