Brian Kahn, briefly Sonoma County’s youngest supervisor, dies in Montana at 73

Brian Kahn, a pushed and insatiably curious citizen of the earth who worked to uplift the human ailment and for the blink of an eye was the youngest particular person at any time to provide on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, died Thursday on a looking excursion with his wife in their adopted point out of Montana.

Kahn’s adore of nature and his urge to carry folks together fueled his huge-ranging successes as a conservationist, general public servant, candidate for Congress, documentary filmmaker, writer and journalist, mediation-concentrated attorney, radio broadcaster and advocate for the atmosphere, youth and the look for for prevalent ground. He was 73.

“He was a amazing man, a resourceful thinker and someone who was normally looking for strategies to enhance the earth,” stated longtime pal Clay Clement, a Santa Rosa attorney.

Kahn and west Sonoma County’s Eric Koenigshofer the two were in their 20s when they and the late Helen Rudee were being elected to the Board of Supervisors in the late 1970s and constituted what was then a quite novel conservation-minded bulk.

“He was a heat guy — and he was actual,” Koenigshofer stated. “He was incredibly clever about sorting matters out. He also had just a excellent, dry perception of humor. It was a pleasure doing work with him, and I uncovered a lot from him.”

Through the 4 yrs that Koenigshofer and Kahn, then both bachelors, co-led the county board with Rudee they ended up acknowledged variously as the Younger Turks, the Youth Corps or, to their chagrin, the K-K Boys.

Pal, fellow legal professional and previous Congressman Doug Bosco of Santa Rosa stated of Kahn, “My graphic of him will always be of the excellent-looking, brash younger dude who turned our crusty aged Board of Supervisors upside down several a long time ago.”

All his daily life an avid outdoorsman, Kahn began the working day Thursday with his spouse and previous Sonoma Valley resident Sandra Dal Poggetto at a friend’s deer-hunting cabin outside the house the central Montana city of Lewistown. The pair lived given that 1989 in Helena, about 200 miles west of the cabin.

On Thursday Kahn and Dal Poggetto ventured individually from the cabin, staying in touch by cellphone. Their son, Dylan Kahn of Oregon, said his father took a stroll and returned to the cabin right before his mother did.

She walked in to obtain Kahn on the flooring, lifeless. Dylan Kahn, 32, claimed it seems his father experienced heart failure quite possibly related to Parkinson’s condition, with which he was identified more than a dozen a long time in the past.

Dylan Kahn stated the disorder progressed only gradually in his father, who even recently was lively although “a bit extra frail and wobbly than he applied to be.”

The depth and breadth of Brian Kahn’s existence ordeals, interests and achievements were beautiful. Possessing developed up typically in Sonoma Valley, he turned a varsity boxer at UC Berkeley, then stepped up to guide the team when the coach died through a match.

Nicely read and drawn to conservation and frequently progressive politics, Kahn became an attorney and then a district agent for late Santa Clara legislator John Vasconcellos.

Handful of men and women in Sonoma County experienced read of Kahn when, in early 1976, then-Gov. Jerry Brown appointed him to fill the 1st District seat on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors vacated by Ig Vella, who’d resigned to become supervisor of the Sonoma County Fair.

The working day Kahn was sworn in he was hardly 29, making him at that issue the youngest individual at any time to provide on the five-man or woman panel accountable for directing all functions of the County of Sonoma. His time period was to expire at the stop of 1976.

He ran for a complete, 4-12 months expression, and he received. He was sworn in the exact same day as fellow election victors Koenigshofer, who at 26 eclipsed Kahn as the youngest man or woman at any time elected to Sonoma’s Board of Supervisors, and Rudee, a 58-yr-aged veteran of the Santa Rosa University Board.

The county board experienced its initial woman ever, its first two 20-somethings and a scarce liberal, professional-conservation bulk.

Youngsters Kahn and Koenigshofer noticed eye-to-eye on most challenges, but not all. Possibly most notably, Kahn took warmth from some environmentalists for his assist of the building of Warm Springs Dam in the hills in between Healdsburg and the coast.

Kahn was just shy of 30 when his colleagues elected him chairman of the board in 1978. The subsequent 12 months he created a dramatic announcement: he would not operate for a further phrase and alternatively would seek the Democratic Party nomination to oppose Don Clausen, the Republican from Humboldt County who for just about 20 yrs had represented the North Coastline in Congress.

Kahn lost the June 1980 most important to fellow Democrat Norma Bork, who then shed the general election to incumbent Clausen. That December, both Kahn and Koenigshofer stepped down from the Board of Supervisors.