3 incumbents, Sebastopol council watcher to vie for 3 seats

  • Sebastopol Councilmember Sarah Glade Gurney.

All three Sebastopol City Council members whose terms are coming to a close will seek election this fall, including Una Glass, who was appointed in June to fill the post left vacant by her husband’s death.

A fourth candidate, independent investigative reporter and regular council watcher Jonathan Greenberg, also has filed to run in the Nov. 4 race for three available council posts.

The other incumbents running are attorney/mediator Sarah Glade Gurney and architect Patrick Slayter, the current vice mayor.

The deadline to file for election this fall was Friday.

Glass, the executive director of Coastwalk California, is finishing out the term of former mayor and Councilman Michael Kyes, who died from an aortic aneurysm in Mayw, leaving five months remaining on his first four-year term in office. But Glass, once an aide to former Sonoma County supervisor Mike Reilly, has long been involved in politics and said she may have run for City Council earlier had she not had a daughter, now in college, at home.

Appointed to her current post June 19, she said her time on the council thus far has proved “a positive experience” that suggests she and her colleagues can contribute to the community in a productive manner.

“It feels like we’re talking things over to figure out the best way to approach a problem, and that’s often times an unusual occurrence in the public sphere,” Glass said. “A lot of times it’s super acrimonious or else it’s just people who don’t do their homework and just rubber stamp whatever staff does. And it just doesn’t feel like either of those things. It just feels like people are trying to do a good job.”

Greenberg, a regular commenter at council meetings, said he’s interested in engaging more of the community in city governance and fomenting “robust debate about how the taxpayers’ money is spent.”

Active in ongoing efforts to restore public library hours, he said that issue and the closure of Palm Drive Hospital have highlighted “a need for what I call leadership in the public interest.”

Greenberg said his aim is to unseat Slayter, who he claims is too willing to follow the recommendations of the city planning staff without challenge and otherwise embraces positions Greenberg does not share.

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