History was made by the on Thursday evening.
* The board of directors had one of the fastest meetings in its history, going only about 10 minutes before adjourning.
* The board, so divided in its political makeup that discussions have been reduced to bickering on many occasions, made a unanimous decision on one of the most controversial agenda items in recent decades.
* And most importantly, Jean Mariani became the first female board member in the district’s 86-year history, filling the seat left open by the .
After four previous meetings of either or supporting other candidates, director George Quesada elected to support Mariani and go along with fellow directors Bill Long and Mike Di Giorgio, who had motioned to approve Mariani’s nomination for four consecutive meetings.
The five-seat board only had three seats occupied Thursday because director Dennis Welsh was on vacation. He had been a staunch supporter of candidate Suzanne Brown Crow, who couldn’t get the decisive third vote needed to approve a new board member.
Mariani is recognized statewide for her expertise in wastewater treatment, having served as president of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies as well as on the board of the Central Marin Sanitation Agency.
“Novato Sanitary District is very fortunate to have someone with Jean Mariani’s talent and experience as their newest board member,” said Beverly James, the district’s manager/engineer. “She has deep roots in Novato and Marin County having grown up here and lived most of her life either in Novato or Ross Valley. … Her extensive background in utility finance and rate setting will be particularly valuable in the coming years as the district faces the challenge of funding needed improvements to the sewer system in a tight economy.”
For another account of Thursday’s meeting, click here.