Mayor & Council
Your Elected Officials Working for You
Sebastopol is the only city in Sonoma County west of the Highway 101 corridor. We’re a very special city not only because of our favored location close to the Pacific coastline, but also because we enjoy the active participation of citizens interested in improving our excellent quality of life.
This website is intended to help you understand how to engage with policy makers and city staff so that your interests to improve our city will be considered and your efforts more effective. Please return to this website often as we plan to have regular updates and new features.
Sebastopol is governed under the Council – Manager system. The City Council has five members, each elected to a four-year term. Terms are staggered.
Neysa Hinton is a fourth-generation Sonoma County resident. Born in Petaluma, Neysa grew up in Sebastopol. After graduation, Neysa attended college in Idaho and pursued a career in radio that would span 25 years. She moved back to Sebastopol in 1997, got married, and started a family. Her two grown children, Jordan and Jered, are Sebastopol natives who currently live in Sonoma County.
In 2012, Neysa made the decision to pursue a career in service and became a licensed administrator. She is currently the Executive Director and licensed Administrator for two locally owned Marin County Assisted Living facilities in San Anselmo and San Rafael. The work is both challenging and gratifying and has given Neysa the opportunity to serve our seniors. On any given day, you can find Neysa engaged with staff, residents, and their families, to address a diverse array of needs and help to facilitate happy, fulfilling lives. As a front-line worker, Neysa works tirelessly to serve the residents and staff in the ever changing fast-paced world of healthcare.
Neysa has always had a passion to serve her community. Over the course of her life in West County, Neysa has devoted countless hours volunteering on projects that have benefitted Sebastopol and people who live there.
Neysa’s past projects include helping launch Sebastopol’s Farm Market and serving as its first chairperson. In 1990 Neysa was one of the first women invited to join the Sebastopol Rotary Club. For 21 years she aspired to embody the Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” motto, participating on various committees that include, “Learn to Swim,” “Read to Me,” Community Grants, Student Exchange, and fundraising events like the popular Lobster Boil and Cajun Festival.
One of Neysa’s most rewarding volunteer experiences came in 2007 when she was selected to lead a team of young professionals on a group exchange focused on health services and education in Guanajuato, Mexico. Living with local families to improve community services strengthened her faith in the ability of ordinary citizens to work together to create positive change.
Neysa is currently serving as Sebastopol’s Mayor through 2023. Neysa previously served as mayor in 2019, as vice mayor in 2018 & 2022 and was elected to Sebastopol City Council in 2016.
Neysa has served on several subcommittees: Budget Subcommittee, CalPERS, Park Village, and the Staffing Assessment Subcommittee. She represents Sebastopol on the Russian River Watershed Association and the Mayors and Councilmembers Association of Sonoma County Legislative Committee. Additionally, Neysa was appointed to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Advisory Committee by the Mayor and Council Members Association. She also serves as 5th District Supervisor, Lynda Hopkins’ appointee as a Director on the Sonoma County Fair Board.
Term Expires: December 2024
Diana Gardner Rich
Diana moved to Sebastopol in 1999 with her husband and two young sons. Her contributions to the town include a wide variety of projects for youth, seniors, businesses, nonprofits, emergency preparedness, and environmental interests. For seven years (2010-17), she served as executive director of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. These many projects and activities reflect a score of collaborative partnerships and strong relationships that she continues to maintain through the present.
Diana attended UC Santa Cruz, graduating with honors and majoring in Economics with a minor in Spanish Literature. She earned a law degree from UC Davis, worked initially as a Public Defender, and later in employment and labor law. Diana is known to be organized, clear-headed, solution-oriented, and a critical thinker.
As to her core values, those come from Diana’s childhood. She was raised by a single mom who gave her a respect for education, and an early awareness of social justice issues and racial inequities. Diana has worked since she was 14 and was on her own financially from the age of 17, putting herself through college and law school. All these experiences taught her the importance of honesty, hard work, compassion, a commitment to community, and respect and appreciation for others.
Highlights of Diana’s many contributions to the community include the Patrick Amiot Folk Art for Schools & Community Calendar; the TeensWork job preparedness program, the Tour d’Organics Bicycle Ride (highlighting the natural beauty of the area, supporting organic farms, and attracting out of town visitors); the Sebastopol Area Community Alliance (SACA), later affiliated with Sonoma County’s Health Action efforts; the Community Center’s sheltering of 2017 Tubbs Fire evacuees and Red Cross volunteers; and her leadership roles with Map Your Neighborhood and the Sebastopol Neighborhood Communications Unit, focused on emergency preparedness.
In 2005, Diana received the Chamber of Commerce Service to Youth Award, and in 2014 the High School District’s Betty Hopper Make a Difference Award. In 2020, through the Rotary Club of Sebastopol (Diana is a long-time member), she helped bring the North Bay Construction Corps program to local high schools.
