SDC issues tackled in Town Hall tonight

Legislators, public convene for latest debate over?center's future|

Sonoma Valley's county, state and federal elected representatives will be among those speaking at a Sonoma Developmental Center Town Hall tonight, Aug. 20, at Altamira Middle School.

State Senator Mike McGuire will co-host the gathering, which is being described as a community forum and overview of the issues and future of SDC. The Town Hall follows by a week two private meetings the legislator held with parents and guardians from SDC, and employee representatives of the besieged developmental center, scheduled for closure at the end of 2018.

The Aug. 13 roundtable conversations were co-hosted by Supervisor Susan Gorin; the state Department of Developmental Services also participated.

'We were grateful for the opportunity to sit down last week with many parents, families as well as employees of the Sonoma Developmental Center to have open and honest discussions about the transition process and recommended closure plan,' said McGuire. 'We want this process to be transparent, thoughtful and properly funded to ensure SDC residents get the services and programs needed to thrive.'

Other legislators scheduled for the 'interactive' town hall include Congressman Mike Thompson, state Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblymember Bill Dodd, Assemblymember Marc Levine and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Gorin, all of whom represent local districts that have an interest in the future of the developmental center.

Additionally, Santi Rogers, the director of the State Department of Developmental Services, will be speaking, as will Kathleen Miller from the Parent Hospital Association and John McCaull of the Sonoma Land Trust. McCaull will be representing the SDC Coalition, made up of the County of Sonoma, Sonoma Land Trust, elected officials and community leaders from the Sonoma Valley.

'This Town Hall will be an opportunity for the greater North Bay community to join this important conversation,' said McGuire, 'and learn more about the details of the Department's transition and funding plan, and to ensure all are on the same page on what's to come in the months ahead.'

The meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Altamira Multipurpose Room, will include statements by the principals listed above followed by an open question and conversation period.

Altamira Middle School is located at 17805 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. The meeting is scheduled for two hours, until 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

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