By Supervisor Susan Gorin
After discussing the formation of the Springs Municipal Advisory Council (SMAC) with the community for more than two years, the SMAC will officially have its new members appointed by the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, March 19. We are so grateful for the large number of applications we received, 21 in all.
A committee of four, including myself and three community members, Rich Lee, Cathy Wade Sheparrd and Gary Saperstein, reviewed the applications. We selected seven council members and two alternates, to represent the four communities within the boundaries of the Springs — El Verano, Boyes Hot Springs, Agua Caliente and Fetters Hot Springs. The commonalities of these four communities are important to note: need for housing, infrastructure upgrades, economic development, public art projects, community gatherings, community preparedness, and so many other issues.
The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, and will be focused exclusively on a review of the by-laws, general rules and procedures, and Brown Act training. The agenda for this meeting will be available and posted on the SMAC web page 72 hours before the meeting and is open to the public. The schedule for future meetings will also be discussed at the first meeting, and will be subsequently posted on the SMAC web page.
The members are: Maite Iturri, representing schools (two year seat); Ryan Lely, representing Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission (two year seat); Omar Paz, representing businesses/nonprofits (three year seat). At-Large members are: Ellen Conlan, (two year seat); Avram Goldman (three year seat), Iris Lombard, (two year seat); and Raymond Willett (three year seat). Two alternates selected were Robyn Anderson, (three year seat); and John Wheatley, (two year seat).
The role of the alternates will be the same as the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission: they will participate and ask questions, but can only vote if an at-large council member is absent.
Ryan Lely has been chosen as the chair of the SMAC and Maite Iturri will serve as the vice chair.
It is important to note that these at-large members and alternates do not represent an area. They represent the entire community. But geographic diversity is important as community members from various neighborhoods bring understanding and knowledge of sensitivities and impacts on specific neighborhoods.
Our hope is that those not selected to serve formally on the SMAC will stay engaged and serve on a subcommittee of the Springs Municipal Advisory Council.
The MAC for the Glen Ellen area is in the works and we will move on that forward over the next few months.
You can find information about the Springs Municipal Advisory Council (SMAC) on its webpage which will develop with more content and information: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Springs-Municipal-Advisory-Council/