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Cotati Heart & Soul - January 2015


Cotati Heart & Soul - January 2015

by Deborah Taylor-French

“No one knows enough to be a pessimist.” Norman Cousins

I should know. Known to others as being encouraging and optimistic about the future of my friends, family and students, a dear friend shared this essential insight. “Deborah, why do you insist on leaving yourself out of the enthusiasm you show for others? You speak like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz movie. I’ve heard you respond as if the Wizard holds only an empty bag for your future.” That epiphany came years ago and I’ve spent time, turning that habit of negative thought, feeling, imagination and beliefs around. I make lists of three things I do each day I’m thankful for and describe what action I took to make good things happen for myself. I highly recommend this practice, include yourself in a vision of a positive future. Take daily actions for your health, family, community service and personal happiness. Take time at the close of each day to list three good actions and your gratitude. Reading those pages written at a few most difficult times, I feel delighted to discover how my evening notes overflow with positive actions and gratitude.

Cotati, a city moving toward transparency and inclusivity

When Mark Landman ran for re-election, I ran after him, literally. Missed on his morning rounds, yet that evening he rang my doorbell. I asked him to come in, have a glass of water and relax. What a lovely chat we had and he posted two campaign signs on our yard. In 2009, when Landman became appointed to City Council, I felt so pleased. Now I feel glad our town will have another four years of his experience, service and wisdom.

Taking a turn as Cotati City Mayor, Wendy Skillman, holds great promise due to several factors in experience. Skillman served on the State of California District Attorneys Association’s Environmental Prosecutor Project. As a Cotati citizen she served on the

Community and Environment Commission for three and a half years and was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2012. Her vantage point should keep our long-term environmental interests at heart.

When did you last attend a council meeting? Too long comes my answer. The good news is Cotati City provides free access to podcasts through the city Website at

Time to license your dog

I like that Cotati cares about dog welfare, so much so that our police department includes Animal Officer Carrie Peoples. Peoples has helped let my dogs back into our yard a few times and helped me restore lost dogs in my neighborhood. Plus our city has two dog protection laws. 1. No person shall maintain or board any dog four months of age or older which has not been licensed. A license benefits you and your dog, works like an emergency contact form for a student at school, keeps your preferred contact phone and address to help restore lost dogs  quickly. If your dog becomes lost then is found in Cotati, you will receive a phone call then a friendly knock on your door, returning your pet. 

2. All dogs must be on a leash; this includes streets, parks and neighborhoods. Honestly, I have never known a single dog that understands the danger of traffic or distracted drivers.

All dog licenses must be renewed in January and expire on December 31st. A current rabies certificate is required for each dog. The fees go as follows; $15.00 for each dog if spayed/neutered. $30.00 for each dog if not spayed/neutered. Senior citizens get one free dog license per household. You can drop off the fee and paperwork at the police department or mail. The dog license will be mailed to you.

Practicing kindness, generosity and abundance

Zen teacher, Cherie Huber, taught me a habit of prosperity kindness. Huber explained a method for practicing abundance and generosity on a daily basis. When we buy things and gifts for others, buy a little something for ourselves. Then we should reverse this process when we shop to replace shoes or clothing, buy a little something for someone else. In this way, buying becomes a flow of giving and receiving all year round.

For Cotati events look at the community calendar in the back of this issue!

Please check the calendar for social, musical, historic, and literary events happening in Cotati, especially the Cotati Chamber of Commerce, Songbird Community Center, The Green Center, Cotati Historical Society, and The Sitting Room: a Community Library.

Please email your local events, nonprofit and city news by January 5th