Where they stand: Council candidates make their voices heard
In the long run, Cribb said, he would be in favor of “whatever number of dispensaries (the city) might need.”
“But I think the first time we get out of the box we should take a little breath here to see what we’ve learned… and if there are any changes, tightening or tweaking that we might need. before moving on to the next one, ”Cribb said.
Nugent called the problem a “storm in a teapot”.
“Look, it’s a legal substance,” Nugent said. “People in the state of California have talked about it. I don’t care if we have one, two, or four stores that sell a legal product.
Sonoma Truck & Auto property
Development plans approved in 2017 for the former Sonoma Truck & Auto Center property on Broadway were scrapped following a long-running litigation, leaving the site in a condition that some describe as an “eyesore” to the entrance to the city.
If elected to the board, Cribb says he would support a development proposal similar to what was previously approved, but denser. “(As long as) we retain the historic character of the Broadway corridor, I would like to install as many units as possible on this property,” Cribb said.
Nugent said a batch of used trucks was probably never suitable for the Sonoma “catwalk”, but “the wreckage of a batch of used trucks and cars” is even worse.
“We have to do something,” Nugent said. “Mixed use, great. A commercial market, great idea. Two stories? Three stories? Show me the plans, but let’s move on.
Lowe believes that if the City owned the property, it could partner with developers to build affordable housing on the site. “The big problem is we don’t own it and we don’t have the money to buy it,” Lowe said. “If we did, we would be talking about the beauty of what’s going to be. “
Lowe also offered to personally visit the site and help with the cleanup efforts.
Supporting small businesses after the pandemic
Nugent credited the current city council with approving the use of portions of the Plaza’s parking lot for restaurants, or “parklets,” as sidewalk food courts are known.
“I would love to see restaurants come together and come up with a number of ideas to improve the aesthetics and safety of parklets,” Nugent said.
Lowe also applauded the parklets, but suggested helping other retail businesses affected by the loss of parking space. “Maybe we could have some relief for these stores as well,” Lowe said.
Cribb said the most important way to help small businesses is to create housing for the workforce.
“It’s almost impossible to hire in this community because we can’t find people who live close enough to justify working here,” Cribb said.
When was the city council wrong?
Lowe said city council could have saved itself a lot of heartache if it had chosen a more moderate plan to redesign Broadway.
“I echo the council’s feeling of wanting to do something safe, but if he had gone for (option) A which included a bike path, it would have been more acceptable (to the community).”
Cribb cited the council’s decision in 2018 to limit the number of tasting rooms allowed in the city center.
“I’m not a big fan of planned economies,” Cribb said. “I don’t know the right number of pizzerias, clothing stores or art galleries. I think the market decides these things.
Nugent also questioned the logic of limiting tasting rooms. “I’ve never seen anything more complicated than city council making the decision on how many tasting rooms we should have,” Nugent said. “We are a free market economy whether we like it or not and we must continue to move in that direction.”
Foster a more positive public dialogue
Cribb believes it is important for candidates to run positive campaigns and involve more young people. He said he even organized a voter registration campaign in front of the high school. “Let’s show a facade to show the public that we are truly engaged in the democratic process,” Cribb said. “This is really what it is.”
Nugent said public life in America has a “long tradition of being rather resentful.”
“Look, you go to a baseball game, you know as polite as you are you’ll be yelling at the ref,” Nugent said. “Public life shouldn’t be a cage fight, but it will happen.”
That said, people shouldn’t behave like a “sociopath” or a “nutcase,” he added.
Lowe said his style has always been to “be tough on the issue, but be gentle with people.”
“I will take this philosophy to city council,” Lowe said. “If we don’t agree on an issue, we will fight over the issue, but we will not fight as people. “
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