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Sebastappeal - Sarah Gurney - October 2016


Sebastappeal - October 2016 - Sarah Gurney

by Sarah Glade Gurney

Sebastopol City Council Race Forums

For what might be the first time in history, Sebastopol has a write-in Council candidate. Craig Litwin, who served on the Council from 2000 to 2008, including two times as Mayor, has qualified to run for office alongside Neysa Hinton, Michael Carnacchi, and Jonathan Greenberg. All four candidates will participate in each of the following free public forums.

September 28, starting at 6:30 PM

The Sebastopol Grange, 6000 Sebastopol Road [Hwy 12]

Doors to The Grange open at 6 PM and people are encouraged to arrive early – a good idea in order to secure a parking space off the highway. There is no set end time, according to organizer Shepherd Bliss, “We will go as long as we need to.” Folks are invited to stay awhile afterwards for conversation. 

Grangers Lawrence Jaffe and Hrieth Pezzi will moderate the evening’s flow of prepared remarks, questions and answers. Producer Arnold Levine will broadcast the event live on KOWS 107.3 FM, Sebastopol’s own community radio station. Barry Chertov of will film the event and publish the video on his website. 

While admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted to support The Grange. Everyone is welcome. To volunteer, learn more, or submit questions in advance, contact: Shepherd Bliss, 829.8185,

October 5, from 3pm to approximately 5pm

Social Hall in the Community Building

Burbank Heights and Orchard, 7777 Bodega Avenue

Judy Morgan and Rosemary Manchester of the Residents Forum joined forces to organize this afternoon for their neighbors and have graciously opened it to the public. Rosemary will also serve as moderator.

Each candidate will be introduced, then take a few questions from the moderator, before making statements. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions directly from the floor. This event is live only, no video and no tape.

If you plan to attend and do not live at BHO, keep in mind that the very limited visitor parking should be reserved for the less able. Walk there from home, take the Local Shuttle 24 to the top of BHO’s hill, or park outside the complex and walk in. Be considerate of the surrounding neighborhood and, if crossing Bodega Avenue, be wary of traffic.

October 5, from 6:30pm to 8pm 

Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High Street

Sebastopol’s Chamber of Commerce stepped up alone to host a candidate forum when its traditional co-sponsor, the League of Women Voters, found itself too busy to squeeze in a night about Sebastopol’s City Council race. 

“We were disappointed because they [LWV] do add that ‘official-ness”…We’re going it alone! I think we can do it justice,” Executive Director Teresa Ramondo encourages her Board and Staff as they volunteer.

The format is familiar: opening statements, questions from the moderator, closing statements. The public will be given cards to fill out for additional questions, asked through the moderator if time permits. This event will probably not be filmed or taped. 

Craig Boblitt, downtown building owner, fit the bill for a stand-in moderator. Teresa explains, “We looked for someone who is intelligent, articulate, a respected community member, well versed in the language and topics relevant to the occasion and not necessarily a member of the Chamber.” As he manages the evening, Craig will likely add some good-natured humor.

Doors open at 6pm. Come early for a front-row seat. 

Voters to the Task

The forums will help voters make up their minds about who can best serve our community. Here’s what I look for in a leader:

Values that resonate with our community.

The ability to set aside his/her ego and personal agenda and make decisions for the public good.

A willingness to seek out information and be educated.

An active listener. 

A civil and respectful demeanor.

A sense of humor.

A collaborative approach to problem solving.

Attend the forums, visit the websites, read through the campaign mail, talk to your friends and neighbors, and be ready at your front door to greet the candidates with your questions. Then vote on November 8.