A City Council putsch
EDITOR: Although I did not attend the most recent Sonoma City Council meeting of Dec. 12, where Rachel Hundley was selected as Sonoma’s next mayor (“Rachel Hundley, Madam Mayor,” Dec. 16), it is my understanding that per longstanding procedure, Madolyn Agrimonti, previous mayor pro tem, was in line for appointment as Mayor. With little or no discussion a vote ensued, with Rachel selected as Mayor by the council members. Why, what is behind this move? I do not know Rachel at all, and certainly cannot comment on her capabilities, nor her abilities to serve as Mayor. This letter is about a process gone amiss. I do know Madolyn, and hold her in high regard as to putting her constituents and issues first, not petty politics or self-advancement. She has always served the Council and city well in her duties as a council member in my opinion, addressing the issues of the city in a thoughtful, professional manner.
Why Madolyn was not selected as the next mayor is very perplexing to me and disconcerting. With no discussion prior to the Council vote, and with a unanimous decision to appoint Rachel as the next Mayor of Sonoma, leads me to assume several logical conclusions, none of them positive. Was there an infraction of the Brown Act, i.e. discussion among council members outside the confines of a formal meeting, to reach the decision to bypass the selection of Madolyn? Why the departure from the acceptable and longstanding process of succession with no public discussion or dialogue? Why no discussion among the Council members in executive session prior to the vote? If there are issues, why not discuss face to face? We all know that the Mayor’s position is mostly a ceremonial position in terms of management direction of city affairs, and is a rotational position, with the pro-tem mayor usually succeeding the most recent sitting mayor. Why the change?
It is my understanding that Madolyn handled this situation gracefully and professionally. The same cannot be said for certain council members who decided to deviate from the norm with no public discussion, or one with Madolyn. The residents of Sonoma deserve better, as does Madolyn.
Mayor walks thin line with conflicts of interest
EDITOR: In my opinion Mayor Hundley should take a step back from the Tuesday Farmers Market discussion and recuse herself due to a conflict of interest (“Council: No Extension Yet for VOM Farmers Market,” Dec. 16). The fact that she was a partner in a food truck operation that was denied entry into the 2016 markets is a conflict of interest in terms of the possibility that she could be holding ill will toward the market management.
I don’t see how she could be fair and impartial toward the market in her City Council position.
When the Council was trying to make a final decision on Monday night at the Council meeting they insinuated they would want to include the market board members in a sub-committee – and when market manager Bill Dardon began to speak Mayor Hundley, instead of encouraging and inviting cooperation from him, pretty much shut him down in an authoritarian manner telling him it was not time for public comments. Her intervention, to me, indicated that she has already made her mind up in this matter and holds “conflict of interest” feeling toward the market management.