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Dollar Signs and a Slate of Yard Signs
November 8th elections for City Council are a month away
Through 9/24, the following amounts have been raised by the candidates, as reported on Form 460, which is filed with the City Clerk.
Dennis Colthurst - $7,680
Jill McLewis - $3,149
Oliver Dick - $3,039.39
Sandra Maurer - $1,909
Stephen Zollman - $191
Colthurst has raised twice as much as any other candidate, largely due to a $4700 contribution from Barlow Star, LLC, which is the company behind The Barlow. He also has a $500 contribution from the Sebastopol Police Officers Association.
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Most of the money so far has been spent on printed yard signs and website development. Stephen Zollman, who has raised the least amount, has chosen DIY campaign signs that are hand-painted on recycled material.
Three City Council candidates are running together as a slate. They are Dennis Colthurst, Jill McLewis, and Oliver Dick. We see their signs grouped together throughout town. It’s meant to signal to potential voters that the three should be voted in together. The websites for McLewis, Dick and Colthurst say that they endorse each other.
In August, The Sebastopol Times contacted all three candidates multiple times - by email, phone, and/or in person - and all three have declined to share their bios or opinions with the Times. McLewis and Colthurst both said they’d send pieces to the Times, but then never did, despite multiple attempts by Times co-publisher Dale Dougherty to contact them. Dick simply never responded to voice mail, the only contact information provided for him at the time. (We published profiles for Maurer and Zollman.)
We don’t know if they share the same views, intend to work together or will support each other on the City Council but we’d like to hear more from them. This slate, if elected, would become a majority on the City Council. We do know that McLewis and Dick at least were among the most vociferous critics of Elderberry Commons, the county’s homeless supportive housing project that used to be the Sebastopol Inn. McLewis, Dick and Colthurst seem to be aligned with the volunteer firefighters on the future of the Fire Department. Colthurst said on his website that he wants “to make sure that our fire department has the resources to continue operating, without being disbanded or ‘merged’ with an outside Department.” He also said at the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum that he was keeping his mind open.
Stephen Zollman and Sandra Maurer are endorsed by current council members Una Glass, Diana Rich and Sarah Glade Gurney. The candidates’ websites also list individual and group endorsements.
Dick’s website doesn’t list any endorsements.
Interestingly, on her website, Councilmember Diana Rich says that she and Maurer are “diametrically opposed” on the EMF issue and smart meters. However, after talking to Maurer, Rich believes that Maurer is not a single-issue candidate. Said Rich: “I came away with a fuller, much more complete impression of a person whose core motivation is to improve our community, who is fearless and articulate and honest, who is funny and accessible and compassionate, who will do the work that is needed to get a job done correctly and efficiently, and who does not look at the world through a one-issue lens.” Rich also wrote that the response she got from reaching out to McLewis and Dick for a conversation was “crickets.”
Sebastopol Tomorrow said on its Facebook page that its Steering Committee endorsed Zollman and Maurer. They came to their decision after watching the League of Women Voters Candidates Forum (see below). “While none of our committee members knows either of them personally, we noticed that these two candidates were more aware of the facts when discussing current City policies and actions.”
Cycling in Sebastopol
Each of the candidates responded to a questionnaire from the The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition. You can find their answers here. Jill McLewis gave the most detailed responses but also pointed out that the city’s budget limits what might be done.
In case you missed it…
Check out our two-part recap of the League of Women Voters Candidates Forum:
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