Click Banner For More Info See All Sponsors

  • Share this thread on:
  • Follow: No Email   
  • Thread Tools
  1. TopTop #1
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Contesting the Approved Santa Rosa Courthouse Square Reunification

    [This new thread continues the discussion from the prior thread "Santa Rosa Plan to Reunify Courthouse Square calls to remove 35 Redwood Trees?" which is now closed.]


    The City Council PASSED UNANIMOUS YES VOTES to continue with the courthouse square reunification plan.

    Is anyone in favor of chipping in to help fund a www.change.org petition to influence the council members to stop the development for now? Alternatively to the Change.org petition, the city will acknowledge wet-ink petition signatures in order to put the issue up for vote on the November ballot, but at a long and arduous 9 months of signature collection. There's got to be a different way through some kind of "Docu-Sign" as a legal way to obtain mass wet ink petition signatures, of which we would need 7,500, or 10% of the city's population.

    We have some idea of what the true cost of the reunification will entail. They tell us $10 million. But if $10 million is akin to a mortgage loan, then it will cost much more, as per the September 22, 2015 council meeting, the true cost will be $20 million when interest is included @ $665,000 per year for a 30 year loan.. The way the council has pursued money for this project requires no public vote, yet funding will be with our tax dollars through the generation of new fees, including rent control fees @ 4.7 million per year to administrate.

    This plan has been in the works for decades, but no matter, the public "poll" is not in favor due to financial ambiguity, and the plan itself to remove trees, to which there could be a better way to spare them in a different plan.

    The community has expressed sentiment at the meeting last night that there are too many questions and the plan was Marshall-ed in some secrecy through closed study sessions, hence potentially breaching the Brown Act, which calls for all citizens to participate in governmental discussions. Most disappointing, there were no PUBLIC HEARING NOTICES erected at the site of Old Courthouse Square to let the public know that the topic was being discussed by City Council. (Our citizens could benefit from an automatic text when any meeting takes place at the City Council).

    I understand the reunification is important and a long sought and noble desire. But the time is not now. We have a severe housing crisis and the $10 million turned $20 million when finally paid off, is a priority for putting more jobs into the Santa Rosa Permit Department to help expedite developers building plans to build more affordable housing. The council seems to disagree and thinks that the $20 million would have an unknown return on investment, but one council member speculated of 20 years. This is not a good answer and 20 years is a horrible ROI. We need SOLID ROI information before moving forward.

    Trees will be slated to be cut ASAP. I'm sure the City is being tight lipped about the exact day of cutting to prevent public protest.


    BTW: I URGE anyone who is interested to view the video archive stream on the City Council website (ARCHIVED videos) to see the public courthouse hearing held on September 22, 2015, (please watch item 4.1 and 14.1, as well as video of the actual vote to approve on January 26, 2015 near the end of the video).

    Anyone? Please comment your ideas and thoughts.

    Many thanks!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  2. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  3. TopTop #2

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    Dies irae, Dies illa

    [translation: "Day of wrath and doom impending."]
    Last edited by Barry; 01-28-2016 at 01:31 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  4. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  5. TopTop #3
    Jude Iam's Avatar
    Jude Iam
     

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    went to meeting and stayed till after midnight. quite sickened by this whole thing. they've likely begun cutting wednesday, the trees will be felled within days, completed by feb. 1. nothing left to save.

    a few specifics for the $10MILLION DOLLAR project, paid for by public/your funds;
    some vague talk about money from nearby businesses which profit most, but why should they pay if they don't have to? (and this followed previous hours of testimony on the intense shortage of AFFORDABLE HOUSING, WITH SEVERAL COUNCIL MEMBERS MENTIONING THEY ARE LANDLORDS AND NOT COMFORTABLE WITH RENT CONTROL but clearly feeling fine about their own ruling on their self-invested issues!!):

    - SMALLER SQUARE BY 10, 000 square feet the COMMONS, OUR SPACE shrinking, while population grows
    - surfaced in DECOMPOSING GRANITE (difficult-to-impossible for canes, wheelchairs, barefoot)
    - one small central flat grassy area (bull's eye in the middle) - NO shade, nowhere else to sit and connect with the earth
    - trees in BOXES, a couple of rows, NO GROVES, nothing natural. all sterile, controlled; trees which grow to 15 ft. height maximum. wet dream of a control freak; nature is just too wild and messy...
    - NOTHING NATURAL, NO soft, lovely, curvey respite from the streets and stores…few places for people to sit and talk, gather and BE (GO AND BUY SOME STUFF OR EAT AT THE SURROUNDING RESTAURANTS DAMMIT)
    - maybe restrooms, maybe not; public spoke up several times on the insanity of NO restrooms
    - ditto for a water fountain (hey, why give it away? gotta make MONEY)
    - and yes, 91 TREES CUT AND GONE.

    but, hey, 45 more parking parking spaces. with meters. right on the square. BFD. ugh.

    jude
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 01-28-2016 at 12:26 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  6. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  7. TopTop #4
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    How to fight "Big Money Greed and Insanity" with "Little Money Compassion for nature"? Our voices are whispers in a blinding storm. We are living in times of extreme homicidal madness, and this is just but one example, in our own backyard. My wish is that the activity will somehow backfire on those who need a "wake up" call, and it's never too soon.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  8. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  9. TopTop #5
    joloseb's Avatar
    joloseb
     

    Courthouse Square Reunification SAVE THE REDWOODS! -suggested direct action!

