Cities' clout at issue in first Sonoma Clean Power meeting

A tussle for control over the future of Sonoma Clean Power dominated the agency's first public meeting Tuesday, with county officials rejecting for now a request by smaller cities for more say over how the agency is governed.

The decision was a clear sign of how strongly the county is courting Santa Rosa, the largest urban power market. Under current weighted voting rules, Santa Rosa would retain the ability to join the unincorporated county — the other dominant power market — in pushing through governance changes over the objection of all other cities.

Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Susan Gorin, whose districts include most of Santa Rosa, lobbied to postpone any decision on altering that control, saying cities could take it up once they joined.

Zane minced no words about the motivation for her stance, calling Santa Rosa the "biggest player" in the power deal.

"Do I care about whether it joins? Absolutely, I do," Zane said in an interview after the board vote.

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