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The Petaluma City Council did not get a good report card from respondents to the Argus-Courier’s online poll Feb. 21, 2008.
Half of them say they rarely agree with major decisions of the Petaluma City Council, while 43.3 percent say they sometimes agree.
Asked how good a job the council has done over the last year, 23.3 percent said good, 40 percent said fair and 36.7 percent said poor.
Asked if they feel the current City Council is productive and works well together, 60 percent said no.
Here are some of the comments from those who participated in the survey:
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“This council majority is giving away land use to the developers. There is a majority that has a swollen head. Hang in there, Mayor Pam and Teresa Barrett!”
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“Residents of Petaluma, please get rid of Teresa Barrett and Pamela Torliatt. They are the problem with their hidden agendas and radical plans for Petaluma.”
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“I believe, simply, that there are some good people on the council whose egos have been stretched. They want their agenda, and nothing like compromise is an option. Get over it. You’re not that important, but the issues are.”
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“The council needs a breath of fresh air! I feel Mayor Torliatt and Teresa Barrett are doing a fantastic job of representing the will of their constituents. The remaining majority are too swayed by outside developers and it is apparent in their individual voting histories and campaign contributions. We need more innovative approaches to tax revenue and in this economic climate the large-scale retail model is not appropriate. The unfortunate majority on our council will not be happy until they turn our local government into what Rohnert Park’s looked like 10 years ago. I’m not alone when I say I am disappointed.”
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“This city’s government is self-serving and divisive. Mayor Torliatt has been the key factor in the recent problems with city government.”
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“The majority of this council don’t act like responsible adults, certainly don’t talk with the public, behave poorly and seem bent on destroying our city with too much development and traffic. Just who are they working for?”
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“This council is surely screwing up this city. Especially the roads. When election time comes, I hope everyone will remember who supported these ‘road diet’ disasters and vote accordingly.”
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“There are two members of the council that almost always serve the needs of the people. There is one that pretends they do and four that serve the developers that paid for their campaigns. Our City Council does not work well together because they do not have the same goals. It’s too bad that the oath of office that they take says nothing about serving in the best interest of the people.”
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“I think they have done a horrible job with preserving the integrity of this town.”
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“Imagine this: A City Council that the majority is not in the pocket of special interest groups (yes, like developers that only seek return on their investments and not the character of Petaluma), a majority on the City Council that is for the preservation of the character of Petaluma and does not fall for the lure of revenue of ‘big box’ retail, but instead works to improve our small business community in our downtown.”

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“Long serve Pam and Teresa! O’Brien and Freitas are obstructionists and irrelevant as council members. Of course, that makes John Burns love their quotes, and of course Herb Williams will be funding their runs for council. They are not leaders, they are flies in ointment. Long serve Pam and Teresa!”
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“Ease traffic congestion, not choke it. Poll the city residents.”
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“There is a real problem with the growth of Petaluma. One example: Conserve water! We don’t have enough! But they let in more business (granted, they don’t use much water) but make them landscape instead of maybe one tree and bark. They allow many more subdivisions, bringing in more people who use a ton of water (that we’ve been told we don’t have) for personal use and landscape. Real Petalumans are told conserve and we don’t have enough but then we look around us and see all these new homes being allowed in. Is there magic water coming from somewhere that we don’t know about?”