Copied from original site archive:



Colleen Fernald

2010 Candidate for Sebastopol City Council

Working for our balanced best interest

Listening Tour Questions

My campaign is still in the listening tour stage.

The questions for all residents and sphere of influence community members, for the benefit of the sitting Council, and challenge for the current candidates:

1) What’s working in Sebastopol?

2) What’s not working?

3) What can you do about it?

4) What do you want the Sebastopol City Council to do about it.

Mayor Gurney added:

5) What do you want the community to do about it?

6) Do you want Main Street, etc. to return to a 2 way traffic lane system?

7) Would you like to see CVS drugstore move to the downtown core?

8) Do you want the City of Sebastopol to expand, or diminish in its city limits:

Cell phone towers?

Wifi towers?

9) Do you want the City of Sebastopol to restrict Smart Meters in its City Limits:


1 year moratorium?

10) Do you want the City of Sebastopol to pass a resolution to support:

The return our our National Guard to protect us here in the US?

Our tax dollars to go to CityCARE, not optional * “war”fare?

* Defense, not offense.

Voter approved war tax, for only Constitionally declared war?

The return of the military draft?

11) Do you think the City should have a position on national issues at all?

12) How do you think our local and national economy can improve?

Would you like to contribute to the Campaign for Peace?

Checks can be made out to:

Friends of Colleen Fernald for Sebastopol City Council 2010

P O Box 3007
Santa Rosa, CA 95472

We must have the name and address of all Contributors to comply with State law. For contributions over $100, it is required to include the name and address of your employer.

In Sebastopol, there are no restriction on campaign donation limits – you can be as generous as your budget allows to help elect this Candidate for PEACE.

If you would like to adopt a very beautiful campaign sign, modeled on the peace sign on this site, they are $10 for one side, $20 for the 2 sided version, the wickets to hold them as a yard sign are no charge, (they are left over from the last Kucinich race) laminating to weather proof them would be extra (I’m working on getting a good price and service provider). These high quality prints are made by my good friend in Graton, Patrick Brinton, of Looks Good On Paper.

These signs can be re-used as art if you cut off the text after the election. The first one is up at the Apple Cobbler, on 227 N. Main, next to Popeye’s Hair care, across the street from Rite Aid.

If you have a business storefront or home window in which you would like to display a smaller (8 1/2 x 11) version you may download a printable PDF at no charge here:

I am happy to deliver each order. Please call 829-2243, or e mail .


Top Priority Issues:

Top Issues for Sebastopol:

  • Community Vitality

    Ensure our safety & wellness services are supported; redeploy Sustainable Sebastopol to build on Public/Private partnerships, and NGO multi-stakeholders groups, in order to protect our ecological health, social well being; and invigorate the local economy.

  • Improved Transportation is tied with Accountable Development

    We need to resolve the current transportation challenges in order to serve the existing community, and visitors; if we are to provide for accountable development in scale with our small town. We need to require Community Impact Reports. Investigate an electric trolley system; enhance safe pedestrian and bike routes.

  • Water & Climate Security

    Water quality, quantity, and watershed protection; along with green building, waste reduction and renewable power production are the essential areas to focus on for an inheritable future. Continue to support all renewable energy power possible for Sebastopol & Solar Sonoma County, and the Climate Protection Campaign; partner in more community watershed care protection programs and projects; seek grants for a groundwater management plan and broader water conservation efforts.

