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McGuire nominates seven to advisory jobs

Supervisor Mike McGuire's first batch of nominations for posts on County of Sonoma advisory boards and commissions was made public Thursday.

They include many of the most sought-after appointments on bodies overseeing land-use issues, county open space, human rights, and community and economic development.

The board of supervisors is set to vote on McGuire's nominations Tuesday. Nominations by new Supervisor David Rabbitt are expected later this month.

McGuire and Rabbitt each will fill about four dozen positions on county commissions. Both supervisors have said they expect to name new representatives as well as keep current members in some cases.

"We are not out to clean house," said McGuire, speaking for himself. "There will be some changes. There will be others continuing in their service."

McGuire's nominations this week are seven new appointments. They include the selection of his campaign advisor, former Healdsburg City Councilman Jason Liles, as a planning commissioner.

McGuire, who served on the Healdsburg council with Liles, said Liles' experience with land-use issues makes him an "outstanding addition" to the planning board.

"He's a good friend, and he'll be an incredible advocate for smart growth," McGuire said.

Liles, 44, a former aide to North Coast Congressman Doug Bosco, served on the Healdsburg council from 1998 to 2006, including two years as mayor. He works as a commercial real estate investor, mostly doing business outside of California.

Important issues coming before the commission in the next year include the proposed runway expansion at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport and the 1,800-acre Preservation Ranch forest-to-vineyard conversion project outside Annapolis, Liles said.

"I've been studying up on this for several months," he said. "I'm thrilled Mike asked me to do it."

Lisa Wittke Schaffner and Dennis Murphy are the current north county representatives on the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustments.

County planning officials are preparing to recommend the two boards be consolidated into a single planning commission this spring. That change, and McGuire's appointment of Liles, would effectively relieve both Schaffner and Murphy of their duties.

McGuire said he has not decided on who he would nominate to serve as an alternate for Liles if county officials require such a step as part of the proposed consolidation.

McGuire's other nominations include:

* Bill Smith, a retired Dry Creek Valley attorney, to the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space Advisory Committee.

* Gail Jonas, a Healdsburg attorney and leader of the group Community First, to the Commission on Human Rights.

*Michelle Edwards, an organizational development consultant and Sonoma State University instructor, to the Community Development Committee.

* Melanie Bagby, City of Cloverdale Planning Commission member and technology business owner, to the Economic Development Board.

* Debra Watts, a retired, long-time County of Sonoma employee in the Permit and Resource Management Department, to the Commission on the Status of Women.

* Ryan Stashak, a Windsor technology support manager and avid cyclist, to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

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