Proposed Russian River MAC districts unveiled | News – Sonoma West

Six separate districts would represent residents from Forestville to Cazadero as part of a lower Russian River Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) proposed this week by Fifth District Supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

“We opted to create six districts” instead of nine lower river districts that had been proposed in previous MAC discussions this year.

“In earlier town hall meetings we discussed nine equally populated districts,” said Hopkins, in an email. “However, after receiving community feedback from those town halls and seeing the natural communities along the map, we opted to create six districts.”

The six areas comprise the communities of Forestville, Hacienda, Guerneville, Rio Nido, Monte Rio-Villa Grande and Cazadero.

The proposed population and geographical areas for each proposed district are now broken down like this:

Forestville: 3,385 people (12.14 square miles)

Hacienda: 1,572 people (6.55 square miles)

Guerneville: 2,804 people (6.89 square miles)

Rio Nido: 1,973 people (4.73 square miles)

Monte Rio/Villa Grande: 1,686 people (9.85 square miles)

Cazadero: 792 people (8.85 square miles).

“Our staff worked closely with Permit Sonoma (the county Permit and Resource Management Department) to create draft boundaries from which the lower Russian River MAC communities will select representatives through a caucus process,” said Hopkins.

Her office is seeking feedback on the draft boundaries as well as the number of representatives to be selected from each district. An Aug. 18 public meeting at Guerneville School is scheduled to discuss the tentative MAC districts. Hopkins and staff will also discuss what the recruitment process for selecting representatives from each of the districts.

As discussed at previous town halls, representatives will be selected through a caucus process, said Hopkins’ field representative Amie Windsor.

Once the district boundaries are established, there will be a process for determining how many representatives each district should have. There will then be a public meeting at which candidates can discuss why they’re qualified, said Windsor.

“We want to also have an online selection process,” through which candidates can post a statement of interest and qualifications, said Windsor. District residents will then be able to vote for their representative or representatives from their districts.  

“We’re still working that out,” said Windsor.

A Russian River MAC would advise the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on lower river community issues. Hopkins said she hopes to have the  MAC up and running by next January.

For feedback on the MACs, contact Amie Windsor (amie.windsor@sonoma-county.org) or attend the Aug. 18 Lower Russian River MAC meeting from 1 to 3 p.m.