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    Barry's Avatar
    Founder & Moderator

    Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins’ first 100 days

    Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins’ first 100 days dominated by flooding, homeless controversy
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | April 22, 2017

    Lynda Hopkins had a vision for how her first week as a newly elected Sonoma County supervisor would unfold in January: After spending much of the weekend poring over meeting materials, she’d host a Sunday afternoon swearing-in celebration before taking the formal oath of office two days later.

    But Mother Nature had other plans.

    The torrential rains that hammered the region this winter were hitting Hopkins’ west county district particularly hard. The lower Russian River was again rising over its banks and would surge to nearly 38 feet — its highest level in a decade — on Jan. 11, one day after Hopkins’ ceremonial swearing in.

    “That suddenly changes your course as a newly elected official,” Hopkins said.

    Rather than settle gradually into her new role — the first in public office for the Forestville mother of two and Stanford graduate — Hopkins’ first days proved to be more baptism by natural disaster. Overnight, she went from being an organic farmer with no formal political experience to a senior government leader representing some 100,000 constituents, many of whom live in unincorporated communities and rely heavily on county government during times of need.

    The flooding in Hopkins’ district along the lower Russian River proved to be just one of several challenges the new supervisor faced in her first three months in office — a 100-day test that corresponded with the wettest rain season on local record, giving Hopkins a crash course in flood relief, emergency road repairs and everything else the government must do when disaster strikes.

    Beyond those issues, Hopkins, 34, also has waded into several thorny land-use matters, including controversial, tentative plans for a homeless service center in Guerneville, a now-scrapped proposal to ship waste from Occidental to a site in Guerneville and — outside her district — the county’s plans to sell 82 acres in Santa Rosa to a housing developer.

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