    Name:  photo.jpg
Views: 1174
Size:  2.2 KB
    Remember the song, 'Tie a yellow ribbon-round-the-old-tree'?
    So they are poised to begin cutting the Redwoods at Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.

    Although I'm far more concerned with the upcoming logging of places like the Gualala River Watershed, where literally thousands of redwoods will be logged for Big Logging profits, and more degradation of watersheds, habitats, wildlife, rivers, H2o, and the Natural forests themselves being eaten up & replaced with sterile gmo-trees...
    (see 'A Silent Forest: The Growing Threat, Genetically Engineered Trees' with David Suzuki):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxLqxQCRW-UYouTube ...
    The redwoods being cut in Old Courthouse square are representative of the last of the redwoods.

    So, in the spirit of resisting Big Logging Exploitation, and 'SAVE THE LAST OF THE REDWOODS!'
    "Tie a day-glow ribbon round the redwood tree" at Old Courthouse Square to bring awareness, and show solidarity with saving the last of the redwoods! Whether everyone does (or doesn't), there will be trees w/ribbons galore!
    Participence, Perseverance, and Resistance!
    Thanks & Solidarity. Gualala Spring 2016!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  10. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  11. TopTop #6
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    Beautifully and sadly reported. Thank you for your heartfelt energy, in the face of such powerful, controlling opposition.

    Quote Jude Iam wrote: View Post
    went to meeting and stayed till after midnight. quite sickened by this whole thing.
    they've likely begun cutting wednesday, the trees will be felled within days, completed by feb. 1. nothing left to save.

    a few specifics for the $10MILLION DOLLAR PLAN, paid for by public/your funds; some vague talk about money from nearby businesses which profit most, but why should they pay if they don't have to?
    (and this followed by hours of testimony on the intense shortage of AFFORDABLE HOUSING, WITH SEVERAL COUNCIL MEMBERS MENTIONING THEY ARE LANDLORDS AND NOT COMFORTABLE WITH RENT CONTROL!!):

    - SMALLER SQUARE BY 10, 000 square feet the COMMONS, OUR SPACE shrinking, while population grows
    - surfaced in DECOMPOSING GRANITE (difficult-to-impossible for canes, wheelchairs, barefoot)
    - one small central flat grassy area (bull's eye in the middle) - NO shade, nowhere else to sit and connect with the earth
    - trees in BOXES, a couple of rows, NO GROVES, nothing natural. all sterile, controlled; trees which grow to 15 ft. height maximum. wet dream of a control freak; nature is just too wild...
    - NOTHING NATURAL, NO soft, lovely, curvey respite from the streets and stores…few places for people to sit and talk, gather and BE (GO AND BUY SOME STUFF OR EAT AT THE SURROUNDING RESTAURANTS DAMMIT)
    - maybe restrooms, maybe not; public spoke up several times on the insanity of NO restrooms
    - ditto for a water fountain (hey, why give it away? gotta make MONEY)
    - and yes, 91 TREES CUT AND GONE.

    but, hey, 45 more parking parking spaces. with meters. right on the square. BFD.
    ugh.

    jude
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  12. Gratitude expressed by:

  13. TopTop #7
    american dream's Avatar
    american dream
    Supporting Member

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    It sickens me too - a done deal before they even pretended that our input meant anything at all.

    Quote Jude Iam wrote: View Post
    went to meeting and stayed till after midnight. quite sickened by this whole thing....
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2016 at 11:31 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  14. Gratitude expressed by:

  15. TopTop #8
    Diane Darling's Avatar
    Diane Darling
     

    Re: HELP! City Council APPROVED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    I attended the Santa Rosa City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 26. As the topic was addressed three hours after the posted time, I was not able to stay for the public commentary, but did see the presentation of the Plans.

    As I understand it, the Plan is to utterly destroy our two unique and lovely fountains, our little Grecian bandstand, all the trees and plants except the redwoods and the giant bunya bunya tree, then lay out a highly unnatural space with other trees (of unnamed species) in boxes, ground granite and paving over most of the space, and a green area in the middle. Oh, and a “water feature” that has a few shards from the lovely Ruth Osawa fountain that will be replaced by parking.

    A secondary effect will be to reroute traffic around the Square, sending drivers on a merry chase around the heart of Santa Rosa. Good thing there will be 44 parking spaces in the Square - on top of the three thousand in parking garages only a block or two away. Yeah, 44 more parking spaces will really boost sales downtown! You betcha!

    Then there’s the matter of public restrooms for people enjoying our Town Square. How many are there in this plan? Two? Four? How about None? Yep, no public restrooms at all. Were they omitted intentionally? Or it just slipped everyone’s mind? Which is it, City Council?

