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Sonoma County Gazette
Sebastappeal By Sarah Glade Gurney
Sebastappeal By Sarah Glade Gurney

Process for Selecting Council’s Leadership
Zero Waste, Tenants’ Rights Clinic
& Community/Parade Entrants


Dec 28, 2018
by Sarah Glade Gurney


Selecting the Council’s Leadership Team

Congratulations to Sebastopol’s new Mayor Neysa Hinton and Vice Mayor Patrick Slayter.

The protocol for the City Council to select its leadership team is the same as it is for the Council to take any action: by a motion, a second to the motion, and vote. The majority rules. 

Former Mayor Patrick Slayter explained the process on December 4, 2018, when he introduced the agenda item about choosing his replacement and the next Vice Mayor. Just as it does every December, the Council followed this process to select its leadership team this time around. 

There is no "entitlement" to become the Mayor or Vice Mayor. The Council selects its leadership anew each year.  There is no “tradition” about who is chosen, as history demonstrates.  Leadership roles cannot—and do not—“rotate” to each of the five Council Members. 

Please consider: with the election of two seats in presidential years and three seats in the midterms, rotation “so everybody gets a turn” is impossible.  The candidate with the most votes in the election does not automatically become the Mayor. The Council picks its leadership team at the first meeting each December following this long-held protocol. 

Ideas about “rotation,” “entitlement,” and “tradition” are misinformed. They reveal ignorance of our democratic process. It’s a disservice and an injury to our community to become enraged or to enrage people by spreading misinformation.

Zero Waste

Since its Zero Waste Study Session last September, the Council has initiated a public discussion about the adoption of best practices to reduce our waste stream. “Walking the talk,” City Staff hosted two zero waste events in December: the public reception for the newly installed Council Members and the City’s holiday luncheon. Terry, who works at City Hall’s front counter, reported that the effort started with the purchase of reusable tableware, flatware, cups, table clothes and cloth napkins.

A New Year’s Resolution

Local activist, Sunny Galbraith, offers some easy tips to help households move towards zero waste in 2019. 

  1. Put food scraps (including meat, bones, and cheese) and yard clippings in the green compost bin. 
  2. Bring a reusable mug when buying coffee. Paper coffee cups and lids are neither recyclable nor compostable, because of the moisture lining, and comprise a significant portion of our waste stream. Sunny notes these are the single biggest contributor to our Farmer's Market garbage.
  3. Bring used plastic produce bags to the grocery store and Farmer's Market.  “Most of us have gotten pretty good at bringing our own cloth grocery bags, but we still use new plastic bags when we shop for produce,” Sunny comments.  “Plastic bags can be reused many times.”
  4. Swear off single-use plastic water bottles. Take it from the tap!  Tap water is healthier than water that’s been sitting on the shelf in plastic bottles. Carry a reusable water bottle.
  5. Choose foods with minimal packaging. Buy in bulk, with reused plastic bags. Avoid buying food in plastic clam shells, and prepared foods with lots of packaging.  
  6. Keep a fork and spoon in the car/purse to avoid single-use plastic utensils. These cannot be recycled or composted ("compostable" plastic is not accepted at our composting facility because it takes so long to break down, so must go in garbage).  
  7. When buying food from the hot bar, use a personal containers or reusable plate. Get the container’s tare weight from the cashier so it can be deducted from the purchase.
  8. For household electricity usage, upgrade to EverGreen service with Sonoma Clean Power and purchase, for a small premium of about $13/month, 100% renewable power (solar and geothermal) from our local public electricity provider.  

Free educational Tenants’ Rights Clinic

January 24—5:30 to 7:30 PM—Community Church

The Sonoma County Tenants Union will host a free educational Tenants’ Rights Clinic. The evening will feature an educational presentation on tenants’ rights and responsibilities and one-on-ones with attorneys from Legal Aid of Sonoma County. Spanish translation, child care and food are provided. Contact: Beatrice Camacho 707.479.5475 at the North Bay Organizing Project.

Community/Parade Entrants!

We want to advise our community of our 2019 Theme:  "It Takes a Village to Blossom".  Celebrating the Rich Diversity of OUR Community!

We are reaching out to invite your involvement in next years' Apple Blossom Festival.  We encourage your participation by partaking in the parade and showing off/demonstrating your float based on the role you play in our community, i.e. agriculture, non-profit, charitable partner, retail/commercial, etc.

Parade Application



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