The leaves are finally turning and rainy weather is upon us - it's fall! Fall also marks the start of our season of celebration, and I always look forward to the ways our community decorates our residences, businesses, and public spaces, be it for Halloween, Día de los Muertos, Christmas, or for any reason at all! A community member recently sent me this stunning photo of El Molino Central in the Springs. Public art is such a wonderful way to express our identities, cultures, and creativity, and I hope to feature more in my newsletter going forward.
For this month’s column, I wanted to write about two different topics: Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and two community meetings I hosted in the past few weeks: a bilingual community listening session in the Springs on the East Sonoma County Service Center, and a Town Hall in Oakmont on the Los Guilicos Village transition. Thank you for reading!
This fall, we will finally be opening a Regional County Service Center in the Springs area of Sonoma. The goal of the center, which many have started calling the "hub," is to make county services that are largely centralized in Santa Rosa more accessible to residents of the Valley. Last week, I hosted a bilingual listening session to gather input from the community on what services they would like to see at the center.
Though we’ve experienced some cooler temperatures and even some light rain this summer, looking out at the golden hills throughout this county makes it clear that the respite we had is over, the vegetation is dry, and fire season is here. Now is the time to check in with your loved ones, check your defensible space at home, and reevaluate and update your emergency plan.
Labor Day is often the day we remember the services of so many in our community working many hours and all too often earning inadequate wages to afford to live in the communities in which they work. The Board of Supervisors is tackling many issues helping to keep people in their homes including just cause eviction and an update of the Mobile Home Rent Stabilization Ordinance, among others. Please remember that their essential work helps all of us.
The theme of this column has become the Highway 12 corridor in the Sonoma Valley; as so many County residents use Highway 12 to travel to Napa County and points east, it is important to let you know what is happening along the way. Please drive safely and allow extra time to navigate through the Valley with these projects happening.
I recently returned from the National Association of Counties conference in Austin, Texas. For a number of years I have served on the Energy, Environment & Land Use Policy Committee. The committee and the full board of NACo approved two resolutions proposed by Sonoma County.
The Board of Supervisors concluded budget hearings on June 16th, 2023, approving a $2.3 billion budget for the 2023/2024 Fiscal Year. I am incredibly grateful for the hard work of our budget staff in the County Administrator’s office, and our CAO Christina Rivera, for guiding us through the process.
I hope you had a safe and celebratory Fourth of July holiday filled with family, friends, and sunshine! Continue reading for information on upcoming events, announcements, and community news.
I am thrilled to announce that, after a long-term effort, on June 6th the Board of Supervisors approved plans to lease the offices at the Nelson Building on Lomita Avenue on the border of the Springs and the City of Sonoma for a future hub for county services.