    Those of us who feel sentimental about the place were thrown a few fish: more redwoods spared, parts of the fountain reused, parking lots named after streets from our grandparent’s time, the footprint of the stately Courthouse of years gone by reflected in the green area. Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the shape of the old courthouse. I care about hot afternoons in the shade by a fountain, waiting for friends, reading, eating a hot dog or some Mexican food while hearing music on the bandstand, Pomo dancers, book fairs, so many wonderful memories, their place being bulldozed under forever for what? A pre-fab urban design that would not look out of place in San Jose, but it isn’t Santa Rosa at all.

    No, thanks, Santa Rosa City Council. I don’t know why you’re in such an all-fired hurry to push this project on all of us, but it’s unseemly for you as public servants to make such a huge change in our commons without better agreement from the citizenry.

    I’d be happy to share my ideas for retaining both fountains and nearly all the trees, having handicapped parking right in the park and even restrooms! As for the huge traffic problem that will be created, you’re on your own there…but let’s not use the same reasoning and values that gave us a major freeway roaring through our city, okay?

    Diane Darling
    Graton
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2016 at 11:33 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  16. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  17. TopTop #9

    Re: HELP! City Council PASSED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    Quote BothSidesNow wrote: View Post
    Dies irae, Dies illa

    [translation: "Day of wrath and doom impending."]
    **********************************************************************************************************************
    No, Sara, that's not the way I meant it or the way it was always translated in my Catholic childhood. It's from the Catholic Requiem Mass.

    Dies irae, dies illa = "day of wrath and day of MOURNING."

    What I meant was:
    Yesterday, the day we found out our hopes were dead, on that day there was anger & there was mourning.


    Janet

    [ That was the translation I looked up. Sorry, Barry ]
    Last edited by Barry; 01-29-2016 at 11:38 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  18. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  19. TopTop #10
    MissTrisBliss's Avatar
    MissTrisBliss
     

    Re: HELP! City Council APPROVED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    Can't we do some sort of tree-hugging/chaining/human barrier/climbing-up-a-Julia-Hill-tree/press release thing to keep this from happening?!?!

    Is there any chance now of overturning the vote with the right amount - or quality - of support? If we spread the word enough? There are a lot of ways to spread the word...Public radio? Care2.com free petition? I noticed someone said a Change.org petition needed funding, but Care2's 'ThePetitionSite.com' is free to create petitions; Neighborland.com is another site where people can come together easily as a community for free, giving them the resources to come up with ideas for their community and bring together the right people and resources to reflect those ideas in reality.

    Another thought is how I felt as a child and a teenager, growing up in a world being ruined by the world before me, and my parents' and my own generations after that. I was passionate and optimistic that I could affect major change through my own logic, effort, and skills. My life's dream was completely tied in to all of this, this desire to 'save the planet' because its health, purity, life, and beauty were being destroyed by the very beings who had most taken advantage of its bounty. How then must the children of today feel when they learn of this horror the adults of their generation are about to inflict upon their own local community next? I know I for one would have wanted to do something to stop it!!

    Now, some may feel that children should have nothing to do with such 'adult' matters and would never consider getting any *actual* children involved; some might even consider it morally wrong, thinking of it as 'using' children for an adult agenda they may not support...but I urge you to consider these lines of questioning as well: 1) How do you think a child -- one you may know, or your own, perhaps -- would see this situation? Would they support it? Would they want to fight against its happening? Would they feel afraid of any part of it? Would they think of themselves as being 'used', if they wanted to support the 'natural' beauty we here are (mostly) all so fond of, even without anyone else around (i.e., 'adults') to benefit? How sad (or angry!), or confused, or troubling would it feel to have the plan go ahead and not successfully stop it?

    What would that child think, and more importantly, how would they FEEL, when they saw those beautiful, gigantic (for downtown SR, anyway) redwood trees, cut down and lying on truck beds...and the sad-looking stumps left over, with their dark sap looking almost bloody because of its color seen against the color of the redwood? I used to feel sick, and oh-so-sad and depressed to see tree stumps -- sad, dead headstones, silently marking a spot (or many spots!) that had once been so full of life - not just the life of the tree itself, but all the life within it, too. Would that child Want the Chance to save the 'Downtown Santa Rosa', along with its beloved trees, that they've been allowed to enjoy so far? Do they have the basic human right to be given that chance - and do we have the right to deny them that chance?

    Next, consider: 2) Think of a teenager, maybe someone you know, perhaps your own. Think carefully through all those same questions, see all those images over in your mind, this time from the perspective of a teenager. Digitally-addicted since early childhood perhaps, rebellious against anything and anyone, maybe super-smart with anything wired, possibly 100% oblivious to the charms of Nature -- yet still passionate about whatever drives them. They are, like I was, strong with emotion & energy (though logic might not be their strongest quality at this point in life). They not only fight hormonal impulses and bullies and acne and changes in their bodies, relationships, and responsibilities; at times, they seem almost *eager* to fight whatever else comes their way. Would that teenager Want the Chance to save the 'Downtown Santa Rosa', along with its beloved trees, that they've been allowed to enjoy so far? Do they have the basic human right to be given that chance - and do we have the right to deny them that chance?

