Park oversight seats start to fill

01/30/2014

West Marin conservationist Bob Berner is one of three citizens the Board of Supervisors appointed on Tuesday to a committee that will oversee an annual audit of Measure A expenditures, which support parkland and farm conservation easements. The committee, comprised of five community members and two parks and open space commissioners, will determine at the end of each fiscal year if those funds were distributed in accordance with the ordinance, which voters approved in 2012. The three members supervisors appointed without interviews included Bob Berner, who headed the Marin Agricultural Land Trust for 27 years and retired in 2012 after overseeing the preservation of thousands of acres of farmland; Pat O’Brien, a San Rafael resident who was the general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District for two decades; and Michael Dybeck, the head of the Marin Council Boy Scouts of America. The board scheduled interviews with four others vying for the remaining two seats, including Valley Ford rancher Ione Conlan. The parks department began using the funds last July to hire more rangers and scientists, undertake maintenance and vegetation management and install dog-waste stations, among other actions. The funds come from a quarter-cent sales tax the parks department says will generate $10 million over nine years.