Top Issues

  • Single payer wellness-care
  • Water quantity & quality security, community watershed care
  • What does accountable development look like for Sebastopol?
  • Being efficiently prepared for everything, emergencies and otherwise
  • How can we support the City’s best interest during theses economic challenges, through closer working relationships with the many valuable community groups here.
  • Taking the lead on being a deep Green, environmentally safe community
  • To increase local tax revenue; how can we encourage more local production of products and services geared towards green living & working?
  • What else can the City, Public and local businesses do to achieve our climate protection goals?
  • How can we better fund our values from the top down?
  • The most important position for all candidates to disclose is this:
  • Are you a candidate for peace?
  • That is, do you support funding military operations by any branch of government or contractors, for operations of offense, not  just defense.
  • Do support the funding and use of our forces without Congress formally declaring war, as per the US Constitution?
  • The War Powers Act and PL-107-243 did not follow this procedure. With so many communities challenged to provide even basic services, we are long overdue to address this local government funding crisis; due in large part to mismanagement of Federal fiscal priorities.
  • Traffic is tied with accountable development – We need to resolve the current transportation challenges in order to serve the existing community, and visitors; if we are to provide for accountable development in scale with our small town. We need to require Community Impact Reports. Investigate an electric trolley system; enhance safe pedestrian and bike routes.
  • Water & climate security – Water quality, quantity and watershed protection; along with green building, waste reduction and renewable power production are the essential areas to focus on for an inheritable future. Continue to support all renewable energy power possible for Sebastopol & Solar Sonoma County, and the Climate Protection Campaign; partner in more watershed protection programs and projects; seek grants for a groundwater management plan and broader water conservation efforts.
  • Community vitality – Ensure our safety & medical services are supported; redeploy Sustainable Sebastopol as a vehicle for a multi-stakeholders group, to protect our ecological health, and social well being; invigorate the local economy.

Candidate Bio

In October I will turn 49. I’m a single mother of 3 children ages 24, 22, and 14. My primary career is a Consultant in sustainable property practices, products and services. Main volunteer position is the Russian River Watershed Council. I have been a student at the SRJC over the course of many years with 40 units focused in art, music, film, video & computers. I am pro choice and pro life. I consider myself omni-partisan and omni-religious; that is, I work to adopt and share the best of all I can find. I’m a citizen lobbyist for a safe, and greener world. Super Progressive Democrat who votes for the person, not the party.In 2001 I joined the Sustainable Sebastopol Salon, and began attending City Council meetings. From that, I became Founder/Coordinator of the Sebastopol Sustainability Conference & Festival, which took place in 2002 and 2003.

In 2004, I partnered with the Producers of the Health & Harmony Festival to evolve this event into the North Bay EcoFest.

In addition to those events, I have applied my event production skills to: The Creativity Cafe, Children’s Interactive Expo, the New Living Expo, Harmony Festival, and the Sonoma County Watershed Day.

Non-profit work includes: 4 years on the Board of Directors for the Russian River Watershed Council; former Board member for the Graton Community Projects, and Project Manager for pollution prevention projects; member of the Sonoma County Water Coalition, the West County Watershed Network, and RRWC representative for the Salmon Coalition.

I was selected by then Santa Rosa Mayor, Jane Bender, to serve on the Climate Protection Campaign’s Community Climate Action Plan. Previously, I have done research for the Climate Protection Campaign.

While I was a member of the Graton Community Projects, and also working for the Graton CSD, I initiated a grant request for Prop. 50 funds which resulted in receiving $650,000 for the GCSD. I’ve been involved in the GCSD’s groundwater management plan.

I have served as a citizen lobbyist for water quantity and quality issues on the local, State and Federal level, I attend many regional Water Advisory Committee meetings, sometimes the Santa Rosa’s PUC meetings, most of the Salmon Coalition , SWB in-stream flow and frost protection meetings, many RWQCB and a few State Water Board meetings on water and watershed protection issues.

I have been attending most Sebastopol and Santa Rosa City Council meetings, along with the Sonoma Country Board of Supervisors meetings for the last 8 years; in order to learn how to refine, and work to influence important public policies for our region and nation.

On the political front, I wanted to raise the bar with regard to sustainability for Sonoma County as a whole, and entered the Board of Supervisors race in the 1st District in 2008. After meeting with another candidate, Will Pier, I dropped out and helped launch his campaign which has assisted him to be in the runoff this November and nearly defeat the incumbent.

I have been a paid to assist the campaigns for: Dennis Kucinch, No Lowe’s big box development for Cotati, and GE Free Sonoma County.

My family’s container garden is in the 350 Garden Challenge. I have been joyfully nourishing my family with it’s bounty.

Qualifications: my relevant skills, experiences, and education

Everything I need to know about effective local government, I learned as a single mother living without a credit card. I am wise and thrifty, and can do a lot with little means.

