Newly sworn in Supervisor for the 5th District Bruce McPherson today announced his first appointments to County Commissions nominating Felton's Rene Shepherd for another four year term on the Planning Commission and tapping Rick Jones, also of Felton, to be her alternate.
McPherson also announced the appointment of Robin Musitelli of Brookdale and Geni Johnson of Scotts Valley to his District staff.
Here is the full press release from McPherson's office:
Newly-elected Fifth District Supervisor Bruce McPherson announced two staff members and nominated his first commissioners Tuesday.
McPherson has also selected two staff members, Robin Musitelli and Virginia “Gine” Johnson.
Musitelli is a 30-plus year resident of the San Lorenzo Valley, currently living in Brookdale. As a journalist, she reported for the Valley Press, the San Jose Mercury and Santa Cruz Sentinel, covering education, politics and environmental issues. At the Sentinel she worked as a reporter when McPherson was editor. “I loved working with Bruce then, and look forward to working with him again,” she said.
For the past 12 years, Musitelli has been an analyst for Second District Supervisor Ellen Pirie. Musitelli is on the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz County Horsemen’s Association.
Johnson is the former Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit Ecology Action. Under her leadership, Ecology Action evolved from a small recycling operation into one of the state's leading voices on reducing global warming, eventually becoming a co-owner of the transformed former Sentinel building in downtown Santa Cruz.
Johnson has more than 35 years of business experience, including extensive governance experience, having served on six local nonprofit boards. She currently serves on the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County Advisory Council and the County Commission on the Environment. Johnson and her husband have lived in Scotts Valley for 28 years.
“I am honored to support Supervisor McPherson and look forward to providing the best possible service to the Fifth District,” Johnson said.
Renee Shepherd was nominated for a four-year term as the Fifth District representative on the County Planning Commission. Shepherd, a Felton resident, has served as Fifth District Planning Commissioner since 1989, first appointed by then Supervisor Fred Keeley, followed by Supervisors Jeff Almquist and Mark Stone.
Shepherd is widely regarded as a pioneering innovator in introducing international specialty vegetables and herbs for home gardeners and gourmet restaurants. After receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California in Santa Cruz and teaching in the Environmental Studies Department there, she founded Shepherd's Garden Seeds in 1985. Renee left Shepherd's Seeds in 1996 and then founded Renee’s Garden, offering seeds through garden centers and nurseries and online.
In addition to her passions for gardening and cooking, Shepherd has many community, environmental and equestrian interests.
McPherson nominated Rick Jones as his alternate Planning Commissioner. Jones, also a resident of Felton, served as a water quality investigation and compliance employee of the County Department of Environmental Health and has experience as a