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Palm Drive Detachment Update


Palm Drive Detachment Update

By Dan Northern

Over the past 8 months a group of concerned citizens and members of the Tax Payers Against Unfair Taxes (TAUT) have gathered signatures and worked with local officials with the hope of removing (detaching) the communities of Monte Rio, Guerneville and Forestville from the Palm Drive Health Care District (PDHCD). The process has involved gathering signatures from at least 25% or 2046 of the voters in these three communities, also known as the Russian River Corridor (RRC), completing the Application for Detachment and fund raising for the Application Deposit of $2500.00. On April 7, 2016 all three goals were accomplished and our application was filed with the Sonoma Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

We expect our over 3000 petition signatures to be validated by the Registrar of Voters by May 7, 2016. If we are short signatures, we will be given an additional 15 days to collect the remaining signatures. Our group is standing by and prepared to gather those additional signatures if necessary. We will be successful and the issue of detaching the RRD is anticipated to be adjudicated by Sonoma LAFCO sometime this summer.

We are also continuing to fund raise in order to assure that we have sufficient funds, up to $10,000, to reimburse LAFCO for the Staff time to process the Application, legal fees, etc.

Sonoma LAFCO was created by State law in 1963 to regulate the boundaries of cities and special districts such as the PDHCD. There is a LAFCO in each of the 58 Counties in the State of California. The Commission is made up of members of the Board of Supervisors, Special Districts and Cities within the County.

Following the validation of our petition signatures the Sonoma LAFCO staff will prepare a Municipal Services Review (MSR) on the PDHCD. The MSR must be completed within 90 days of the validation of signatures. A MSR is a comprehensive study of the District to determine the adequacy of governmental services being provided. The MSR, conducted by the LAFCO Staff, will contain specific findings relating to all aspects of the PDHCD operations such as their current financial situation, debt obligations, use of tax revenue, compliance with State laws, boundaries, outreach services and governance. When the MSR is complete the Commission will begin to meet in public session to deliberate whether or not to grant detachment to the RRC based on the findings of the MSR. Detachments are a rare occurrence in California and we expect extensive media coverage as this process moves along. The Commissioners also have the authority to dissolve the District. However unlikely; it is within their authority to do so.

If you would like to donate to the detachment cause in order to help fund the fees required by Sonoma LAFCO you may do so by sending a check to TAUT, P.O. Box 1580, Forestville CA, 95436 or by going to the Russian River Tax Payers Support Detachment GoFundMe web site at: