Modest meeting for ‘new’ council
RP to take up meatier issues at next meeting slated for Jan. 22
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By Jud Snyder  January 11, 2013 12:00 am

Rohnert Park’s City Council quietly sidled into the new year Tuesday night equipped with a tame agenda far removed from any inklings of “OK, let’s get crackin’, it’s 2013, let’s roll up our sleeves right now.”

Instead, the council listened to updated reports concerning the removal of abandoned autos in driveways and city streets and an update on the city’s Emergency Management Plan, both from the Dept. of Public Safety, complete with PowerPoint shows. Public Works Dept. Director John MacArthur also updated his department’s Web site working plan, whereby residents can directly contact DPW to report pot holes, downed trees or other city impediments needing DPW attention.

The meeting took 90 minutes, it was all unanimous 4-0 votes of approval (vice-Mayor Joe Callinan was absent), and the audience in council chambers barely outnumbered the city council, City Manager Gabe Gonzalez, City Attorney Michelle Kenyon up front on the dais.

This modest, low key session to open the new year provided no indication of the workload facing the council in the next few months. 

But they do exist. A big one is the 2013-14 budget with a $2.2 million deficit plus the ongoing debt problem with retiree health plans promised financial benefits. There’s a cheerful note here: RP’s financial situation is in a much better shape than it was last year.

Other situations this year include the Graton tribe casino, due to open next year, widening Wilfred Avenue to handle casino traffic, working with the Green Music Center to coordinate with their plans and the possible development this summer of the University District Specific Plan (already a part of RP) across RP Expressway from SSU’s much-heralded Green Music Center.
RP City Council’s rather sedate first meeting of the new year was affected by the Christmas and New Year celebrations, which slowed municipal business to a crawl. They’ll settle down to tougher decisions when they meet Tuesday, Jan. 22.

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