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News from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
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Supervisor Ryan Coonerty - Third District News
Santa Cruz Values Will Not Change
I’ve heard a lot of concern from our community’s most vulnerable residents about the President-elect’s policies.  Twelve elected leaders from across the county joined me to make clear that we will work tirelessly to ensure our county is a model for a more just and equitable society for everyone.   Click here to read our letter. 

Removing Barriers to Voting 
In the last decade, we’ve seen some jurisdictions create barriers to voting as a way to disenfranchise populations. I’m proud to have worked with County Clerk Gail Pellerin to reduce barriers by removing the requirement to put postage on mail-in ballots. Santa Cruz County voters didn’t have to pay postage when they mailed in their absentee ballots for the November election.  Voting is too important to let a stamp (or two) get in the way. 

Flight Path Concerns: Important Board Meeting on December 6

Please attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, December 6, to weigh in on an important flight path issue that could have significant implications for the City of Santa Cruz, the North Coast, and the San Lorenzo Valley.  Click here to view the letter I signed with Supervisor McPherson putting this issue on the Board’s agenda.  If you can’t attend the meeting on December 6, you can submit comments by clicking here and then clicking on "add comment."
 
In 2015, in response to the unacceptable noise impacts of a new flight path developed under the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Gen Program, a regional committee was formed to make a recommendation to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to alleviate noise impacts for residents below the newly established flight path.  The Board of Supervisors directed the County representatives on the committee to “discuss remedies that do not impose a hardship on other Santa Cruz County residents.” Unfortunately, the Committee approved a motion made by Supervisor Leopold to recommend moving the current flight path to a new flight path which will put planes directly over the City of Santa Cruz, the San Lorenzo Valley, and Bonny Doon. 
 
Supervisor McPherson and I are urging the Board of Supervisors to take additional steps to insure that the flight noise problems aren’t simply pushed onto another group of Santa Cruz County residents. 
 

Davenport Cement Plant Planning Process

The County is leading the effort to plan the future reuse of the Davenport Cement Plant Site, and a well-attended community workshop was held in November.  This is only the beginning of the planning process and residents are welcome to continue to share ideas and submit comments.  We are currently working to set up a link on the County’s homepage where people can continue to submit comments about the re-use process, view background information, and find out about future meeting dates. 

We know what this site has been for the last 100 years; now let’s work together to decide what it will be for the next 100 years. 
  

Davenport Cement Plant Clean-up Meeting: December 15
I’ve been hearing from residents who have questions about the clean-up of the Davenport Cement Plant Site, which had heavy industrial use for a century.  I have asked staff from Santa Cruz County’s Environmental Health Department to attend a community meeting on Thursday, December 15, at 6:00 p.m. in Pacific School’s multi-purpose room to explain the land owner’s legal responsibilities, the current status of the clean-up plan, and to answer other questions. 

Improving the San Lorenzo Trestle Walkway 

The San Lorenzo River Trestle Walkway provides a direct connection for pedestrians and bicyclists from the eastside coastal neighborhoods to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Santa Cruz Wharf, and the west side of the City of Santa Cruz.  Thousands of Santa Cruz residents and visitors use this walkway every year to get across town for work and for pleasure.  If you have used this walkway you know it is extremely narrow and difficult to maneuver, especially with bikes and pedestrians moving in both directions and particularly if you are pushing a stroller.  The City of Santa Cruz’s wonderful two-way bike lane along Beach Street comes to a real choke point at the Trestle Walkway.
 
I am working with the City and other partners to widen the walkway and I am happy to report that we are making progress.  I approached California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird to find out if there were any State resources for this project. Thanks to Secretary Laird’s efforts, it looks like the State will provide a sizeable amount of funding for the design and construction of the widened walkway.  Meanwhile, the City of Santa Cruz was just awarded a grant that can help cover some of the design costs as well.  More funding is likely to be needed to complete the project, but we will be able to begin the design work next year. 
 
If you see Secretary Laird around town, please thank him for helping with another important local project. 


Park Program for San Vicente Redwoods
At the December 6 Board of Supervisors meeting, the County has an opportunity to move forward on an innovative program in which County Parks Personnel would serve in the San Vicente Redwoods (8,500 acres of stunning forest land on the North Coast), helping to manage public access and enhance education and stewardship.  To read my letter to the Board on this program, click here.   I’ve worked closely with a number of nonprofit conservation agencies, including the Sempervirens Fund and Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, to develop this proposal in coordination with the County Parks Department.  Please consider attending the December 6 Board meeting to show your support!
 
Managing a property as large and unique as the San Vicente Redwoods is a substantial undertaking, especially given that the land owners and managers want to include an extensive stewardship program with significant public education. 
 
This is a tremendous opportunity for the County to provide public services for three years on the North Coast at no County expense. 

Community Forum on Immigration: December 9
Many community members have questions and concerns about potential changes in immigration policy.  The Santa Cruz City School District is hosting an immigration forum on Friday, December 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Harbor High School Multipurpose Room (300 La Fonda Avenue, Santa Cruz).
 
The Santa Cruz County Immigration Project and other community organizations will be there to provide general information about potential changes related to immigration.  I stand with other local elected officials and local law enforcement to resist any effort to deport undocumented workers and families who are part of the social fabric of our community.

 
Supporting the Holiday Food Drive
The holidays are the perfect time to come together and help community members in need.  Every $1 donated to Second Harvest Food Bank provides 4 healthy meals, and 100% of the food and funds raised will enable the Food Bank to provide healthy food to kids, the working poor, people with disabilities, and seniors. Let’s give them all the support we can!  Click here to donate.
 
North Coast View

Next Board of Supervisors Meeting:
December 6, 9:00 a.m.
701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor

LINKS
Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule
Agendas & Minutes


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Ryan Coonerty

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