A Big Week for SDC: Important Board of Supervisors Vote Scheduled for Tuesday, Town Hall Meeting Set for Thursday Night

Board of Supervisors to Provide Crucial Support for Dialogue with State Over Future Governance of SDC

On May 8, 2018, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will take up consideration of a consent calendar item authorizing staff from various County departments and agencies to engage in the Sonoma Development Center (SDC) transition planning and governance structure development, and to support legislation to implement recommended governance structure consistent with County interests. According to the staff report,

“Planning as to disposition of the [SDC] property is now on a fast track as Governor Brown’s Administration has indicated that a plan needs to be in place by the end of the calendar year and legislative proposals to address the SDC transition needs to be considered in this legislative session. Meaningful input into this process from the County requires participation by a number of County departments and agencies including Permit Sonoma, County Administrator, County Counsel, Recorder-Assessor’s Office, General Services, Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Regional Parks, General Services, Auditor Controller Treasurer Tax Collector, Sonoma County Water Agency and Economic Development Board.

A key priority of the Sonoma County Legislative Platform is to support State and community stakeholders to develop future plans for the SDC site, leveraging locally-informed priorities and preserving critical environmental and recreational resources on the SDC site. To fully engage in this initial governance design and legislative implementation effort will involve significant involvement of the multiple County departments and agencies mentioned above. Most involvement at this initial phase will be at the Department/Agency Head or senior manager level and should not impact current operations.”

Sonoma Land Trust and other organizations in the SDC Coalition are expected to testify in support of this agenda item, and this is a big step forward in formalizing the dialogue and negotiations with the state over the future of SDC.

State Legislators Announce May 10 2018 Town Hall Meeting on SDC

Senators Mike McGuire and Bill Dodd, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, and Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin will be hosting a town hall meeting on the Sonoma Developmental Center this coming Thursday, May 10 from 6:30-8:30pm at Altimira Middle School in Sonoma.

According to the Kenwood Press Facebook page:

“The town hall will continue the community conversation about the pending closure and transition of the Sonoma Developmental Center. Officials from the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS), which is overseeing the transition of the fewer than 150 residents who are still living at the Sonoma Developmental Center, as well as representatives from the Department of General Services (DGS), who manage the land and buildings at SDC, will be on hand to provide updates and reports on SDC’s transition. There will also be updates from the Santa Rosa Community Health Center on the specialized medical hub that has now opened providing specialty care to the North Bay’s residents with developmental disabilities. The Parent Hospital Association (PHA) will also be presenting a report – on behalf of SDC families.”

The Town Hall is open to the public and will be live-streamed. Snacks and refreshments will be available.

Glen Ellen Forum Posts Synthesis of Community Feedback on Governance Options for SDC

As reported in our last blog post, the Glen Ellen Forum held a community meeting on April 16 “to learn more about options and models for the future governance of SDC, to give structured feedback on the concept, and to test community interest and support.” A summary of the breakout sessions and a synthesis of public input are now available on the SDC/Eldridge Transition Committee page of Glen Ellen Forum’s website. According to the synthesis, 13 out of 14 breakout groups support the concept of an “Eldridge Trust” model for governance of SDC, with an important caveat that the Trust would need to have local representation from Glen Ellen on its board of directors to truly represent local concerns and interests.

The Transform SDC Blog site was set up in 2014 to provide the Sonoma Valley community — and those interested in the future of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) — a forum and information source for news related to the closure of SDC.  For more information, please post a response on the blog site, or email John McCaull at johnm@sonomalandtrust.org.

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