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  • Friends of Smart

Jake MacKenzie - a letter of appreciation

Member of City Council

City of Rohnert Park

130 Avram Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Dear Jake:

It is with sincere regret that we learn of your departure from the SMART Board of Directors.

Your strong leadership--as a committed transportation advocate always concerned with equity in transportation options, as a 20-year SCTA member, and as a 16-year SMART Board member--has been unprecedented and will be missed. You are appreciated.

We at Friends of SMART who send you this note of thanks are a group of people who also have been involved for many years with transportation issues, and who have shared your concern and activism regarding equity in transportation funding and infrastructure. We have shared your journey building SMART. Indeed, it could be said that we also embody your motto because: "We show up!"

But also: "We remember."

We remember your beginnings as a committed bike advocate, before your run for RP Councilin 1996. A commitment that has never died. For instance, that front and center photo of Jakeand-Bike in the publication "Demonstrating Sustainability Values," done while you were Rohnert Park mayor. And, even up to 1-24-2019, with yet another "Man-and -Bike" picture: the Jake portrait on KSRO's website presenting their recent radio interview of you. Thank you.

We remember being impressed by the special skill you bring to transportation work. Knowing how bureaucracies work by having been in one. Knowing how policies are made because you'd been part of policy-making. And knowing first-hand from your government work the important balance between industry and citizen input. Regarding that balance, you have known that while industry can "hire" input, the citizenry takes the time to "show up" with important community perspectives. You have demonstrated from the start an appreciation of the vital role of citizen input. Thank you.

We remember those Transportation and Land Use Coalition meetings in Santa Rosa, as we sat working out strategies for positioning SMART on the ballot; then re-positioning SMART on the ballot; and finally: the win. You joining with like-minded people. You believing in having fun, too. You as an elected politician, happily spending your precious political capital for something you believe in. And now: one year of successful passenger service in the bank, much MUP already built and serving pedestrians and bicycles. A number of that group have passed on, but the SMART project and its MUP commitment LIVE. Thank you.

There could be many more specifics said about your efforts and successes. But we stop here to say, on behalf of all of us: we cannot imagine how SMART'S successful and growing service could have been accomplished without your support, hard work, and leadership. Whatever the future holds, we hope that you will continue your transportation leadership role and continue to be involved with SMART, for SMART has had no better Friend than you. We all look forward to a continued relationship.

With great appreciation,

Friends of Smart

Jack C. Swearengen, Chair



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