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Tom Lynch Is Running for 5th District Supervisor


Tom Lynch Is Running for 5th District Supervisor

I'm re-posting all the supervisor candidates essays so you can read them before you go vote ~ Vesta

 Our treasured quality of life, our children’s future, is at stake in this election. That’s why I, Tom Lynch am running for Fifth District Supervisor, and need strong support, from your friends and families, to change the current system. As a concerned citizen and parent, for over thirty years within the district, I’ve demonstrated strong leadership protecting the environment, developing jobs, supporting the arts and advocating improved government services. 
     We need broader levels of engagement, working together openly and honestly, solving problems with sustainable solutions. Sonoma County must reinvent itself, becoming a convener, enlisting and involving our community, leveraging resources for public safety and road repair, along with restoring cuts to nonprofits, volunteer and faith based organizations. We need more resources upstream to create future contributors downstream, with more resources into education and less into incarceration.
     The number one reason we have a housing crisis are the policies and fees of Sonoma County and many our cities. We need to provide incentives to create rentals, and small second dwelling units, in many underutilized homes. We have a huge wealth of housing in Sonoma County, from continuing reduction in household size and increasing average homeowner age. Some say our villages are becoming gentrifying gerontocracies, without younger workers or children able to find affordable places to live, in the communities they work. Why charge a homeowner, who wants to repurpose a bedroom into a small apartment, $30-50,000 in fees? At the advocacy of Lily Pad Homes (, Novato recently adopted a visionary housing policy, allowing homeowners to create small accessory dwelling units, without impact fees, and waived parking and fire sprinkler requirements. Meanwhile we make housing less affordable with "Housing Mitigation Fees” that we turn around and build $400,000 one bedroom apartments with, in dense concentrations. Why not encourage affordable rentals, among the cities and rural areas of Sonoma County, allowing the workers in Bodega Bay to live in Bodega Bay? Maybe we'll stop school closures for lack of enrollment and see more fire department volunteers.  
     To reduce delays with projects that provide jobs and housing, Permit and Resource Management Department is overwhelmed, and needs more staff with reduced fees, with more resources from Sonoma County’s General Fund. The sooner projects are approved and completed, the sooner we see an expansion of the property tax base, which is the primary source of revenue for the County. 
     Presently we are in the midst of the largest transference of wealth, from younger generations to older, than perhaps any society, I support intergenerational equity. We have a good problem, with living longer and healthier lives, the issue is we haven’t set aside enough to take care of ourselves in retirement and are unfairly burdening the next generations with those costs.  Presently Sonoma County pays employees a salary and retirement benefit for one years service, without fully funding the retirement benefit, especially among upper tier employees. With over $1 Billion in unfunded retirement benefits, we have seen a fivefold increase of costs, reducing more and more services this County once provided for generations. None of the other elected positions of Sonoma County, city council, State Assembly nor Senate, receive any public employee retirement benefit, I will join Supervisor Susan Gorin and personally opt out of the Sonoma County Employee Retirement Association system (a savings of $62,000/year), while continuing to work toward fair pensions for all generations.  
     As current Fifth District Planning Commissioner, former member Sonoma County Economic Development Board, and the Russian River Redevelopment Oversight Committee, I worked protecting diverse communities, improved health services, schools, affordable housing, and infrastructure, with fiscally responsible and affordable solutions. Thank you for your support. 

To comment or share what is important to you in the 5th District - here are LINK'S to Tom's website, email and phone.   707-394-5157