Former county supervisor Mike Reilly remembered during small coastal gathering

After multiple delays and postponements, a small ceremony was held earlier this month at the Jenner Headlands to pay tribute to the long career in community service and local politics of former county supervisor Mike Reilly. A gathering of family and closest friends dedicated a native stone in his memory inscribed with “Friend of the People — Champion of the Coast.”

Reilly died Dec. 26, 2019 after a long fight against Lou Gerhig’s Disease. He was 75. An original and larger memorial was planned for early May 2020 at the SRJC Shone Farm, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced other plans.

Reilly served three terms as the west county’s supervisor and was first elected in 1996 to replace Ernie Carpenter. Reilly was replaced by Efren Carillo in 2008 after he retired to private life. He continued to serve a few more years on the California Coastal Commission where he served for 12 years, including two years as chairman.

The East Bay native moved to Sonoma County in 1977 and led the West County Community Services in Guerneville when it was still called the River Switchboard. He also was an elected trustee on the West Sonoma County Union High School board and served as legislative aide to Assemblyman Dan Hauser before launching his own political career. Reilly is survived by three daughters and his wife Judi.

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