The agenda for the Feb. 17 meeting of the Windsor Town Council is relatively brief and covers public art, a war memorial and the continuing vacancies on some commissions.
The meeting will kick off with a presentation of the Painted Piano Project from Heather Cullen of the Windsor Performing Arts Academy and Stefanie Hirayama with Move Over Mozart.This project will be an art installation that combines the visual and performing arts, with functional pianos being painted and decorated by local artists, then placed around town to be seen and played by the public.
There will potentially be one public hearing item, relating to the adoption of new fire impact fees for the Sonoma County Fire District, however this item has been continued in previous meetings, and will likely will be continued again.
In the regular calendar, there will be a discussion of adding a memorial at the Town Green to honor those World War II fighter pilots who lost their lives while stationed for training at the Santa Rosa Army Airfield.
According to the agenda, on Jan. 18, 1943 the Army Airfield officially opened the 493rd Base Headquarters and the Air Base Squadron was activated. During the next three years during World War II, the airfield became a training ground for hundreds of pilots learning to operate both single and twin-engine fighter planes before being deployed oversees. As a training base, accidents and crashes were a common occurrence in Windsor and the surrounding area. It is estimated that over 240 airplanes were lost during that time, with 59 pilot fatalities. A complete list of those pilot’s names, hometown, and crash site has been compiled by the Windsor Historical Society.
Windsor citizen Karen Alves, in collaboration with the Windsor Historical Society, will fundraise to cover all direct costs related to this project. Prior to beginning fundraising efforts, staff is seeking conceptual approval so donors are assured the project can move forward once funded.
The memorial will be positioned at the Town Green, next to the American, California and POW flag poles. Dependent on production costs and fundraising, the memorial will either be a large plaque set on a stone base, or small statue. The Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District has approved the installation of a memorial on the specified land under easement at the Town Green.
The other item on the regular calendar is the council and mayor continuing to try to solves to different issues with regards to commission appointments.
At the Feb. 3, 2021 council meeting, Mayor Dominic Foppoli recommended and appointed members to the Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission, Public Art Advisory Commission and Senior Citizen Advisory Commission. At the same time, he supported the appointments recommended by Councilmember Debora Fudge.
However, at the same meeting, staff was also directed to extend the deadline for submittal of applications for the Senior Citizen Advisory Commission because not enough applications were received by the original deadline of Jan. 25 to Wednesday, Feb. 10.
The council also directed staff to commence a recruitment to fill vacancies on an interim basis that were created when former Councilmember Bruce Okrepkie left office in December of 2020. These vacancies will be filled temporarily and will expire when the new councilmember is seated.
PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION
One vacancy exists due to the expiration of Ben Lehr’s term (appointed by former Okrepkie). Lehr filed an application and is seeking to be considered for the interim seat. Applications were also received from Heather Cullen and Angelica Nunez.
One vacancy exists due to the expiration of Scott Huberts term (appointed by former Okrepkie). Huberts filed an application and is seeking to be considered for the interim seat. Applications were also received from Stephanie Blair, Michael Freedman, Ben Lehr, Corbett Smith and Gary Stribling.
PUBLIC ART ADVISORY COMMISSION
One vacancy exists due to the expiration of Gwen Kinney’s term (appointed by former Okrepkie). Kinney did not seek reappointment. Applications were received from Heather Cullen and Ben Lehr.
SENIOR CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMISSION
There are five vacancies. The first vacancy was created by the expiration of Bill Fallis’s term who was appointed by former Councilmember Okrepkie for an at-large seat that expired December of 2020. Fallis did not file an application. This vacancy will be filled temporarily and will expire when the new councilmember is seated. The second vacancy was created by the resignation of Marilyn Cook who was appointed by a simple majority of council for an at-large seat that was set to expire December of 2022. This appointment will be made for the remainder of a term that will expire December of 2022.
The third vacancy was created by the expiration of Lisa Renee Trumbly’s term who was appointed by a simple majority of council for an at-large seat that expired December of 2020. This term is set to expire December of 2024. An application was received from Trumbly. The fourth vacancy was created by the expiration of Michael Bertuccelli’s term who was appointed by simple majority of council to represent the Landmark neighborhood. Bertuccelli’s term expired December of 2020. This term is set to expire December of 2024. An application was received from Bertuccelli. The fifth vacancy is for a Landmark neighborhood representative which had not been filled. As per the guidelines, if there are no applications received from the Landmark neighborhood, applications shall be accepted from the community at-large for all positions listed above to fill the seat. Applications were also received from Dayle Buschkotter and Catherine Hanron.
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