Supervisor Gorin selects members of North Valley MAC
Confirmations expected at July 14 Board of Supervisors meeting
A long anticipated advisory council for the North Sonoma Valley has taken a big step forward as nine people have accepted positions in the new group, according to First District Supervisor Susan Gorin’s office. The new council will advise her and her fellow supervisors on matters of importance to Eldridge, Glen Ellen and Kenwood.
The new council members were appointed by Gorin and basically serve at her pleasure, tasked with prioritizing issues of 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 the supervisor requests.
“I’m grateful to the many people of Eldridge, Kenwood and Glen Ellen, and to Supervisor Gorin, who helped bring the North Valley Municipal Advisory Council into being,” Glen Ellen consulting historian Arthur Dawson said. “As the Council’s first appointed Chair, I’m excited to develop something new – a representative body that will be our community’s voice within the county government.”
Arielle Kubu-Jones, Gorin’s field representative, will work closely with the North Valley Municipal Advisory Council (NVMAC), helping with organization and future meetings.
The new council members are scheduled to be sworn in on July 14 at the regular Board of Supervisors meeting. They may be able to hold their first meeting as early as August.
Daymon Doss, Chair of the Kenwood Fire District Board, and former leader and consultant for health care districts in Northern California, will serve as vice-chair of the new council.
“I welcome the opportunity to represent the Kenwood, Eldridge and Glen Ellen communities in this new advisory council,” he said. “I’m looking forward to being able to have additional input into multiple areas of interest and concern. Thank you, Supervisor Gorin, for facilitating this process.”
The council has seven members and two alternates, with two representing Kenwood area, two representing Glen Ellen and Eldridge, one representative from business or non-profits, one from the Sonoma Valley Citizens’ Advisory Commission (SVCAC), one from the family/school community, and two alternates, according to the county’s rules.
Other members selected include:
Kate Eagles, Eldridge, active in the Glen Ellen Forum and participant in several group meetings to get the NVMAC off the ground. She has been a consultant and professional in the business of recycling plastic.
Vicki Handron, Glen Ellen, a Sonoma native and attorney who recently opened Sonoma Immigrant Services with a foundation grant to offer free legal consultations, with an office in the Springs.
Mark Newhouser, Glen Ellen, was formerly projects manager for the Sonoma Ecology Center. He has been recently advocating for stronger riparian corridor habitat protections in new fire safety regulations that call for vegetation management.
Matthew Dickey, a Glen Ellen contractor, is one of two North Valley citizens on the SVCAC. The new council is expected to work closely with the larger SVCAC on issues affecting the area.
Angela Nardo-Morgan, Glen Ellen, works with grants and development for Marine Conservation Institute at Jack London Village
Jed Cooper, Kenwood, is a partner in Annadel Capital, a Registered Investment Advisory group in San Rafael. He and his wife Kalleen have raised five children in Kenwood and are even now replacing their Adobe Canyon home destroyed in 2017.
“I’ve lived in this community since 1980 and was very involved in high schools, including Montgomery, served as a Bishop twice in the Mormon Church, but I had never done anything of value in my community. I want to do something, get involved in my own community and help.”
Melissa Dowling is President of the Board of Directors for the Glen Ellen Forum.
“I’m honored to serve on the NVMAC and look forward to collaborating with the Glen Ellen and Kenwood community and working with Supervisor Gorin on projects and issues that impact the North Sonoma Valley,” Dowling said.
Dowling and Cooper are tentatively tagged to be alternate / at-large members of the new Council.
The duties of the MAC are spelled out by bylaws put into place by Gorin’s office. They will hold regular public meetings, study and analyze advisory topics, and keep the district supervisor informed on issues that crop up. They can provide advisory recommendations on their topics to the Board of Supervisors and other county offices, but only through the First District supervisor’s office. They do not contact other county or state agencies directly.
A MAC was appointed for the Springs area at the start of the year and has been a success in helping Gorin’s office with complex issues involving traffic and development in the area. Applications for the North Valley MAC were slow in the beginning; many more local people applied to serve on a group being formed to advise on the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center. Once that was picked, more applications came in for the NVMAC, just about the time the COVID pandemic again interrupted the process.
MACS have a long history in California. In Sonoma County, a Windsor MAC laid the foundation for forming that city from previously unincorporated lands. The county has approved several Citizen Advisory Committees to serve specific areas, including the SVCAC operating in the City of Sonoma, with representatives from the North Valley, Springs, and unincorporated areas to the Bay, with members of the county Planning Commission and the City of Sonoma sitting in. They have a long record of ameliorating development impacts before they get too far along in the development process.
The supervisors formed the Lower Russian River Advisory Council and the Sonoma County Coast Municipal Advisory Council on Sept. 25, 2018, the Springs Municipal Advisory Council on Dec. 11, 2018, and the North Valley Municipal Advisory Council on September 17, 2019.