    Last, consider: 3) Think of Yourself as that Child - think of Yourself as that Teenager. Ask yourself those same questions, see those images for your own self, in your own experience, from *your* point of view. Would YOU Want the Chance to save the 'Downtown Santa Rosa', along with its beloved trees, that YOU've been allowed to enjoy so far? Do YOU have the basic human right to be given that chance -- and do we -- do I -- does ANYone have the right to deny You that chance? Would you -- and have you -- forgiven your elders for not giving you that chance to do more as a part of your regular learning experience? Teachers should be allowed to inspire their students, asking something like, "Students...How do we want to make our community better today, thus making our world better?"

    Make no mistake: This was your grandfathers' fight, your parents' fight, and it is now YOUR FIGHT - but it's ALSO your CHILDRENS' Fight, and if we but have the COURAGE to ALLOW them THEIR CHANCE to FIGHT this, then maybe, just *maybe*, THEIR Children WON'T HAVE TO FIGHT ANYMORE.

    Those of you who feel your children, or your teenagers, would want to know, Please, *Talk To Them*. Entire families, entire communities, neighbors, friends, the homeless on the street, the elderly in their communities, along with entire school classes or college courses filled with people Young AND Old, rich AND poor, white, black, green; male, female, or otherwise - EVERYONE deserves a chance to stand up for their community and the good things in it -- like trees! -- and good people. If CHS is filled to overflowing with young and old citizenry, banners, sad faces, and 200 children & teens who suddenly need to use a restroom when 'Cutting Day' arrives (if by Goddess' mercy it hasn't already!), I think the PressDemo and possibly other news outlets would have a bit of a 'field day', don't you? I'd want to be there to see it! The more attention we can spotlight on the situation, the more likely we'll be to generate positive action, hopefully leading to a strong oppositional force that can & will defeat this 'unanimous vote' (that definitely DIDN'T have MY vote at any point!).

    Parents, teachers, worried the safety of your children could be compromised somehow for standing up for their beliefs at a young age? Shoot some home videos on your camera phone, upload them to YouTube.com, and send the footage to the local news stations, your congressman, the City Council, anyone who can HELP. Better yet, dig up some old, or shoot some new, vids of your family enjoying a nice day in the (existing) downtown square area (if it would stop raining for a moment!). Talk to the businesses you patronize (as a family) and let them know you'd be very disappointed and might not be as eager to spend your time (and thereby, your money) downtown if your family and you don't find it pleasant once it's been 'reunified' -- give THEM reason to speak up on your behalf!

    If the cutting hasn't happened yet, I DO think it's POSSIBLE to Successfully overturn this decision and improve it along the lines of what everyone here is suggesting. As far as what I personally can offer -- I'm creative, with a lot of different ideas, but I myself am limited in physical mobility and transportation, so I'm not able to list out ALL of my ideas in a letter like this; this is a rare thing that's taking some moderate back & neck pain to create (which I'll be paying for later).

    This pain, and more, I'm willing to endure so our stately redwoods (which I for one LOVE and got to grow up with in childhood and as a student and adult, living and working downtown) can live on, without the pain of being cut down in their prime. However, I need Help myself, in order to do more than just post this message. I would need a ride in order to face down a chainsaw and handcuff myself to a redwood or two, possibly some medical support. Other types of help I might be able to provide could require other types of help for me to perform them, like some pep-talky positive motivation if I were feeling overwhelmed by the opposition, or help researching who to send vids or protests to, etc.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions; however, as typing is tedious and uncomfortable currently, please include a phone number along with the earliest & latest times you wish to receive calls &/or texts, and please also let me know if the number is text-capable, if you don't mind.

    ~ Thank you for your time in reading this; I hope it inspired someone out there or helped someone in some way. ~

    Blessings,

    MissTrisBliss
    >^.^<
    Last edited by MissTrisBliss; 02-08-2016 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Restoration
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  20. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  21. TopTop #11
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: HELP! City Council APPROVED to Continue Courthouse Square Reunification

    There are some positive aspects to reuniting the square. #1 I think is it will slow or relocate traffic away from the heart of Santa Rosa. #2 is it will create a space for people to be, instead of a few park benches in the current split configuration.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  22. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  23. TopTop #12
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    PETITION: Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing... Not a $10 Million Dollar Courthouse Square!

    Greetings citizens of Sonoma County,

    Thank you for your support thus far. We keep revising for better focus.

    UPDATE:

    Below is a link to a NEWLY REVISED and abbreviated Change.org PETITION. Please sign the petition by opening the link (below) and signing if you are a resident and/or voter of Santa Rosa and support the cause. We need signatures in the thousands.

    https://www.change.org/p/santa-rosa-...rthouse-square

    That's right! Even after decades of city-wide deliberation, we still think more time is needed. Why? because we think that the City of Santa Rosa and the money for Old Courthouse Square Reunification should triage for ways to begin to resolve our city-wide housing crisis.



