Petaluma City Council candidates all back fight against Dutra plant

Six candidates seeking three Petaluma City Council seats on the Nov. 6 ballot continued to try to differentiate themselves Thursday during a wide-ranging forum at City Hall.

Incumbents Tiffany Renee, Mike Healy and Gabe Kearney are seeking to retain their seats. Kathy Miller, Jason Davies and Alicia Kae Herries are challenging. Renee is seeking a second term, Healy a fourth and Kearney is asking voters to continue his tenure on the council. Kearney was appointed to fill a council vacancy in 2011.

Questions ranged from whether the candidates supported a parks parcel tax on the ballot and continuing to fight the Dutra asphalt plan south of town -- which all candidates did -- to several queries about city economics and how to pay for services reduced by recent budget cuts.

On balancing the city's general-fund budget, Miller said passing the Measure X parks tax would increase tourism and that the city "needs to roll out the welcome mat to business."

Herries also wants to increase tourism and invite high-tech and "head of household jobs," while Davies advocated for working to reduce the city's 30 percent vacancy rate in office space before encouraging new development.

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