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Council Meeting notes - Highlights

October 16, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • PC: Thanks for HAWK at Burbank Heights, no thanks on cell tower, camping on Morris St, and bike lanes.
  • Zero Waste coming to Sebastopol...more in this PD story.
  • Zoning Ordinance approved, annexation near Tomodachi Park - Joe Rodota Trail initiated.
  • City Code to prevent camping in vehicle on public property to be rescinded. Unconstitutional.
  • Adding underage weed consumption to Social Host Ordinance discussed.

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 2, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment a-plenty! Several critical of the new bike lanes through downtown.
  • Another called for no nighttime parking on Morris St. And of course, another EMF rant.
  • Sebastopol World Friends seeks middle school student ambassadors for exchange program with Takeo City, Japan.
  • 2 seats on Planning Commission, 3 seats on Design Review opening up Dec 31.
  • Zoning Ordinance headed toward approval; Zoning Map approved.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 18, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Lynda Hopkins thanked everyone for their help in last year's fires, and brought a check from FEMA for $64k.
  • Public comment. Yup. EMF. Yup. Misc rambling & castigating. Yup.
  • Ghilotti completed sewer and water pipe repair/replacements, at a final cost of $1.5M
  • Discussion on parking restrictions on Morris St, and over-size vehicle restrictions in residential areas. No decisions.
  • Various traffic studies are desired, but cost too much.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 4, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • The usual rants of public comment, though with a newcomer bent on borderline abuse.
  • Conflict of interest code was approved, no evidence of collusion around here.
  • Letters in support of SB 12, and opposition to SB 3157 were approved.
  • The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 elevates the word SNAFU to new heights.
  • Various bids came in, over the expected prices. Some work approved.

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 7, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Kari Svanstrom begins her stint as the new City Planning Director. Welcome from Sebastopol Citizens.
  • Vice Mayor Hinton convinces Council to delay purchase of $94k ginormous dump truck until after the election. Next: US Supreme Court nominee?
  • Sebastopol Hotel project gets reduction in city fees, will be first net zero energy hotel in California.
  • Meg Mizutani of Sebastopol World Friends to be next Locals Who Make a Difference honoree.
  • Don't skip the Parting Shot, folks.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 17, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • EMF speakers continue to dazzle, razzle...
  • Holly Hansen renewed for another year as Outreach Community Coordinator.
  • A couple ballot items coming for November election related to taxes.
  • City fees for Mr Music Peacetown Summer Concert series at Ives Park reduced.
  • RFPs authorized for traffic studies on the SR 116 through town.
  • The old cement plant has been purchased by The Barlow.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 19, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Stephen Zollman appointed to Library Commission.
  • New mural coming to north wall of Basso Building.
  • Election in November - seats held by Slayter, Gurney, and Glass on the ballot.
  • $2k found for appeciation dinner for volunteer board members.
  • Budget adopted. RFP to go out for study to look at returning to two-way traffic downtown.
  • Pine Grove Committee changes its name - why? View their latest report.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 5, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Kenyon Webster retires; Carson Pforsich named first for "Locals Who Made A Difference" program.
  • Two “citizen representative” positions open with the Task Force Integrated Waste Management Committee.
  • Final weed abatement resolution adopted. Keep those weeds down or the city will. On your tab.
  • Budget approval gets dicey as Carnacchi tries to hold the meeting hostage, his attempt fails.
  • Carnacchi's descretionary annual $500 to go towards a thank-you dinner for Planning Commissioners.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 15, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Mr. Necker mailed this one in
  • We are loaning our buiding inspector part-time to Rohnert Park
  • Yurts galore in this report
  • Proposed 2018-2019 Budget getting reviewed
  • Local Sebastopol bus 24 will be FREE for a while

Read the notes from John Necker.




May 1, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • The EMF lady: blah, blah, blah, blah.
  • Fireworks will again be on sale in Seb for 4th July.
  • Outreach Coordinator presented annual report
  • Comprehensive update to zoning ordinance to comply with General Plan has begun. No decisions yet.
  • Affordable housing is oxymoronic in Sebtown.

Read the notes from John Necker.




April 17, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • No mercy in public comment - 30 minutes of blather for which Seb Council has no jurisdiction.
  • Lighting assessment increasing. If we had LEDs, it would decrease.
  • Grant being submitted to FEMA to fund a fulltime firefighter.
  • Sebastopol World Friends, a fantastic sister city organization, reported on latest trip of 28 folks to Takeo, Japan.
  • Linda Hopkins and Mayor Slayter pitched a $300M bond for housing, for the November ballot.

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 3, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Steve Levenberg appointed to county Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
  • City to join with county to finance first steps to improve several bike & road conditions.
  • Cittaslow reported.
  • Ned Kahn's sculpture for the East entrance to town, a new design required by Caltrans, will go forward.
    <-- See the picture, left

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 20, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Still no energy-saving, cost-saving, low maintenance LEDs on our streets.
  • Dangers of EMF and other random items make up public comment.
  • A flashing beacon system will be installed at Bodega Ave & Ragle Rd.
  • Sonoma County Library Commission has a vacant seat.
  • With lots of consternation, Council approves new building on the CVS lot.
    <-- See the picture, left
  • Planning Commision to look at updating the Telecom Ordinance before Verizon installs 5G antennas.

