COWncil Roundup – June 10th, 2008

July 3, 2008

After The COWncil conducted its regular meeting on Tuesday June10th. COW-ncilmember Dave Burow was absent, as was Hope Sullivan, the now-former Town Planning Director (see our recent articles on that topic!). You can see the whole meeting as usual on Mootube, here.

Before the COWncil got down to its regular business, they conducted interviews with and made appointments for a member of the Planning Commission and the ASRB. Mary Brasher was the only applicant for the Planning Commission (District 5) and was accepted as a new member of that Commission. Jack Helfland and Leo J. Kusber were the two applicants for the ASRB, with Mr. Helfland achieving that post. Dave Tanner would have preferred that the committees keep looking for more candidates, but eventually voted with the majority in approval. We will also note that the interview and selection process was estimated to take fifteen minutes, and instead took upwards of an hour – showing the interest in these powerful advisory positions by members of the COWncil.

Adoption of the modification to the Woodside Municipal Code section about stables (read about it here), discussed at the previous regular meeting of the COWncil and now up for a vote, passed unanimously.

The Proposed Budget for ’08-’09 was then presented in detail by Town Manager Susan George, . Some changes to revenue were discussed, including the loss of property tax revenue that we covered back in April). Overall, revenue is positive, however.

The Road Program is getting a financial boost, with an increase in its budget of $660,000 – some from Town revenue, and $400,000 in Prop. 1B funds. There was another extended discussion about bikes and bicyclists The heated discussion ranged from widening streets, striping bike lanes, moving culverts etc. Susan George then moved relatively quickly through the rest of the Budget – covering Departmental Budgets. There were a few things of note: she recommended cutting funding for the Day of the Horse reception, stating that it was money that served relatively few members of the COWmunity. You’ll want to read our next Roundup to see that after a $5,000 donation from WHOA and despite protestations of no quid pro quo, the money was in fact NOT cut from the budget!

As an interesting aside, Susan noted that since the Trail Users Fee was increased since last year, payment has dropped from 737 horses to 596 horses so far this year. While Woodside is proud of being a horse town, it seems that some horse owners may not want to pay to keep it that way.. Alternately – perhaps people are moving their horses out of Town or are there even less horse owners in Town? Susan was going to look into this issue with the Trails and Livestock Committees.

It is noteworthy that the Development Services Engineer and the Town Geologist were moving from the Planning Department to the Public Works Department. Additionally, the COWncil talked about looking at the geologic review process, and the Town Manager said that it is scheduled on the Town Work Plan – definitely something to keep an eye on!

Susan George then said that since COWncil hadn’t requested any specific changes, they could vote on the plan at the following regular meeting. She got her thanks from the COWncil, and in return thanked them for creating Kevin Bryant’s position as Assistant to the Town Manager, who has been given more responsibility lately.

The meeting ended with the appointment of Andrew Logan to the Conservation and Environmental Health Committee and Christine Cooper to the Trails Committee, and COWncilmember COWmunications.

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