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Letters to the Editor
Still wondering who to vote for for Sebastopol City Council? These folks have some recommendations.
I am a volunteer for the Stephen Zollman for Sebastopol City Council campaign, and I'm writing to share my reasons for supporting Stephen and to urge Sebastopol voters to elect him to a seat on the Council.
I've known Stephen for about ten years and know him to be a person with a deep commitment to social justice, care for the environment, and robust public participation in decisionmaking.
Stephen has some very sound ideas about how to improve community access to the City Council, improve safety by pairing police with mental health professionals, and bring resources to the city by strengthening partnerships with county, state, and federal government.
Stephen celebrates diversity, is a good listener, is thoughtful, and collaborative. He has served on many boards and commissions, and I think he would be a great benefit to the city as a councilmember.
Member, Sebastopol Climate Action Committee
Thank you for reporting on our election.
I am asking that residents of Sebastopol support Jill McLewis, Oliver Dick and Dennis Colthurst for the 3 open City Council seats.
Their combined community service and depth of experience will benefit our City as it faces a time of financial uncertainty, a restructuring of the fire department, the need for more businesses to fill our vacant storefronts and the hiring of a new City Manager.
Jill owns a business downtown and has been involved in the Chamber of Commerce, the Sebastopol Downtown Association, and the Community Cultural Center. Dennis was a public servant for decades. Oliver has been attending Council meetings and following Council policy for the last two years. Their combination of skills and deep knowledge of the City will help Sebastopol toward a better and sustainable future.
Jill, Oliver and Dennis have the support of many volunteer firefighters. The firefighters have written a letter of support which you might want to run.
As each City Council seat matters, I hope that all voters will vote for 3 candidates. As we have seen with the current Council, each seat counts. Vote for 3 candidates; we have 3 open seats.
Thank you for printing my letter.
We believe the best candidates for Sebastopol City Council are Jill McLewis, Oliver Dick, and Dennis Colthurst. They are the best candidates to address the most pressing needs of Sebastopol which include a restructuring of the fire department, solving our current budget deficit so that we can fully fund vital City services like police, fire, public works and other infrastructure needs, filling our vacant storefronts, and improving our public spaces.
Jill is a local business owner. Dennis has served the City as a police officer and worked with nonprofit groups for many years. All three have the endorsement of our Sebastopol Fire Fighters Association. Oliver has worked as a consultant in the technology world. Between the three of them, they offer a wide range of professional skills and experiences.
My family and I have lived in Sebastopol for the majority of our lives. We own a local business, and we believe in our town. We would like to see Sebastopol thrive and be a welcoming place for families, visitors, and seniors.
With three seats open for election, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in the direction of our City. We urge you to vote for Jill, Oliver, and Dennis.
Chip & Loretta Castleberry
To the Editors:
I served with Dennis Colthurst on the Palm Drive District board of directors for 2-1/2 years. Based on that experience, I believe he is a poor choice for Sebastopol City Councilman. In late 2015, at Colthurst’s urging, the District contracted with a group called SWMC to operate the District’s then-closed hospital. By mid-2017, after a string of unsuccessful CEOs and managers, SWMC hired Aaron Durall, a Florida attorney, to run the hospital and begin a new drug-testing program that promised huge profits.
As District board president, Colthurst was told repeatedly via email that Durall was demanding and receiving payments from SWMC $millions greater than his contracted fees. Colthurst previously had been warned by a SWMC attorney and treasurer that such off-contract payments would be “considered under both federal and State law to be fraud and abuse or a kickback.”
Unfortunately, Colthurst never shared this information with the full District board or law enforcement authorities. He refused to place a review of the program on the board agenda for months and stonewalled my requests for information, which I later obtained only after an official Public Records request to my own District.
And Durall has since been indicted for fraud for similar drug testing programs at four hospitals back East.
Sebastopol, choose wisely…
I am writing to express my support of Stephen Zollman for Sebastopol City Council. I have lived in Sebastopol for 22 years and have been involved in many local environmental efforts.
Our outgoing council members have all been champions of environmental action. We need the new council to continue the tradition of Sebastopol taking the lead on environmental issues, and Zollman has been endorsed by both Sonoma County Conservation Action and the Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club. Zollman’s pledge to increase partnerships with our county government make him the best candidate to facilitate coordinated environmental action across Sonoma County. As a zero waste advocate, I also love that Zollman’s campaign signs are made from repurposed signs painted with recycled paint.
As a high school teacher and parent of young adults, I also care deeply about the youth in our community. With Zollman’s experience with youth mentoring, and his service on the boards of organizations that work with youth in our community, I believe he is the candidate with the knowledge and passion to empower and improve the lives of youth in our community.
Zollman’s professional background and longtime record of serving the community make him the best candidate for city council.
Sebastopol teacher and resident
To the Editors:
I am writing to endorse Stephen Zollman for Sebastopol City Council. Stephen is an independent thinker and not part of a slate of 3 that all think alike. He is a supporter of our Climate Action committee that is essential as we continue to fight climate change. He will bring resources to the city by strengthening partnerships with county, state, and feds. He also has strong credentials defending and supporting survivors of domestic violence and at risk youth. He will add balance and diversity to the council. Please vote for Stephen Zollman.