County Supervisor Holds Community Meeting
Sonoma County 5th District Supervisor Efren Carrillo is hosting a “Community Gathering” at the Bodega Bay Fire Station on Wednesday, August 18th.
The meeting starts at 5:30pm with a “meet and greet,” followed by comments from Carrillo between 6:00 – 6:20.
Then the floor will be open for questions and/or comments from the public.
Intended as a means of bringing up issues that are unique to Bodega Bay and the surrounding communities, it is to be an informal meeting.
Carrillo, in his second year as Supervisor, is assigned to a specific duty for 2010, that of heading Health and Human Services.
These responsibilities include the Russian River Watershed Association, Tourism Advertising Committee, and Joint Roseland Subcommittee.
The 5th District is the biggest district in the County.
It includes the coast from Sea Ranch to Jenner to Bodega Bay; the rural communities of Bodega, Graton, Occidental, Forestville, Monte Rio, Guerneville, and Sebastopol; and the suburban/urban towns of Rohnert Park and the Roseland section of Santa Rosa where Carrillo was raised.
In 2008, there were approximately 45,000 registered voters in the district.
Incumbent Mike Reilly had stepped down after 12 years as supervisor.
Running against seven other candidates on the June ballot, Carrillo was only 27 years old.
Although he spoke of being in favor of preserving the environment, there were concerns that his interests might not reflect the needs and wants of the huge rural area he would head.
Quoting from a statement he made at the time, he said, “I am labeled as the kid, but I hope to bring a fresh perspective and to be a unifying force on health care, affordable housing, and gang issues.” (Article dated May 20, 2008 in the Press Democrat, reporter Bleys W. Rose)
In a run-off with Rue Furch in the November election, he won by only a small margin. Votes were 50.7% for him and 49.3% for her.
Furch, 62 at the time, ran on a platform based on being a staunch advocate of environmental issues.
At this Community Meeting in Bodega Bay, perhaps one issue that could be addressed is one that has been around for years; that of dividing up the unwieldy 5th district.
To better represent the rural areas of the true West Sonoma County, where preservation of the environment and protection of farming and ranching interests remain top concerns, another district could be formed that would better serve those in the 101 corridor of Roseland and Rohnert Park, both of which continue to grow at very fast rates and are daily faced with the issues Carrillo spoke of: health care, affordable housing, and gang issues.