County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Board of Directors commit to nationwide search for new general manager of Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

Santa Rosa, CA  –  November 3, 2020  –  The Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District today announced the District will launch a national search for a new general manager of the Ag + Open Space District. The manager will succeed Bill Keene who recently announced that he will be he stepping down after serving in the position for 11 years.  

District Directors also announced on Tuesday that they will be appointing an interim manager to oversee the Ag + Open Space District until the search is completed. The Directors said they will be interviewing both internal and external candidates for the interim post.   

“This is a critical position for our County, and it’s vital that we find the right person to guide our efforts to preserve our natural, scenic and working open space lands in Sonoma County,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin, Chair of the District’s Board of Directors. “This is also an opportunity to take a fresh look at how we address the broad mission of the district collaboratively with our community.”  

The Ag + Open Space District was created in 1990 through a voter-authorized quarter-cent sales tax used to fund the protection and preservation of open space areas. Over the past 30 years, the District, sometimes in partnership with other agencies, have preserved more than 120,000 acres of land in Sonoma County, including agricultural lands, community separators, scenic corridors, recreational spaces and natural wildlife habitat. The tax, which was reauthorized by county voters in 2006, is approved to run through 2031.

The new general manager will oversee a staff of 29 people and an annual budget of roughly $55 million. The County expects the national recruitment to begin soon after Jan. 1, 2021. For more information about the Ag + Open Space District, go to


Contact Information

Paul Gullixson
Communications Manager
County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235