    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-02-2016 at 11:21 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  24. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  25. TopTop #13
    diaba
     

    Re: NEW PETITION: Put Santa Rosa Old Courthouse Square Reunification to a 2016 Ballot VO

    Thank you for the petition to sign. In my opinion,This issue should be decided by the voters, not the city council.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  26. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  27. TopTop #14
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: NEW PETITION: Put Santa Rosa Old Courthouse Square Reunification to a 2016 Ballot VO

    I just read a post on Rohnert Park Nextdoor.com that this petition can only be signed by Santa Rosa residents. Is this true? If so, this needs to be stated up front.

    I just posted this on several Santa Rosa focused Facebook groups and sent an email to my friends who live in Santa Rosa. If you belong to a Santa Rosa Nextdoor.com group, please share this post there.

    R U a Santa Rosa resident voter? This affects you:

    If you're a Santa Rosa resident voter, you may be able to prevent $10+ million from being spent on Courthouse Square instead of "affordable housing". Ask the City Council to REVERSE it's decision. Time is of the essence. SIGN NOW, or LOSE your power to stop this insanity.

    I just signed the petition "santa rosa, California, Santa Rosa California City Council: Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing... Not a $10 Million Courthouse Square!" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name. Please SHARE with your friends who are SR resident voters.

    Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

    https://www.change.org/p/santa-rosa-...edium=copylink

    Quote diaba wrote: View Post
    Thank you for the petition to sign. In my opinion,This issue should be decided by the voters, not the city council.
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-04-2016 at 03:41 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  28. Gratitude expressed by:

  29. TopTop #15
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    NEED REFERRAL to Environmental Attorney Who May CHALLENGE Traffic Study Courthouse Square

    Hello everyone,

    Please send us your best local referral to an attorney whom you know cares about the 2008 Environmental Impact Report, as it pertains to the reunification of Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.

    We are holding a strategy meeting to contemplate the need for a legally proposed challenge to what we think may be the incomplete and outdated 2008 traffic study related to the reunification of Old Courthouse Square. We are concerned, and see no evidence that the 2008 traffic study addresses the addition of 42- 47 parking spaces, which may have a significant impact on the implications of traffic to downtown. In light of this we want to brace ourselves with the advisement of an attorney in order to better understand our rights in becoming informed citizens. In the meantime, we will be contacting City Council to ask them to respond to our concern. Since the City Council cannot give us legal advice, we still need to seek out an attorney to educate us to the City Council's reply.

    Whereas we DO FIND evidence on publicly available archived City Council meetings. In the LINK BELOW, please find the minutes and video dated February 22, 2015; section 4.1 on the video archive, in which the question has been raised and gone only partly answered as to "why" the city may exonerate itself from re-submitting a new EIR traffic study to 2016 traffic implications. And while the commentary does not beg the question as to the additional 42-47 parking spaces, it is a good prelude to begging that question at the next City Council meeting. As herein we would want the citizens of Santa Rosa to know if the city must resubmit for PUBLIC TRANSPARENCY to either the EPA and/or CEQA a new traffic study BEFORE THEY BREAK GROUND on the reunification of Courthouse Square project.

    When the video is played, pay close attention to the public comment made by Santa Rosa Certified Public Accountant, Susanne Ell, who expresses concern over this very issue, and more.

    Fast forward the video to the time marker 00:33:45 to view her comments before the City Council, and their reaction to her comments.


    https://santa-rosa.granicus.com/Medi...=5&clip_id=677

    We deserve answers over how additional parking spaces not peviously mentioned in the 2008 traffic study will impact outlying streets and traffic.

    Please URGE City Council members to answer to this question immediately and perhaps we can find some solace.

    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-04-2016 at 08:53 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  30. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  31. TopTop #16
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    COURTHOUSE SQUARE Funding: How City Council CIRCUMVENTED Public Vote on $10 Million Out

    Hello everyone,

    Certificates of Participation, aka COPs.

    Sadly, there are those of us who are learning, or already know that the City of Santa Rosa Council Members DO NOT need to ask for voter approval regarding the all or partial use of "Certificates of Participation" for the $10 million dollar lease-back finance instrument they chose for the reunification of Old Courthouse Square.

    Please find the guideline below, as per the "CALIFORNIA DEBT AND INVESTMENT ADVISORY COMMISSION" outlined in 1993, at such time when COPs were voted into the State of California. We're verifying if this 1993 version is the only current version.

    Guideline 17 states: Solicit Public Participation in Tax-Exempt Leasing Decisions


    For us geeks who like to read public policy, there's a glimmer of good news held within pages 40-52 (link below). You might be pleased to learn that Santa Rosa voters may have a chance to change and/or monitor the way the Santa Rosa City Council chooses to use COPs for funding FUTURE projects. Yes future projects. And wouldn't that be nice to have that choice tested before a city-wide vote in 2016?

    Read pages 40-52 to learn the possibilities. Its a fast paced read into COP use, abuse and administrative guidelines a used by city and county governments.

    https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdiac/r...elines93-8.pdf

    While these pages hold no definite promise of Santa Rosans having a vote in accepting or rejecting COPs , its worth looking into isn't it? And we are!

    We want to make sure another $10 million dollar COP project (or cluster projects) CANNOT PASS approval without a PUBLIC mechanism of oversight.