Read the notes from John Necker.


March 6, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Snap crackle pop of EMF detector competes with BS detector in public comment.
  • Sebastopol pot ordinance is now approved.
  • 10k Race coming to the Barlow on April 14.
  • Council overrules Planning Commission approval for downtown fitness gym.
  • Want your PGE meter read every month? Get a Smart Meter.
  • Under 3 hour meeting, congratulations.

Read the notes from John Necker.


February 20, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment, the usual mixed bag.
  • Pot ordinance becoming permanent, wafting towards approval, includes delivery options.
  • Application to add another building on the CVS property continued to March 20.
  • Public Art Committee looking to place some art on front of the library.
  • New "Sound Like a Fit?" brochure pitching Sebastopol approved.
  • No Council Reports, no parting shot.

Read the notes from John Necker.



February 6, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment. Yup.
  • Apple Blossom Parade is April 22
  • County Bike-Pedestrian Committee needs citizen volunteer. Application here.
  • Another update on pedestrian-bike path to Petaluma
  • The "Door to Hell" sculpture needs a new home. Yours for $20k.
  • Caltrans work on 116 is hitting its own potlholes.

Read the notes from John Necker.




January 16, 2018 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment does not disappoint
  • Pine Grove Square - parking study is controversial
  • Sebastopol pot laws extended 10 months
  • LED lights fail again 5:0, no annual $26k saving for Sebville

Read the notes from John Necker.



January 1, 2018 - Annual Summary 2017 - Read it here.

December 19, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • DRB and Planning Commission seats filled, not without drama
  • Marking for bike lanes completed
  • Fee structure for granny units to be examined...reductions coming?
  • Recreational pot sales will go ahead in Sebastopol starting Jan 1
  • Is a brand new $8.5M library in Sebastopol's future?

Read the notes from John Necker.



December 5, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Patrick Slayter is now Mayor, Neysa Hinton is Vice Mayor
  • 7-layer aluminum hat protects public comment speaker from EMF
  • A new LED proposal from PGE, with a warmer 3k color, would save Sebastopol $26,000 a year, got a frosty Luddite response
  • Establishing rules for recreational pot sales moving forward, expect an urgency ordinance to make the Jan 1 deadline
  • Grinding, repaving work on 116 from Mill Station Rd to McKinley St takes place 12/11 thru 12/15 from 7pm to 7am - yes that's all night - details here

Read the notes from John Necker.



November 21, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • After 10 years, Diana Rich to retire as Director of the Community Center
  • Volunteer firefighters to get protective pants and coats
  • $245k contract awarded for HAWK flashing light at Bodega and Nelson Way
  • Housing committee reported
  • Caltrans adding bike lane markings, with issues

Read the notes from John Necker.



November 7, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Closed session, litigatin rolls on, even over CVS
  • 13 people had their say at public comment
  • Median strips on Covert lane to be removed for bike lanes
  • Is a second building coming to the CVS site? Stay tuned...

Read the notes from John Necker.


October 17, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Jeff Weaver, on the force since 1989, retires as Police Chief
  • Long discussion on City Fees, and use of public property for private profit
  • Ives Park could use an update, no money

Read the notes from John Necker.




October 3, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - from the inappropriate to the inane
  • Natchez Crape Myrtle replaces Flowering Pear as official Main St tree
  • $1.3M awarded to Ghilotti to replace ailing sewer and water lines
  • Ragle Rd at Bodega Ave is headed for a stop-light, with a flashing light system as interim

Read the notes from John Necker, partially fueled by gin.


September 19, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment gets very private
  • There are opening on Design Review Board and Planning Commission
  • Bodega Ave and Nelson Way to get HAWK pedestrian crossing, $271k
  • Signs will no longer be allowed on Bodega Ave coming in from West County

Read the notes from John Necker.


September 5, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • John Necker called away on special assignment to Bizzaro, the capital of Berserkistan

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 1, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • 6 projects approved totaling approximately $1,500,000.
  • Educational training by police dept approved for those selling alcohol in town
  • Plans for Ned Kahn's sculpture moving forward
  • Hiway 116 through town to be repaved by CalTrans

Read the notes from John Necker.



July 18, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Jill McLewis takes over as Exec Director of Chamber of Commerce
  • Various funding items approved
  • Sebastopol World Friends reported on an April visit to Ukraine
  • The Council will staff a table at the Farmer's Market as a public service
  • Perhaps a record...only 1 hour, 20 minutes long

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 20, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Teresa Ramondo honored for 28 years at the Chamber of Commerce
  • Four more names to be added to the Peace Wall
  • $1.2M grant accepted towards Bodega Ave bike lanes, half the cost
  • Pine Grove Square parking study going forward. Pay attention here.
  • Big gopher problem this year, owls recruited, another solution in the Notes...

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 6, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Lots of action on Open Mic, including irascible...
  • Lighting assessment is up, anyone up for saving $40k with LEDs?
  • Pine Grove Square - development of the parking lot between South Main and Petaluma Ave - is getting some traction. Stay tuned...are we headed to CVS II? This is the mind-meld portion of our story.
  • Capital Improvement budget passed, includes paving of Willow St.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 15 & 16, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Special Meeting May 15 - CalPERS unfunded liabilities of $9M
  • Mid-year budget adjustment of $234k - unexpected repairs
  • Sebastopol World Friends presentation on recent Japanese visitors
  • Overview of 2017-2018 Budget given by Finance Director
  • Kept alive by one person, the Willow/Jewell non-problem intersection has not faded away. Is this a good place to put a large amount of limited City cash?

