Over the years that California Commons has appeared in The Press Democrat online, certain themes can be found in multiple columns. One which recurs with unfortunate frequency is the poor performance of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors regarding environmental issues and financial matters, particularly pensions. On Friday, December 9th at 2:30pm, Judge Rene Chouteau will hear oral arguments in the Dutra asphalt plant case, an especially egregious environmental exploitation episode engaged in by the supervisors. It will be in Courtroom 17 at 3035 Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa and the public is welcome to attend.
A majority of the supervisors approved the proposed asphalt plant in December 2010, after the November 2010 election, but with lame duck Supervisors Kelley and Kerns still in office. In January of this year numerous plaintifs, including the City of Petaluma, Petaluma River Council, Madrone Audubon Society, Friends of Schollenberger Park, Moms for Clean Air, Petaluma Tomorrow and others commenced litigation contending that the project approved by the supervisors violates the law, including the California Environmental Quality Act.
For those of you with access to Petaluma Comcast Channel 26 offered by Petaluma Community Access, at 8pm tonight Mayor David Glass hosts an excellent discussion with former Petaluma Councilmember David Keller about Dutra case. It was kind of Mayor Glass to also include me on this particular program, primarily discussing public pension and related issues.
The hearing in Judge Chouteau’s courtroom later this week is an important step toward the ultimate resolution of this case. However, it’s unlikely to be the last word since we can expect that whether the plaintiffs prevail or not, this case will be appealed.