Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council

The Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council (River MAC) is established to advise the Board of Supervisors and other County decision makers on local planning and management decisions relating to the Lower Russian River region, to provide a regular forum for citizen participation in the formation of advisory recommendations on those decisions and to provide a bridge for communication between the County and local residents and businesses, and the general public on local government decisions affecting the Lower Russian River.

View the River MAC Map (PDF: 2.6 MB)


Election Process: Are you wondering why you haven't received a ballot or participated in a vote for these representatives? We have amazing people stepping up to lead these communities - but not enough to require a vote. We'll be talking about community and engagement and how to increase the volunteer participation in forthcoming MAC meetings and welcome your ideas either at the meetings or via emails to district5@sonoma-county.org.

Lower Russian River MAC 2022-2023 Representatives

Tony Goodwin is a volunteer with Cazadero Fire. In addition to being a fire-fighting hero, Tony started the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)  in the Austin Creek neighborhood after the Tubbs fires. The neighbors in Austin Creek have developed a local radio network to relay news and check in on each other during disasters. After the success of this example in Austin Creek, teams in Fort Ross, Timber Cove, Cazadero and beyond have purchased radios, set up networks, placed repeaters, and set up procedures for disaster communications. Tony will be working to empower the community and show them their voice matters and how important it is to be heard.

Vesta Copestakes has been a community leader in Forestville and in Sonoma for her many years and most of you know her from her work as publisher of the Sonoma County Gazette, now retired. She is a current member of the Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council where she chairs the Vacation Rental committee and serves as a CAG Liaison. Like many of us who live here, she values what we have and wants to protect what makes us unique. That includes our sensitive environment as well as our intimate towns, small schools and bedroom community status. She believes preserving what we value is how we will keep this place feeling like home.

Rio Nido
Pip Marquez de la Plata, the current chair of the Lower Russian River MAC, has served as president of the board of The Friends of Rio Nido and the Sweetwater Springs Water District. Serving on these two boards has given him the opportunity to hear what issues are top of mind within Rio Nido and the broader group of communities that make up the Lower Russian River. Pip is the executive director of Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County, and with a background in marketing and communications, Pip is using his communication and consensus building skills to address the issues and concerns of his district.

Pocket Canyon
Diane Shaw
 holds a masters in psychology and has a long history as a civic volunteer with her church and the Santa Rosa Garden Club, and Diane has had hands-on volunteer experience with grant-writing, parades and the River Festival. She is looking forward to keeping in touch with her neighbors, learning their needs and making sure Pocket Canyon is represented fairly and accurately.

Staff Liaison, Elise Weiland, contact at:  (707) 565-2866 - elise.weiland@sonoma-county.org

The 2021-2022 Tourist Impact Fund (TIF) Grant Application is now open!

The Sonoma County Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) is a tax on accommodations at lodging and camping facilities in the unincorporated areas of the county. From this fund, each Supervisorial District in the county receives a percentage for discretionary projects within each District from the Tourism Impact Fund (TIF).

These funds are then awarded in small grants to not for profit organizations to create improvement projects in their community. Awards are based upon the TIF funding area and criteria as listed in below. For geographical areas covered by Municipal Advisory Councils (MAC), the TIF policy has been determined by the MAC with input from the community. For those geographical areas not covered by a MAC, the application will go to District 5 staff and similar policy and procedures will be followed.

General Funding Criteria (No preferential order)

*Applicants must be a not for-profit organization.

Extra points will be given to those projects that can demonstrate the following, although all good projects fitting the funding priority areas will be considered. 

 ·                         Greatest Impact on Community

·                         Multi-Community Benefit

·                         Best Return for Dollars (Leveraging/Matching Funds)

·                         Geographic Fairness

·                         Environmental Sensitivity

River MAC funding priorities

·                         Trash removal

·                         Restrooms

·                         Community Resilience

·                         Parking / Crosswalks / Sidewalks

·                         Disaster preparedness

·                         Security

·                         Homeless prevention

Grants are awarded throughout the year on a rolling basis. The PDF application form for the 5th District TIF Grants is linked here:  

5th District TIF application 2021-2022

Contact Information

5th District Field Representative

Board of Supervisors
County of Sonoma
Contact us by Phone

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