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Gina Cuclis, Candidate, Candidate for 1st District Supervisor


Gina Cuclis, Candidate, Candidate for 1st District Supervisor

I-m re-posting Sonoma County Supervisor candidate essays so you can read them before you vote ~ vesta

I am running for Supervisor to return authentic representation for the 1st District, where I have a 30-year track record, and to focus the board on improving the core services we expect from local government.

I’m currently the elected Area One Trustee and President of the Sonoma County Board of Education, representing the same boundaries as 1st District Supervisor:

In 1992 I co-founded the first community advocacy group in the history of the Springs -- the Verano-Springs Association. For years as VSA President, I worked closely with county and state officials to secure funding and construction of the sidewalks along Highway 12 that now protect our pedestrians and provide safer travel for shoppers to our local small businesses.

When a former Sonoma County Sheriff wanted to close down the Sonoma Valley substation, I led a community effort to work with the sheriff to save the substation. The result was a new substation providing a more conducive location for our officers to work. In that process we also took what had been a boarded up, eye sore of a building and converted it to a community asset.

I’m also currently Chair of the Sonoma County Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Advisory Board and I serve on the board of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation. For nine years I served as a City of Sonoma Planning Commissioner.

I believe that any community issue can best be resolved through productive dialog, public transparency, and genuine consensus building.

As 1st district supervisor, my priority issues will be:

Fixing our roads - The Measure A Road Tax failed by nearly two to one, because it was a general tax. The voters didn’t trust our Supervisors to spend the money on roads. Sonoma County needs nearly $50 million a year to bring our roads up to modern safety standards. That’ll take time, hard work and cooperation among all levels of government. As the next 1st district supervisor, I pledge to make this a true priority by fighting to dedicate a consistent portion of the county budget to improving roads, and I will work diligently to find additional road funds. As a 30-year Sonoma Valley resident, you can trust I’ll prioritize road funding, because I live surrounded by failing roads.

Stopping the departure of experienced Sheriff’s Deputies: Our Sheriff can’t fill dozens of open Deputy positions resulting in service cutbacks and budget busting overtime. We’ve lost experienced deputies and promising recruits to other counties and cities over pay and benefits, and high housing costs. I’ll focus the board on solving this serious issue.

Creating workforce housing: Middle and moderate-income families, as well as low and very low-income residents, are being priced out of Sonoma County. Employers say because of the lack of housing, they can’t attract skilled workers. As supervisor I will work with the business community to find incentives, such as cutting permitting fees and rezoning property for certain types of projects, in order to incentivize the creation of workforce housing. I will also work to create a housing trust fund to help provide down payments and mortgage assistance to attract and retain our most needed public servants, such as law enforcement officers, first responders and teachers.

Find sensible solutions to tourism impacts: Being a world-class tourist destination has impacted our residents — too much traffic and too many vacation rentals in our neighborhoods. But our local wineries and small businesses need tourism to survive. Changes in how wine is sold means our Sonoma Valley wineries must sell their wine directly to consumers via tasting rooms and wine clubs. Our next 1st district supervisor must lead residents, winery owners, and hospitality industry leaders to find solutions to impacts such as off-site van pools, coordinated event scheduling, and limits on vacation rentals to protect both our quality of life and local economy.

Furthermore, Sonoma County has some of the highest paid supervisors in the state, higher than San Francisco and Los Angeles. Our supervisors’ pay has increased 45% in ten years. I believe this is unjustifiable, which is why I’ve pledged to cut my pay 25% when elected.

Please visit my website to learn more about why I’m running and to watch short videos about issues.