    Thank you for your support.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-05-2016 at 03:37 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  32. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  33. TopTop #17
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: COURTHOUSE SQUARE Funding: How City Council CIRCUMVENTED Public Vote on $10 Million Ou

    Jennifer, I so appreciate that you have gone beyond, in digging up this "disheartening dirt". I wish someone with some "true grit" and power would step forward to help the ordinary citizens who oppose this insane plan for no better reason than to spend money on modifying the downtown streets and cutting down trees for a few parking spaces, when so many people have only streets for a home. It's criminal, in my opinion, but only highlights the larger criminal actions in our country, and beyond.

    Quote Jennifer Novascone wrote: View Post
    Certificates of Participation, aka COPs....
    Last edited by Barry; 02-05-2016 at 03:38 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  34. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  35. TopTop #18
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    EMAIL SR CITY COUNCIL: PLZ Document Public Participation in Tax-Exempt Leasing Decisions

    Hello Councilman Wysocky,

    Please, would you help to educate me with any information the City Council may provide? Please forward my email to all Council members.

    We would like to evidence what measures City Council documented pertaining to the "California Debt and Advisory Commissions Guideline 17".

    Guideline 17 states: Solicit Public Participation in Tax-Exempt Leasing Decisions

    https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cdiac/re...elines93-8.pdf


    Whereas we find evidence for public participation (polling) over aesthetics of the reunification of Old Courthouse Square, we do not see any documentation of public participation soliciting public participation in the enactment of tax exempt leasing decisions as Guideline 17 recommends to city and county governments.

    Respectfully, Jennifer Novascone
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  36. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  37. TopTop #19
    sambacat's Avatar
    sambacat
    Supporting member

    Re: NEED REFERRAL to Environmental Attorney Who May CHALLENGE Traffic Study Courthouse Squ

    I would highly recommend Jack Silver @: [email protected]. I have worked with him on many local environmental issues including gravel mining in the Russian River, Santa Rosa sewage problems, California Tiger Salamander habitat, etc. He is a dedicated environmental lawyer and is a conscious individual.

    Quote Jennifer Novascone wrote: View Post
    Please send us your best local referral to an attorney whom you know cares about the 2008 Environmental Impact Report, as it pertains to the reunification of Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa...
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-06-2016 at 12:49 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  38. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  39. TopTop #20
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    Hello everyone,

    Please sign our petition: https://www.change.org/p/santa-rosa-...rthouse-square.

    The link above does not work. Kindly scroll down to Barry's post and you'll see the link in BOLD YELLOW to the petition, titled : "Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing... NOT a $10 Million Dollar Courthouse Square".

    We're holding a strategy meeting this afternoon to better understand what our options may be with regard to convincing City Council to hold off development of Old Courthouse Square in favor of diverting the $10 million for use toward our critical housing shortage!

    Among topics we'll discuss, is our request to the City Council to provide the citizens of Santa Rosa a financial feasibility study of the anticipated tax revenue and increased business (projected dollar amount) that the revitalization of downtown square will bring to the City. We have no hard data to rationalize if City Council has exercised sound financial planning on behalf of taxpayers and voters. It would be financially irresponsible to speculate over the return on investment for this project.

    The citizens of Santa Rosa are OWED informed financial transparency in the use of their tax dollars.

    We ask you to URGE City Council to issue an independent financial review of the reunification of Old Courthouse Square before proceeding on any level, including to cease from removal of a single tree on the square.

    Please write to our council members. It takes on a moment to send a brief note in your own words, OR feel welcome to copy and paste the commentary made here into your email with your own introduction.

    Below is a list of City Council email addresses:

    Santa Rosa City Council Contacts:

    John Sawyer, Mayor: 707-578-6006, [email protected]
    Chris Coursey, Vice Mayor: 707-527-6588, [email protected]
    Gary Wysocky, Council Member: 707-575-3820, [email protected]
    Erin Carlstrom, Council Member: 707-321-0278, [email protected]
    Julie Combs, Council Member: 707-542-1906, [email protected]
    Ernesto Olivares, Council Member: 707-975-0023, [email protected]
    Tom Schwedhelm, Council Member: 707-326-4495, [email protected]

    Thank you for your support!

    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  40. Gratitude expressed by 5 members:

  41. TopTop #21
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    COURTHOUSE SQUARE: Easy to Send SAMPLE- Email of OPPOSITION to City Council!

    Hello SANTA ROSA voters and taxpayers,,

    Please send in your letter or email of opposition to the expenditure of $10 million for the reunification of the Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa.

    You might send something like the sample letter below OR your own letter. (choose one or all sample statements below, or insert your OWN comment).

    Dear City Council Members,

    I oppose the reunification of the Santa Rosa Old Courthouse Square because:

    I have not seen a published report of financial analysis with respect to the return on investment, and the expected amount of tax revenue the project will generate once complete. As a taxpayer and voter, I want to see quantifiable and independently audited financial data and not speculation. I'm counting on the Council to demonstrate their obligation of fiduciary duty to the citizens of Santa Rosa, as well as, to the economic viability of this expenditure BEFORE breaking ground.

