Weary of the Developer-Friendly Status Quo in Petaluma? Your Deadline to Run for the City Council Has Arrived

Will three Petaluma City Councilmembers be running for re-election unopposed?

Petaluma City Hall signThat’s the big question of the day, as the deadline to file paperwork to run for City Council is tomorrow, Friday, August 12 at 5 pm.

City Clerk Claire Cooper informed RR that several people have requested the necessary paperwork to declare their candidacy, but none has yet filed, leaving incumbents Mike Healy, Kathy Miller, and Gabe Kearney running for re-election unopposed………thus far.

Cooper told us she’ll be at Petaluma City Hall (11 English St) from 8 am – 5 pm tomorrow to accept candidate filings, should you wish to jump in the race. City Hall is normally closed on Fridays, a continuing cost-saving measure instituted after the onset of the Great Recession took its toll on our municipal finances.

Will anyone jump in the race and provide us with some sliver of hope for better leadership that puts the public interest ahead of the for-profit interests of developers?

Conservative Democrats have a pretty solid grip on the council these days, having exorcised the anti-business demons they believe dogged the city’s development policy under many years of more progressive leadership.

Nowadays Basin Street Properties and other developers appear to have extraordinarily good representation on the council, with the conservative majority showing a remarkable deference to developers’ private interests over the public good and our community’s infrastructure. Read more about the council’s willingness to bend over backwards for Basin Street here.

Let’s hope someone else jumps in the race, someone with a clear vision of what a sustainable community that invests in its public commons and cares for its citizenry looks like, and how we might get there. Petaluma has been bending over backwards for developers for years now, with concessions to Basin Street Properties in particular granted with a virtual rubber stamp.

As we enter a tumultuous era of political and climate upheaval, with an economic system lurching from one crisis of capitalism to the next, we require far better leadership. Far too many urgent tasks lay ahead of us to continue business-as-usual politics at any level of government. The re-localization of our food, energy, economic and other systems likely needs to proceed with or without help from state and federal authorities.

If, in fact, we have reached the end of economic growth, as wise thinkers like Richard Heinberg and many others have suggested, then we are in urgent need of new and creative thinking, not only in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, but also at our wonderfully retro, Eisenhower-era City Hall.


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