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Santa Rosa council appoints newcomer Carlstrom to county board

Santa Rosa City Councilman Gary Wysocky lost his coveted seat on the powerful Sonoma County Transportation Authority to newcomer Erin Carlstrom Tuesday night.

On a 4-2 vote, Carlstrom was appointed by the City Council to replace Wysocky on the 12-member board.

Wysocky had served as Santa Rosa's representative on the board for four years and asked to keep the assignment.

He said he had been instrumental in advocating for the first phase of the SMART rail line to be extended to Coddingtown Mall, and in securing the funding needed to complete the Sixth Street crossing under Highway 101.

"I think I've been an effective representative for this area," Wysocky said.

Carlstrom and Wysocky voted for themselves. Mayor Scott Bartley, Jake Ours and Ernesto Olivares tapped Carlstrom, while Julie Combs sided with Wysocky.

Board assignments are often reshuffled following elections and can reflect the changing balance of power on the council. When Wysocky was elected in 2008, the new progressive-controlled council replaced John Sawyer with Wysocky, who is a proponent of alternative transportation.

Two years later, when the balance swung back in favor of candidates backed by business, Sawyer returned the favor, replacing Wysocky on the county's Solid Waste Advisory Group, which has been advising the county on the future of the county landfill.

Wysocky was reappointed to that post Tuesday night on a 6-0 vote. But it's hardly a plum assignment. The group could soon be dissolved as the county nears a decision on a firm to run the landfill and waste transfer stations.

Also Tuesday, Bartley announced the formation of a three-member panel he called the "mayor's subcommittee on long-term financial policy." Bartley, Ours and Wysocky will serve on that committee, which will focus on long-term fiscal planning, budget and policy decisions.


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