    The City of Santa Rosa is facing a critical housing shortage, of which $10 million for the reunification of Old Courthouse Square would be better allocated toward development of new housing to alleviate human suffering.

    The reunification of Old Courthouse Square needs to slow down in order to allow taxpayers to understand the financial impact of a $10 million dollar expenditure. As a voter and taxpayer, I need more time to contribute public participation to the decision making process. As well, I urge City Council to put the reunification of Old Courthouse Square to a public vote, as this is OUR money; everyone's choice, not City Council or downtown merchants alone.

    Thank you for your reply,

    (your typed signature here)

    Please send your email to:

    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

    Please send your postal letters to:

    The City of Santa Rosa
    Attention: City Council Members
    Care of: CITY CLERK
    100 Santa Rosa Ave
    Santa Rosa, CA 95404
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  42. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  43. TopTop #22
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    COURTHOUSE SQUARE: Positive News on Strategy to Move Controversial ISSUE to PUBLIC Vote!

    Hello everyone,

    A group strategy meeting was held this afternoon and the morale among our collective intelligence is HIGH! We will move forward with steps to slow down reunification of The Old Courthouse Square in order to put this controversial issue to a PUBLIC VOTE!

    In the next two to three days we will be presenting information on what we know thus far, including strategy. However, as of this writing our immediate goal is to enlist public participation in organizing a peaceful protest at City Hall. Yes. A peaceful protest. We need your help NOW more than ever to enable our community exercise a fair and balanced voice in this call for action.

    Our goal is to personally serve a bundle of written opposition letters to the Santa Rosa City Clerk. The subject of these letters will be to oppose the Santa Rosa City Council trajectory for using "Certificates of Participation" or COPS to fund part of the Courthouse Square. A sample letter to help exemplify the meaning of this will be published in the next few days. Please come back to the Waccobb.net forum to check for updates!

    Serving letters of opposition is extremely time-sensitive and URGENT, as these letters are instrumental in allowing citizens to enact a voice in a manner that may build enough momentum to keep the the project from moving forward, and thereby allowing the public to voice their preference to take this issue to a ballot vote.

    There's more to come in the next two days; to flesh out a better understanding for all. Though for now, we feel it is vital to stay connected with those of you who back this grass roots movement.

    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-07-2016 at 01:15 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  44. Gratitude expressed by 8 members:

  45. TopTop #23
    prowess88's Avatar
    prowess88
     

    Re: PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    Jennifer,

    When I clicked on your petition link, change.org said your page didnt exist. Can you have a friend check your link to verify it works on a computer different than yours? I'd love to sign this petition!!



    From Barry:
    Here's a valid link. Just click on the petition title below

    Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing...
    Not a $10 Million $ Courthouse Square!
    Last edited by Barry; 02-07-2016 at 01:25 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  46. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  47. TopTop #24
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    It didn't work for me either.

    Quote prowess88 wrote: View Post
    Jennifer,

    When I clicked on your petition link, change.org said your page didnt exist. Can you have a friend check your link to verify it works on a computer differnet than yours? I'd love to sign this petition!!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  48. TopTop #25

    Re: PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    When I go to this site, it says
    This petition isn't available. Either the URL is incorrect, it violated our Community Guidelines, or the starter removed it.

    Quote Jennifer Novascone wrote: View Post
    Hello everyone,

    Please sign our petition: https://www.change.org/p/santa-rosa-...rthouse-square
    ...
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  49. TopTop #26
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    Here's a valid link. Just click on the petition title below

    Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing...
    Not a $10 Million $ Courthouse Square!


    Quote prowess88 wrote: View Post
    Jennifer,

    When I clicked on your petition link, change.org said your page didnt exist. Can you have a friend check your link to verify it works on a computer differnet than yours? I'd love to sign this petition!!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  50. Gratitude expressed by:

  51. TopTop #27
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    Re: PETITION Courthouse Square: Wish Us Luck at Our Strategy Meeting Today! Please SIGN!

    Hi there,

    Yes. I posted a reply to find the link. Simply scroll down to find the link. Thank you! ~ Jennifer

    Quote prowess88 wrote: View Post
    Can you have a friend check your link to verify it works on a computer different than yours? I'd love to sign this petition!!
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-08-2016 at 01:00 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  52. Gratitude expressed by:

  53. TopTop #28
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    URGENT Letters of Opposition to S.R. Courthouse Square: P.O. Box 12, Cotati, CA 94931

    Hello Santa Rosa voters and taxpayers,

    EASY SAMPLE LETTER to Copy and Paste and EASY instructions are down below!

    First off, please SHARE this post among all the social media networks that you utilize. It will amaze you at the results you can achieve in spreading the word. Our petition site is called: Santa Rosa 4 Affordable Housing... NOT a $10 Million Dollar Courthouse Square!

    If you'd like to help EMPOWER YOURSELVES, then please know that time is of the essence to send us your letters. We must serve these letters next week, as we are under a STRICT DEADLINE to secure our right to oppose the Court House Square project financing mechanism. If we cannot achieve this, then we will have LOST our foot-hold to exert pressure to bring this matter to a public vote.

