Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition: What are our Accomplishments?
As the Steering Committee looks back over the years we find that we take heart from our success on some of the vital issues of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
Here, with your help, are our major accomplishments:
Stopped the Mandatory Inspections for Green Building Retrofit Program
This plan was about to be passed as an ordinance by the Santa Rosa City Council in 2009 (Susan Gorin, Gary Wysocky, Marsha Vas Dupre, Veronica Jacobi, Jane Bender, John Sawyer, Ernesto Olivares). As planned, the ordinance would have mandated that EVERY property, residential and commercial, in Santa Rosa would be required to pay for mandatory inspections for energy efficiency and then, prior to sale or issuance of a remodel permit, owners would be required to spend 1.5% of the value in energy retrofits.
The Santa Rosa Neighborhood Coalition protested this at city council, planning commission meetings, and with letters to the SR Press Democrat, but it appeared that the City was going ahead with the plan. The SRNC then wrote, printed, and distributed 7,000 flyers to properties in all four quadrants of Santa Rosa. Property owners were outraged that they had not been informed of this plan, were not going to be given a vote on it, and would be subjected to its implementation. They inundated the Mayor with calls until she begged us to stop distributing flyers, which we refused to do. She called our flyers 'misleading' and tried to turn citizens against us, but she failed. The City did not propose the ordinance and the project has died. We remain vigilant, however. Click here for details
Lead role in RESTORE HUMBOLDT STREET
The SRNC spearheaded the Restore Humboldt effort to stop the Humboldt Street Bicycle Boulevard which was to cost $800,000. The City's 18 month 'test' ($200,000) was a failure from the start but they refused to remove the dangerous traffic circles and reinstall crosswalks and stop signs. Members of SRNC were at every meeting (Council, Planning Commission, Neighborhood Visioning, Bike and Pedestrian Board) and objected to this imposition of ideology on a peaceful neighborhood collector street. Although Mayor Susan Gorin and Vice Mayor Wysocky tried to turn members of our group against others in the group, and some were called 'grumpy old men' who would 'soon be in the ground' by City Planners, we stood strong. We had a petition at Bill's Friendly Market and went door to door in the neighborhood, obtaining nearly 700 signatures from residents who wanted to Restore Humboldt. We filed a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of FHWA for Americans with Disability Act (ADA) violations due to dangerous crosswalks. Finally after a year and a half of near misses, frayed tempers, and neighborhood discord, the City Council voted to remove the traffic circles and restore some of the stop signs. This is an example of how reality can triumph over the ideology of the Bicycle Coalition. Click here for details
Exposed the Junior College Neighborhood Association
For years the JCNA has been run by a paid lobbyist without the residents knowing it. Jenny Bard is employed by the California Lung Association, a group that lobbies for SmartGrowth. Ms. Bard hired a consultant to propagandize the neighborhood with plans to 'redesign Mendocino Avenue', shrinking it from four to two lanes, and pressured for the area to be included in the Gateways Redevelopment Project Area.
Back in 2007 Ms. Bard stepped down as president of the JCNA (the city's largest neighborhood association) and Kay Tokerud was elected. Because Ms. Tokerud does not support redevelopment and had sued to stop the Gateways Redevelopment Project, Bard hastily assembled a group of 12 people to serve as board members whose task was to remove Tokerud. The Board tried to declare Tokerud's election invalid but the State Parliamentarian declared it valid. Then the Board, led by Ms. Bard and Gary Wysocky, harassed Ms. Tokerud, threatening her with a TRIAL for being a 'disagreeable character'.
After months of harassment, Ms. Tokerud agreed to be a board member at large, and released her presidency. The Board immediately appointed Gary Wysocky (former president of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition) and he announced his candidacy for City Council. After he was elected in 2008, Bard took over the JCNA again. In 2010 she apparently used the JCNA mailing list to campaign for Gorin/Jacobi/Haenel for Council, a violation of bylaws. She controls the two locked neighborhood bulletin boards paid for with taxpayers funds and refuses to allow anything in them that she does not approve.
The SRNC has taken a leadership role in the Junior College neighborhood and championed the causes important to residents.
Reported Michael Allen, 7th District Assembly, to the Fair Political Practices Commission. HE WAS FOUND GUILTY AND HAS BEEN FINED. THIS WAS A BIG FACTOR IN HIS SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF HIS ASSEMBLY SEAT.
Click here for details
Saved the South A Arts District from Gateways Redevelopment Project and had the Juilliard and Olive Park Areas removed from the Gateways Redevelopment Project
Click here for details