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Cloverdale Comments - February 2015


Cloverdale Comments - February 2015

by Carol Russell

“Let me count the ways”, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning so beautifully wrote. Ultimately, we find that many ways of loving our home and our community are reflected in the world beyond. 

Recently, I asked a dear friend and colleague if she would consider a City appointment to the Sonoma County Library Commission. Knowing the importance of the Library to our community, I felt that it was urgent to appoint someone who would immerse him/herself in this totally voluntary position. She accepted and was unanimously approved: Way One! 

Here is Reece Foxen to tell you what is happening with our own local library: 

 “Cloverdale Regional Library is one of 16 in the larger system, which is called Sonoma County Library. A Commission created under a Joint Powers Authority (JPA), not the County itself, governs it. The original JPA was revised in 2014 when the representation was increased to 11 members, of which I am one. 

Plans this year include a refurbishing of the building and its interior, including roof repairs, new paint, carpeting, and seismically stabilized shelving. Unfortunately, the hours will remain at 40 per week, down from 52 in 2011. It will be closed on Mondays and open only one evening with shorter Saturday hours. I will work hard over the next two years to change this.

Some say the Library is passé, but it is so much more than books. The Library is a repository of ideas that gives everyone access to concepts and information without censorship. It provides a concrete aspect to learning – you can touch the book. The research and paper writing classes for students, the children’s programs giving tangible connections to reading and learning, the access to resources through technology, all allow a person to step beyond the library walls.

Cloverdale Regional Library is an integral part of the community--a place of equity and inclusiveness where everyone is treated with respect.”  

Contact Reece at or 707-891-3391. 

Way Two! 

Loving one’s home, improving its efficiency, making it healthier and more comfortable all while reducing the energy costs helps you, the community and the planet. 

Jane Elias, a 15 year resident, brings an impartial third party assistance for Cloverdale and the rest of our County with unbiased information, help finding qualified contractors, incentives, rebates and financing to people who want to demonstrate their love in this way. As Manager of the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (EIO), Jane strives to help us understand the necessity of moving towards more energy efficient homes and commercial buildings.

For some Cloverdalians, it meant finding a rater for the initial audit to determine exactly what improvements were needed. For others, it was finding the contractor to weatherize their homes, replace windows, increase insulation, or install higher efficiency heating/cooling. For still others, who already had these energy saving improvements, installing solar was their next step.

Jane is helping Cloverdale residents explore the various types of financing available to implement these projects, including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing through which thirty-six property owners have utilized nearly $1 million of financing! Hundreds of questions have been answered and several businesses have taken advantage of free energy services. The EIO is a “one stop shop” furnishing comprehensive resources and addressing the needs of all our residents, business owners, renters and those living in multifamily units.

This way to show love for where you live has Cloverdalians moving towards more efficient homes and businesses with reduced utility costs, a cleaner environment and a healthier planet! Find Jane at 707-565-6470 or visit

Way Three!   

Apply for appointment as a Planning Commissioner! No specific city planning experience required and volunteering for one of the most important jobs in Cloverdale not only shows your love of where you live but also gives you the opportunity to help improve it now and for generations to come.   

Here are a few of the attributes I’ve admired in current and past Commissioners: public spirited; good communicator; independent yet open to considering opposing views fairly and able to analyze sometimes complex or sensitive land use issues as they apply to our City’s economic health, quality of life and future. Check out The Planning Commissioner’s Book: For application information contact our City Manager: