Windsor Town Council Meeting

The Windsor Town Council will consider three regular calendar items at the Nov. 3 meeting: a ban on new gas stations, the approval of a local road safety plan and the electronic filing of campaign disclosure documents.

 

Participation in Countywide Ban on Construction of New Gas Station Infrastructure

The Town of Windsor could soon ban new gas station infrastructure, as part of a countywide ban in the effort to address climate change.

The town council will hear a presentation regarding the ban from the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA), and is recommended to direct staff to draft a zoning ordinance text that would “cease all construction of new gas station infrastructure to reduce fossil fuel emissions and prepare for the transition to zero-emission vehicles,” according to the agenda report.

Such an ordinance would not affect the four current gas stations in Windsor, except to prohibit the expansion of their services as they pertain to fossil fuels. Amendments would be included that would protect the expansion of zero-emission services, such as electric vehicle charging stations.

 

Approve the Local Road Safety Plan

After analyzing five years of data and holding meetings with stakeholders like Windsor Police, Sonoma County Fire District, Sonoma County Transit and the Pedestrian Advisory Committee, town staff are bringing a local road safety plan before council for approval.

The project began in December 2019, when the town received a Local Road Safety Plan Grant from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The plan is required in order to comply with state and federal highway requirements related to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

“The proposed local road safety plan shall identify key safety activities and projects to ensure a safe public transportation system for all modes,” according to the agenda report. “The countermeasures and recommendations will include the ‘5 E’s’ of highway safety — engineering, enforcement, education, emergency response and emerging technologies.”

Proposed projects at five identified intersections include safety improvements such as installation of flashing yellow lights for unprotected left turns, adding green bike lane markings in certain areas and improving signal timing.

Along identified thoroughfares, improvements include pedestrian crossing enhancements, improving pavement conditions and increasing DUI enforcement.

Non-engineering strategies include programs such as bicycle and pedestrian safety campaigns (education), real-time speed feedback data and reporting (emerging technologies), increasing the number of traffic enforcement officers (enforcement) and improvements to roadways to increase access and potentially shorten response times (emergency response).

 

Electronic filing of campaign disclosure documents

The town council will conduct the first reading of an ordinance relating to the electronic and paperless filing of campaign financial statements required by candidates for local office. The ordinance specifically mentions campaign finance disclosure statements and statements of economic interests required by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), which regulates and oversees elections in California.

In the interest of keeping voters fully informed, according to the staff report, campaign statements (or Form 460s) disclose financial contributions to local candidate and ballot measure campaigns, and statements of economic interests (or Form 700s) are filed by specific deadlines with the town clerk.

This ordinance would require electronic filing of disclosure documents, which could then be viewable by the public on the town’s website.

“There are many advantages to requiring electronic filing of disclosure documents. All FPPC forms are public records. By shifting to an electronic system, the public can directly access campaign statements on the town’s website. The system is also beneficial to the end user by providing multiple prompts to ensure timely filing, storing previous statements for user ease, and permitting a single filing for multiple offices,” the agenda report reads.

 

Staff Writer

Brandon McCapes got his start in journalism at SRJC, when he covered the North Bay Fires in 2017. Since then, he has covered Sonoma County for a variety of publications, specializing in local politics and business reporting.

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