    This is all we ask for: A VOTE. And shouldn't Santa Rosans be able to understand how this project will truly effect them, as only a vote will allow? Yet, the very nature of the finance tool of "Certificates of Participation" requires no such vote from citizens. As evidenced here in this link to better understand the use of "Certificates of Participation". Please read the section called PUBLIC POLICY, page 41 (scroll down). It explains "why" you will WANT to understand the issue in better light.

    BELOW AN IMPORTANT COMMENTARY FROM ONE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER:


    The $10 million dollar Courthouse Square is a BIG expenditure. In light of our housing shortage, we URGE Santa Rosans to decide for themselves where to allocate their taxpayer money. At the very least, we ask that City Council provide us with a financial feasibility study of what sound fiduciary duty requires for the Courthouse Square reunification to move forward. So far they have not provided. I have asked one City Council member to provide this data, to which that person has replied (in a manner of speaking), that no such data can exist on a project of which they can not anticipate what future revenue it will bring. FRIGHTENING to my point of view!

    We will serve your letters to the Santa Rosa City Clerk at our peaceful protest, or serve it yourself (with us) on a day to be announced by next week.

    If you cannot attend, please send your signed letters immediately to:

    Jennifer Coleman
    P.O. Box 12
    Cotati, CA 94931

    SAMPLE LETTER BELOW: Speaks Specifically to Opposition of FINANCE Scheme Until Public Vote.

    Dear City Council Members,

    I oppose the reunification of the Santa Rosa Old Courthouse Square because:

    I have not seen a published report of financial analysis with respect to the return on investment, and the expected amount of tax revenue the project will generate once complete. As a taxpayer and voter, I want to see quantifiable and independently audited financial data and not speculation. I'm counting on the Council to demonstrate their obligation of fiduciary duty to the citizens of Santa Rosa, as well as, to the economic viability of this expenditure BEFORE breaking ground or removing precious trees.

    Furthermore...

    The reunification of Old Courthouse Square needs to slow down in order to allow taxpayers to understand the financial impact of a $10 million dollar expenditure, as proposed in partial or predominant issuance of "Certificates of Participation". As a voter and taxpayer, I need more time to contribute public participation to the decision making process in using COPs to pass this type of finance instrument without a public vote.

    Lastly, I request that reunification of Old Courthouse Square project be put to a public vote, since this is OUR money; everyone's choice, not City Council or downtown merchants alone.

    Thank you for your reply,

    (your typed signature here)
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-08-2016 at 12:18 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  54. Gratitude expressed by:

  55. TopTop #29
    JimmyL's Avatar
    JimmyL
     

    Courthouse Square

    Another point of view from today's PD:

    Uninspiring trees

    EDITOR: I haven’t attended any of the reunification of Old Courthouse Square hearings. I have, however, kept close tabs through The Press Democrat.

    I drove to Courthouse Square to look at the trees. I don’t get the argument. Those redwoods are wholly uninspiring. It seems that these angry protesters think that our City Council is paving over Armstrong Woods.

    Terry Dirks (“Headed elsewhere,” Letters, Wednesday) wrote: “I will never again spend one penny in central Santa Rosa if they desecrate the beautiful town square.” Desecrate? Beautiful? Town? I don’t think she has ever been there. Was she was in the crowd at the hearing where Councilman Chris Coursey was heckled and booed so loudly during his closing statement that he had to publish his statement in the newspaper (“Old Courthouse Square vote was about improving downtown Santa Rosa — not parking,” Close to Home, Jan. 29)? How old are these people?

    I very much hope the entire City Council and Carlile-Macy will continue to fight these headwinds. I am looking forward to an architecturally designed urban space. It will mean so much for so many people.

    BECKY JANSSEN, Santa Rosa
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-08-2016 at 12:19 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  56. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  57. TopTop #30
    Jennifer Novascone's Avatar
    Jennifer Novascone
     

    COURTHOUSE SQUARE: Does Anyone Know Jen Schallert Cox, Author of the RENT CONTROL Petiton?

    Hello everyone,

    We are attempting to locate Ms. Jen Schallert Cox, author of the Rent Control petition as it pertains to Santa Rosa's affordable housing crisis? If you know her, or someone who knows her, please pass this posting along to the appropriate person, so that Ms. Schallert-Cox may reach us.

    We would like her to contact us so that we may join forces with her in cross-sharing our respective petitions as "updates" to our supporters. These are the supporters who signed her petition and ours, some of whom request to be updated on the progress of the petitions they sign.

    Our goal is to get the word out to Santa Rosa renters... to encourage them to QUESTION their City Council, as to "how" $10 million dollars is slated to be spent on reunification of Courthouse Square, but while the City's critical housing needs go unmet. We believe that some renters are not making this correlation. We want to urge them to attend City Council meetings to better understand the pros and cons to the reunification of Courthouse Square, and what it means for their housing situation.

    Thank you for your support!
    Last edited by Bella Stolz; 02-08-2016 at 12:20 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  58. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-28-2016, 11:19 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-07-2012, 09:30 AM

Tags (user supplied keywords) for this Thread

Bookmarks