Sonoma County Board of Supervisors welcomes new member

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning welcomed Forestville resident Lynda Hopkins to the five-member board, giving it the county’s first-ever female majority.

Hopkins, 33, who represents District 5 that includes northwest Sonoma County, the Sonoma Coast, the lower Russian River area and the Roseland community outside Santa Rosa’s southwest city limits, was administered the ceremonial oath of office by her husband Emmett. The couple operate an organic farm in Forestville.

Hopkins said she spent the weekend helping to evacuate homeless encampments along the rising Russian River.

She said, but added:

“This is not how I expected my first week in office to go…It was the best introduction to this job that I could have asked for.”

Advisory evacuations are underway along the flooded lower river in the Guerneville area. County officials said moderate flooding is expected through Wednesday.

Hopkins said:

“The river is going to do what the river is going to do, and the river community is going to do what they have to do. My heart is now out at the Russian River.”

The board Tuesday is scheduled to adopt an emergency declaration proclaiming the existence of a local emergency caused by winter storms and flooding since Sunday.

Board chair Shirlee Zane, who ran unopposed in District 3, and District 1 Supervisor Susan Gorin were re-elected and also were sworn in this morning.

Zane was administered the oath of office by Sonoma County’s first woman supervisor, Helen Rudee, who was elected in 1976 and served 12 years on the board.

Zane said the female majority on the board is another example of women “breaking the glass ceiling.”

The board, which also includes Supervisors David Rabbitt and James Gore, declared today Helen Rudee Day in Sonoma County.