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 4, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Necker unable to attend, but still has stimulating commentary
  • Fire Department needs volunteers
  • Medicine disposal presentation
  • Letter from Mayor Glass to PG & E, once again opposing Smart Meters, here it is

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 21, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Library flashing crosswalk to be repaired by Ghilotti for $148k
  • Time Bank Program (want to milk a cow?) presentation by Cittaslow
  • Contract approved for West County Community Services to manage Village Mobile Home Park
  • Waddaboring fills the void to keep the meeting going, still a short one at only 150 minutes

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 7, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • 10th Annual Sebastopol Film Festival is March 23-26
  • Annual lighting assesment report coming - any LEDs part of that??
  • Willow St from High to Jewell will be repaired, $257k
  • Granny Units, large and small, may some day be cheaper and easier to add
  • Carnacchi renews push for a traffic bypass, City to contact Caltrans

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 21, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment once again dominated by resistance to Smart Meters, despite no Council jurisdiction
  • A 10k beer run may be coming to the Barlow April 15th
  • After very long discussion, Council approved resolution 4:1 formalizing Sebastopol's sanctuary-city attitude, and approved 4:1 a letter in support of state-bill SB 54 along the same lines
  • Sebastopol Senior Center's request for emergency funding approved 5:0, $25k now, another $25k in a month pending review

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 7, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Smart Meter resistance gets a little tepid support
  • 2016/17 budget approved
  • Zoning changes approved 5:0 for the new hotel, 4 stories, 50 feet ok'd
  • $150k approved 4:1 to get bids to stripe bike lanes through city streets
  • Annexation of Village Mobile Home Park and Tomodachi Park discussed

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 17, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Bids will be solicited to fix the crosswalk lighting at Bodega Ave/High St.
  • Approved 5:0 to amend zoning ordinance to allow 4 stories/50 feet for the proposed Sebastopol Hotel
  • Denied 5:0 the appeal from Lynn Deedler, lone dissenter on DRB, of DRB approval of same Hotel
  • Back to normal duration...5 hours, 20 minutes

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 3, 2017 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - Nada for the whole meeting!
  • Reports from Holly Hansen, the Seb outreach person
  • Cittaslow report
  • A mere 1:15 meeting length. Must be a record.

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 1, 2017 - Annual Summary 2016 - Read it here.

December 20, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment, the usual mixed bag
  • Repaving Willow St between High and Jewell out to bid
  • Fire Department may need to increase paid staff
  • Traditional Living Inc is coming to town. Cheetos not included.
  • Affordable housing, including rent control, went to sub-committee
  • Granny unit housing will have new state-mandated rules starting Jan 1

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 6, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Neysa Hinton and Michael Carnacchi installed on the City Council
  • Una Glass is the new Mayor, Patrick Slayter the Vice Mayor
  • The Jewell Ave/Willow St intersection thing (is this really an issue?) got tabled
  • 3% Rent control moratorium EXTENDED for another 6 months

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 15, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • General Plan approved, but not without some last minute tweaking
  • Sonoma Clean Power presentation on energy saving. No mention how smart meters could help.
  • Hotel project on Depot Street gets a big dose of slow-go Sebastopol
  • Lease for KOWS antenna approved
  • 5 1/2 hour meeting

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 1, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Early meeting to discuss Willow/Jewell intersection - see report link in Necker's Notes
  • Public comment tag-team ranting back in action
  • Seats are OPEN on Planninc Commission and Design Review Board - Sign up NOW!
  • Rent control - urgency moratorium on increases passed 4:1 effective immediately, not retroactive, just retro. This item has moved superfast through the soon-to-be reconstituted Council, with little analysis or research.

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 18, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Sebastopol World Friends - Friendship Dinner at Enmanji Temple - Nov 5
  • Sebastopol officialy is now on record against TPP
  • Public comment continues to entertain, if not inspire
  • Discussion on increasing city fees
  • Rent control has been put on the Agenda. An urgency resolution to freeze rents will be voted on next meeting. Since this was introduced with little preparation, and deemed urgent, outside counsel will be required to prepare the resolution at an estimated cost of at least $10,000.

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 4, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Kenyon Webster, our Planning Director, recognized for 20 years of service.
  • Public comment returns to its long-standing traditions
  • Pay ranges, view here, approved for City staff
  • Are they really going to change Willow St/Jewel intersection? Will they tell the residents beforehand?
  • Lots more to do with roads, and the City relationshiop to the County.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 20, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Medal of Merit to explorer Ryan Imschweiler, on a police ridealong, stepped in to help out
  • Public commenter complimented City staff - refreshing change!
  • Presentation from Analy 1:4:1, a drug avoidance program.
  • New City website is coming! - presentation from Planeteria, the designers.
  • New lighting at the Skate Park
  • General Plan moving along. Might remove parking at the Plaza.

