Board Walk ~ Susan Gorin

Susan Gorin Susan Gorin represents the First District as a member of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, an area that includes the entire Sonoma Valley.


The latest from County Supervisor Gorin 

Posted on August 15, 2023 by Susan Gorin

Here’s an update on several topics of interest to residents of the First District. 

Broadband Progress – The Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement between the County and Golden State Connect Authority on expanding broadband internet infrastructure, as well as $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the completion of planning for 200 miles of open access broadband infrastructure in priority areas, including nearly 25 miles in East Santa Rosa.

I have heard countless times over the years that residents in the unincorporated areas of the First District struggle to obtain reliable internet, even as the internet becomes more and more essential to the way we conduct our lives. 

The priority areas that have been identified connect to the state’s phase one middle-mile projects on Highways 1 and 101. Until just a few weeks ago, Highways 12 and 116 were also included in phase one middle mile, but unfortunately, the state made the decision to remove them, leaving only 1 and 101.

 I am very disappointed by the state’s decision to leave Highway 12 off their prioritization, as I am particularly sensitive to the underserved communities in the Springs area of Sonoma Valley who are in desperate need of improved broadband infrastructure. 

While the Board approved the agreement and the allocated ARPA funding, I remain skeptical as to who it will benefit most, and who it is leaving behind, in the unincorporated areas. The current prioritization, in my view, will serve fewer, wealthier residents in the hills of the Sonoma Valley. Meanwhile, residents on the Valley floor in the Springs for whom we saw immense needs for improved broadband access during the pandemic, particularly families with children in remote schooling, will continue to wait for the later phases of implementation. 

I will continue to advocate for the neediest residents of the First District, and I hope our Board can make a statement to the state to request they reassess their prioritization areas for phase one.  

PG&E Powerline Undergrounding – On another topic, PG&E will soon begin undergrounding a portion of electric equipment along a short section of Highway 12 near the Kenwood Inn and Spa. This work is currently anticipated to begin August 14 and last until the end of October, and will occur on weeknights only from 9pm to 6am. 

This is the first of several undergrounding projects PG&E is undertaking along the Highway 12 corridor – please stay tuned to my newsletter as more projects are announced. Undergrounding is such an important step towards increasing our county’s wildfire safety and limiting the number of power outages we experience.

Caltrans Bridge Replacement Project – Last month, Caltrans completed the first stage of the Sonoma Creek Bridge Replacement along Highway 12, returning two-way traffic after 11 days of one-way traffic control (though they had allotted 45 days – I am very grateful for the speedy work!). Work on the Hooker Creek Bridge is expected to commence later this month, which will require Caltrans to detour traffic around the bridge over county roads for about 30 consecutive days. The summer construction season is always a busy time and I know that, even though our community is grateful for improvements to our infrastructure, we are also on edge due to experiences of wildfire and evacuation in recent years, particularly on Highway 12.

 Please know that we have communicated your concerns and needs to our partners at Caltrans, and that they have plans in place if a wildfire does occur.

One thought on “The latest from County Supervisor Gorin 

  1. We need new leadership. Enough is enough with these politicians running out county like a social experiment. This county needs new, younger political leadership in touch with the world as it is for younger generations. These old folks are out of touch and do not have the future generations’ best interests in mind. They are narcissist me-generation and they are the reason we are in this mess. Someone please take the first district supervisor seat for the sake of our future.

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