In This Issue: Housing Our Community Town Hall Series | Celebrate Sonoma | Arbor Day Celebration
Overlook Trail Re-Opening | 2019 Alcaldessa Honored | S.C.O.P.E. Training | Credit Card Payments
Pay Your Water Bill Online | Family Bike Workshop | On the Agenda | Project Information & Updates
Trouble viewing this email? View as Webpage
Welcome to the April edition of "About Town," the quarterly e-newsletter from the City of Sonoma.
The spring season brings bud break to the vineyards, blossoms to the trees, and events to the plaza! See the City's event calendar to find out what 2019 events happen when on the Sonoma Plaza & Depot Park including the Plaza Egg Hunt, Annual Arbor Day Celebration and Tuesday Night Farmers' Market.

The bees aren’t the only ones keeping busy this spring - things are buzzing here at City Hall! Read on to learn more about how you can participate in the “Housing Our Community” Town Hall Series , the continuation of the "Celebrate Sonoma" Recognition program, sign up for a S.C.O.P.E. presentation or the Free Family Bike Workshop , see what's "On the Agenda" at upcoming City Meetings and check out the “Project Information & Updates” section of this e-newsletter to learn more about Development & Planning Projects , Infrastructure Projects and the City Council’s Key Initiatives – Cannabis Regulation, Housing Strategies, and the Minimum Wage Study.

Photo: Cherry Blossoms frame the Italian Fountain in the Sonoma Plaza.
April 25, LEARN | May 16, DISCUSS | June 20, EXPLORE
Increasing housing prices and constrained housing supply are challenges facing the City of Sonoma along with other Bay Area and surrounding Sonoma County communities. Based on increasing concern over this imbalance, the City Council contracted with UrbanGreen Inc. to develop a community education and engagement program for members of the community to take part in a robust and informed conversation on housing in the City of Sonoma.

The series is composed of three Town Halls around a theme of  Learn | Discuss | Explore . The first Town Hall,  Housing 101  will be on April 25, 2019, followed by a  Housing Experts Panel , on May 16, 2019 and the third and final meeting of the series, an  Interactive Community Workshop  on June 20, 2019.

All Town Halls begin at 6:00 PM and will take place in Stone Hall at the  Vintage House  Senior Center located at 264 First Street East in Sonoma. The City strongly encourages participants to attend all three forums, as the concepts, definitions and conversations build on one another.

Light refreshments and childcare for school-age children will be provided so everyone can participate. The Town Halls will be recorded by Sonoma Valley Community Television and made available on the City’s web site and via Channel 27 for viewing after the events.

D  on't forget to Sign Up to receive news & updates about the Housing Our Community Town Hall Series and visit the Housing Our Community page for more information and detailed description of each of the three Town Halls.
The First  Housing Our Community Town Hall Series  Town Hall is coming up April 25! To make sure it provides the information of greatest value, please take a few minutes to take a survey of FIVE simple questions

Thank you, and see you at the first Town Hall!
“Celebrate Sonoma” is a new program started in 2019 to recognize people that make up the fabric of Sonoma. Once a month, a community member will be recognized at a City Council meeting with a presentation of a city recognition certificate honoring them by dedicating a “day” in their honor.  2019 “Celebrate Sonoma” honorees include Gerald Marino, Renea Magnani and Robert Wilson.  Visit the Celebrate Sonoma page for more information.

Photo : Robert Wilson accepts the Celebrate Sonoma recognition certificate at Monday's City Council Meeting .
April 26, 2019 | 10am - 12noon
Join the City of Sonoma for an Arbor Day Celebration in the Sonoma Plaza on April 26, 2019. This is a great opportunity for school children to participate in the many fun activities designed to educate and inspire stewardship of the environment. Event held rain or shine. See the schedule of Celebration festivities on the Arbor Day page.

The Annual Arbor Day program is brought to you by the City of Sonoma and the  Community Services & Environment Commissio with a Special “Thank You!” to all the organizations who help to make the Celebration of Arbor Day possible: California State Parks; KSVY 91.3 FM; the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley; the Sonoma Community Center; the Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards; the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club; and the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau.
Re-Opening Celebration | April 28, 2019 | 11am
Come, and join the  Sonoma Overlook Trail Stewards  at the Overlook Trailhead Kiosk for a free celebration and hike of the fully re-opened Sonoma Overlook Trail!

> Hike the newly designed and built trail at 11:30 am
> Enjoy refreshments and make new friends
> Meet trail stewards, American Conservation Experience trail builders, and City, County, and State officials that helped to complete this  project !

For more information visit
JULY 13, 2019 | 10:00am - 12:30pm
Join the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition for a Family Bike Workshop, sponsored by the City of Sonoma. These workshops are for families with kids learning to ride on the road. Families will learn to safely navigate the streets in a variety of situations through fun, skill-building activities and an instructional neighborhood ride.

Topics Covered Include:
  • Lane positioning and riding in the same direction as cars on the road
  • Intersection right-of-way and crossings
  • Obeying stop signs and traffic lights
  • Hand signals
  • Handling skills for safe riding

REQUIRED: Advance Registration at family-bike-workshops  (space is limited)

QUESTIONS:  or 707-545-0153
  • Bikes must be in working order.
  • All cyclists must have a helmet to participate.
  • Kids must be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle; younger children may participate in bike-seats, trailers, or trail-a-bikes.