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 2, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Vice Mayor Glass was absent
  • Appointed Lars Langberg to fill vacant DRB position
  • No public comment speakers...summertime break
  • City will pay $1585 to try three 2700K LED lights for a few months instead of using PGE's free 4000K lights
  • $5700 will be spent to research the Jewell and Willow intersection, a solution in search of a problem
  • You know you are in Sebastopol when a request is made to change "Before I Die" to "While I live and Love"

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 19, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • All Councilmembers present
  • Public comment - back to the normal droning on...
  • Library Commission report
  • Cittaslow report from attending a conference in Portugal, paid for by Cittaslow International
  • Bids solicited to pave Willow St between Jewel and High.
  • Jewell and Willow intersection will get some study...

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 5, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • All Councilmembers present
  • No one spoke at public comment - really?
  • Nov 8 - election for 2 seats on Council. Free beer from Necker if you run!
  • Renewed contract for Holly Hansen as Communication Outreach Coordinator
  • Moved ahead to request bids for EIR for the KOWS antenna proect - unclear who pays for it
  • A new questionnaire (litmus test?) is being developed for those wishing to do business in Sebtown.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 21, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • (Robert Jacob on leave)
  • Contract approved to slurry some streets
  • Design Review Board has an opening - apply now!
  • 2016-17 budget adopted
  • Complete Streets Advisory Committee is on the ropes
  • Urban Growth Boundary was adopted by the Council, not submitted to voters as expected.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 7, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • (Robert Jacob on leave)
  • Mel Davis, City Manager from 1965 to 1993, has passed.
  • June 20 is Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day.
  • Council formed a committee to meet with Seb Independent Charter School over their wish to build a new campus on Hurlbut, and is being opposed by our Council.
  • Petition for renewal of Urban Growth Boundary through 2041 moving forward.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 31, 2016 - Special City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • (Robert Jacob on leave)
  • Council reiterated its opposition for Seb Ind Charter School to build a new school on Hurlbut near O'Reilly.
  • KOWS antenna appeal by SHARP of Planning Commission approval - only agenda item - decision to uphold the appeal, but also require a limited EIR. Not quite done with this one...

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 16, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • (Robert Jacob on leave)
  • AT&T wants to decomission landline telephone service
  • Cittaslow reported
  • Seb Independent Charter School wish to build a new campus on Hurlbut is being opposed by our Council.
  • Just to confuse the whole GMO debate more, we now have a proposed Transgenic Contamination Ordinance to digest, which has been endorsed by our Council, the first in the County.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 3, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • (Robert Jacob on leave)
  • Bike lane project rolls on...
  • Appeal of Planning Commission approval for an antenna for KOWS radio went on 3.5 hours, no decision.
  • Special meeting on May 31st will revisit the KOWS antenna issue.
  • Does your cell phone have a "stun" mode?

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 19, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Robert Jacob is on extended leave.
  • Bike lane project rolls on, streets to get slurried to complete repairs
  • Sebastopol World Friends reported on recent visit to Japan
  • Preliminary review of annexation of Village Park, Tomodachi Park
  • Meeting with CalTrans to deal with traffic at new CVS development

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 5, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • John Necker was absent, and still wrote his notes...
  • Seats are open on Streets Advisory, Public Arts, and Planning Commission.
  • Water treatment improvements completed on Well 7.
  • Measure AA, a parcel tax increase, wants Council support.

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 15, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Robert Jacob was absent.
  • Annual street lighting report to be prepared - any LEDs??
  • Council accepted the traffic and air quality study for the proposed Piazza Hotel at 2824 Depot Street.
  • The Village Building Convergence (VBC) pitched a totally raw, 50-page plan for an event to be held on April 15-24. This was a disaster!

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 1, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • All 7 Consent items approved as agendized.
  • Ives Pool presented annual report, 75 years and counting!
  • $35k contract awarded to produce preliminary plan for new Civic Center in parking lot near Hopmonk.
  • CVS permit approved for demo and grading. Is the bank back in the mix?
  • KOWS approved antenna permit has been appealed

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 16, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Police Chief Jeff Weaver named Citizen of the Year
  • Skate Park expansion going forward, $53k project
  • PGE presents case for LED lighting in City. Council makes no decision, fearing some folks good vibrations may get disrupted. Are you kidding me?
  • More on water conservation, Urban Growth Boundary, and, bike lanes...

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 2, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Maybe we need a traffic light at Burbank Heights?
  • New City website is coming, $40k price tag
  • Paul Fritz appointed to vacant spot on Planning Commission
  • Council goals and priorities same as last year
  • CVS notified City that it plans to pull building permits in the next couple weeks

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 19, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - have you seen the City brochure for development of Sebastopol Tractor site?
  • Updated Landscape Ordinance was approved - do you need a permit?
  • Proposed hotel in Barlow request upped from 62 rooms to 90. New traffic/air study now needed.
  • Ratto Group, our garbage hauler, wants to drop some items from the recycle list.
  • Seat on Planning Commission has opened up, term ends Dec 2016. APPLY by Jan 28!
  • What happened to PG&E's proposal for LED lighting in the City, saving $54k per year??

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 5, 2016 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Visitors from the planet Outder make public comment
  • David Gordon, Warren Arnold, and Jennifer Wertz selected for The Public Arts Committee
  • Keating Ave and Seb Community Center projects completed under budget
  • Urban Growth Boundary and greenbelt protection issues need to be addressed
  • Bike lanes through town stir much discussion following failed grant request for $800k

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 28, 2015 - 2015 Yearly Summary!

