An interim appointment to one of Sonoma County government’s most embattled jobs — transportation and public works director — could go to two people under a proposal to be considered today by the county Board of Supervisors.
Sonoma County supervisors are set to extend a composting services contract for four months, a period during which ratepayers will pay $120,000 more than they would have under a contract proposed in June. The contract is between the county’s Waste Management Agency and Sonoma Compost, the company that handles composting services on 27 acres at the Mecham Road landfill.
Sonoma County ratepayers are currently losing out on $30,000 a month because county officials balked last month at approving a new contract with the public agency that oversees composting services at the Mecham Road landfill. There is a wide gulf of opinion over who is responsible for the costly holdup.
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed a one-year, $8 million increase in road funding and a search for additional tax revenue to boost long-term road maintenance. The moves were intended to address a reconstruction backlog of nearly $1 billion and tamp down public furor over the beleaguered state of county-maintained roads. ‘It’s very clear that this board is dealing with a legacy problem,’ said Supervisor Mike McGuire. ‘We are just starting to dig out of the mess we’re in.’
Sonoma County supervisors next week are set to consider consolidating 19 taxpayer-supported lighting districts, a move public works officials are recommending in part to shift money toward upkeep of the county’s beleaguered roads. Some residents and business owners in the largest districts have voiced concern — though not with the roads aspect of the proposal.
Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday approved a small addition to the list of county roads targeted for long-term maintenance while signaling support for study of a possible property tax increase to boost road upkeep. Board members cited county budget pressure and flat state road funding as two of the reasons for the makeshift moves and revenue search.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday endorsed a plan to increase the network of county roads designated for long-term maintenance by 63 miles, about 5 percent of the 1,382-mile network. Most of the segments are in good shape now, and the aim is to focus long-term maintenance efforts on them to keep them that way.
Phil Demery, Sonoma County’s director of transportation and public works, has announced he plans to retire a year from now after serving more than 29 years in local government. State ballot initiatives next year that could affect retirement benefits for government employees by capping or reducing pensions also played a part in his decision. “You never know what’s going to end up on the ballot,” he said.