Thank you again to Janet Pauli and her very informative presentation on the Potter Valley Project (PVP) at our June 5, General Membership Meeting.  There is so much to understand about the impacts of the PVP and I encourage the Alliance members to continue learning about why it is critical for a successful outcome for our communities.

A critical element to achieving the outcomes we need is the newly formed partnership between the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, Sonoma County Water Agency, and CalTrout.  This is perhaps the only way that we will reach our mutual objectives through the Potter Valley Project and partnerships like these are invaluable.  In fact, the 40+ year success of the Alliance is due to partnerships like this.

We’ve all heard the story of the beginnings of the Sonoma County Alliance and the partnership that was formed between local business and labor leaders to pass a ballot measure allowing our community to build the Warm Springs Dam, the single most important water asset we have today.  The PVP and Warm Springs Dam are very complex projects, with numerous varying interests, and a couple of great examples of the value of partnerships and “getting everyone to the table” to achieve our desired outcomes.

The Alliance has received a lot of good press the past few years from Take Back Our Community (TBOC), our reward program designed to assist local law enforcement.  Our partnership with the Santa Rosa Police Department is what makes this a successful program.  We have a membership base that wants to invest in a safe community and give the SRPD another tool to apprehend serious felons that threaten our well-being.

Another lesser known partnership we have is with the Sonoma County Business and Agriculture Consortium.  The Executive Directors of 8 of the Business and Agriculture organizations in Sonoma County have been meeting monthly for over 30 years.  Each of our groups have certain expertise as well as limited resources, but a common objective to maintain and improve a Healthy Economy, Community, and Environment.  Any of our individual organizations may take a lead role on a particular issue we are facing, but the other partners are always there for support.

There is probably no better example of a partnership than the one we have with our spouse, significant partner, and family.  We all know that the success and failure of these relationships hinges on partnering up with shared responsibilities and unconditional personal respect.  Whether family or business, we’ve also learned to make sure we have fun along the way.

The Sonoma County Alliance is a partnership of almost 400 members, singularly and collectively, working together to achieve amazing things for our community.  Our Board of Directors offers the complete support of our organization to the new multi-agency partnership created to direct the next 100 years of the Potter Valley Project.  One of our roles will be to continue to educate our membership on the vital needs behind this effort.  Thanks for being a member of the Sonoma County Alliance.

Brian Ling – June 2019