Read it! from John Necker.

December 15, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • More fun at public comment
  • Way Finding Sign Project was awarded to Studio L'Image
  • Medical marijuana resolution easily passes urging county to get its act together by March 1
  • The $89,200 Laguna Preserve Management Plan was continued
  • Kenyon Webster scores a grant for $383k for skate park improvements

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 1, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Sarah Gurney selected as Mayor, Una Glass as Vice-Mayor for 2016
  • Public comment rallies pot growers
  • Tree lighting December 3 from 5-8pm
  • $240k to be spent reparing streets - is yours on the list?
  • Lots more in the over 5 hour meeting...

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 3, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Reminder for Sebastopol World Friends annual dinner Nov 7 - All welcome
  • Florence Ave resident reported to police, told to cease use of his leafblower - in violation of the (absurd level) 55 dba noise limit - are you kidding me??
  • Skate Park expansion plans moving forward
  • All this and much, much more...

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 20, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Only 3 Councilmembers present - no Eder or Jacob. Shorter than normal meeting...hmmm
  • Sebastopol World Friends annual dinner Nov 7 - All welcome
  • Formula business ordinance passed without comment 3:0
  • Is there a drive-through compromise in place?

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 6, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Proclamations & Public comment - back to normal
  • Seats opening on Planning Commission, Design Review Board, and Public Arts - sign up!
  • Living Peace Wall approved
  • Formula business ordinance has the bar raised. Free-range beeswax candles still ok.
  • Vice Mayor Gurney appeals for donations to Seb Community Fund, and slams the Rotary in the process.

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 15, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - NONE - a miracle
  • LED streelighting proposal from PGE met with skepticism, even though it could save $54,000 a year.
  • Sewer ordinance gets through second reading
  • Second reading of formula business ordinance goes nowhere, gets tabled
  • Complete Streets update
  • Berries are ready in the Railroad Brier Patch - get yours now!

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 1, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Proclamations and public comments abound
  • Exploring getting a new Civic Center...for free?
  • Faster solar permit process coming
  • Kathleen Shaffer was ahead of her time
  • CVS to add electric car charging stations
  • Formula business ordinance passes first reading

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 4, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Engineering Director Sue Kelly honored upon retirement
  • Public comment to limit to Sebastopol's jurisdiction?
  • Yard debris can rates are going up
  • City to continue as enforecement agency for Fircrest Mobile Home Park
  • Bike lane may be coming to Highway 116
  • Whether it is legal or not, CPUC will capitulate to any city that bans smart meters. What's next?

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 21, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Open Mike - train horn at noon?
  • City Clerk can do your marriage now
  • Parklets coming September 18
  • CVS will clean up weeds, may start demo this summer?

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 7, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Open Mike - no surprises
  • Approved upgrades to Skate Garden, to Keating Ave, and for police radios
  • Formula business BAN discussed, sent back to staff for tweaks
  • Blackberries still green, and plentiful

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 30, 2015 - Special City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Chief Weaver finds $84k for Analy's 1:4:1 program
  • City employees agreements updated
  • Annual budget passed
  • Blackberries make a comeback

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 5, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Proclamations, of course
  • Public Comment, of course
  • Measure A - is it just for roads, or not?
  • Barlow BIG signs kicked back to DRB, like a cheap suit

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 21, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Tin foil makes a comeback at Public Comment
  • Parklets coming soon to a parking space near you
  • Blue Cross dropped from the City plan
  • Possible record short meeting - only 1:50 long

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 7, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Proclamations - a couple warrant a Parting Shot
  • Community Center remodel approved
  • Yearly report on Ives Pool, a marvel of operation
  • Report from Palm Drive Hospital - open by April 27 ?
  • Peace Wall going forward, though not unanimously

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 30, 2015 - Special City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - as always, no opportunity missed
  • Review and approval of Draft housing Element

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 17, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public comment - more complaints from neighbors of Rotten Robbie car wash
  • The city’s Sewer Management Action Plan (SSMP) was recertified
  • Presentation by Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force (formed as a result of Andy Lopez shooting

Read the notes from Dan Swedenborg.

March 3, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Public commentback to normal with a mix of good information and conspiracy theories
  • September 18 - some parking spaces will be parks
  • Housing element of General Plan is far from ready
  • Skate Park is getting lights by 5:0 vote, neighbors less than happy
  • Robert Beauchamp resigns DRB, blasts the City, replaced by Alexis Persinger

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 17, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • No speakers at public comment - a first!
  • Cary Bush and Christine Level appointed to DRB
  • CVS agreement approved
  • Councilmembers Eder and Jacob try and fail to restrict free speech by Chamber of Commerce

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 3, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Only 1 speaker at Open Mike
  • Sign honoring sister city Takeo will get posted at The Plaza
  • Council goals and priorities updated - Top Ten list in Necker's Notes
  • Council supports raising sales tax cap that the City can add to the State
  • Major pushback on proposed winery just east of town!

