I write this New Year message while navigating through a complex web of thoughts and emotions in the aftermath of one of the most difficult years many of us have encountered. Like several of you, 2017 tested me in ways I could not have imagined. I have spent countless hours reflecting on the past year and contemplating our future. We are at a turning point now and we, as a community, are charged to be good stewards, and to make the careful decisions that ensure our sustainability, our resiliency, and our survival. Hope need not be abandoned and despair need not define us as we find our path forward, together.
Against a backdrop of profound loss, hope, catastrophe, political tumult, uneven economic recovery, environmental challenge, flood and fire, I had the honor to serve as Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors during its first year with a female majority on the dais. While I wish the number of women in elected office and other leadership positions reflected our demographics, the fact is that Sonoma County had a male dominated Board of Supervisors for all the years between its founding in 1850 and 2017. That’s a long time!
I would be remiss if I did not report a few of the County’s initiatives that I am honored to have moved forward in 2017. It is important to highlight a small sample of these accomplishments because they were made possible not just by the Board of Supervisors, but because the County organization includes approximately 4,000 of the most dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure to work alongside. These committed and brilliant individuals are your friends, neighbors, family members and in some cases you! This year I witnessed a public service ethic like no other.
Here is a sample of our collective work product —