Politics on Tap
The holidays are not noted for heavy political action, and 2015-2016 is no exception. There have been a few notable events in the past month, however.
First District Supervisor candidate Gina Cuclis took aim at the recent spotlight on the super-salaries enjoyed by Sonoma supervisors, some of the highest in the state, ranking ahead of Sacramento and San Francisco supervisors' salaries. She has promised to cut her salary by 25 percent if she wins the election and will call on the others to follow suit.
Mike McGuire voluntarily took a 30 percent pay cut while serving on our Board of Supervisors for the Fourth District (North County) back in 2012, the year the Kenwood Press first reported the amazing amount of money our top people were being compensated.
Cuclis was also elected president of the Sonoma County Board of Education on Dec. 10. She unseated the incumbent in 2012 and has been working hard at it since then.
As the year turned over, incumbent Susan Gorin lost her job as Chair of the Board through the normal process of rotation. Efren Carrillo's accession to the job raised some eyebrows because of his suggestive and scary shenanigans two years ago, but most people realized it was his turn in the seat, though some are still grumbling.
In case you wonder what the job of supervisor entails, here's what the First District Supervisor has to look forward to doing in 2016. Gorin will serve on these committees and agencies, in spite of the time it takes to run for the office.
She is a primary member of the Upstream Investments Standing Committee, looking for pro-active ways to save money on criminal justice expenses. She is also a primary member of the Advertising Program Standing Committee, watching where advertising dollars are spent to bring more tourist dollars to the county. She serves on several Ad Hoc committees: Chanate and Los Guilicos, checking on these county operation centers; Medical Marijuana, studying current and developing issues and recommendations; and the Groundwater Initiative Implementation Committee.
Countywide, she will serve on LAFCO (approving and modifying special districts and boundaries in the county); serve on the Sonoma Clean Power Agency; a special network committee; the Transportation/Regional Climate Authority; the Sanitation District; and the Waste Management Agency.
She will be an alternate on the Association of Bay Area Governments; a member of the Bay Conservation Development Commission; and the Sonoma Valley Sanitation District representative to the North Bay Water Reuse Authority.
She will be an alternate at the state CSAC, representing county governments in Sacramento, and locally, she is the liaison to the Courts Administration, District Attorney, Law Library, Probation & Juvenile Halls, Public Defender, and Sheriff/Coroner.
In Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) news, Gov. Brown provided the first glimpse into next year's budget, indicating that $6.4 billion will be set aside for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS)that runs SDC. The DDS will close the three remaining Developmental Centers: Sonoma, Fairview and most of Porterville DCs - formerly large clusters of developmentally disabled and autistic clients that have fewer than 900 residents today. SDC's projected closure date is 2018.
The Gov. intends to set aside $146.6 million to relocate current residents, with $24.5 million specifically set aside for Sonoma out of the General Fund. The budget also includes $18 million to resolve open workers' compensation claims, inventory and archive clinical and historical records, execute an independent monitoring contract as stipulated by the federal government, and relocate residents and their personal belongings.
More specific numbers will be released later this month.