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 6, 2015 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Candidates for Planning Commission and Design Review Board interviewed
  • Miss Sonoma County stops by
  • Qualifications take a back seat to politics for DRB selections
  • Drive-through ban made permanent with 5:0 vote.
  • Getting arsenic out of our wells gets silly

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 31, 2014 - 2014 Summary of City Council Meetings -

  • The whole year in one quick scan
  • Digested into sound bites for the especially active citizen
  • But quick and easy links to dig deep and relive those special moments

Read the 2014 Review from John Necker.

December 16, 2014 - City Council Meeting - highlights:

  • Ukrainian visitors welcomed through Sebastopol World Friends
  • Ordinance for ban on drive-throughs was introduced and discussed
  • A new interpretation of the acronym CVS is suggested by reporter Necker
  • The Independent Charter School would like to move to Hurlbut Ave

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 2, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Patrick Slayter selected as Mayor, Sarah Gurney as Vice Mayor for the next year
  • Ukrainians coming to visit Sebastopol through Sebastopol World Friends
  • $90,000 awarded for preparation of a Laguna Preserve management plan.
  • Skate Park expansion plan moves forward
  • Street naming policy being explored, renaming part of 116 for sister city Takeo discussed

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 18, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Closed session preceeded the meeting - more threats of litigation
  • Rejects all bids to remodel Community Center, no funds
  • Standing room only crowd over proposed class 1 bike lane to Petaluma and more - lots of objections to the $1.4 million project.
  • Went on record in favor of a GMO ban, sending a resolution to County Supervisors

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 21, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Extends moratoium on "formula" businesses
  • Endorses $15/hour minium wage for Sonoma County workers
  • After jerking around the architect and owner for years, approves 961 Gravenstein project
  • The old Diamond Lumberyard and what to do with it is under discussion

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 7, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Have any dental issues - maybe EMF is the culprit?
  • Seats are OPEN on the Planning Commission and Design Review Board - apply now!
  • Is the CVS Issue finally resolved?

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 16, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Meet and Greet at Ives beforehand
  • Yet another closed session on CVS - what is taking so long?
  • Who'd have thought extending the lease at Gold Ridge Farm would have controversy?

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 2, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Only three Councilmembers present - short meeting
  • Public comment - great writeup from Mr Necker. Don't miss it.
  • 8 items sail through on the consent calendar.
  • Sebastopol has done great conserving water, but must still compy with state law.

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 5, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Public comment links cell phones, EMF to mind control. Again.
  • 9 items sail through on the consent calendar
  • Water supply for Sebastopol is good, but the state may still require conservation at Stage 2
  • The Sebastopol Village Building Convergence received special, expedited treatment for a proposed 10-day festival in September
  • The Annual League of California Cities has asked its cities for a position on a resolution asking the Governor and Legislature to take action regarding "the devastating environmental impacts of illegal marijuana growth on both private and public lands." ...juicy issue for Sebastopol.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 15, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • $94,000 needed to repair City Hall roof
  • Helena Whistler appointed to the Sonoma County Library Commission
  • Utility User Tax extension to be added to ballot, and will include more utilities
  • Take the The General Plan Update Survey.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 1, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Elections in November will have 3 Council seats open
  • Capital improvement plan for 2014/15 announced
  • Abatement of arsenic in well #7 is imminent
  • Is the CVS/Chase nightmare over? Read this Sonoma West story to find out.

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 17, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Only 17 minutes of public comment
  • Presentations: Senior Center, Complete Streets, and Laguna Preserve
  • 2014-2015 budget approved

Read the notes from Dan Swedenborg.

June 3, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Tribute to Michael Kyes
  • Weed abatement resolution passed
  • 2014-2015 budget discussion

Read the notes from Dan Swedenborg.

May 27, 2014 - Special City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Address process for replacing Councilmember Michael Kyes, following his passing on May 25

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 20, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Another closed session re CVS lawsuit, no report
  • "Open mic night" entertaining, as usual
  • Cittaslow presentation, and more "entertaining" public comment
  • Appeal of a DRB denial to build a house was granted 3:2
  • Sebastopol officially opposes fracking in CA, by a 5:0 vote

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 6, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • "Open mic night" got back to its usual assortment of questionable topics
  • Approved resolution for property tax reform
  • Quarterly financial report not looking so great
  • Repealed chapter 5.12 - fortune telling, prophesy and mind reading no longer illegal
  • Wants to help Palm Drive Hospital, does not know how

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 15, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • "Open mic night" was pretty quiet again - is this a trend?
  • Approved use of an herbicide
  • General Plan advisory committee - selections made
  • Approved 4:1 (Kyes dissent) to study a return to two-way traffic system

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 1, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • 2 closed sessions beforehand
  • "Open mic night" was pretty quiet
  • "Peace Wall" is back on the agenda
  • General Plan advisory committee - discussion on how to choose it
  • Revenue issues - continue the utility tax, add more sales tax??

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 18, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • "Open mic night" hits a new low
  • Presentations from Ives Pool and CERES Project
  • City revenues are down
  • Sub-committee will conduct public discussion on use of the old lumber yard
  • Allocated $1000 to look at building a new City Hall

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 4, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • "Open mic night" almost got revised, but in the end again entertains, annoys
  • A presentation from "Sebastopol Village Convergence."
  • We will add equipment to filter out arsenic from well #7
  • Facade Improvement Program passed to grant up to $2500 to any business in town to upgrade their facade.

