Local government

Sonoma County Fires Community Meetings: TOMORROW: Thursday, October 19 

Re-Entering Neighborhoods, Debris Removal and Clean Up, and Shelter and Temporary Housing Update  

Seeking Consensus on Composting

Apr 25, 2017

Sonoma County has been without a local composting operation for a year and a half. And it will be at least twice that long before a new one can get started. But the process is inching forward.

 When commercial composting was introduced in Sonoma County, roughly 20 years ago, by Sonoma Compost, the pioneering local operation was widely studied and imitated, recalls Patrick Carter, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

Sonoma County Water Agency

  As local well owners, water suppliers, and other stakeholders begin to implement the state’s new groundwater management law, they’re having to find ways to make something designed for central and southern California still work locally.

A series of three local workshops on implementation of the state’s the Groundwater Management Act hav e been planned in Sonoma County. See the full schedule below.

Thursday, June 30
Sonoma Valley Workshop
6-8 p.m.
Sonoma Charter School
17202 Highway 12, Fetters Hot Springs

Medicine Disposal Requirements Upheld

May 28, 2015

In a decision reaching from Washington to your medicine cabinet, the US Supreme Court has held that local governments can require pharmaceutical companies to take responsibility for the collection and disposal of their excess products.

Heidi Sanborn,  Executive Director of the California Product Stewardship Council, says laws such as the Alameda ordinance, are advancing the concept of “Extended Producer Responsibility,” which is a critical component of overall efforts to reduce consumer waste.

Public Funds Just Seed Money in Fighting Homelessness

May 5, 2015

County supervisors on Tuesday readily accepted a plan to spend nearly $2.8 million in federal funds on projects to address homelessness and poverty in Sonoma County. But they know the annual grants are not keeping pace with the local needs.

  Since the 2008 recession kicked in, Social Advocates for Youth has recognized a need to reduce their dependence on government funds to support their programs, says Executive Director Matt Martin.

Sustainability in Local Government

Apr 30, 2014

Leadership on policies and practices to promote sustainability, reduce waste and combat climate change is increasing coming from responsive and local sources—city and county governments.

Expanding Graywater Use in Marin

Apr 17, 2014

  Wider use of waste water--from sinks, showers and laundry-- for landscape irrigation can preserve diminished freshwater supplies. A pilot program in Marin is out to make that both easier and more common.

  As this chart indicates, more than half of a typical home's water use could be recycled through a graywater system.

Input Invited in SR City Manager Search

Apr 15, 2014

  Cathy Millison, who has been the City Manger for Santa Rosa for the past three and a half years, has announced her retirement, effective in the fall, so the search is on for her successor. As part of that process, the city council has invited the citizenry to share their ideas of what criteria should be part of that recruitment effort. We get more on the whole process in this conversation with the city’s other top official.

That public input session is scheduled for 3 o’clock this afternoon in the Santa Rosa City Council chambers.

Sonoma County Plastic Bag Ban Advances

Jan 16, 2014

After years of discussion and a late procedural diversion, Sonoma County is finally poised to impose limitations on the use of free plastic bags by grocers and other retailers. But getting to this point wasn’t easy.

Find details about the new bag restrictions here. You can also review KRCB's coverage of the Febrary 2011 Public Forum on Single-Use Bags here.

Statewide Coastal Trail Group Forming

Jan 13, 2014

  California’s coastline spans 1200 miles and well over 100 local governments and other jurisdictions. A new initiative from Coastwalk in Sebastopol is trying to bring them all together in support of completing a single publicly accessible trail along the entire coast, and we learn more about that on today’s Exchange  segment.

Safe Medicine Disposal

Sep 16, 2013

  Collecting and incinerating old or unwanted prescription medications is a public health benefit on several fronts. The makers of the meds are fighting one northern California County’s ordinance that requires them to help cover those disposal costs—but they’re losing.

For Sonoma County, the drive to collect and dispose of excess medications (see list of locations here)  has been propelled by water quality concerns, explains Susan Keach, an Environmental Compliance Inspector for the Sonoma County Water Agency.

Sonoma Clean Power Prepares to Get Going

Jul 1, 2013

Electricity will be greener, if not immediately cheaper, when Sonoma Clean Power inaugurates its service early next year. Backers of the new local utility are hoping Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Sonoma will choose to be part of the project, but say none of those votes are make or break decisions.

Be nice to your local bicyclist. It’ll soon be law.

Mar 12, 2013
Flickr user Phil King

Sonoma County bicyclists are anticipating an extra layer of legal protection from enraged drivers. The Board of Supervisors has voted to move ahead with an ordinance that would make the county to first in the nation to allow harassed cyclists and pedestrians to sue for damages in civil court. 

Local Road Repair Needs Mushroom

Mar 10, 2013
SOS Roads

All across California, the projected costs for maintaining local streets and roads far outstrips the funds available for that purpose. In the first of a two-part report, KRCB’s Bruce Robinson examines the size of the problem in Sonoma County.


  No one disputes the need for huge expenditures to preserve and maintain public streets and roads in our communities. But not one seems to have a clear idea of where that money will come from, either.

As bad as the cost estimates are now, they could get worse in a hurry, warns Santa Rosa Public Works Director Rick Moshier.