Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane returned to her post today at the Board of Supervisors meeting. Zane was absent from last week's board meeting following the death of her husband Peter Kingston, who took his own life on Jan. 18.
In her opening remarks at today's meeting, Zane thanked “the county family and community, who have poured out their love for our family these last 14 days.”
She mentioned specifically the support of several county officials, including fellow supervisors Valerie Brown and Efren Carrillo, her aide Jessica Diaz, Sheriff Steve Freitas and Health Services Director Rita Scardaci.
She also spoke briefly of her interest in fully funding the county's mobile mental health response unit. The joint law enforcement and mental health operation was approved with partial funding late last year. It is aimed at providing mental health expertise and service referrals to members of the public who are contacted by law enforcement and reducing the number of people who wind up in county jail on mental health or substance abuse calls.
Zane echoed some comments that she made in a touching and powerful memorial service for Kingston Jan. 23.
“We should never be ashamed of our pain. It is the thing that binds us together as a community,” she said.
“Life is very fragile and very sacred,” she said. “Don't forget to tell the people that you care about the most that you love them.”