By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Three Santa Rosa City Council members were appointed to represent the interests of Sonoma County cities on county and regional boards Thursday night.
Councilwoman Julie Combs will join the Association of Bay Area Governments Regional Planning Committee, which gives local governments a voice in land use planning.
And Councilman Gary Wysocky won appointment to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Advisory Committee. The 17-member committee advises the Board of Supervisors when they act as the directors of the district, formed to protect the county’s working farms, hillsides and natural areas.
The appointments were made during the Sonoma County Mayors’ and Councilmembers’ Association meeting in Santa Rosa on Thursday evening.
Both Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Erin Carlstrom and Wysocky had expressed interest in the open space post, but Carlstrom withdrew her request after a majority of city councils sided with Wysocky.
Carlstrom submitted her letter of interest Dec. 17, Wysocky submitted his Jan. 30.
On Feb. 12, the Santa Rosa City Council, preferring not to choose between two colleagues, voted to support both for the two open seats on the committee.
In her Feb. 20 letter withdrawing from consideration, Carlstrom suggested she was withdrawing her name in deference to her colleague Wysocky.
“After I submitted my letter of interest, I became aware that council member Wysocky is interested in the position,” Carlstrom wrote. “As I believe he will do an excellent job in representing the interests of Santa Rosa and other cities, I fully support his appointment and ask you to join me in supporting him.”
The council on Tuesday revised its vote, supporting Wysocky and Cotati Council Member John A. Dell’Osso, a 28-year veteran of the National Park Service.
Carlstrom, a 29-year-old attorney who was elected in November after campaigning as a strong park advocate, withdrew her name the day after the Sebastopol City Council voted for Wysocky on Feb. 19, giving him at least five confirmed votes.
“We thought Gary, with his financial background, would be sort of more useful to the Open Space District,” Sebastopol Mayor Michael Kyes said, noting that Carlstrom was a “freshman” who might be wise to focus her energies on Santa Rosa issues in the short term.
She said Thursday that she was unaware of how the voting was going among the various councils, and wouldn’t have dropped out just to avoid losing.
“This is a nice chance to honor and acknowledge Gary’s interest in this seat,” Carlstrom said.
After her election, Carlstrom ousted Wysocky from the seat he had held for four years on the Sonoma County Transportation Association. She said she dropped out to avoid again challenging him for a seat on an outside board.
“He wanted to serve on this board and it would have been one more scenario where he and I would be butting heads, so I’m happy to support him,” Carlstrom said.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or email@example.com. On Twitter @citybeater.