Happy Saturday. Here’s a quick recap of some of the top stories on Petaluma Patch this week.
The city doesn’t yet have a budget for this fiscal year, but it did hire a new finance director. Bill Mushallo, who started July 19, comes to Petaluma from Calistoga where he worked in a similar position for two and a half years. Mushallo says his goal is to create long-term fiscal sustainability for the city, although he offered few details of how this could be achieved at our meeting this week.
For those wondering when the budget may be done, he said it would be tackled at special budget workshops August 24 and 29. Mark your calendars.
At the animal shelter, a dispute about the future of the facility has resulted in the closure of the training center, which was used to work with dogs and make them more adoptable. That has prompted fears that more animals will now be put down.
The center closed after two volunteers who ran it left after their proposal to convert the shelter into a nonprofit, saving $150,000 a year, met opposition from most staff since it would lay some people off and reduce others’ salaries.
The proponents say they have been trying to contact city council to discuss the issue, but have been told that they cannot communicate with the council per City Manager John Brown’s instructions. Brown has said that he isn’t against the proposal to turn the shelter into a nonprofit, but that it must be studied further.
When students at Petaluma High School return to campus on August 17, they will have two new principals, both of whom are coming out of retirement to help the school. Frank Lynch and Marilyn Stratford both have extensive education experience and will share the job until a full-time replacement is found.
Believe it or not, summer is a time of lots of new school legislation, including a new law requiring all California schools to incorporate the contributions of gay and disabled people in history class. The goal is to reduce bullying and make schools a safer environment for gay youth, often taunted by other students because of their sexuality.
In a bid to save its affordable housing agency and ambitious redevelopment program, the city will ask the council to continue its redevelopment agency by paying the state $5.2 million. If not, projects such as the Washington Street highway interchange, redevelopment of Old Redwood Highway and others will be put on hold indefinitely.
And finally, if you’ve got skilz in sewing, knitting, glue-gunning or other general craftiness, Craft Mafia wants you for its upcoming show at Vet’s Hall in August.
That's it! We want to keep it short and sweet this week. Rivertown Revival is today 11-7pm at McNear Peninsula, including art boat races which start at 2pm. And guess what? Yours truly is one of the judges, so make sure you say ‘hi’ if you see me. (And no, I won't be wearing a period costume.)