I have been attending local city council and board of supervisors meetings for 8 years.

My primary career has been in Sales, Marketing, and Advertising.

I got my Green Building certification from NARI – the Remodelers trade association.

I’ve attended the SRJC for many years with a focus in the Arts.

I have inventive problem solving skills.

I feel it’s important to respect the wishes of the majority, while holding a place to understand the needs of the minority. I seek to reduce polarization and find our common agenda.

Answers to Candidate Questions submitted by Sonoma County League of Women Voters, Labor & Environmental Groups

Should WiFi and Smart Meters be restricted in Sebastopol? Should they be allowed at all and if so, where?
I would like to see Sebastopol as a leader in creating the healthiest and safest environment possible.
Existing WiFi is a concern to me, I would prefer it not be expanded.
I have been vocal in calling for the City to have a moratorium on Smart Meters; as a City Council member I would vote to ensure this.

Do you favor limiting growth or do you favor more growth? Please explain your answer.
Accountable development is the best fit to retain our small town charm.
Assurances are needed that our water supply and traffic congestion are addressed before further growth is permitted.
Community Impact Reports can ensure that new development is appropriate for our balanced best interest.

Do you want to build more housing for medium income people?
There is sufficient housing stock for medium income folks.
Low, and very low income housing is still needed as our economy recovers. I’d like to see more rent-to-own options; and I appreciate the sweat equity opportunities.
I will work to get Federal & State funding, along with local redevelopment funds directed at Green re-models for owners, and renters. Improvements made for healthy indoor air quality are just as important as energy and water efficiency.

Would you like to see two way traffic returned to downtown Sebastopol?
I would like to do what the majority finds best. We need to poll the Sebastopol citizens, and those in our sphere of influence on this before changes are made.
There are other factors creating our congestion issues; holistic solutions are needed or not much will change.

What measures would you suggest to help boost our local economy?
Continue all that is currently being done for business outreach with the Chamber of Commerce, etc. It’s important to put extra support into the new business incubator, Go Local, Transition Sebastopol and Cittaslow programs.
Target Green Tech/Clean Tech product and service companies to locate here.
I would encourage diverse advertising plans to reach new markets.
Increase the visibility on our great cultural and entertainment activities.
Have increased communication options: bulletin boards and online polls, etc. to help the City, businesses, groups and individuals serve each other better.
Lobby the Federal government for appropriate appropriations; CityCARE, not WARfare!

Why are you running for this position?
I LOVE Sebastopol and I wish to use my skills to bring out the best our city has to offer, and protect our small town charm.
Even in one of the most progressive cities, it can still take 4-5 years for my best ideas to be implemented; our current needs for reform cannot wait that long.

What are your top priorities and the policy areas that will be of most interest to you if elected?

Economic vitality
Accountable development
Protection of our natural resources
Pedestrian safety
Excessive traffic reduction
Maintaining the needs our infrastructure: roads, sewer & water systems parks, etc.
Affordable wellness care for all
Balanced support for public safety, education, and the arts
Emergency preparedness
Water quantity and quality security, short and long term
Watershed protection and enhancement
Meeting Climate Protection goals
Call for a moratorium on SMART meters
Seek resources to assist in ways to generate cleaner air, and richer soil
Even more car-lite
Organic Victory Gardens everywhere possible
Strong support for the Go Local & Transition Sebastopol groups

ideas on waste reduction:

1) Collaborate in a commercial and residential grease collection system thorough our waste haulers; as a source of bio fuel production; perhaps at the Laguna treatment plant where they are doing algae in to fuel work.

2) Provide for more commercial and residential composting.

Provide a multi-resource learning center for all things sustainable; and a “Green Garage” to assist local Inventors in bringing their innovations to market in partnership with local schools.

Evaluate more mixed use municipal /commercial property potentials.

Current Issues

In December 2009 workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital voted to join a union. Hospital Administration has used legal tactics to delay recognizing the workers’ decision. What specific action(s) will you be willing to take to support these employees?

I support workers rights to organize in a fair and respectful, and respected manner.

