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Eddie Engram elected next Sonoma County sheriff, David Rabbitt reelected as 2nd District supervisor, The Press Democrat, June 21, 2022
The updated results also showed Supervisor David Rabbitt has secured reelection to his 2nd District seat, where he’ll begin his fourth term in January, when Engram takes office. “I’m happy, and happy to be done in June,” Rabbitt said. Rabbitt said all issues related to the current drought, homelessness and housing would take his immediate attention.
EDITORIAL: David Rabbitt stands out in Sonoma County 2nd District Supervisor race, The Press Democrat, May 10, 2022
Rabbitt...has delivered for his constituents, including his work on the boards of SMART and the Golden Gate Bridge. He also serves on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Regional Climate Authority and California’s Seismic Safety Commission. Rabbitt shares credit for improving county roads and enhancing fire safety.
In October of 2010, a week before Rabbitt was first elected, the supervisors effectively abandoned almost 90% of the county’s 1,384-mile road network, voting to continue paving and maintaining just 150 miles of roads. On Rabbitt’s watch, spending on road repairs has increased tenfold. Since 2012, the county has spent more than $125 million in general fund money to improve more than 400 miles of roads — twice as much as any other California county.
In 2020, Rabbitt supported renewal of the county’s quarter-cent sales tax for transportation, ensuring a long-term source of money dedicated to repairing and repaving local roads.
Earlier this year, the supervisors approved a fire district consolidation plan that Rabbitt helped craft. These overdue mergers will reduce the number of departments from 43 to 23, cutting overhead and adding resources for fire prevention, emergency medical aid and firefighting.
Rabbitt has a record of achievements and a wealth of experience — architect, city council member, county supervisor — that set him apart from his challengers. Voters should reelect him to the Board of Supervisors.
Sonoma County supervisors raise minimum living wage to $16.75 for county employees, contractors, The Press Democrat, December 15, 2021
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has voted to increase its minimum living wage for the first time since 2015, when the board adopted the ordinance to combat poverty. The increase, to $16.75 an hour, is up from the $15 rate the county implemented in July 2016. The minimum rate applies to all county employees as well as the employees of some private companies and nonprofits who have contracts with the county
Highway 101 carpool lane opening in Petaluma, The Press Democrat, December 1, 2021
A temporary carpool lane is expected to open early Thursday on a stretch of Highway 101 that’s undergoing a widening project in Petaluma. The new northbound lane is on the Washington Creek Bridge between Lakeville Highway to the south and the Lynch Creek Trail bridge to the north, according to Caltrans...“There will be three lanes the whole way, which is the first time it’s happened there,“ he said. The carpool lane is in a temporary location while southbound lanes are widened and should move to a permanent area in late 2022 when construction wraps up in the adjacent lanes. Even in its temporary state, it closes a gap in carpool lanes between the Marin County border and Windsor — a stretch of about 30 miles.
North Coast elected officials opposing coal train proposal on various fronts, The Press Democrat, September 24, 2021
“There is just no way in hell that citizens of Sonoma County, with it going through the Eel River Canyon and it being coal, with long trains through the heart of our communities all for an outdated carbon fuel source … I just can’t imagine anyone being supportive of this idea,” Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, the current chair of the SMART board of directors, said Friday...the real fight over the proposal, if indeed there is an actually interested, capable and well-financed entity behind the North Coast Rail Company, is yet to come, Rabbitt said. “We’re speaking to the choir here. We’re all in agreement and we’re going to write very strongly worded condemnations through resolutions,” Rabbitt said.
Sonoma County supervisors signal support for immigrants during town hall, The Press Democrat, September 1, 2021
Both Hopkins and Supervisor David Rabbitt commended the group for being clear about what it wants, which included a request that county supervisors support a list of farmworker protections crafted by the nonprofit advocacy group North Bay Jobs with Justice. The five proposed items are intended to boost workplace safety and support for agricultural workers during wildfires. The protections include providing farmworkers with access to clean bathrooms and fresh water, as well as hazard pay and disaster insurance should they lose out on wages because of a wildfire.
