Lower Russian River MAC Representatives and Alternates

Nine representatives determined through community selection. All members must reside within the Lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council area. Representatives will serve two or three years, to be determined.

What's On This Page?

Forestville District

Representatives

Vesta Copestakes

VestaContact: vesta@sonic.net

Term: 3 years

Occupation: Publisher, Sonoma County Gazette

Community service experience: Forestville Chamber of Commerce (Board, Vice President, President), Forestville Planning Association (Founder and Board Member), Forestville Education Foundation (Founder and Board Member), Friends of Forestville School (Board Member), Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sonoma County (Board Member)

Platform: Like many of us who live here, we value what we have and want to protect what makes us unique. That includes our sensitive environment as well as our intimate towns, small schools and bedroom community status. Preserving what we value is how we will keep this place feeling like home. 

Goal(s): To be a good representative of my home. I know a lot of people and am a good listener. I believe I can be of service to our communities in a way that represents us as a whole, not just me and my personal opinions, which may not always coincide with others in my community. I know a lot about many issues, have a long history of being involved, so I have a perspective few others have. When I represent Forestville, I have to be clear that we are not all of one voice, but that we can agree to disagree and move forward.

Lucy Hardcastle

LUCY HARDCASTLEContact: lhardcastle.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Crisis Counselor, West County Community Services

Community service experience: Forestville Planning Association (Secretary), Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa (Secretary), Association of Fundraising (President), West County Community Services (Crisis Counselor), Food for Thought (Food Fairy and Fundraiser)

Platform: I have neighbors who represent a wide swath of folks who live in the lower River area. Teachers and counselors, artists and bohemians, construction workers and hairdressers. Some are wealthy, but most are not. Many struggle with the cost of living as our special enclave gets pricey. Being 'discovered' as a go-to area after years of neglect is thrilling. To come back from some pretty destructive flooding episodes and shine again is nice. But to be priced out of our homes is brutal. I am a good listener, can see the common threads that bind us together and communicate effectively and respectfully those connections to reach conclusions that work for all. 

Goal(s): To fairly represent my neighbors' voices while staying true to my own experience. 

Alternate

Gary Harris

GARY HARRISContact: gharris.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Real Estate Broker, Sequoia Properties

Community service experience: Forestville Chamber of Commerce (President, Director), Forestville Water District (Director), Independent Broker Association (Director, President), El Molino Little League (Director, President)

Platform: I am very interested in the downtown core of Forestville. We have a state highway running through the middle of town, which generates a high volume of traffic. Crosswalk/pedestrian safety is a real concern of mine. Other concerns of mine include having an elementary school that is contiguous with a closed business that has contaminated the ground with TCE, the future of the downtown square and the ongoing health of the Russian River and businesses that depend on the health.

Goal(s): To fairly and honestly represent the needs of our community and convey that to our supervisors. Sometimes unincorporated areas have a more difficult time being represented and I would like to see that change.

Hacienda District

Representative

Claudia Sisomphou

claudia sisomphouContact: csisomphou.rivermac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Communications Coordinator, Sonoma Clean Power

Community service experience: Food for Thought (Advocate/Volunteer), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (TNT Participant/Volunteer), Global Student Embassy (Intern/Volunteer), Join Us Making Progress (Participant), United Nations Association Sonoma County Chapter (Member/President)

Platform: We face many of the same problems as the other county communities, including traffic congestion, fire hazards and a lack of access to basic services, but one of the biggest issues that our unique area faces is the health of our river. Those of us in the LRR area experience some of the worst effects of local pollution, but there are causes throughout the entire county that impact the condition of the waterway. As climate change worsens, it will be incredibly important to think of all the sectors that impact the sustainability of our world.

Goal(s): To strengthen the voice and representation of the Lower Russian River (LRR) area not only in District 5, but in county-wide conversations and decisions.

Alternate

Chelene Lopez

CHELENE LOPEZContact: clopez.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Health Promotion Programs Coordinator, St. Joseph Health

Community service experience: St. Joseph Health (Health Promotion), Sonoma County WIC (In-take/Application Assistant), Sonoma County CHDP (Application Assistant)

Platform: My goal and responsibility on the MAC is to serve as a bridge between my community and Supervisor Hopkins' office. 