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 4, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • "Open mic night" again entertains, annoys
  • 5:0 vote to send an anti-fluoride letter to the County, despite a plea from a County Supervisor to wait until a couple key reports come in. Don't let facts get in the way of an ideology. More in this PD story.
  • Laguna Vista Project again continued to another meeting

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 21, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Bits and pieces night - lots of smaller items - read Necker's Notes
  • Laguna Vista Project was discussed, 5:0 vote continued to another meeting

Read the notes from John Necker.

January 7, 2014 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Two parter: 4:00 interviews for Design Review Board
  • Appointed Bob Beauchamp, Lynn Deedler and Bill Shortridge to DRB by 3:1 vote (Slayter dissents, questions professional qualifications of the candidates, Kyes absent)
  • Public comments: Mayor Jacob announces a new 20-minutes time limit, more "same old, tired gadfly rants"
  • Applications are still being accepted to join the General Plan Advisory Committee.

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 17, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Public comments: a painful 45 minutes of mostly blather completely unrelated to City business, complete with a tin-foil coated bike helmet to ward off EMF.
  • A quick 5:0 vote to allocate another $150k to CVS litigation defense, $300k total.
    More in this PD story.
  • Applications are now being accepted to join the General Plan Advisory Committee.

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 3, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions (a mere 1.3 hours):

  • Presentation from Cittaslow group
  • Robert Jacob selected as Mayor, Patrick Slayter as Vice-Mayor

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 19, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions (a record 2.5 hours):

  • Extended drive-thru moratorium another year
  • Another discussion on whether the Council should be represented on General Plan Committee

Read the notes from John Necker.

November 5, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions (not much to report, but it still took 4.5 hours):

  • Another closed session on the CVS litigation. No report.
  • Long discussion on whether the Council should be represented on General Plan Committee

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 15, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Extended the urgency ordinance that bans "formula businesses" to one year
  • Presentation from Sonoma County Library Joint Powers Agency

Read the notes from John Necker.

October 1, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Appointments made to County advisory groups
  • SDAT Presentation, discussion
  • New plan for protocol for Council Meetings is adopted

Read the notes from John Necker.

September 17, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Community Outreach Coordinator contract awarded to Holly Hansen Consulting
  • Updated User Fee Schedule approved
  • Staff authorized to issue RFP for bike lane design on 116 through town
  • Urgency ordinance passed for moratorium on formula businesses

Read the notes from John Henel (as John Necker gets the night off!).

September 3, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Goals and Priorities approved after a 2 hour discussion
  • Sub-committee formed to look at how to get a new City Hall/Civic Center
  • Sub-committee formed to look at how City can control old Samrock Cement plant property
  • Zoning change to allow hotel in Barlow approved 4:1 (Eder dissents)
  • Public comments continue to delight and amaze

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 20, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Denied appeal seeking to remove oak tree on MacFarlane, 4:1 with Jacob dissenting
  • Another 2 hour CVS/Chase discussion regarding design changes from Armstrong. No decisions.
  • General Plan will be going out to bid.

Read the notes from John Necker.

August 8, 2013 - Summary - December 2012 to July 2013 - City Council meetings.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 23, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • With 5:0 vote, denied appeal of DRB decision, project at 961 Gravenstein South will proceed.
  • With 5:0 vote, passed zoning change to allow a high-end hotel in the Barlow (more in this PD story)

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 16, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Approved change 3:1 (Slater dissents) to Planning Commission to allow 1 seat from broad 95472 zip code
  • Another 2 hour CVS/Chase discussion regarding design changes from Armstrong. No decisions.
  • General Plan is needed but not funded adequately.

Read the notes from John Necker.

July 2, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Delays another approved development, brought up on appeal, despite clear advice from staff
  • Voted 4:1 (Eder dissents) to join Sonoma Clean Power

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 25, 2013 - Special City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • All about the budget
  • Reduced amount for Councilmember initiatives from $5000 to $500
  • Kept Cittaslow funded at $20,000 by a 3:2 vote (Slater/Eder in minority)

Read the notes from John Necker.

June 18, 2013 - City Council Meeting - Apologies, no notes for this one. Life happens.

June 4, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Presentation from P G & E on their programs
  • 'M' zone at the Barlow, will allow limited office space, is passed.
  • Annual Budget presented, discussion started, to be continued June 11.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 21, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Mandatory photovoltaic ordinance for new development or large remodels gets final approval 5-0
  • New concerns of 'M' zone issues at the Barlow, allowing office space, sent back for redraft.
  • Sewer Lateral Ordinance still has issues, sent back for rework.
  • Subcommittee of Eder and Slayter set up to propose changes to Design Guidelines.

Read the notes from John Necker.

May 7, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Mandatory photovoltaic ordinance for new development or large remodels approved 5-0
  • Sonoma Clean Power pitches the Council to add Sebastopol to the program. No decision yet.
  • Will consider funding for Cittaslow Sebastopol in next year's budget

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 30, 2013 - Special City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Approval 4-0 of plan for "Railroad Forest Stablization Project"
  • Discussion regarding fluoridation in monthly newsletter from the City
  • Discussion on Plan Bay Area
  • Closed session litigation re: Longs Drug Store

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 16, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Approval of Village Park improvement project by 3 to 1 vote (Jacob dissenting, Kyes absent)
  • Staff report on fallout from cleanup of Railroad Forest

Read the notes from John Necker.