PD Editorial: Highway 101 project nears completion, The Press Democrat, June 2, 2021
Twenty years after construction started on the first leg of the Highway 101 widening project, running between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, funding is in place to complete the final phase...“They couldn’t put it out to bid without the money in the bank to pay for it. Now they can do that instead of waiting.” Work started earlier this year on the final segment within Sonoma County — 3.3 miles through Petaluma that should be finished next year. The remaining work in Marin County includes 6 miles of southbound lanes and 3½ miles of northbound lanes, which could be completed by late 2023 or early 2024. When it’s done, a longtime goal will finally be attained: three lanes all the way from Windsor to the Golden Gate Bridge. Wave the checkered flag.
SMART to expand service, slash fares to spur ridership as pandemic wanes, The Press Democrat, May 21, 2021
Once the new trains start running on Monday, SMART will slash fares by over 40% for the next 12 months, as well as provide additional discounts for qualifying riders. Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, the SMART board chair, said officials made the changes in response to listening sessions with passengers. They told the board they wanted more departure times and that current rates ― ranging from $3.50 to $11.50 per trip ― were not affordable for many commuters. “When we set our fares originally, I walked away and thought they were higher than they should have been, so I’m really happy that we pulled them back,” Rabbitt said. Weekday fares will drop to a $1.50 base price, plus another $1.50 for trips through each of the five travel zones along the 45-mile SMART line from Santa Rosa to Larkspur. Seniors, youth, low-income riders and passengers with disabilities can receive an added 50% discount rate starting at 75 cents.
Sonoma County creates $10 million project fund, authorizes new hires to bolster climate action, The Press Democrat, May 11, 2021
Sonoma County supervisors reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the climate crisis Tuesday with a pair of moves that would devote up $12 million to projects and new staff devoted to advancing the county’s climate action and resilience goals. The board established a $10 million Climate Resiliency Fund from the $26.7 million balance remaining from its PG&E wildfire settlement to use toward short-term projects that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and otherwise help local communities mitigate and adapt to climate change and its effects...“I think we need to open it up (to) a bigger, broader view,” Supervisor David Rabbitt said.
$17 million invested in new and improved parks in Sonoma County, The Press Democrat, April 2, 2021
A 75-acre addition to Crane Creek Regional Park and an extended city trail will enable nearly everyone in Rohnert Park to walk or cycle to the park and enjoy a sweeping panorama of urban and rural landscapes west of Sonoma Mountain. A new 21-acre park on Petaluma’s long-vacant McNear Peninsula will give the county’s southernmost city a “Central Park” close to downtown and soon to be surrounded by residential development...a $1 million grant to the Petaluma River Park project will support development of 21 acres of currently fallow land on the McNear Peninsula, including 2,000 feet of handicapped accessible trails, restrooms and a small boat dock. “I think it’s going to be a spectacular location,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, noting the city has long eyed the peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides, as a prime park site.
Sonoma County supervisors authorize $3.2 million for affordable housing projects, The Press Democrat, February 2, 2021
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday authorized spending $3.2 million on affordable housing construction projects aiming to add more than 300 units for low-income residents, including seniors and homeless residents...funding for St. Vincent de Paul’s Gold Coin conversion and PEP Housing’s senior apartments was an open question coming into Tuesday’s meeting, as the Board of Supervisors weighed diverging recommendations from county housing staff and the board’s appointed Community Development Committee. But Supervisor David Rabbitt brokered a compromise that will result in funding for both, a decision met with relief by PEP Housing Executive Director Mary Stompe, who secured $500,000 from the county after a four-year push for help.
Work starts on final phase of 20-year $750 million Highway 101 project in Sonoma-Marin counties, The Press Democrat, February 2, 2021
“We are getting there,” agreed Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, a longtime SMART director who was chosen earlier this month to lead the passenger rail line’s board. Once this final Petaluma segment of the narrows project is complete, he added, “our job in Sonoma County is going to be done.” What’s true of all infrastructure and public works projects, Rabbitt said, is that “they usually take longer than you think, and cost more than they should. “But these are generational investments, and pretty important things to continue. So we just have to keep slogging away,” he said.
SMART selects David Rabbitt as chair, plans steps for 'brighter' future, The Press Democrat, January 20, 2021
Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt was selected Wednesday by his fellow SMART directors to lead the 12-member body that oversees the North Bay’s passenger rail line, handing him a two-year term as chair amid a pivotal time for the system’s near future and long-term viability. Rabbitt, a SMART director for eight years and supervisor for the past decade, was chosen in a 10-0 vote during the first board meeting of the year...Rabbitt is the 12th person to chair SMART, and though he has held the same position three times before in his county role, it is his first time in board leadership with the transit agency. “It is kind of ironic how we’re meeting today, on Inauguration Day. It’s almost like New Year’s all over again, and there really is an optimism in the air,” Rabbitt said Wednesday during the board’s virtual meeting, just hours after President Joe Biden was sworn into office at the U.S. Capitol.
