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Sonoma County, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Smart Voter

Environmental Position

By Matt L Rogina

Candidate for Member, City Council; City of Rohnert Park

This information is provided by the candidate
I will make Rohnert Park a model for environmental sustainability.
Water Conservation

Matt Rogina actively promotes water conservation and appropriate water efficiency practices as a means to protect the areas' natural resources, to stretch existing water supplies and to maximize sustainability in meeting future water needs for the city's water users.

Environmental Friendly Plumbing

All residential, commercial and industrial buildings receiving water form the City of Rohnert Park need to be required to be retrofitted completely with low consumption plumbing fixtures at the time of sale of the property. Under the regulations, the seller will be responsible for:

1. Replacing any toilets, urinals and showerheads that do not meet the following low consumption standards:

a. Toilets 1.6 gallons per flush b. Urinals 1.0 gallons per flush c. Showerheads 2.5 gallons per minute maximum

2. Having the plumbing fixtures inspected and obtaining a certificate of completion from the city.

3. Disclosing retrofit requirements to the buyer of the property, before the property changes ownership.

Toilet Rebate Program

Inside a typical household, more water is used for flushing toilets than for any other purpose. The typical toilet uses 3 to 5 gallons of water or more with every flush. With each person in the household flushing the toilet several times a day that is a lot of water going down the drain. With water availability a major concern we need to do what we can to conserve as much water as possible.

Rohnert Park needs to offer a fair rebate to its customers for replacing old tank-top toilets in a home or business with a new ultra-low flow toilet, which are designed to work efficiently using only 1.6 gallons of water. And with a rebate of at least $100, much of the cost of a new toilet will be recovered!

Business Customers

Rohnert Park needs to offer its business customers rebates of up to $200 for replacing old, higher water use urinals and flush valve toilets with new ultra-low flow urinals and flush valve toilets. The $100 rebate for replacing older tank toilets should also remain available to business customers.

Clothes Washer Rebate

A typical house of four does about 400 loads of laundry a year. Conventional washers use 40 to 50 gallons of water for each full load. That adds up to 16,000 gallons of water a year, or more, just for washing clothes! With the increasing scarcity of water, we need to ensure that we conserve as much water as possible. The newest style of clothes washer, a water efficient horizontal-axis model uses only 20 to 25 gallons of water with each load, saving at least 15 gallons with each load. A household of four, doing seven loads of laundry a week, can save 5,000 gallons or more each year. A rebate of at least $200 needs to be given to residents that buy a water efficient Energy Star labeled clothes washer.

Water Waste Regulations

The city of Rohnert Park needs to have water waste regulations in place to prohibit wastewater from flowing into our waterways. We need ordinances that do the following:

a. Require landscapes to be watered carefully, making sure to turn off the irrigation before water runs off site in a wasteful amount. b. Make sure irrigation equipment is adjusted and operating properly c. Use a quick acting shut-off nozzle on the hose whenever hand watering the garden or lawn. Also, whenever washing cars, boats, pavement, buildings or for other outdoor uses. This will be offered to residents free of charge. d. Fix leaks immediately. e. Don't operate fountains or car washes without recycling the water.

Watershed Management Internship Program

Rohnert Park needs to establish an environmental education program involving students from Rancho Cotate High School, El Camino High School, and Phoenix High School. Students will participate with the city and local non-profit organization staff members in water quality monitoring, discussions about watershed management, drinking water source protection and policy-making role-play sessions. This will educate the students with the experience with the broad spectrum of activities involved in drinking water production and natural resource management, interface with professionals and get extra credit or community service hours for participating in the program.


Rohnert Park needs to operate a full-scale recycling center where residents can bring their recyclables. We need to work with the garbage companies in ensuring that our current process of having a separate bin for recyclables is continued. All city buildings and public throughways must have a recycling bin to encourage recycling.


A significant 35% of our waste stream is made up of food, yardgreens and agricultural material. Instead of throwing valuable kitchen greens into the trash, give them a second chance by composting at home. We need to promote turning yard clippings, fall leaves and kitchen greens into a valuable organic material that will benefit any plants or gardens. Compost both aerates and retains moisture in soil. Composting also keeps organic material from filling up our landfills. To promote composting, Rohnert Park needs to give an incentive to residents to try composting.

Green Building Working Group

Rohnert Park needs to direct the city planning commission to form and direct a Green Building Working Group of local builders, architects, and interested residents in drafting a green building policy, standards, processes and implementation plan for Rohnert Park, which must be approved by the city council. The intent is to review current trends and practices of the industry, as well as various municipal implementation programs with a hope that the city of Rohnert Park can become a responsible regulator in controlling the use of our resources in the construction and deconstruction of buildings

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