The Springs deserve true representation

Posted on October 20, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

An update on getting the county counsel’s opinion about why Municipal Advisory Councils should be appointed and not elected. (Half the ones in the state are elected.) This came up at last week’s meeting about MAC’s when Kevin Carruth asked if we could have a copy of the C.O’s opinion. Susan Gorin said no.

The issue isn’t about having the MACs elected, because the Board of Supervisors has decided they won’t be. The issue is the public has a right to know the information when it asks for it, as this isn’t the type of legal issue that would have been discussed in a closed session.

I was involved over 20 years ago when the Sonoma Valley Citizen’s Advisory Commission was created, and later when the former Springs Redevelopment Advisory Commission was created. Both came out of a very public process with a series of public meetings that anyone could attend and give input. How the Springs MAC has been created with its lack of inclusive public engagement and transparency is unprecedented in my 30 years in the Springs. (There was a small, hand-picked group that met privately with the supervisor.)

The MAC is not a done deal, so there’s time to see that the by-laws adopted for the Springs MAC reflect greater public input, including direction to the supervisor to have an inclusive, transparent, and actual public engagement process for deciding who will be on the MAC. The supervisor having a “couple of people” assist her to decide who serve on the MAC should not be acceptable if the notion is that this group is supposed to be representative of the residents of the Springs.

— Gina Cuclis, Boyes Hot Springs

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