Sebastopol City Council to discuss serving homeless locals, municipal finance services

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, November 2, 2021

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The to-do list for Tuesday’s Sebastopol City Council’s special meeting is a short one, at least on paper. The virtual meeting starts at 5 p.m., Nov. 2 and aims to cover the past and present regarding the search for a municipal financial consultant, city efforts to serve the homeless community and more.

The agenda and Zoom link are available here.

Top of the list are items continued from meetings past that ran out of time before the council could discuss them, City Clerk and Assistant City Manager Mary Gourley said. First comes the council’s discussion on the city budget process and any directions to staff regarding any recommended changes.

Following that conversation, the council is scheduled to consider a more specific scope of work for a municipal financial services consultant in the request for proposals (RFP). The city didn’t get any takers by the deadline for proposals from multiple contacted firms.

Then, either the city manager-attorney or city clerk will provide an after-action report on the encampment clearing in the area near the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Preserve on Sept. 21. Afterwards are council reports, including one from the mayor focusing on the status of budget items from the approved budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Catching up to today with Committee for the Unhoused, future council retreat talks

The newly formed Committee for the Unhoused, consisting of Mayor Una Glass and Councilmember Diana Rich, will present a status report on its assigned tasks and seek further direction from the council.

Per the agenda report, they will discuss updates on gauging the local homeless community’s needs and impacts and the ad hoc committee’s support to West County Community Services (WCCS) for its contracted efforts.

Next, the committee will catch the council up on creating an initial proposal to handle needs and impacts outside of the WCCS contract and achievements so far in reaching out to unhoused residents, city and WCCS staff, business owners and other people “affected by the unhoused situation in Sebastopol.”

They are also set to report out on opportunities to bring on liaisons, providing monthly council reports and more.

Afterward, the Sebastopol City Council is to consider reappointing Councilmember Neysa Hinton or appointing a different council member to the Sonoma County Mayors and Councilmembers Association’s subcommittee to update its by-laws.

The item also recommends the council choose Glass “or designee to vote on nominations received at the Mayors’ & Councilmembers’ meeting on November 18, 2021,” per the report.

Last on the list is a discussion on a potential council retreat, “typically designed and organized specifically to facilitate the ability of a group to step back from their day-to-day demands and activities for an extended period of concentrated discussion, dialogue, and strategic thinking about the organization’s future or about specific issues.”

If a retreat is approved, the council is recommended to go over the retreat’s objectives, the location, the event facilitator, times and dates of the retreat and when would be most appropriate in the overall council calendar.

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