Dennis Rodoni’s Chevrolet Volt rose over Big Rock peak early Tuesday morning as the District Four supervisor curved along Lucas Valley Road en route to give his oath of office.
Maintaining the stretch’s 35-mph speed limit, he glided towards the Civic Center following a nine-month campaign that ended in a tight race between Novato dairyman Dominic Grossi and himself: a lifelong West Marin resident with a contracting business and a home in Olema.
Upon arriving at his new office—on the third floor of the Civic Center with a balcony situated under the shade of the golden spire—Mr. Rodoni was warmly received by his oldest daughter, son-in-law and two toddler grandchildren. The Rodonis were some of the only people around to enliven the foyer of the Board of Supervisors Chambers that morning.
“I arrived a day early to set a few things up,” he told his kin, drawing attention to a few frames hung on the otherwise bare walls: a pristine shot of three owls captured by Inverness photographer Carlos Porrata, a panorama of Tomales Bay and a mounted copy of a resolution of appreciation from the North Marin Water District, for which he served as a board director for two decades. “I didn’t want to come into an empty office,” he said.
Donning a dark suit highlighted by a sharp blue and grey-striped tie, Mr. Rodoni appeared prepared, if not eager, to take on representation of West Marin, San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood, Homestead Valley, western Novato and various other slices of southeast Marin. He had received a fresh haircut and trim from Dan the Barber the day before in Point Reyes Station. According to his daughter Megan, her father had worked toward this day for his entire life.
As the morning eased into 9 a.m., when the board convened to welcome their newest member, hordes of friends and additional branches of the Rodoni family appeared in the hallways, and Mr. Rodoni made the rounds. Smiles and hugs were exchanged, a kiss on the cheek was given to District 3 Supervisor Kate Sears, and even a loving jab was told at his expense. (“He’s in his new office?” a man in an orange emergency vest asked at one point. “Oh… he’s a big wig!”) Brian Staley, Jean Berensmeier, Jerry Meral and Dave Cort could all be seen amongst the sea of supporters. Hanging by Mr. Rodoni’s wing were his two aides: Liza Crosse, who aided the previous Supervisor Steve Kinsey and will remain on for the next three months to help ease the transition, and Lorenzo Cordova, a young aide from the Canal in San Rafael who comes to Mr. Rodoni from Assemblymember Marc Levine’s office.
At the top of the hour, the chamber swelled. Mr. Rodoni rose, came to the stage’s center and raised his right hand in front of Superior Court Judge Faye D’Opal. From afar, his fingers appeared to be shaking ever so slightly, possibly from anticipation or joy.
After swearing his oath to politically protect Marin County, Mr. Rodoni addressed the crowd, thanked his family and constituents, briefly spoke about issues he’s ready to face—environmental protection, seniors and children, among others—and then ended by reminding his listeners: “I’m here for you.”