Get to Know the City Council of Petaluma
The City Council of Petaluma’s website is one of the easier ones to navigate. It is also one that leans heavily to the left as you are greeted with “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” along with a tribute to “Black Lives Matter” The website states that, “To succeed as a prosperous, healthy, and equitable community, it is essential that our city embraces and models diversity, equity, and inclusion in our policies, programs, and services.” The City Council is also heavily into the left leaning “Climate Action” with a goal to be “Carbon Neutral by 2030”, through “Climate Equity.” The council states that “climate change poses the greatest threat to those least responsible for it such as low-income and disadvantaged populations which includes women, racial minorities, marginalized ethnic groups and the elderly.”
The Petaluma City Council consists of six Council Members and the Mayor. Council and Mayoral elections are non-partisan and members are elected as at-large representatives for all of the citizens for a four-year term. The Elections for City council are staggered so that at least three Council Members are up for election every two years. The mayor is directly elected to a four-year term during the General Municipal election in November.
Mayor Teresa Barrett has been an active community member in Petaluma. She began her career in Public Works in 1999 when she served on both the Planning Commission and the now dissolved Site Plan and Architectural Review Committee for more than six years. In 2006 she launched her first campaign for Petaluma City Council. She has served three consecutive terms on the City Council during which time she represented Petaluma and Sonoma County on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Local Agency Formation District of Sonoma County, Zone 2A, and Library Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County” an organization pushing to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour without taking into account the economic repercussions that this has on an already feeble state of the economy.
In 2018 she ran for and was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Petaluma. This seat will be up for election in 2022. Mayor Barrett is a registered Democrat and can be reached by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Mayor Brian Barnacle is a political newcomer with a background in city planning. He is a Petaluma native. He was elected in 2020 at the age of 35. Prior to running for City Council, he had a reputation of being a frequent critic of City Council decisions, weighing in at meetings on the city’s development approvals and energy policy. He wanted to be heard and decided to run for City as a self-proclaimed climate activist. He is a proponent of the
Bicycle Coalition, a huge supporter of the high-speed rail system as well as a member of 350 Petaluma, a climate action committee.
Vice Mayor Barnacle is registered as a Democrat. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022. You can email Vice Mayor Barnacle at: email@example.com
Council Member D’Lynda Fischer is another new Council Member. However, she is also very new to Petaluma as she is a Southern California transplant after moving to Petaluma in 2016. Her background is in City Planning as she has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and served on the Planning Commission in the City of West Hollywood. She is another self-proclaimed climate activist and is a big proponent of eliminating gas stations in not only Petaluma, but all of California where she suggests, “banning construction of new retail gasoline stations. Land use planning should be forward looking. California has over 10,000 gas stations. If the state goal is met all of these will be out of business. They will be a blight on the landscape. As well, they will all need to be properly decommissioned to keepthem from becoming sources of toxic waste into our soil and water. The fewer there are the better.”
Council Member Fischer is registered as a Democrat. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022.You can email Council Member Fischer at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Mike Healy is Petaluma’s longest serving city council member, who was first elected in 1998. He earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco and established his own law
Council Member David King was elected to the Petaluma City Council in 2014. he was President of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce from 2005-2006 and served on its Board from 2000-2007. He has his own law practice dealing in all areas of employment law, contract disputes, contract drafting, and general commercial and business litigation. He serves as a mediator and arbitrator in all civil litigation matters on the panel of the Arbitration and Mediation Center. Additionally, Council Member King has served on the Sonoma County Bar Association Board of Directors and the Sonoma County Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee.
Council Member King is a registered Democrat. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022. You can email Council Member King at: email@example.com
Council Member Kevin McDonnell was elected in 2018. His background is as a civil engineer. He has served as the chair of the city’s recreation, music, and parks commission, He believes affordable housing, transportation and traffic solutions are the top concerns for Petaluma.
Council Member McDonnell is a registered Democrat. This Council seat will be up for election in 2022. You can email Council Member McDonnell at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Dennis Pocekay was elected in 2020. He is a retired Physician. He worked with Kaiser for 27 years where he practiced General Internal Medicine and Occupational & Environmental Medicine. He served as Chief of the Department of Occupational Medicine, and also as Physician Lead for Northern California Occupational Health and Safety Services. Upon retiring he also served as a substitute teacher at Casa Grande High School. He has also served Petaluma on the City Youth Commission, the County Stakeholders Advisory Group for Climate Action 2020, and the Climate Action Commission Ad Hoc Committee on Equity and Climate Justice.
Council Member Pocekay is a registered Democrat. This Council seat will be up for election in 2024. You can email Council Member Pocekay at: email@example.com
Regular City Council Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. Meetings usually include a 6:00 p.m. Closed Session and a 6:45 p.m. Open Session. Special Meetings are also called on an as-needed basis. All City Council meetings are open to the public with the exception of discussions which pertain to property acquisition, legal, or personnel issues. State law allows these to be handled privately under Closed Session and no other issues may be discussed in Closed Sessions. City Council agendas indicate whether or not there will be a closed session.
You can view the Petaluma City Council calendar at https://cityofpetaluma.org/meetings/ and also view meeting archives and agendas.