Independent Citizens Oversight Committee
The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee is a group of six individuals, operating independently from the Advisory Committee, Governing Board and staff of the Authority to provide an unbiased annual analysis of the work of the Authority. The group is responsible for the following tasks:
- Annually review the Authority's conformance with Measure AA;
- Review the Authority's audits and expenditure and financial reports; and
- Publish an annual report of its findings, which will be posted on the Authority's website.
The Oversight Committee will meet at least twice each year: once to discuss and make initial comments on the Authority's annual reports and financial documents; and a second time to discuss, amend, and adopt its findings and recommendations to the Authority, in the form of a written report which will be posted on the Authority's website. Go to the meetings page to view meeting agendas and minutes. For more on the operations of this group, see the official procedural document, Guidelines for the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.
On September 6, 2019, the Oversight Committee presented their first review of San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority’s Conformance with Measure AA, covering the period of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Their summary conclusions were as follows:
- The Authority staff have been open and receptive to Independent Citizens Oversight Committee inquiry and recommendations.
- The Authority is establishing a solid selection and implementation process for restoration projects as envisioned by the Bay Area voters when they approved this historic measure to increase the health and resilience of the Bay.
- The Authority has authorized nine high quality restoration projects, as summarized in the Annual Report that will provide important environmental and climate adaptation benefits for the Bay Area.
- The Authority has received a clean audit report from an independent auditing firm and is using sound fiscal management.
- The Authority is spending the funds raised by Measure AA in conformance with the law.
Contact: Karen McDowell, Project Manager, Karen.McDowell@sfestuary.org.
The Oversight Committee consists of one representative from each of the four regions (North, South, East, and West Bay), and two members from counties not already represented, currently Alameda and San Mateo. Its members are as follows:
Andy Rogers is a consulting geologist with more than 30 years' experience evaluating, managing and monitoring groundwater and stormwater quality on behalf of public agencies, private parties, and NGOs. As past president of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation and chair of the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District’s citizen advisory committee, Mr. Rogers has reviewed many habitat restoration projects. In addition, he is a Sonoma County Water Agency Zone 2A Flood Control Advisory Committee member, serves on the Board of the Friends of Petaluma River, and is the Executive Director of the Russian River Watershed Association.
Cindy Darling is the CFO of Darling H2O Consulting, Inc. where she focuses on water supply alternatives. Ms. Darling served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Resources Agency for four years where she worked on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Prior to that she represented Calfed in the Bay Area, managing water supply and water quality planning efforts. Ms. Darling also spent close to 15 years as a field biologist and environmental specialist for the California Department of Fish and Game. Ms. Darling is also the current chair of the Walnut Creek Planning Commission.
Brian Steen currently serves as a Community Relations Consultant, providing community outreach, capital campaign planning, and process guidance for businesses, non-profits and public agencies. As the Executive Director of the Sempervirens Fund from 1999-2008, Mr. Steen directed all land acquisition transactions and implemented fundraising campaigns. Mr. Steen managed all organizational assets, including financial, real property and commercial holdings, as well as prepared annual budgets and quarterly projections. In addition, Mr. Steen was the Executive Director of the Big Sur Land Trust from 1980-1997, where he negotiated terms and conditions of conservation easements and purchases with private and public landowners.
Nancy Cave recently retired from the California Coastal Commission where she worked for 40 years, overseeing many water quality, habitat restoration, flood protection, and public access 3 projects. Ms. Cave retired as the North Central District Manager for the Coastal Commission, working with Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties to update local coastal plans to reflect climate change. Ms. Cave also served on a Wets Marin task force headed by State Senator Mike McGuire to help resolve public access conflicts.
Barry Nelson has worked on issues related to San Francisco Bay for more than 30 years, including 15 years at Save the Bay, with 9 years as the Executive Director, where he worked on many habitat protection and restoration projects. Mr. Nelson also worked for 15 years at the Natural Resources Defense Council, directing and co-directing NRDC’s California water team. Most recently, Mr. Nelson has worked as an independent water policy consultant for a wide range of clients, including extensive work on flood management and restoration projects. Mr. Nelson served for 9 years as a commissioner on the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, serving also as the chair of the Bay Fill Working Group which is responsible for reviewing the Commission’s laws, policies and the Bay Plan to ensure the region is ready to meet the challenges posed by sea level rise.
Paul Jones recently retired from the US EPA where he spent 27 years working in the Water Division, Wetlands Office in Region 9. Mr. Jones has spent his entire career working on habitat restoration, flood protection, water quality, pollution reduction, and financing projects, including on the staff of the San Francisco Estuary Project. Mr. Jones represented US EPA Region 9 on the National Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Workgroup, and organized and led a team to develop the California Rapid Assessment method for wetlands and riparian areas. Mr. Jones was a grant project officer for his entire career with US EPA which has provided him with familiarity in financing, contracting, and monitoring of projects. Mr. Jones volunteers locally and has served on a variety of Boards and Committees including the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory Board of Directors, the Pacifica Land Trust Board of Directors, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, and the San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition Board of Directors.