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A Message from
Sebastopol Vice Mayor Michael Kyes

Dear Sebastopol Voter,

Once again Sebastopol's future hangs in the balance with the coming election for Sebastopol City Council.  Please join me in voting for John Eder and Robert Jacob to send a resounding NO to CVS/Chase and other future developments like it.  We do not need projects that will cause traffic gridlock and detract from our downtown with corporate formula architecture.

Text Box: Robert Jacob and John Eder oppose CVS/Chase and other developments like it Our City government and our citizens DO have the right to require architectural and planning standards that fit with and enhance our community.  Make no mistake, contrary to the claims of current Sebastopol Councilmember Kathleen Shaffer and Council candidate Kathy Austin, the CVS/Chase proposal did not meet our community's standards as set forth in our City policies. We have every legal right to require that projects meet these standards. We can just say no when they don't.

Fellow Sebastopol Councilmember, Sarah Gurney, who is an attorney, and I cast the two minority votes on the City Council against the CVS/Chase project.  In the months leading up to our vote, our City Planning Commission and our City Design Review Board both rejected the project.  These governing boards include many building industry professionals such as architects and contractors who are very familiar with City standards and policies.  In their well-informed opinions, the CVS/Chase project did not comply with our City policies and it was appropriate to reject the CVS/Chase proposal.  I am offended by Kathleen Shaffer's campaign literature which implies Councilmember Gurney and I did not follow the law when we voted against CVS

Text Box: Kathleen Shaffer not only supported the CVS/Chase project she orchestrated support for it.  Kathy Austin spoke in favor of it before the City Council. And now Caltrans agrees with Councilmember Gurney and me. Last week Caltrans sent a letter saying that it would not allow left hand turns from Highway 12 into the CVS/Chase project.  We both fought for this prohibition because of its serious impact on traffic and safety, but Councilmember Shaffer and the council majority upheld the left hand turn. 

Sebastopol activists have worked many years shaping a progressive green vision for Sebastopol and codifying that vision in our City's General Plan and policies.   We have accomplished much over the past twenty years.  Sebastopol has become a magnet for sustainable innovative businesses.  We took the good parts of the Northeast Plan's vision and are redeveloping the industrial area between downtown and Morris Street. This will have a significant positive impact on Sebastopol's economy. 

Our downtown has gone from a derelict sea of bare asphalt to a lovely plaza and the tree shaded streets we see today.  Our traffic calming project has not only helped to make our streets safer, it has made them nicer aesthetically.  Our Laguna Park is beautiful.   We invested significant portions of our redevelopment funds in affordable and innovative housing and Sebastopol's record of affordable house development surpasses every other city in Sonoma County.  Thanks to the City's Solar Sebastopol program we have one of the highest per capita solar adoption rates in California.

We have a great movie theater ,  live theater,  and excellent and innovative schools, a vibrant farmers market,  excellent locally owned grocery stores, great restaurants, a thriving arts community and arts center.  Just outside of town we have bountiful organic farms, orchards and creameries.  I could go on and on.

As I said, we have accomplished much.  There is still much to be done and plenty to be preserved. My vision for Sebastopol is to continue the progress itemized above, to preserve our vision, retain our "quirky" identity and to create a thoughtful intentional community that sustains our precious environment, supports locally owned business, and embraces the diversity of our community.

Two state highways intersect at our city center. Traffic is a BIG problem.  We need council members with the spine to stick with our "General Plan" which stipulates our town’s land use planning rules, and reject projects that do not meet our community's standards. The public is paying for the roads, the sewer, the schools and the infrastructure required for development.  The public has a right to demand that development that does occur adds to, rather than detracts, from our quality of life. We will not be able to solve all the causes of our traffic problems, but we can at least commit to NOT MAKING IT WORSE

We can also commit to attracting businesses that want to adhere to our community standards rather than businesses that ignore us when we require that our standards be adhered to. We have been threatened by developers before and have won in court with the developer picking up the tab.

John Eder and Robert Jacob share my vision for our town's future.  Candidates Kathleen Shaffer and Kathy Austin do not.  I am sure that they are sincere in promoting what they believe is best for Sebastopol.  However, I disagree with their choices.

Shaffer and Austin both supported the CVS/Chase project.  In fact, Kathleen Shaffer actively orchestrated "under the radar" support for the CVS/Chase project and promised, in an email to supporters, that she was working to ensure its approval.  Kathy Austin has spoken at public meetings in support of CVS/Chase and also opposed our Urban Growth Boundary, and other progressive policies, last time she was on the City Council.  Kathleen and Kathy are supported by the same people and groups who have over the years supported "development at any cost" projects like CVS/Chase.   If elected they will have a big impact on our upcoming General Plan update. That could open the door to more badly planned development so there is much more at stake with this election than just CVS/Chase.  Both Kathy and Kathleen have received $1,500 donations from an LA Real Estate PAC.  What possible interest can an LA Real Estate PAC have in Sebastopol.  Kathleen's hard work networking within the community is in many ways admirable.  However, I believe her vision for our future is out of step with Sebastopol.

I support local business. I have owned businesses for years.  But first, I support City policies that the citizens of Sebastopol have put in place to support our quality of life and small town character.  I am, as is Councilmember Sarah Gurney, “pro-business".  In fact we were completely supportive of bringing new businesses to town like the Costa Brown Winery, Zazu Restaurant and the Community Market, all of which will be opening here in Sebastopol soon. 

What I do oppose is huge out-of-town corporations telling Sebastopol that it has to look like every other cookie cutter suburban town, imposing project designs that will choke our streets with traffic and bring low-wage jobs, rather than career opportunities. 

To support Sebastopol's progressive and environmental legacy please vote for John Eder and Robert Jacob.

Michael Kyes
Vice Mayor, City of Sebastopol