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.


Upcoming in June: County Budget Hearings

Posted on May 15, 2024 by Susan Gorin

Beginning June 11th, the county will commence Budget Hearings for the Fiscal Year 2024/25. Like the State of California, though not to the same extreme, the County is working with far more limited resources this upcoming Fiscal Year than in recent years. One-time funding the County received from the state and federal government during  the COVID-19 pandemic has largely come to an end. Additionally, impacts to the state budget hit us here in Sonoma County, since many County departments receive a significant portion of their annual budget from the state, not the County’s General Fund. Clearly we have much less to work with this year to accomplish the many departmental and district projects and requests that the Board previewed during our Budget Workshops in April.  

As in previous years, every supervisor is actively submitting funding requests that address district priorities for consideration by the full Board. As Supervisor, I have found myself fighting tooth and nail year after year to convince my Board colleagues to support funding for vital projects in the First District – infrastructure, parks, homeless services, and more. I want to highlight a few of my priorities for my final round of Budget Hearings before my tenure as First District Supervisor concludes. I hope you will take the time, if you feel so inclined, to express your support for these projects to the full Board in advance of June 11th.

First, I have submitted a request for funding to support an evacuation analysis of the Los Guilicos campus, including an evaluation of the evacuation during the Glass Fire. I am concerned about the vulnerable populations currently housed on the campus, and their staff. These include the Valley of the Moon Children’s Center, which will be adding a substance abuse treatment center; Crestwood Behavioral Health Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF); the previously unhoused residents residing in LG Village; and future residents of the renovated Juvenile Hall dormitories. An evacuation analysis by the County of the Los Guilicos campus would help us prepare for and complete evacuations more efficiently and safely; and add to the body of evacuation analyses for the greater Sonoma Valley. Given that the Los Guilicos campus was subject to wildfire impacts in both the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires and the 2020 Glass Fire, this is an essential study for the County to accomplish.

A second request is for support for continued improvement of our Regional Sonoma County Services Centers, including the East Sonoma County Services Center that opened late last year. I co-sponsored this request with Supervisor Hopkins, in whose district the West Sonoma County Services Center in Guerneville opened a few months ago. We are asking the Board to to set money aside annually to establish a fund for RSCSCs. The fund would be used for the ongoing cost of staffing positions such as receptionist and navigator, to guide visitors to successful outcomes; and for some one-time costs for safety improvements, workstations and furniture, to make the site more welcoming and functional for visitors. We have learned a lot since the ESCSC opened, and this fund would allow us to keep improving the experience for those people residing far from the county center who are accessing desperately needed county services.

Third, I submitted a request for funding to engage consultants, prepare renderings, and plan community engagement events on the topic of infrastructure planning for Glen Ellen and the greater Sonoma Valley area. Whatever development eventually is approved for the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) and the Hanna Center sites, it will be important to have studied broader regional community concerns for the cumulative impacts of new developments spanning the Arnold Drive corridor. Key elements of infrastructure planning could include: community engagement in Glen Ellen about safe walking and bicycle paths, street lighting and traffic calming, and other infrastructure needs from the SDC and the surrounding neighborhoods to the Village of Glen Ellen; improvements for safe multimodal transportation (sidewalks, bike lanes, etc.); public transportation options; and traffic calming and mitigation measures such as roundabouts and traffic lights. It is important to engage the community and study potential infrastructure improvements sooner rather than later. This request would help us to do so.

Lastly, I want to highlight a request I submitted for a groundwater user fee subsidy for the Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs). If adopted, this subsidy would provide funding support to allow groundwater users in the Sonoma Valley and Petaluma Valley GSAs to pay the same rate as those in the Santa Rosa Plain GSA. I believe it is important that we achieve parity for all users across all three basins. 

Once again, Budget Hearings commence on June 11th. To submit public comment to the full Board of Supervisors, you can email [email protected].

You can review county Budget Hearings agenda and materials, when posted, at:

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