State and Federal law requires the payment of prevailing wages on public works construction projects. Do you support these laws?


Public employers throughout the state are faced with increasing health benefit costs. Some employers have responded to this crisis by reducing benefit levels and/or requiring workers to share in the cost of premiums. Do you support this approach? If not, what do you think should be done to address the crisis?

End funding for optional military conflicts, so that all Americans can have single payer affordable healthcare.

Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act? (EFCA) (For more info on EFCA go to:

Community Economic Development

Would you favor a CIR when large commercial retail is proposed which would examine benefits verses the costs of such a development to the community?


Please check which of the following issues will be important to you in evaluating economic development programs:

X a) Are we getting our money’s worth?
X b) Are apprenticeship and training programs included in the plan?
X c) How many and what kinds of new jobs will be created and at what levels of pay?
X d) Who will get the jobs?
X e) How soon will the public investment in forgone revenues be recaptured?

Please describe the role you see for the community in shaping economic development priorities and decisions.

Expanding possibilities, and incentives for local Green businesses and a wellness-care based economy. Finding ways for Sebastopol to fully utilize the wealth of community groups to help meet our needs is a top priority.

My ideas for local economic security are on:

I fully support Town Hall meetings on important topics. I wish to use the City’s website, and other community bulletin board sites such as, and list serves to poll the public on current City Council agenda items, pending policies, and other civic activities.

I wish to redeploy Sustainable Sebastopol as a vehicle for a multi-stakeholders group, to protect our ecological health, and social well being; invigorate the local economy. (More ideas in the extended info below.)

Health and Safety

Would you support legislation to allow employees to use their sick leave to care for ill family members?


Should any tax breaks to business be conditioned on its agreement to provide health benefits to all employees?


Organized Labor and the Workplace

What is your position on privatization (“contracting-out”) of services in Sonoma County?

I am displeased with this trend.

State and federal laws require the payment of prevailing wages on all government construction projects. These laws helped local jurisdictions provide jobs for local contractors and workers to stimulate the local economy. If you have a redevelopment agency, will you require a prevailing wage condition on all your redevelopment contracts? 

Would you support a “pre-qualification” for contractors wanting to bid on city public works projects?

(Qualifying conditions could include performance record, prior public works infractions, sufficient bonding and insurance, financial health, mechanical liens, etc. Meeting such conditions would “qualify” a contractor to bid for city projects.)


Do you support “green building” standards? If so how would you make them a reality?

Big yes!

Work with the County, State and Federal government to blend the best of existing standards into one, with a focus on those which create the highest indoor air quality.

What Sonoma County natural resources/systems (such as creek systems, wetlands or habitat) do you consider in need of protection? How can Sebastopol work productively with the County to increase such protections in and around the City?

All community watersheds are vital; so is connecting to them and caring for them. The Laguna De Santa Rosa is very challenged; this needs much focus and cooperation on identifying and reducing the harm. I worked on TMDL funding and studies with the Laguna Foundation, RWQCB, City of Santa Rosa and SCWA. I have also been approaching the Army Corps about a environmentally sensitive dredging plan, for flood control and non-chemical Ludwigia removal.

I recommend further bio, and phyto remediation work instead of chemical treatments to the land and water near the Laguna.

There is a lot more the agriculture industry could do to reduce harm to the water supply and watershed. I’d like to promote more education and outreach for this sector.

There is a plan and donations for enhancement of the creek in Ives Park; more is needed.

I am an advocate for multi-stakeholder cooperative approach to analyze that which does harm, and plans to reduce the harm at all levels.

Additionally, I’ve started participating in Transition Sebastopol, they are looking at starting a water group for our area.

Where will your city get its water from over the next 20 years? How do you think that Sebastopol can ensure a reliable and clean water supply for its residents without jeopardizing water available for the natural environment, such as endangered salmon? Should there be a comprehensive county-wide water management plan?

The Transition Sebastopol Water group would be a great place to address this question of supply security; it is very important as Sebastopol is the only local City dependent on the Laguna for replenishing it’s well water sources.

Conservation, water catchment, greywater, are essential for sustainable development.

