Coastal Post Online


February, 2004

Steve Kinsey Wants Another Four Years
By Don Deane

He was first seated as supervisor of the 4th District in 1997, heir to Marin's political legend Gary Giacomini who had previously served on the board for over 20 years. Steve Kinsey is running for his third term, challenged by Louis Nuyens who also ran for the seat four years ago; and Dennis Rodoni, a Pt. Reyes Station contractor. Kinsey's former life was that of an architectural designer and builder.

The supervisor said it was an "incredible privilege" to represent a district so filled with so many passionate people. "I have gained a significant amount of experience on the job at a time when the state and county are facing terrible fiscal crisis."

Why is Kinsey running for a third term in such challenging times? "There's still work to be done at a job I love," he said.

Important objectives still underway which need completion according to Kinsey include:

Fishery restoration.

Legalizing the lifestyle in West Marin. "I paid my price with a $50,000 nightmare over building a shed without county permits," he declared. (The Coastal Post roasted Kinsey for two years on this rampant West Marin misdeed.)

Helping the have-nots through healthcare for children, affordable housing and support for low income families.

Encouraging and supporting economic diversity for ranches and other agricultural pursuits such as bed and breakfasts, fruit and vegetable stands, and cheese production.

Working with community leaders to improve transportation, funding the pilot West Marin Stage which has achieved triple anticipated ridership, serving over 20,000 riders in its first year. Ensuring a number of other Marin projects including Brown Bridge at White's Hill, the Olema-Bolinas Road bike path, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge bike shuttle, and the opening of Cal Park Tunnel.

"I've worked hard to represent West Marin communities-my end of the county. I have also put great deal of energy into the Canal area of San Rafael with literacy programs, youth work and developing a voice for the community," Kinsey said.

In West Marin affordable housing has been a major thrust. "We are preserving the last place-making the last place last except for the social structure. The cost of housing is killing the social structure as we have known it. I am pleased to say there have been more affordable units added to the housing stock in West Marin than anywhere in the county except for Hamilton.

As delineated at Kinsey's website (, key issues in the race include:

Transportation improvements

Preserving Marin's agriculture

Watershed restoration

Helping children and families

Supporting an aging community

Fiscal responsibility in government

San Quentin reuse

Justice for all-(spearheading opposition to the abuses of the Federal Government's Patriotic Act).

Where does Kinsey think he's vulnerable?

"I haven't allowed the narrowly focused environmentalists to tell me what to do," Kinsey observed. "I believe the other candidates are singularly focused on playing to the environmentalists. here are other issues which must be balanced with environmental concerns-housing, comprehensive transportation, and the needs of children and families," he opined.

"There are also a lot of people that stop at the first step of environmental protection and don't go past that," Kinsey added. "I think that is why some of our social needs haven't been met. We don't have unlimited resources. If you spend $80 million to buy St. Vincent-Silvera for open space, that's $80 million you don't have for health care for people, or for children to have mental health screening at an early age," he said.

"These are the kind of things I'm most interested in. How do you create a healthy platform for our young people to be as successful as they can be. It starts with training and rewarding our childcare workers, things like the Healthy Community Collaborative in the San Geronimo Valley; School based partnerships in Shoreline -- the Healthy Start Program -- wrap around services for at-risk students.

"I was the chief advocate for the living wage ordinance in the county and brought it forward to passage. This has brought some dignity to some of lowest-paid workers in local government as well as the contractors who work with the county. In a period of three years we were able to increase the wage from $6.75 to $10.50 for home healthcare workers plus health benefits for workers who work more than half-time.

"These kinds of issues must balance with environmental concerns," Kinsey emphasized.

And Kinsey's not interested in moving up or out. "I couldn't imagine myself in Sacramento or Washington. Marin County is where I want to be and the people of the 4th district are the people I want to serve.

This writer opposed Kinsey's first and second election to the board. At this juncture, from a Bolinas perspective, it would be hard to imagine a more responsive and in tune supervisor for the community than Steve Kinsey.



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