Council races set in Cotati, Petaluma

With the entry of a last-minute Petaluma City Council candidate, the races are set in both Cotati and Petaluma for the Nov. 4 election.

In Petaluma, the deadline to enter the race for three council seats was extended until Wednesday evening because incumbent Mike Harris is vacating his seat to run for mayor.

With just a few hours to spare, former Councilwoman Janice Cader-Thompson filed documents with the city clerk declaring her candidacy.

She joins four others who will vie for the three council jobs: incumbents Teresa Barrett and Chris Albertson and challengers Dave King and Ken Quinto.

Petaluma elects its mayor separately, and Harris is challenging Mayor David Glass for that seat.

This will be Cader-Thompson’s fourth run for council. She lost in 1994, but was elected four years later. In 2002, she lost her re-election bid as three of four incumbents on the ballot were turned out of office.

She has remained active in city politics, often commenting on current issues and opposing large-scale developments such as the Regency and Deer Creek projects, which resulted in the Target and Friedman’s Home Improvement shopping centers.

She said Thursday that the “tipping point” for her entering the race came on Monday night, when the council majority rejected Glass’ bid to reverse a decision the council made last month to allow the developer of a mixed-use project to install a grass athletic field instead of a synthetic turf one.

Basin Street Properties said a natural grass field will be a more attractive amenity for its residents and users. It has agreed to let the public use the field for youth sports leagues and will give the city $125,000 to maintain its other all-weather fields.

“I believe the residents of this community need a choice between a City Council run by Basin Street Properties and one that represents the public’s interest. I will represent the public’s interest,” she said.

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