Need a helmet or bike adjustment? Free helmets and/or free minor adjustments available, by request, to registered participants.
It was standing room only at the  2019 City of Sonoma Alcaldessa Reception  honoring  Karen Collins  at Ramekin’s Culinary School, Events & Inn on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Mayor Harrington presented a plaque bearing a key to the City to Ms. Collins in front of an enthusiastic audience for her ongoing efforts and contributions to the Sonoma community. Particularly of note was Ms. Collins’ work in the preservation and protection of the natural environment in and around the City of Sonoma. Collins currently serves as a Commissioner on the Sonoma County Regional Parks and Recreation Commission and was instrumental in creating Sonoma’s Overlook Trail. She also serves on the Board of Jack London Park Partners, the non-profit group that operates Jack London State Historical Park, and in 2014 she was named the Sonoma Valley “Conservationist of the Year.”

Each year, the Mayor selects and the City Council ratifies a citizen of the year who is called the honorary Alcalde. To learn more about the City of Sonoma Alcalde and a list of past Alcaldes and Alcaldessas, please visit our Alcalde page. Photo: 2018 Alcalde Marcelo Defrietas with 2019 Alcaldessa Karen Collins.
A key component of emergency response in any community is the extent to which its residents and businesses have themselves planned for what to do in the case of an emergency. The S.C.O.P.E program  provides guidelines and training for neighbors to work together to prepare for disasters.

Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority (SVFRA) is holding numerous S.C.O.P.E presentations & Hands Only CPR training. The S.C.O.P.E. program includes emergency response, community preparedness, utility safety, and fire prevention. The Hands Only CPR training will teach you what to do until help arrives & also includes Automated External Defibrillator (AED) familiarization.

S.C.O.P.E. Training Dates
  • Sunday, May 19th from 9-12 pm – Station 1
  • Saturday, May 25th from 9-12 pm – Station 5

Hands Only CPR Training Dates
  • Sunday, May 19th from 2-4 pm – Station 1
  • Saturday, May 25th from 2-4 pm – Station 5

SVFRA Station 1 is located at 630 2nd Street West in Sonoma
SVFRA Station 5 is located at 13445 Arnold Drive in Glen Ellen

For more information please visit SVFRA's website or call us at 707-996-2102.

The City of Sonoma is now accepting credit and debit card payments for most deposits, permits, business licenses, water service and fees for other city services. Debit and Credit Card payments cannot be taken over the phone. Questions? Contact the Finance & Utilities Department .
Online BillPay  makes it easy for you to manage your City of Sonoma utility bills. You can view utility bills online, see utility bill and payment history, and make one-time or automatic payments from your credit or debit card or checking or savings account.

All sign-ups must be done through the City's website from your personal or business computer. City Hall will not have online access to sign-ups or your personal credit card information.
Visit our new meetings portal, CivicWeb , to easily find the calendar and agendas for all upcoming City Council and Commission meetings, locate and review the relevant staff reports, and view televised meetings (live or later). You can also search the City's Municipal Code and subscribe to the agendas for meetings that interest you . It's a great way to get engaged with your city government.

  • April 25 - "Housing Our Community" Town Hall #1 LEARN, Housing 101
  • May 6 - City Council
  • May 9 - Planning Commission
  • May 16 - "Housing Our Community" Town Hall #2 DISCUSS, Expert Housing Panel
  • June 3 - City Council
  • June 10 - City Council
  • June 13 - Planning Commission
  • June 17 - City Council
  • June 20 - "Housing Our Community" Town Hall #3 EXPLORE, Community Workshop
  • July 11 - Planning Commission

For more information and details on the meetings listed above, please visit CivicWeb directly or via the homepage link at s
Find quick links to information and status updates  for key initiatives, individual development and infrastructure projects in the city of Sonoma.
In accordance with the goals and priorities established by the City Council, several major policy decisions and other key initiatives are part of the current workplan. Select a topic to learn more and see the latest updates on each Key Initiative.

  • Broadway Streetscape
  • Cemetery Program
  • Downtown Parking
  • Plaza & Depot Parks Enhancement & Connectivity
Learn more and see the current status of planning projects
Click on the links below for information and status updates for individual projects.  Visit our CivicWeb portal for  agendas and meeting reports  for past and upcoming meetings of the Planning Commission, Design Review and Historic Preservation Commission, or the City Council.
See current and upcoming infrastructure projects
Click on the links for information and status updates for individual projects. Infrastructure projects are typically part of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) ; a planning and budgeting document for improvements to the City's infrastructure. The CIP includes projects to improve the City's streets, sidewalks, bikeways, and storm drainage; water distribution system, wells and pumps; parks and open space; cemeteries; and City buildings. Please see the current fiscal year  CIP  for more information, which is included in the  2018-2019 Budget documents .
The greater the involvement of our citizens, the stronger our community will be. Here are some of the ways you can stay connected with the City of Sonoma!