Two seats on the Sebastopol City Council are up for election on Nov. 3. Both of the incumbents, Michael Carnacchi and Neysa Hinton are seeking re-election. Challengers in the race are Evaristo "Evert" Fernandez, Diana Rich and Vaughn Richard Higginbotham. Sonoma West Times & News submitted questions to the candidates. The responses have been edited for length in some places.
All active, registered voters have been mailed ballots. Completed ballots can be returned by mail (if they are postmarked by Nov. 3) or dropped off at one of 20 secure ballot drop boxes in the County (as long as they are deposited before 8 p.m. on Nov. 3). There will also be 30 in-person voting locations open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 31 to Nov. 2., and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 3 For a complete list of all ballot drop boxes and in-person voting locations, please visit https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/where-to-vote.
(Candidate Higginbotham did not submit a response to this Q&A. Included here is his statement published in the Nov. 3 official voter’s guide.)
Occupation: Businessman/Volunteer Firefighter
For the past seven years, I have owned and operated a small electronics repair business in Sebastopol. As an entrepreneur, I feel that adding more local businesses will benefit our city and create revenue by providing an alternative to driving to Santa Rosa for the more than 40,000 West Sonoma County residents.
I am running for Sebastopol City Council in order to find innovative ways to increase city revenue, attract locally owned businesses, ease traffic and parking issues, while boosting town pride.
As a volunteer firefighter, my service to others comes before everything else. Through this experience, I have learned how to advance policies that benefit and heighten our sense of community.
As a graduate of our local schools, I will continue advancing Sebastopol’s education system to encourage younger families to become a part of our community.
For six generations my family has lived in Sebastopol. What we cherish the most about living here is our small-town charm. If elected, I will listen attentively, engage in careful deliberation, and support policy that retains Sebastopol’s character.
Sebastopol and all of her citizens are my top priority. It is my honor to serve you. Thank you for considering my candidacy.