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Sebastappeal - Sarah Gurney - May 2016

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Sebastappeal - May 2016 - Sarah Gurney

by Sarah Glade Gurney

Listen for Your Doorbell

Citizen volunteers continue to seek support for the renewal of Sebastopol’s Urban Growth Boundary [UGB] during the first half of May. If you’re a registered voter within Sebastopol’s city limits, they’ll be at your front door, providing information and asking for your signature to qualify this initiative.

Help prevent Sebastopol from sprawling north and south along Gravenstein Highway and west into the Atascadero Creek watershed. Learn more at SebastopolUGB.org. 

Traffic Challenges during May

Walk downtown or, if you have to use a car, limit your trips through our main intersections on Sebastopol Avenue [at Petaluma Avenue and at Morris Street]. We can expect daily congestion around the CVS building site throughout May.

According to City Engineer Joe Gaffney, lane closures will disrupt routine travel during the construction of CVS’s new curb, gutter, sidewalk, and underground utilities. Caltrans will oversee this work in the State’s right of way.

 On Petaluma Avenue, the right turn lane will be closed starting at Abbott Street [The Feed Store]. Eastbound cars will turn right around the traffic island, a maneuver impossible for trucks. To get to Santa Rosa, trucks will take Laguna Parkway to Morris Street or circle left around The Plaza. 

 On Sebastopol Avenue, closure of the right lane [eastbound] will shift drivers to the north, from the intersection past Benedetti Tire. 

 We can expect longer queues. Leave home earlier and practice patience.

Back to Work on the Laguna Bridge – Year 2

Caltrans will recommence work on the Laguna Bridge during May. Get ready for some more, early morning construction noise.

 Hopefully, the new southerly bridge will be completed quickly and the traffic shifted onto it, so that the old roadway can be taken down and the new northerly bridge can be built. 

Opportunities to Learn About the City’s Budget

There are several opportunities to participate in the discussion of the City’s budget while it’s being drafted. The Council’s Budget Sub-Committee will hold public hearings at City Hall on April 26 at 10:30 AM and again on May 16 at 9:30 AM. 

The Sub-Committee’s Preliminary Draft Budget will be available for public review and scrutiny on May 31, 2016. The format keeps improving for better readability, with short sections of text interspersed with graphs and charts. 

The Council will hold two public hearings on June 7 and 21, when we hope to adopt the final budget for the next fiscal year 2016-17. The public can participate at each of these public meetings.

Contribute to the Design of the City’s Website

The City is updating its website to be more helpful to users. The goal is to streamline the online processes so that relevant information and material are readily accessible. Please attend the community forum on May 4, from 6 to 8 pm at the Library, to contribute to the design of the website and make sure it suits your needs.

 I’ll be glad when the new website is up and running. On three separate occasions recently, citizens told me that the Council did something it never did. I even read in the local paper that the Council made a decision about something that was never on our agenda. I’ll be referring people to the new website to get the facts. It will be a great resource for citizens.

A Special Acknowledgement 

Patrick Slayter has replaced Robert Jacob on the Budget Sub-Committee while Robert is on a three-month leave of absence from the Council. 

Pat assumed this new responsibility when he’s already very busy. As the Chair of our local Rebuilding Together, he leads its yearly project on April 30. As Sebastopol’s representative to Sonoma Clean Power, serving as its Chair this year, he’s involved in that organization’s budget preparation, too.

Recently returned from a trip to Takeo City, our Sister City in Japan, Pat helped coordinate a reciprocal visit by Takeo’s Mayor and his entourage during the Apple Blossom Festival

Thank you, Pat, for your work.