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Sebastappeal - Sarah Gurney - December 2016


Sebastappeal - December 2016 - Sarah Gurney

by Sarah Glade Gurney

Sebastopol Council Welcomes Two New Members

With “provisional” results from November 8, it seems clear that Neysa Hinton and Michael Anthony Carnacchi will take two open seats on the City Council. 

Congratulations to the winners and to all candidates who volunteered for civic responsibility in the case of a win, or courageously risked rejection by our community in the case of a loss. 

Election material and commentary portray Neysa as a down-home pragmatic and Michael as a downtown dreamer. Come to their swearing-in on December 6 and watch, in the months [and years] following, to see if they meet voter expectation. 

Your civic duties survive Election Day! Read the Council packet [available on the Thursday before the Tuesday meeting] and contact your Council Members by phone, email, in-person, through the City Clerk, or during the public opportunity at the meeting. Hold your electeds accountable to your values and vision, known only if you speak up.

Vote Again during the Holiday Season

One well-known slogan urges, “Vote with Your Feet!” Per the politically correct interpretation, this phrase means “Walk away from businesses that you don’t support,” valid ideal.

This holiday season, do the reverse and walk into businesses you do support: park once, downtown or in SEB’s shopping centers, and walk. 

Vote with your dollars! Spend your money in town. Patronize our local merchants and restaurants, and contribute directly to the owner’s and employees’ livelihood. Your support for our local businesses provides sales tax for the delivery of city services. 

Is SEB too pricey for you? Then scale down: go smaller or go “gently used” at our many “second-hand” stores. While you’re out shopping, enjoy a pastry, coffee, meal, or some wine/beer. You’ll likely encounter friends!

Our store/restaurant-owners and our City Budget will appreciate your patronage, while Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, and other formula businesses won’t care about your dollars, you, or your community. 

Be rewarded for your effort: go local and reap the local benefits.

December 1: You Don’t Have to Choose: You Can Do Both!

Every year, the Sebastopol AREA Chamber of Commerce and Dine Out for Life claim the first Thursday in December. The Chamber lights the tree at the City’s Public Park on The Plaza and Food For Thought invites you to eat out at our participating restaurants.

From 5-8 PM, the Chamber will provide seasonal entertainment, hot beverages and popcorn, and children’s activities. Dress warmly – this family-friendly event goes on “rain, snow or not,” according to the Chamber website. Last year included a display of holiday trees decorated by local businesses – come see what’s new for 2016! 

For such a small community, SEB hosts a record number of venues for Food For Thought’s Dine Out for Life [breakfast, lunch and dinner]. 

Patronize our participating restaurants before or after the tree-lighting and give 25-50% of your bill to support the no-cost delivery [including to the home-bound] of groceries, fresh produce, vitamins, supplements, frozen meals and nutritional counseling to more than 650 individuals experiencing disabling HIV/AIDS.

December Work Ahead

December meetings sometimes have light agendas: Not so this year. The Council will consider: Community Visioning Questionnaires; the Willow/Jewell intersection; the Rent Control Moratorium; appointments [above]; a second medical marijuana dispensary; [affordable] housing issues and development impact fees; and Council assignments.

December 13 Deadline – Get Involved

For all of you who want to speak out about land use and design, you have the opportunity to contribute. Seats are available on the Planning Commission and Design Review Board

Apply, interview, and convince your new Council that you are the appointee for our future. The deadline for applications is December 13; interviews are scheduled on December 20, with decisions that same night. More details at 

Just FYI, the City’s NEW website is scheduled to launch before the first of December. 

Experience Sebastopol

For those of you who voted “against experience” or “for the future, not the past,” remember that you possess your present based upon the hard work and experience of other people’s efforts during your past. Were it not for your predecessors, you would not have what you have today in Sebastopol! Honor those who do the work. 

Enjoy the Holiday Season!