Compared to a certain Senate hearing, the recent City Council meeting was relatively tame, though not without moments of peculiarity and confusion. Topic: the Gateway Project at MacArthur and Broadway — the site with the 30-ft story poles suggesting the height, if not mass, of the proposed development. The project was approved by the Planning Commission but appealed to the council. Making the case against the current plan were architects Bill Willers and Vic Conforti. Their argument convinced two councilmembers — Amy Harrington and Rachel Hundley — to ask for an Environmental Impact Report, but not the other three. The process seemed to confound Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti, who backed the motion by Gary Edwards to successfully deny the appeal. But the motion incorporated none of the many suggested project modifications or changes, so all those decisions will be left to the Assistant City Attorney to work out in a final resolution. So, back it will come… Maybe the meeting demands instant replay; you can check it out on SVTV. Meanwhile the affair reminds one council watcher of Nixon’s White House tapes — “18.5 minutes seem to be missing.”
The mission of Sustainable Sonoma is to bring together local leaders and community advocates to tackle the Valley’s big challenges — problems like affordability, housing, sustainable tourism, inequality, the environment and more. Since March, Sustainable Sonoma’s listening sessions have collected over 1,000 statements from people who live and work in Sonoma Valley. The input will help set goals and priorities. Those finding will be released soon. Meanwhile, the self-funded organization has been offered a $50,000 challenge gift: any tax-deductible donation you make will be doubled. Find out more at www.sonomaecologycenter.org/suso-challenge.
“It’s a good time to be a strong woman,” says Dani Innocenti Beem. She plays the lead in “Hello, Dolly,’ the character Dolly Levi, a brassy dame “who knows what she wants and how to get it.” The classic Broadway musical, opening the new season of Sonoma Arts Live runs October 5-21. Beem won the Bay Area Critics Award for her star turn here in “Gypsy.” It’s nice to have her back where she belongs.
Given that the majority of voters cast their ballots by mail nowadays, The Sun makes its recommendations for Sonoma City Council in this week’s issue. Three seats are in play, and there are seven candidates. Refreshingly, none are angry entitled white men.
– Val Robichaud
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