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Sonoma County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter

Maintain Cotati's "Small Town" Atmosphere

By Tanya L. Boone-Alva

Candidate for Member, City Council; City of Cotati

This information is provided by the candidate
We need to focus on and develop Cotati's strengths as a city and community, instead of modeling what surrounding cities are doing.
Cotati is a unique city, in that it is a tiny hamlet with a population of 6,800, surrounded by cities with populations in the tens of thousands. Surrounding cities are inviting and capitalizing on developments of "big box" stores to reap the benefits of the large revenues they produce. Cotati is starting down a similar path, with 5-0 approval from the city council to have a Lowe's home improvement center built, roughly the size of three football fields. I disagree with this plan. Here's why:
1. A store that size does not fit in with the size and style of the community.
2. There are four other home improvement big box stores within a 10-15 mile radius; Home Depot, Friedman's, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Yardbirds. Putting in another home improvement center of this magnitude is risky to say the least. Lowe's has "relocated" 30 of its stores in the last three years, and the city council made no agreement with Lowe's to pay the city in succeeding years if the business fails.
3. A smarter plan for Cotati would be to encourage smaller, diverse, locally owned businesses. Cotati's strength is in it's diversity of small businesses. If one or two fail, the city can recover from lost revenues. Not so with a massive "big box."

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