Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors has appointed a local Realtor who is the former executive director of the Northcoast Regional Land Trust to the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee (McKMAC).
At the board’s April 9 meeting, Maya Conrad was unanimously voted to fill a vacant at-large McKMAC seat.
Also applying for the seat were McKinleyville architect Bonnie Oliver and Alsea Saulsbury, an associate project manager with Greenway Partners.
The opening was created when former McKMAC member Ben Shepherd resigned due to moving from McKinleyville. Conrad’s appointment fills the remainder of the term, to August 21, 2020.
In her letter to the board, Conrad highlighted her work as Realtor in the area for almost 13 years. “In addition to developing long-standing relationships with many community members, I’ve forged a deep network with professionals, agency staff and elected officials,” she wrote. “Through my work, I understand the importance of local regulations and competent infrastructure to serve our rural communities.”
Conrad was executive director of the land trust from 2003 to 2007.
Both Conrad and Oliver were at the meeting but the appointment was taken up late due to the length of other items and only Oliver addressed supervisors.
A resident of McKinleyville for 26 years, Oliver emphasized the importance of adopting a town center ordinance and addressing pedestrian safety. “I know the worry of letting your middle school child ride to soccer practice at Hiller Park on his bike, with the hope that he’s safe crossing Central Avenue and riding along the variable shoulder at Hiller Road,” she said.
She added that her daughter did yard work for an elderly neighbor who had been hit by a car on the corner of Central Avenue and Pickett Road. “Now my children are grown – and the town center ordinance is not yet written,” Oliver continued.
Supervisors looked to Fifth District Supervisor Steve Madrone for guidance on a pick. He named Oliver and Conrad without expressing preference, crediting both for regularly attending McKMAC meetings and deferred to his colleagues.
Supervisors Estelle Fennell and Mike Wilson said they know Conrad and have been impressed by her work. Supervisor Virginia Bass also named Conrad as her top pick.
Board Chair Rex Bohn highlighted Conrad’s land trust work but said “it’s a coin flip.”
With the board leaning toward Conrad, she won the toss. But Bohn invited Oliver to apply when there’s another opening, as “you’ve more than showed that you’re willing and you’re qualified.”