Graton Fire Protection District keeps incumbents, gains two new directors
New members will be joining the Graton Fire Protection District Board, while incumbents keep their seats four more years. Bob Maddocks and Mario Cesaretti will each serve another full term after handily defeating candidate Justin Felger Tuesday night.
Maddocks, 68, said he was grateful for the chance to continue his service on the board. He jokingly commented that he wasn’t sure why people voted for him. “Maybe they just don’t know me,” Maddocks said.
Garnering the most votes on Tuesday night, 43.5 percent, it’s clear the community feels confident in his work on the board. Maddocks said he wants to continue to “keep Graton as Graton and not under the thumb of the county.”
Maddocks is a long-time resident of the Graton area and started as a volunteer firefighter when he turned 16. He graduated from El Molino High School and found a career in heavy construction and logging.
Cesaretti, 57, ran a close second to Maddocks with 43 percent of the votes on Tuesday night.
“I’m feeling good and ready for another four years,” he said.
Cesaretti said he feels supported by the district firefighters and wants to be supportive to them by transforming the fire department into a paid department.
“I want to be there for changes, so we can make the right moves,” he said.
Cesaretti has lived in Sonoma County since 1996 and served as a volunteer firefighter for many years. He currently works for AT&T.
Two new members, Torrey Farmer and Jason Nunes will officially join the board as directors filling two vacancies. The short-term seats opened up following the death of board member Mary Jane Pederson and due to member Gary McCalla moving out of the area. Pederson was elected in 2016 and had three years left on the board. The board appointed Farmer to fill her seat until an official election.
Farmer, 43, gained big numbers on Tuesday night with more than 50 percent of the vote. He is a life-long resident of Graton, where he has been an active volunteer firefighter for more than 15 years. He graduated from El Molino High School and works as a contractor.
Nunes, 45, followed Farmer with 31.3 percent of the vote on Tuesday night. He has lived in the Graton area for 15 years. He served as a volunteer firefighter for six years but was forced to take time off due to a knee injury. He works as a sanitation engineer in Marin County.
The five-member board is elected by the public and is responsible for fiscal management of the district. Each member serves a four-year term. Director Zane Wesley Gray will face a term end in two years. The Graton Fire Protection District was formed in 1951 and responds to calls in Graton and unincorporated parts of northern Sebastopol and western Santa Rosa.