District 3 Supervisor Kate Sears Assumes Board President Role

Supervisors Judy Arnold (left) and Kate Sears switch chairs and name plates after the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to reorganize and name Sears as its President.
Supervisors Judy Arnold (left) and Kate Sears switch chairs and name plates after the Marin County Board of Supervisors voted to reorganize and name Sears as its President.
The gavel has been passed on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Kate Sears, who has represented Marin County’s District 3 since June 2011, on Tuesday was elected President of the Board for the first time as part of an annual Board reorganization.

Sears replaced District 5 Supervisor Judy Arnold as Board President by a 4-0-1 vote; Supervisor Susan Adams was absent. Also Tuesday, Supervisor Katie Rice was voted as vice president and Supervisor Adams as second vice president.

“I’m honored and excited about being Board President in 2014 and look forward to working on behalf of all of our Marin residents,” Supervisor Sears said. “Certainly there are challenges ahead. As a county, and as a community, we face issues now and into the future that require us to harmonize different interests and step up our personal involvement.”

Supervisor Sears, a Sausalito resident, grew up in Southern Marin and has lived most of her life there. Venturing from California, she earned a doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Harvard. She worked 16 years in private practice specializing in employment litigation and labor law, then nearly six years for the California Attorney General’s Office.

She got involved in local government by serving on the Sausalito Planning Commission and eventually was appointed to the District 3 Supervisor’s seat by Gov. Jerry Brown to replace the late Charles McGlashan. Supervisor Sears was elected to the post in 2012.

Duties of the Board President include managing the flow of Board meetings, working with administrators to set agendas, signing documents on behalf of the Board, representing the County at government and special events and playing a lead role as a County spokesperson, in addition to the many other standing obligations that each Supervisor has to local and regional boards and commissions.

Supervisor Sears said her priorities as Board President include addressing sea-level rise, expanding energy efficiency including solar opportunities, developing gray-water programs and promoting water stewardship. Addressing traffic challenges, expanding use of public transit and enhancing equity through education and decent wages also are high on her list.

“Broadening our notions of community and encouraging positive individual engagement will be key to effectively tackling these issues and the many others that are important to our residents,” she said. “I look forward to listening, learning and making good things happen this year with my colleagues on the Board.”

Supervisor Arnold, who has been on the Board since 2006, called her most recent tenure as President as “a deeply satisfying year.”

“As spokesperson for the Board, I was called upon to carry forward the vision and meet the high standards of our lively and well-informed Marin residents,” she said. “I’m delighted to pass the baton to my colleague,  Supervisor Sears. She’s ready.” 

The Board of Supervisors is both the legislative and executive body of Marin County government. The Board adopts policies, establishes programs, appoints non-elected department heads, and adopts annual budgets for all County departments.

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