Goal(s): My goal is to be a good resource to Supervisor Hopkins' office to help her make informed decisions that could impact the Hacienda community.

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Rio Nido District

Representative

Pip Marquez de la Plata

Pip Marquez river macContact: pipmdlp.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 3 years

Occupation: Executive Director, Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County

Community service experience: Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County (Executive Director), Friends of Rio Nido (Board President), Sweetwater Springs Water District (Board President)

Platform: I want to represent a district that generally feels overlooked, to work with other community members to find common ground and help facilitate dialogue. 

Goal(s): To ensure that the issues that face Rio Nido that have a potential to be solved by county government are heard and that the community feels as if they have seat at the table. 

Alternate

John Uniack

JOHN UNIACKContact: johnuniack@hotmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Retired

Community service experience: Russian River Fire Protection District (Director/Chair), Russian River Redevelopment Oversight (Board/Chair), Russian River Recreation and Park District (Director/Vice Chair), Friends of Rio Nido (Board President), Sonoma County Vet Building Advisory Committee (Committee Member)

Platform: [I have] 20 years of Sonoma County and local special district government experience. 

Goal(s): To work toward making a positive part of the Lower River community.  

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Guerneville District

Representatives

Jeniffer Wertz

JENIFFER WERTZ 120 AContact: jwertz.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 3 years

Occupation: Real Estate Appraiser

Community service experience: Guerneville Community Alliance (Volunteer)

Platform: My priorities are getting as much of our TOT (tourism occupancy tax) to be spent here as possible, continuing to work with law enforcement and the District Attorney's office for a safe community, continue to advocate to get homeless people out of illegal encampments and into legal shelter and to reduce fire and water quality hazards associated with illegal homeless encampments. 

Goal(s): My goal has always been to try and make the community healthy and safe for everyone. I would like to see the diverse fabric of this community thrive, and for us to retain our unique character as we improve our quality of life. I believe there needs to be a healthy balance. We need everyone to have a home, especially our local workers who are essential to our local economy. 

Jordan Lebovich

JORDAN LEBOVICHContact: jordan.rivermac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Vacation Rental Manager, Russian River Vacation Homes

Community service experience: Redwood Empire Remodelers Association (Vice President, President), American Institute of Architects (Communications Director), Russian River Chamber of Commerce (Treasurer)

Platform: I know that everyone will be watching to see if the MAC will be successful or not, so it will be critical to get some quick wins and show everyone that this idea can work. I would also like to get a list of priorities together that can be divided into short, medium and long term projects and vet that through the community.

Goal(s): If elected to the MAC, I see the following issues as ones we might take on: affordable housing, jobs and training, businesses, tasting rooms, parking, tourism, traffic, safety and blight. I don't have answers or solutions to offer, as these are very complex issues, but I know that with invested MAC representatives and community involvement, that we can help inform the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on our issues and hopefully come up with solutions to improve our neighborhoods. 

Alternate

Rod Redmon

RON REDMONContact: ronredmon@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Registered Nurse, Life Coach

Community service experience: Memorial Hospital Bioethics Forum and Hospice Board of Directors (Team Member, Consultant), Guerneville Community Church (Youth Leader), Guerneville Elementary School (Classroom Volunteer), Empowerment Center (Member, Music Team), Grace Fellowship Church (Youth Leader, Men's Group Leader, Street Ministry)

Platform: Whatever role I am in, I focus on relationships. I have lots of ideas that I can share without getting upset if they are not chosen for action or if they get changed. I would like to provide links between the creative citizens of Guerneville and the Board of Supervisors and the businesses in our county. I'd like to help establish community efforts over time, so as new people come into the community or into office, everything won't get reinvented. 

Goal(s): To help the Board of Supervisors better understand the issues of the Lower Russian River on the grassroots level, to help advocate for people whose voices are not well heard and to promote unity and respect among all our citizens.