April 2, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Discussion to allow a spot on the Planning Commission for those outside city limits with no business in town. Sent back to staff, but likely will pass when it is brought back.
  • Approved the development of an RFP for a city information officer. Funds for scuh a position TBD.
  • A mere 2 hour meeting.

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 19, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • Discusses, sends back to committee, proposed ordinance requiring photo-voltaics in new construction and significant remodels.
  • Passes 5-0 resolution in support of Occupy Sebastopol, which includes removal of their tent by April 8.
  • Conducts closed session to address (2) cases regarding "Significant Exposure to Litigation."

Read the notes from John Necker.

March 5, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key results and actions:

  • A letter from the CPUC critical of the smart meter moratorium sends the Council into closed session.
  • Occupy Sebastopol announces they will remove their tent by April 8.
  • Council refuses to let staff research a couple suggestions to improve downtown parking.
  • A design for improving Ives Park is approved.
  • A proposed lateral sewer ordinance generates negative feedback from the public, to be continued

Read the notes from John Necker.

February 19, 2013 - City Council Meeting - resolution and ordinance proposed to enforce a moratorium on smart meters. Read the notes from John Necker.

February 5, 2013 - City Council Meeting - 5 1/2 hours was not enough to get through the whole agenda. Read the notes from John Necker.

January 29, 2013 - City Council Goals Meeting - the annual meeting of all 5 Council Members to discuss goals and set priorities. Read the notes from John Necker.

January 15, 2013 - City Council Meeting - key actions:

  • Appoints Zachary Douch and Ted Luthin to the Design Review Board, with Christine Level as an alternate.
  • Extends moratorium on drive-thrus from 45 days to 10 additional months

Read the notes from Kelly Swedenborg.

December 18, 2012 - City Council Meeting - key actions:

  • Appoints Scot Stegeman and Russ Pinto to fill two vacant seats on the Planning Commission (PD Story).
  • Passes by 5-0 vote the "vulnerable road users" ordinance, a Sonoma County first (PD story).
  • Passes by 5-0 vote an "emergency" moratorium on all drive throughs, unless you already have an approved building permit. This directly affects the CVS/Chase project. Armstrong Development threatens litigation. (PD story)
  • Meeting a new lower standard for arsenic in City wells will require improvements that include specialized treatment at a cost of $2.3 million. Some to be obtained through grants. The rest TBD. The recent plan to double rates over the next few years DOES NOT include this cost.

Read the notes from John Necker.

December 4, 2012 - City Council Meeting - Transition meeting to install the new City Council. Mayor and Vice Mayor selected. New possibly onerous costs for property owners to mainten sewer laterals are on the horizon. Read the notes from John Necker.

October 16, 2012 - City Council Meeting - Council approved a new fee structure for City Fees. In a less than transparent move, they named the city plaza the "Mario Savio Free Speech Plaza." No alternatives were presented, nor was time (just a few days) for most of the citizens of Sebastopol to weigh in. What was the rush to get this through? Read the meeting notes from John Necker.

October 2, 2012 - City Council Meeting - in the shortest Council meeting in recent memory, a discussion was initiated on what the City should do with Village Park (referred to staff for more info), and leaf blowers as a topic made a brief return appearance. As you might expect, SC kept a close eye on this. Read the meeting notes from John Necker.

September 18, 2012 - City Council Meeting - support expressed for CORE application to AIA's SDAP program, which would provide a professional study of issues in our town, pretty much for free. Staff to research "good neighbor policies" as implemented elsewhere, and how to allow a volunteer group to clean up the Railroad Forest with necessary power tools. Committee set up to look at requiring solar for some development projects. Discussion of possible extension of Abbott Ave to Morris St. Read notes on all this from John Necker.

August 21, 2012 - City Council Meeting - Sebastopol Community Center - Yet one more 6+ hour meeting (is this really the last on this topic?) on the contentious CVS/Chase Project results in final approval granting the appeal with the 2 conditions described at the previous meeting. Conditions accepted by applicant. Read more in John Necker's summary and in Bob Norberg's PD story.


August 7, 2012 - City Council Meeting - Sebastopol Community Center - Another 6+ hour marathon meeting results in granting the appeal on the CVS/Chase project with 2 main conditions: 1) an access door must be included on the main intersection corner for the CVS building; additional doors at descretion of applicant, and 2) the in-only entrance on Petaluma Ave needs to be built as emergency-access only, with an understanding that the applicant can revisit this with the Council if it proves problematic. Read more >>
The vote to grant the appeal was 3-2.
YES: Wilson, Shaffer, Slayter
NO: Gurney, Kyes

July 17 and July 19, 2012 - City Council Meetings - Sebastopol Community Center - Over 10 hours of meetings over these two days, nearly all of the time spent addressing the appeal of DRB's latest rejection of the CVS/Chase project. Read summaries of both meetings - July 17 and July 19 - both from SC's John Necker. Public comment is now closed, a decision is expected at the next Council Meeting on August 7.

June 19, 2012 - City Council - continues move towards raising sales tax by 1/2 % - planning for November ballot. Read more in Bob Norberg's PD story. And read a summary of the whole meeting from SC's Dan Swedenborg.