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Santa Rosa Snippets - May 2016 - Elaine Holtz


Santa Rosa Snippets - May 2016 - Elaine Holtz

Santa Rosa Rent Stablization Plan Meeting 

On May 3 the Santa Rosa City Council will be looking at making a decision around a Rent Stabilization Program. Rent stabilization sets maximum rates for annual rent increases and, as with rent control, entitles tenants to receive required services from their landlords and have their leases renewed. The rent guidelines are established annually by a board that meets every year to determine how much the landlord can set future rents on the lease. According to Mayor John Sawyer the intent of this meeting is to making a decision to move forward. “There is a lot of anxiety around this area and the best way to ease the anxiety is to let folks know the direction the city is going to take.” 

During the May meeting the expectation according to Sawyer is to decide whether or not the city will move forward in establishing a Rent Stabilization program, to approve a grievance board/committee that will be available for landlords and tenants to bring forth their concerns. To both enhance and maintain the quality of rental units the council will be considering a mandatory inspection program along with an education program for tenants and landlords. For Sawyer this has been a long process and it is his goal to lessen the anxiety by deciding on some concrete solutions at this meeting and encourages all who are concerned to attend.

Ballot Signatures Turned into to Registrar of Voters 

Citizens for Healthy Farms and Families spearheaded by a Karen Hudson of Petaluma turned in 24,038 ballot signatures to the Registrar of Voters which was the first step to getting the initiative “Sonoma County Transgenic Contamination Presentation Ordinance” on the November 2016 ballot. If passed the ordinance will prohibit propagation cultivation raising and growing genetically engineered organisms in Sonoma County. 

When Hudson was asked what motivates her, she said, “I am a mother and grandmother and am concerned for all children and their future, particularly when I found out that breast cancer and cancer in children is on the rise in Sonoma County.” Hudson has not heard the results before we went topress but believes the measure will get on the ballot. “I encourage people to educate themselves before they vote on this important issue for our county,” she said.

Ride Smart and See Art Along The Way 

Santa Rosa artist Judy Kennedy was awarded a $10,000 grant to develop two pieces of eco-friendly art to be installed along the SMART line between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. Kennedy, known for her murals around Santa Rosa, will be working with two other artists. The designer and builder of one project is Gerhard Gassner, a Bavarian timber craftsman from Germany living in Santa Rosa. Kennedy will also be collaborating with Janine Bjornson, a Canadian clay and cob artist living in Sebastopol. The art pieces will be installed this summer and ready when the train starts service later this year.

The funds were made available through the annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, a partnership between Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers and Sonoma County Vintners. The group raised and distributed $3,486,726 . The funds were distributed to non-profits in five categories: Fund the Future-Early Child Education, Education, Health, Human Services, Environment and Art and Culture. Congratulations to all the winners and a special shout out to all those generous donors.

Feedback Wanted by City

A series of five public meetings “Open Government Public Forum: Building on the recommendations of the Open Government Task Force” was hosted by the City of Santa Rosa. This was an effort to obtain input from the public as it continues to implement open government strategies. The purpose of the meetings was to engage the public and receive ideas about transparency in the digital age and opportunities for public collaboration and participation. Although the meetings were well attended, Jaime Peñaherrera, Community Engagement Director, would still like to hear from the public. You can send him your thoughts and suggestions via email For more information about Open Government, visit: 

Elaine B. Holtz is producer/Host of “Women’s Spaces” on KBBF 89.1FM Monday

11-12 noon & 11-12 midnight. Visit her website at: Become a Fan on Facebook