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Sonoma County Gazette
Cloverdale Comments by Carol Russell and Reece Foxen


Sep 30, 2018


“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another,
this country, and this world.”
— Best-selling author Sharon Salzberg  

While voting is often seen as the surest (and, too often, simplest) vehicle for expressing these vital commitments, there are many others like volunteering for and/or financially supporting organizations doing good things for us, our communities and the world.         

Then, too, a commitment to living as positive a life as we can helps create more optimistic families, friendships, businesses/workplaces, and daily interactions with others—even under the most challenging circumstances. This, in turn, can help improve and sustain not just our neighborhood or our city but also, and in so many ways, the quality of life for everyone everywhere. 

With November’s election just ahead and 6 candidates vying for 3 Cloverdale City Council seats, we’re reminded that running for elected office, almost as much as serving, requires quite a commitment as it can be an experience unlike any most voters will ever have, let alone volunteer for. So, let’s all say, “Thank you!” to (listed in non-partisan alpha’ order): Shawn Bovee, Marta Cruz, Jon Lambert, Jason Turner, Michele Winterbottom and Gus Wolter. 

In short, being a candidate typically requires a uniquely personal (and not infrequently intense) commitment of time, energy, talents, skills, intellect, money, and even some resources candidates may not know they’ll need…let alone know have! And the commitment is not just by the candidate but also by her or his family as well as their business/professional/workplace associates and supporters.    

The Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Candidate Forum on Tues., Oct. 2nd, at the Vets Bldg., (205 W. 1st St.) Doors open 6 p.m. Event is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Then, too, finding out which candidate(s) to select requires, at minimum, that we voters not only determine what our city’s most important short-term and long-term issues, challenges, and opportunities really are or could be plus how, specifically, each candidate plans to deal with and, where needed, fund them.

It’s also vital to know how prepared candidates are for what being a city council member requires of them over the next four years. For example, the “time” commitment. In addition to two regular evening meetings a month that can start an hour or more ahead of the public meeting, council members serve on at least two of 6 important sub-committees that meet during the day when city staff and our team of advisors/consultants are available. Add to this the diversified range of 15 or more critically important “Regional Board and Committee Appointments.” Some are made by each city (ex., Russian River Watershed Assoc.) and some (like SMART) are competitive among cities. But all meet on their own daytime or early evening schedules. (Visit to learn lots more about our city’s government.)  

Of course, we’ve left off the time required to read/study/research various agenda items for every meeting, or to keep-up with council and appointment-related emails, respond to constituent and press inquiries, attend local, county and even state events, etc., etc., etc. 

Visit to learn lots more about our city’s government.If we can’t attend the Forum, we shouldn’t dismiss or select a candidate until we’ve checked-out their social media, campaign website and local news coverage. We should ask questions like “Which of the city sub-committees and regional appointments most appeal to you and why?” and “How, exactly, will Cloverdale pay for what you’re suggesting?” Let’s expect answers that demonstrate real knowledge, leadership skills, diplomacy and, most of all, common sense. ABOVE ALL: LET’S VOTE!!

Meanwhile, don’t miss The Friends of the Cloverdale Library BOOK SALE! Member Preview, 10/3, 6-8 p.m. (Non-members can join at the door). Public welcome from Thurs., Oct.4th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Sat., 10/06, for $5/bag of books!  Art, Biographies, Cooking, Gardening, History, Travel and great Fiction we love to bury ourselves in! Thanks in large part to your purchases, The Friends contributed $50K to our library’s “Refresh” upgrade!  

Two Kiwanis Club fundraiser events (supporting Dolly Parton Imagination Library Cloverdale Chapter and CHS Key Club) contribute much to our community: the Octoberfest, everyone’s fall favorite, featuring German food, beer, wine, music, dancing, and family fun is a joint effort with Courtney’s Pumpkin Patch (supporting the Courtney Jade Davis Scholarship at CHS and local cancer patients) Sat., 10/06, from 7p.m. at 529 Venezia Way. The Kiwanis’ renowned Vineyard Races returns Sun., Oct. 21stDetails




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