Sebastopol City Council Preview 2020

The Sebastopol City Council is tackling a modest agenda this week. The council is meeting virtually Tuesday night, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. You can watch it live, or watch a recording of it after the meeting occurs. 

Here’s what’s on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

As part of its consent calendar, the council will be considering the following items:

●    Approval of the Sept. 1 council meeting minutes

●    Approval of the second reading and adoption of the Ordinance of the City of Sebastopol Adopting a Tobacco Retail Licensing/Vaping Ordinance

●    Approval of the sewer system management plan, overflow emergency response plan and water quality monitoring plan revisions

●    Approval of a resolution extending planning and building permits in response to COVID-19 for a period of one year

●    Approval of a memorandum of understanding between the county of Sonoma and Sonoma County law enforcement agencies for forensic medical examinations

Presentations and public hearings

The council will be receiving two informational presentations, one on municipal bonds and another on the pavement maintenance plan and capital improvement projects.

Additionally, a public hearing will be held on the city’s comprehensive user fees. A study conducted on the 2019-20 fees found that much of the fees collected by the city don’t result in 100% cost recovery, meaning other city funds are subsidizing the cost of fee-related services. As such, fee increases seek to reconcile the costs and make the services have 100% cost recovery, resulting in less money being pulled from the city’s general fund.

Should the council adopt a new set of fees, the fees would be effective Dec. 1.

Regular agenda items

For its regular agenda items, the council will be discussing and considering the council’s positions on resolutions being presented during the annual League of California Cities Conference. It will also have a discussion on the roles and responsibilities of Home Sonoma County regarding homelessness.

Home Sonoma County was created in 2018 to serve as the county’s formal structure for issues related to homelessness that would help it coordinate its response. While Home Sonoma County has been in place since 2018, discussions about restructuring its leadership council are ongoing and cities throughout the county are being approached to give feedback on how it should be restructured. Namely, the leadership council has a majority of its representatives from the county’s two largest jurisdictions — Santa Rosa and Petaluma, as well as the county — concerns about adequate representation for the smaller cities in the county have been raised and, in February 2020, the Mayors and Councilmembers Association expressed a desire to have the council include representation from each of the county’s cities.

The Sebastopol City Council will be discussing and considering direction to give to Home Sonoma County. Additionally, the council will consider appointing a council member to join an ad hoc committee with representatives from each city that was created to discuss making changes to Home Sonoma County.

(1) comment


Sebastopol should have a representative on Home Sonoma County, especially as the Sebastopol Inn will most likely be converted to a permanent residence for homeless people. It seems that this will likely happen as the application process was self-selecting and it seems that many communities will not self-select for this type of financial and social commitment at this particular moment. If you look at it financially the Sebastopol Inn is a revenue generating, self-sustaining business and after the conversion, taxpayers will be responsible for upkeep, insurance and the monthly costs of around $3K to support the residents with no additional funds to the City to off-set expenses. In this climate, most communities will not self-select to add additional expenses and loss revenue. In light of the City's new and expanded homeless services, it seems that they should sit on this committee to advocate for more funding to Sebastopol to off-set some of this new expense.

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