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Pocket Canyon District

Representative

Jeanette Dillman

JEANETTE DILLMANContact:jeanette.rivermac@gmail.com

Term: 3 years

Occupation: Retired

Community service experience: Russian River Health Center (Board of Directors), Sonoma County Association for Retarded Citizens (President), River Community Services (Board of Directors), Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee (Alternate), Sonoma County Human Services Commission (Commissioner), Russian River Area Resources and Advocates (Participant)

Platform: What interests me most is developing an organization that is open and transparent with solid policies and procedures to set the underpinnings for this critical community need. 

Goal(s): To represent Pocket Canyon and Noel Heights neighborhood, which is more sparsely populated and less urban. This area is often an afterthought and needs a place and voice at the table in establishing a solid foundation for this pioneer river council. 

Alternate

Bruce Macdonell

BRUCE MACDONELLContact: brucerussianriver@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Construction Management

Community service experience: Russian River Wild Steelhead Society (President), Clean River Alliance (Garbage Patch Kid), River Keeper (Volunteer), CDFW (Mentor), El Molino Little League (Coach)

Platform: I feel I can contribute by using my 40 years of construction knowledge to help with recommendations and ideas. My life long relationship with the Russian River powers my passion and motivates me to achieve goals that will ultimately benefit the river and my community.

Goal(s): To be a voice for those in the Pocket Canyon District and to help bridge the gap in communications between my community and our local officials and agencies regarding a variety of topics and, at times, provide recommendations to our local supervisors on those topics.

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Monte Rio District

Representative

Cynthia Strecker

CYNTHIA STRECKERContact:cstrecker.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Retired

Community service experience: Monte Rio Union School District (Board Member)

Platform: I feel that doing this job well means committing to more than just a monthly meeting. It is also necessary to commit to extending ourselves to many groups and individuals within our own community to ensure that we are receiving a well-rounded overview of their needs and perspectives. 

Goal(s): I would want to see the river area continue to progress in ways that maintain our diversity, strengthening our relatively strong middle class and safeguard our citizens who are struggling economically.

Alternate

Kyra Wink

KYRA WINKContact: kyrawink@aol.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Retired

Community service experience: Friends of Villa Grande (Board Vice President, Member, Secretary), Kaiser Permanente (Volunteer), American Lung Association (Board Member)

Platform: I have experience in program development and the writing of protocols. I am a great organizer, communicator, facilitator and planner. I really enjoy working with diverse populations, teasing out commonalities for possible consensus building and problem solving.  

Goal(s): To develop and establish the foundation and protocols for the future of MAC operations and to help develop a synergistic relationship between the community and the supervisors and other governmental agencies. 

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Cazadero/Duncans Mills District

Representative

Mike Nicholls

MIKE NICHOLLSContact: mnicholls.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Community Volunteer

Community service experience: Wisconsin State Vocational Technical Curriculum Task Force (Governor Appointment), River Area Shelter and Downtown Task Group (Supervisor Appointment), River to Coast Children's Services (Board Member), Cazadero CSD (Board President), Access Sonoma Broadband (Co-Chair), Russian River Rotary (Member)

Platform: I have long felt the lower river region has been underrepresented and many times overlooked in the county conversation, which generally tends to be (Highway) 101-centric. Key goals include expanding the county conversation to include the Lower Russian River region and work to assure a greater share of TOT funding is returned to local communities. 

Goal(s): To assist in creating new local jobs, reduce the level of distrust held by many with regard to "the county," and to provide a local ear for residents and leveraging worthwhile opportunities with the balance of the board for the good of the region. 

Alternate

Terry Gwiazdowski

THERESA GWIAZDOWSKIContact: terry.lrrmac@gmail.com

Term: 2 years

Occupation: Retired Library Manager

Community service experience: Clean River Alliance (Volunteer), Guerneville Friends of the Library (Volunteer)

Platform: To engage with key stakeholders in my community and throughout the MAC is of great interest to me.  I would bring organizational skills, communication skills and moderating skills to this position. I was a team member and team leader on many projects in my library jobs and I feel that I can bring these skills with me to the MAC. 

Goal(s): To discover the most pressing needs of the various communities in the MAC and to work with my fellow MAC members, with Supervisor Hopkins and the entire Board of Supervisors to create plans to fill those needs. 

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Member Representative FAQs

Do you have questions about being a representative for this council?

Representative FAQs  (PDF: 92 kB)

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