North Valley MAC coming soon
Supervisors set to create new advisory body on Sept. 17
Seven people (and two alternates) may soon be chosen to staff a new advisory body to the First District Supervisor, in this case, Susan Gorin. The group, to be called the North Valley Municipal Advisory Council (NVMAC), will keep the supervisor informed of local issues and help direct county resources to resolve identified needs.
Municipal Advisory Councils have been used by California county and city lawmakers for over 50 years for varying purposes. Sonoma County’s first MAC – the Windsor Municipal Advisory Council – laid the groundwork for incorporating Windsor. While there are no plans to incorporate Eldridge, Glen Ellen and/or Kenwood, major changes are afoot in the valley since the state decided to abandon the 945-acre Sonoma Developmental Center, and the 2017 wildfires devastated all of these areas. These three communities, and the rural properties between them, will be included in the scope of the NVMAC considerations.
The bylaws proposed for adoption call for the NVMAC to prioritize transportation, transit, traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian improvements; health and human safety-net services, including homelessness and housing; community projects such as art, clean ups and vegetation planting; fire services and community preparedness; and additional topics as requested by the supervisor.
The NVMAC will set regular public meetings and make annual reports to the entire Board of Supervisors.
The bylaws also make it clear that the NVMAC reports to the First District Supervisor and is not free to contact other county, city or state agencies unless specifically authorized.
Gorin convened a group of “stakeholders” in October 2018 to talk about forming an advisory council, and think about boundaries and possible areas of interest.
If the board establishes the North Valley Municipal Advisory Council on Sept. 17, council members may be appointed by late 2019 or early 2020, and the council may begin meeting by February of next year.
A separate MAC is currently operating in the Springs area.