Council to choose alcalde
For its final session of 2012, the Sonoma City Council will meet on Monday, Dec. 17, to ratify the mayor’s nomination for 2013 Alcalde, and to vote on a proposed garbage rate hike of 4.59 percent.
Following annual tradition, three candidates for the honorary position of alcalde were nominated earlier this month by a committee consisting of the three immediate past alcaldes, the mayor and the city manager. The new mayor then reviewed the three nominees, will select one and put that person’s name forward to the full council.
The three nominees are Les and Judy Vadasz, Gary Edwards and Robert Wilson.
The Vadasz’s are prominent philanthropists, volunteers and community leaders with a host of civic activities in the Sonoma Valley, including the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, La Luz Center, the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and many others. The Vadasz nomination follows a tradition of occasionally naming couples to share the title when both are deeply active in the community.
Edwards is a Sonoma businessman, philanthropist and community volunteer active in Cittaslow, the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the Sonoma Valley Rotary Club, and is a member of the Sonoma Planning Commission.
Wilson is a business owner, philanthropist, sponsor of the Sonoma Valley Skate Park and various skateboarding teams, a mentor and helping hand to countless Valley teens, a member of the Boys & Girls Club Teen Programs committee and a recipient of the club’s Angel Award.
The alcalde is an honorary position that dates back to Spanish rule of California when alcaldes served as mayors who headed local town councils. Sonoma’s alcalde participates in public events, notably the Fourth of July parade, Memorial Day services, Veterans Day ceremonies and the Vintage Festival, and is honored at an annual alcalde luncheon.
The garbage rate hike to be voted on by the City Council reflects a 2.34 percent increase in the tipping fee charged for taking refuse to either the Sonoma County Central Landfill or the Sonoma Transfer Station on Stage Gulch Road.
Sonoma Garbage Company, the locally-owned refuse hauler, is also asking for a 2.25 percent rate increase based on a standard formula adopted by the city.
That formula incorporates a so-called “Refuse Rate Index” (RFI) that calculates rates based on published indices reflecting the actual costs incurred by the hauling company, including labor and fuel costs, vehicle replacement and maintenance and tipping fees.
The impact of the increase on a typical residential ratepayer would be 33-cents a month.
In other council action, a proclamation will be read honoring the memory of the late Gerald N. Hill, a prominent attorney, teacher, political activist and Index-Tribune historian who died last March.
Recognition will also be accorded Yvonne Bowers and Jeff Baptista for their service on the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission.
Additionally, Anna Whitmore will be reappointed to the Community Services and Environment Commission, D. Michael Thomas will be confirmed for a two-year term on the same commission, Rosemary Sutcliffe will be reappointed to the Traffic Safety Committee and Kelso Barnett will be reappointed to the Design Review Commission.
The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W. The public is invited.