I would only use treated wastewater for non-edible ag, and areas without human contact, or near waterways, or areas with too much slope, and those near drinking water re-charge areas.

I am very adamant about not including Fluoride in drinking water; and finding better ways to reduce contaminants from drinking water and wastewater; especially at the source point.

For many years I have been an outspoken advocate for a regional water, and groundwater assessment and management plans. I pushed for this as the Prop. 50 water bond grant requirements were being re-evaluated. My efforts resulted in increased points for funding established for groundwater management plans, and regional cooperation for protection of endangered species and habitat.

Please describe how wastewater is disposed of and re-used in Sebastopol. Can this process be improved to benefit the environment?

It is sent to the regional treatment system on Llano Rd., run by Santa Rosa.

I’d like to see the City of Sebastopol rejoin the Russian River Watershed Association, and revive the Russian River Watershed Council to partner with all the groups working on clean, healthy: water, watershed and wastewater systems.

The process is improving; the new General Manager of SCWA has been meeting with the SC Water Coalition. There is a bit more transparency from the members of the WAC.

If there were financial means available to treat Sebastopol’s wastewater in Sebastopol and provide a clean source of groundwater recharge, our water supply would be less vulnerable, and the energy needed to pump the wastewater would be reduced.

All the cities in Sonoma County have made a resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2015. What are your ideas for ensuring that your city will meet this target for municipal operations and the community at large? For example, what can Sebastopol do in areas like increasing existing building efficiency and renewable energy generation?

Sebastopol has been leader in this area for many years. We need to make sure the financial incentives remain in place to keep renewable energy production, and efficiencies in water/energy use cost effective.

Besides the local and Federal government funding sources; we still have many possible roofs which could be collecting solar power through private investment operations. I would also like to see more explorations into wind potential on scale with our small town, bio fuels production expanded, provide for think tanks in town to grow other ideas.

I’d like to see new programs generated for renters to benefit from; such as subsidies for landlords to provide predictable, lower cost, Green sourced power to tenants.

Would like to see more renewable energy “art” structures; seek funding from varied sources including the Arts community.

Having City staff, and partner non-profit groups seek State, Federal grants ,and other funding sources to help make all climate protection efforts affordable on a sliding scale basis, is essential for meeting the Climate Protection targets.

Reviving Sustainable Sonoma County, to work in tandem with Sustainable Sebastopol & Sustainable your town here, may help us all meet the goals more effectively.

The County of Sonoma and City of Santa Rosa have Green products purchasing guides and requirements. I have been suggesting ways to reduce costs on these products through creation of a joint buying program for the County and all Cities.

I’d like to see Public Works and Emergency Services equipped with portable solar generators.

I’ would push for State and Federal government to provide loan funding at 3% for municipal infrastructure improvements featuring green building, and clean energy production, water and energy conservation and efficiency improvements.

Further, I believe the County’s SCEIP program for commercial and residential property owners could be improved with this 3% interest rate as well.

How can Sebastopol encourage non-automobile and alternative fuel transportation, or create transportation efficiencies that will reduce trips? What is your level or participation in the SMART Train and Pathway implementation?

How about a green energy, local electric trolly? How about solar powered BART in all the Bay Area? Maybe, if only we’d gotten involved a few decades ago on this. As it is, I hope SMART works out; it’d be a real shame if the Pathway got left out. I endorsed and voted for SMART.

Car-lite and iWalk should keep up their good work. I still want to see increased efforts for pedestrian safety, continue seeking funds for safe routes to school.

Buses needs subsidies to keep enough routes going to support sufficient ridership; perhaps a small bit of our gas tax could be made available for this.

How has Sebastopol been using Smart Growth principles and how do you see the city growing in the future? Please describe your position on mandatory Green Building standards.

Residents of Sebastopol are very vocal about retaining a high quality of life here; I appreciate that. The City did the best it could with the issues around our North East development and engaged the Public in very proactive ways.

Recently there was a Town Hall meeting on Sebastopol’s development future. The Council members and City Staff are quite attuned to smart growth standards held by what I perceive as our majority.