SMART board prepares for new leadership in 2021, The Press Democrat, December 4, 2020
Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, an 8-year SMART director, is poised to become the agency’s next board chair. “SMART is an incredible asset to the North Bay. I think I can be the guy to lead the board to address issues and represent staff in a way that works,” Rabbitt said. “We cannot build ourselves out of traffic. (SMART) will only grow in time in ridership and everything else, and be more and more relied upon as that fourth lane of the freeway, as it were. And if we’re really going to achieve the greenhouse gas goals in Sonoma County and suburban and rural counties, they have to made through offering a convenient alternative, and I think SMART can do that.”
Sonoma County, Santa Rosa consider new housing policies to help fire recovery, The Press Democrat, October 23, 2017
“I’ve heard from some who want to just plant an RV on their site and stay right there and oversee the rebuilding of their homes,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt. “There’s others that obviously want to go rent somewhere while they’re going to rebuild, or there’s those that were renting in the first place that need a new place to live. Without knowing the specific numbers on each individual category, we’re trying to make a whole menu of options available to reinforce the housing market.”
Firefight ‘turning corner’ as some evacuees allowed to return home, Petaluma Argus-Courier, October 16, 2017
“Behind every one of those numbers are people, families, that are really going to be struggling and have to deal with that,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt. “It makes the magnitude of this really just cataclysmic.”
Two Rock deal protects farm belt, The Press Democrat, October 6, 2017
“We are an agricultural county first and foremost. We always have been,” Rabbitt said. “To maintain those greenbelts, those rural areas that are so beautiful with the cows grazing on the hills under the oak trees and that typical Sonoma County scene, I think that’s an important part of it as well.”
Sonoma County supervisors back $28 million, two-year road repair plan, Petaluma Argus-Courier, September 28, 2017
“People are starting to see the difference,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, who has focused on transportation work in his two terms on the board. “We’re starting to get some pats on the back instead of kicks in the shins, which is nice. But it doesn’t mean that we let up. We need to keep going.”
Officials eye funding for Highway 101 widening, Petaluma Argus-Courier, September 21, 2017
“We’re at the tail end of the game,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, a member of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. “We want to get over the finish line, but we don’t want to fumble the ball.”
Sonoma County Sheriff’s watchdog gets support and criticism from Board of Supervisors, The Press Democrat, September 19, 2017
Rabbitt on Tuesday said he accepted the office’s work in those areas as long as it did not come at the expense of audits. Such reviews evaluate internal investigations into deputies’ use of force, employee misconduct or complaints that originate from inside the department or the public.
New Petaluma solar site to power 600 homes, The Press Democrat, August 31, 2017
“Certainly you don’t want to come in and do something that is going to tick off all the neighbors. At the same time, we consider ourselves a progressive, energy-independent county and this is an important thing,” Rabbitt said.
Group to study long-term Petaluma flooding fix, Petaluma Argus-Courier, August 14, 2017
Supervisor Rabbitt said that Copeland Creek is the most sediment-laden waterway in southern Sonoma County. As it meanders down from Sonoma Mountain, Copeland Creek forms a wide alluvial fan made up of the brown soil the waterway carries off the mountain. This sediment also clogs and chokes the creek, like plaque in the arteries of a heart attack victim, he said. Rabbitt said that planned detention ponds both down stream in Rohnert Park and on Sonoma Mountain will help hold excess water and better regulate the flow of Copeland Creek. Other solutions involve shoring up the creek’s banks and cleaning debris from the channel, which would trigger costly and time consuming environmental review. “We’re fighting Mother Nature,” he said of trying to keep Copeland Creek contained within its banks. “It’s what she wants to do versus what we want her to do.”
Sonoma County expands summer pavement program, including parts of River Road and Bodega Highway, The Press Democrat, August 1, 2017
Supervisor David Rabbitt, whose district includes the Petaluma area, was glad to see D Street included in the pavement program, noting that driving on that road gets “noticeably a little louder” after motorists pass the Sonoma County line. He called the additional 5 miles a “stellar” improvement to the original 54-mile program.