City Council Committees: Diana was elected to the Sebastopol City Council in 2020, making a commitment to addressing Covid-19 issues, economic recovery, and social and environmental justice. She currently serves on the Ad Hoc Committee for the Unhoused, the City Emergency Services (Fire) Subcommittee, Locals who Make a Difference, and the newly created Climate Action Subcommittee. She is also Sebastopol’s representative on the Sonoma County Waste Management/Zero Waste Agency, as well as the regional Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District. She holds assignments as an alternate on the Legislative Committee, the Library Advisory Board and LANTERN, the Laguna Stakeholders Committee, Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Health Action Coalition, and as the City representative on the Sonoma County Health Action Coalition.
Term Expires: December 2024
Councilmember Sandra Maurer is a 35-year Sebastopol resident and the former founding director of the EMF Safety Network. She has been engaged with the Sebastopol City Council since 2007. She helped create public policy on reducing EMFs (electromagnetic fields and wireless radiation) in Sebastopol and beyond. Sandra worked at the California Public Utilities Commission with a legal team to obtain a smart meter opt-out for all Investor Owned Utility customers in California. She established two art businesses, one with national distribution. She obtained a $60K grant and contributed to several local projects including the downtown coyote mural, Plaza Occupy bench, Toolbox Project, Pomo Project, Land Paths, Shoes for Kidz, Farm to Pantry, and more. Sandra coordinated and worked on Walk and Roll to School projects whose efforts helped create infrastructure improvements and a Class 1 bike trail for children’s safety. Her activism and experience has given her the tools to best serve the community.
Sandra Maurer is currently serving as a board member for Zero Waste Sonoma and as council liaison for the Climate Action Committee and the Sebastopol Area Senior Center. She serves as an alternate for Sonoma Clean Power, the Sebastopol Downtown Association and the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center.
Sandra has a BA in Art from Sonoma State University, is married, a mother, grandmother, artist, gardener, and she loves Sebastopol!
Term Expires: December 2026
Jill has an abundance of leadership experience in the Bay Area. With a passion for giving back to the community, Jill served as executive director and board chair for multiple nonprofits and community boards over the years. In these roles, she’s worked in collaboration with both state and local governments to secure maximum funding through grants and annual budgeting initiatives.
Jill holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Information Systems in addition to the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Using her prior experience in real estate and medical device sales, project management, and information systems implementations, Jill has had great success developing strategic operational and financial plans for organizations. Prior to relocating to Sonoma County, Jill worked in healthcare as a clinician and eventually transitioned into working for a Medical Device startup.
Jill also holds a Baking and Pastry Management degree and is co-owner of a chocolate shop in Sebastopol. As a local realtor and member of the business community she served on the board for the Sebastopol Downtown Association.
Term Expires: December 2026
As an Army Veteran, Stephen continues to remain engaged in issues affecting the Veteran community and serves as a coordinator of a free Veterans’ Legal Clinic at the Santa Rosa Veterans Clinic. He represents low income domestic violence survivors with child custody issues and serves as minor’s counsel. He serves as a judge pro tem for small claims proceedings in Sonoma County.
As a former San Francisco Public Defender, he represented our youth for over eight and half years and our adults for three and a half years. He continues to be concerned about how exposure to traumas continue to affect youth. He is always looking for ways to uplift and support our youth, especially our BIPOC and LGBTIQ+ youth. He served on the Chamber of Commerce and Arts Center Boards and currently serves on the LANTERN Board, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the square footage of our library as well as the Sonoma County NAMI and Legal Services Foundation.
Term Expires: December 2026
The City Council Members are elected officers identified in Government Code Section 87200 and file statements of economic interests with the City Clerk’s office. Copies of the statements of economic interests filed by the elected officers may be obtained by visiting the offices of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) or the City Clerk’s Office.
Sebastopol Town Hall on Status of Services to the Unhoused
On June 30, 2022, the Sebastopol Ad Hoc Committee on the Unhoused reported to the public on the status and progress of services to the unhoused in Sebastopol. An overall summary was presented, as well as specific updates on Horizon Shine, Elderberry Commons, Park Village, and Sebastopol’s Homeless Outreach Worker.
Horizon Shine RV Village
In a move to provide safe and humane conditions for the unhoused population of Sebastopol, clear Morris Street encampments, and prevent future unpermitted camping on city streets, on November 30, 2021, the Sebastopol City Council declared a Homeless Emergency and voted to enter into an agreement with Sonoma Applied Village Services (SAVS) to develop and operate a one-year pilot program for an RV village at 845 Gravenstein Highway North (former AmeriGas site).