Still, the Public must remain vigilant about protecting our standards, through staying informed, speaking out, and working together on needed action plans.

I am very supportive of Green building standards; I prefer a hybrid model of best practices, with more attention on non-toxic products to create healthier indoor air quality.

I’m very interested in how we can produce more Green Building materials locally.

As a Council member, what would you do to support and strengthen affordable housing policies in your jurisdiction? What are some of the challenges you see in creating affordable housing opportunities for your residents? Do you have any thoughts on where affordable housing should be located?

Sebastopol has caught up with many affordable housing projects in recent years.

I have been encouraging a program to assist the remodeling of existing substandard housing stock, with green building standards, in a way which would assist landlords with the expense in exchange for agreement to keep the units in the affordable range for low-income tenants.

I am opposed to sprawl, and further degradation to wild land, especially near waterways. Making better use of existing housing footprints needs to be fully evaluated. Many existing homes have mold and toxic building material; razing and remodeling could provide work for the local Green Building businesses.

I’m a big fan of sweat equity based affordable homeowner opportunities.

What is your position regarding Urban Growth Boundaries? If elected, what would be your position on the issue of renewing Urban Growth Boundaries that are scheduled to expire?

I support urban growth boundaries; I wish to see greenbelts and wild land protected as much as possible.

As always, enrolling the community early on is essential for mapping an ideal plan for success.

Cities addicted to growth have never ending problems. Cities which live within their means, and have other options for revenue generation, can retain their charm, and keep visitors coming back, housing & commercial stock filled.

How do you think biodiversity and habitat can be enhanced within Sebastopol’s urban growth boundary? Please comment on the Santa Rosa Plain Conservation Strategy for the CA Tiger Salamander and listed plants. What are your ideas for implementing a plan (The Conservation Strategy or other) for the county and cities that would achieve the goal of protecting endangered species and their habitat?

I have had to limit my number of meetings and goals for environmental protection in our area; I have participated in only a few of the ones the County has put on for this; so I am not as up to date on the details as I plan to be soon.

To sum my proposed solutions, I believe Community Watershed CARE is the ideal model. Protection for sensitive habitats can be enhanced through more people knowing the boundaries and challenges of their community watershed; learning what practices and products harm or heal the watersheds.

Creating Community Watershed CARE programs for each sub-watershed, modeled and supported by existing watershed groups, and using the tools and funding offered from the local, State, and Federal agencies is the recipe for successful protection of our natural environment and native species, especially those in perilous decline.

I seek opportunity for all stakeholders to better inform and understand each side’s challenges; and work for affordable, proven solutions, and open up areas for modern cutting edge, and native experimental trials.

I prefer we use our time and money toward collaborative solutions; mediation when needed; law suits only when all other possibilities are exhausted.

I would like to see more Land Trust and Open Space acquisitions for these endangered species habitats; especially in the Laguna area.

Extensive building and paving in a flood plain is just not smart for anyone, including investors.

The exportation of our groundwater through various means, is a serious problem for the recharge needed in the Santa Rosa plain. I think this has been strategically ignored, and serious, non-biased analysis is needed.

Do you support the CA State Parks Initiative (Prop 21)?


How do you plan to win the election? Please identify core constituencies and community leaders you expect will support you. How do you plan to fund your campaign?

I expect to win by demonstrating how my progressive and environmental values are in sync with the majority of Sebastopol voters. I have no fear of public speaking and welcome respectful debate. I have demonstrated many innovative ideas early on, which have since become adopted. I’ve learned to marry my persistence with patience in putting ideas into actions and policies.

I expect core support to come from those who have witnessed my contributions to our community’s progressive agenda over many years. Folks who are new to me and my work, will have many opportunity to discover how my progressive, environmental values and theirs are aligned; through debates, meeting in person through my outreach, viewing my campaign materials, and conversations with their neighbors and researching the information regarding me online and other forms of the media.

I look for further support from the vast network of folks I know through my children’s school years, here and nearby, my Sales, Marketing and Advertising work, production of special events, and many, many hours attending civic and environment/natural resource meetings.

Site paid for by Friends of Colleen Fernald for Sebastopol City Council 2010