MENDOCINO Co., 7/21/19 — The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the formation of a new municipal advisory council (MAC) in Round Valley at their regularly scheduled meeting this last week. This means the creation a new advisory body that will enable residents of the Covelo area to submit recommendations about zoning, public safety, emergency response, infrastructure, and other regulations directly to the county government. The formation of the Round Valley MAC brings the total number of municipal advisory councils in the county to six, including MACs in Laytonville, Redwood Valley, Westport, Hopland, and Gualala.
There has long been interest in forming a Round Valley MAC, and residents have held three meeting over the last several months, with the input of Third District Supervisor John Haschak, to discuss moving forward with the plans. Last week's votes by the supervisors serve as the official approval for that council to be formed. A municipal advisory council can be formed by a group of residents in an unincorporated portion of a California county under a portion of the state code, and once a MAC is established, the council serves in an advisory role to the county supervisors concerning decisions impacting that region.
Supervisor Haschak noted that the Round Valley Indian Tribes had been involved in the recent meetings, and he believed the tribal council supported the formation of the MAC as, "a means for greater democracy and democratic involvement for the whole area." He added that there had been around 25 people at each meeting, with a lot of enthusiasm about the idea. The next meeting concerning the Round Valley MAC will be held August 8 p.m. at 5 p.m. at the Round Valley Library Commons room.
In Mendocino County, representatives on the MAC must apply for the position, and are appointed by the supervisors, and are typically based around one town — you can read the county's regulation here. Those on the council serve for staggered terms of three or four years. Residents of Round Valley will now be able to submit and application to serve on the MAC. In contrast to Mendocino, representatives to MACs in Sonoma County are elected by residents of that area, and several new MACs in that county have recently been formed. For a "deep dive" into the history of MACs and special districts in our county, check out our special Solutions Journalism Project podcast. And visit our special website, MendoMaps.com, where you can see the boundaries of different governmental bodies, and learn more about the various districts that actually provide a great number of services in this county.
Although Covelo is not an incorporated city, a number of county-wide issues have recently arisen that affect the area, especially the development of the county's commercial cannabis regulations. Both the Redwood Valley MAC and the Hopland MAC were formed within the last five years, in part to ensure that residents of those areas had a more direct mechanism for input regarding development decisions.
Here's the map of the newly formed MAC boundaries. The application to apply to serve on the council will soon be available on the county website.
And here is our podcast series.