Sonoma council candidates to meet at forum Monday

Formula stores. Taxes. A luxury hotel.

All are likely to be discussed at a forum Monday night in Sonoma for the four candidates vying for two City Council seats.

The event is sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce and will be moderated by Chip Allen, the group's president.

Jennifer Yankovich, the chamber chief executive officer, said it's a "very important election" because it follows the demise of the city redevelopment agency.

"The city really has to look more strategically within its general plan how it wants to support its local economy without redevelopment dollars," she said.

David Cook, who owns a vineyard management company and is among the office seekers, identified the city's finances as the single most important issue in the race.

He promised to spend money generated from a sales tax measure that was approved by Sonoma residents in June in a way that benefits the city.

Supporters of Measure J, which increased the city's sales tax from 8 to 8.5 percent, said it will help the city recoup the loss of state redevelopment funds and protect such services as pothole repairs and police.

"I want to make sure we stay financially responsible," Cook said.

Cook is squaring off against Madolyn Agrimonti, Cameron Stuckey and Laurie Gallian, who is seeking re-election.

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