Tolay Park on track to open by end of year, Petaluma Argus-Courier, July 29, 2017
Supervisor David Rabbitt said he hopes this year’s Fall Festival can also serve as the opening ceremony for the park. “I really pushed parks last year and said it’s got to be open this year,” he said. “The Fall Festival, I’m optimistic we can make that.”
After Revival, a land deal is pending, Petaluma Argus-Courier, July 28, 2017
As the dust settles on Petaluma’s Steamer Landing Park following the Rivertown Revival gala, local officials are planning for the future of the land the annual gathering occupies — the McNear Peninsula. The 32-acre peninsula has long been lauded by the city as a prime location for a park, and local agencies are now banding together to unlock the land for public use. The historic waterfront parcel is entangled in a complex web of ownership and is governed by stringent land use mandates that all but solidify its future use as a public park or open space…Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, who also serves as a director of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, said his agency is hoping to partner with other groups, including the Friends of the Petaluma River, to buy the land.
Sonoma County continues yearslong push in road repairs, The Press Democrat, July 17, 2017
“Will people feel like enough is enough on the tax side, or would they see this as really being, we can finally make a huge difference — if not a generational difference — in the care of our infrastructure?” Rabbitt said.
Petaluma flood control efforts receive funding, Petaluma Argus-Courier, June 24, 2017
Rabbitt, whose district includes Petaluma, said the project is key to protecting the city’s residents. “We continue to improve on the efforts to reduce the threat to lives and property from flooding,” he said in statement. “This project includes not only flood protection, but incorporates environmental benefits into our vision of better managing floodwaters.”
County roads scheduled for improvements this summer, The Press Democrat, June 5, 2017
Rabbitt expressed hopes the county can overcome funding challenges to continue advancing the pavement program. “I want to keep our foot down, to drive forward and keep going,” Rabbitt said.
Sonoma County opens social services office in Petaluma, The Press Democrat, June 4, 2017
Supervisor David Rabbitt, whose district includes southern Sonoma County, said the opening of a social services office in Petaluma makes economic sense and helps address the “perspective, whether it’s real or perceived” that the county is Santa Rosa-centric. “The rent is cheaper in Petaluma at this particular location than it is in Santa Rosa,” he said. “And this is where the services are more convenient for south county residents.”
Next generation recycling comes to Petaluma, Petaluma Argus-Courier, May 11, 2017
Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt said the new facility will be “an integral part in achieving overall goals” of keeping 80 percent of waste from landfills. He said the next challenge will be to identify a location for a composting site, though the Central Landfill is off the table.
Sonoma County supervisors create permanent citizens panel on pension reform, The Press Democrat, April 25, 2017
“I’m open to the makeup of the body,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, a longtime board member of the county pension system and a veteran leader of local reform efforts. “Looking at the bigger picture and the politics of the county and what we want to achieve, whether it’s fixing our roads, fixing our parks, you can’t deny that pension ... comes up over and over again. And it remains a political issue because of that. And we need to address it.”
Petaluma-Sebastopol bike path takes shape, Petaluma Argus-Courier, April 10, 2017
Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt, who represents Petaluma, said he’s heard from residents concerned about the impacts on their property. “And you have the issues in some areas of peoples’ backyards that are right along the path, and they’re nervous about what that means … I heard that loud and clear and I do think there are other ways”…Rabbitt expressed support for boosting connectivity between the two cities, but suggested planners consider options that could take advantage of other trails, like a proposed Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit bike and pedestrian path or choose routes like Highway 116. “The connectivity and to be able to have the bike routes is a good thing,” he said.
Funding approved for Highway 37 traffic, flooding study, Petaluma Argus-Courier, March 10, 2017
Supervisor David Rabbitt, who chairs a committee of officials from the four counties that Highway 37 passes through on its route from Highway 101 to Highway 80, said the study is expected to provide a blueprint that will allow officials to prioritize segments of the roadway construction. “We all recognize that Highway 37 is a vital east-west link,” he said. “We need to make sure it’s going to be there in the future.”
Sonoma County supervisors look to create new citizens’ pension reform committee, The Press Democrat, February 24, 2017
“It’s really about oversight and about giving people confidence that we have someone watching what we’re doing and recommending anything that can be done to lower the overall cost — and to really, truly understand the world that we live in, in terms of pensions in California,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, a longtime board member on the county’s pension system and key player in local efforts to reduce costs.