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News from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
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Supervisor Ryan Coonerty - Third District News
Shaping the Future of the Cemex Site in Davenport
The County of Santa Cruz is currently recruiting a consultant to work closely with the county, the community, Cemex representatives and other important stakeholders on a reuse plan for the decommissioned Davenport cement plant. My office has been working hard to move this effort forward.

This project represents a fantastic opportunity to develop a plan to reuse a critical coastal resource in a way that will not only be economically viable, but a long-term asset for the County and our precious coastal environment.

The consultants will develop a Coastal Restoration and Reuse Plan and amendments to the County’s Local Coastal Program, with priority consideration of a public entrance to the Cotoni-Coast Dairies and San Vicente Forest Properties. 

The Sempervirens Fund applied for and received funding for this work from the Coastal Conservancy, the Moore Foundation and the Resources Legacy Fund. While Sempervirens will remain the Grantee for the project, the County is taking the lead and will be responsible for the scope of work, hiring consultants, budget, and schedule. 
 
The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the contract with the consultants this June. Stay tuned for updates as the process gets underway.

 
Cannabis Cultivation
As you may know, for the past year and a half, the Board of Supervisors has been working towards formulating regulations for the cultivation of medical cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county. 
 
My goals are to ensure that the environment and rural neighborhoods are protected while also ensuring that there is adequate access to medicine.
 
The issue of cannabis cultivation will return to the Board of Supervisors on May 10th.  If you care about this issue please consider attending the May 10th meeting and/or sending an email once the agenda is published on Thursday, May 5th.
 
Anyone who has followed this issue knows how complex and complicated it has been to regulate.  I want to thank all community members for attending the April 19th Board meeting where this matter was discussed and for sending letters voicing your concerns. I would like to particularly thank Eric Hoffman who has worked tirelessly on the Cannabis Cultivation Choices Committee and has advocated strongly throughout that process to protect neighborhoods and the environment from the impacts of cultivation and commercial activity in the rural areas.


Community Choice Energy
Santa Cruz County is moving toward creating local, community-owned power. This means more renewable energy, green jobs, and choice for our community. 
 
Community Choice Energy (CCE) programs allow counties and cities to pool their electricity load in order to purchase electricity and invest in energy projects and programs for local residents and businesses. 
 
Thanks to the leadership of Supervisor Bruce McPherson, his analyst Gine Johnson and others, the Monterey Bay Community Power project formed as a region-wide collaborative partnership of 21 local governments within the greater Monterey Bay area. A Project Development Advisory Committee has been exploring CCE program viability and a technical study has recently been completed and peer-reviewed. The study indicates that establishing a successful CCE agency within the Monterey Bay Region is highly feasible and could significantly increase renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to PG&E, at the same rates. A CCE agency could invest revenues in local renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
 
On April 19th the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to direct staff to participate in upcoming study sessions so that the Board of Supervisors will be in a position to consider formal CCE formation at the end of September. Click here to view the item the board considered. 

If you live in Monterey, San Benito or Santa Cruz County make sure you are tracking this effort. It is a potential game changer.


Supporting our Libraries
Every day community members use our libraries to borrow books, finish homework, apply for jobs and stay informed.

In order to continue to meet the needs of the community, our local libraries need to be repaired and updated. The Libraries Facilities Financing Authority has placed a bond known as Measure S on the June 7, 2016 ballot. If approved, Measure S will provide the necessary funds to upgrade the current library facilities as well as build two new libraries – one in Felton and one in Capitola. The annual special tax will be set at a maximum rate of $49.50 for single-family residential properties or per unit of a multi-family residential property, and $86 for commercial, agricultural and recreational parcels.  

I am pleased to report that on April 12th the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to support of Measure S.

For more information on Measure S, click here. For more information about voting in this election, you may contact the Santa Cruz County Elections Department: 831-454-2060 or visit: www.votescount.com


Preserving Free 1 and 2 hour Parking at your County Building
In December there was a proposal to convert the free 1 and 2 hour parking in front of the County Building to paid parking. I opposed this proposal because I believe it is important to make government accessible and welcoming. Thousands of people visit the county building every year to participate in board meetings, to vote, to pay taxes, and to pick up a birth certificates among other things.

I am happy to report that in the end the Board of Supervisors voted to preserve free 1 and 2 hour parking in front of the County Building located at 701 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz. 


Teen Kitchen Project: Making a Difference
I recently had a chance to visit the Teen Kitchen Project (TKP). The Teen Kitchen Project is a non-profit agency that brings teens into the kitchen to learn how to cook delicious and nourishing food. These healthy meals are then delivered to families who are in crises due to a life-threatening illness such as cancer.

I was impressed to see the teens at work in the kitchen and I was moved to hear the stories of those whose lives have been upturned by serious illness and the difference a healthy, delicious, delivered meal can make for those families.

To find out more about this great program, click here. TKP often needs delivery drivers. To volunteer, click here.
North Coast View

Next Board of Supervisors Meeting:
May 10, 9:00 a.m.
701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor
Santa Cruz

LINKS
Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule
Agendas & Minutes


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Ryan Coonerty

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