Local government has lost one of its fiercest leaders this week. Former Santa Cruz Mayor and County Supervisor Mardi Worhhoundt has lost her battle against cancer. She was 72.
As written in the San Jose Merc, Wormhoundt "was known as a committed political fighter who inspired both fierce loyalties and strong opposition and who left a legacy of slow-growth development and women's and civil rights as a city councilmember and for 12 years as the Third District county supervisor."
Wormhoundt led the City of Santa Cruz through the 1989 Loma Prieta quake and its recovery, and made her mark as a County Supe fighting development in coastal and rural areas, and leading several high profile fights to acquire land for purposes of conservation and oppose oil industry efforts in and around Santa Cruz County. This won her a share of friends and enemies, but she was also highly respected. Colleagues are quoted this week as calling her "principled," "courageous" and "effective," not a bad epitaph.