Quiet force behind Napa flood control project dies at 62Kevin Courtney, Napa Valley Register
**A celebration of Dave will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2011, at 4 p.m. at the Riverbend Plaza. The Riverbend Plaza is located at the Napa River Inn, 500 Main Street, Napa, CA. A website has been created in Daves memory: http://www.bigwavedavedickson.com Friends are invited to tell their stories, make comments, and post pictures of Dave on the website.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay (
He leaves behind many, many friends and family that will miss him dearly.
He is survived by his wife Sandee and sons Andrew ("Drew") and Lane.
The article below mentions his quiet force in Napa. That force was felt here in the Pajaro Valley as well.
Dave Dickson, a major force behind community passage of the Napa flood control project in 1998, died Monday at a residence in Orange County, the coroners office reported.
The news raced through Napa on Wednesday, prompting expressions of sadness from those who remembered his catalytic role in persuading voters to tax themselves for flood control.
Dickson, 62, was found by a friend who had intended to meet him for a bike ride, his Napa associates said. He may well have died in his sleep, they said.
Im not sure wed be building (the flood control project) now without Dave, Barry Martin, a city spokesman said Wednesday afternoon. He was one of a core group of people who believed in it and worked hard to have the community understand what the benefits would be.
Moira Johnston Block, a member of the advisory board for the Friends of the Napa River, said Dickson was the quiet force who galvanized us all in support of Measure A, a half-cent sales tax for flood control.
As the countys community partnership manager, Dickson was assigned in the late 1990s to work full-time to build public support for flood control, which had twice failed at the polls in the 1980s.
Dickson helped bring together all the cities and groups with very different social and economic interests to back the flood control tax, Johnston Block said.
This public coalition ended up becoming a national model for how a town can rally behind an environmentally enlightened flood control design, she said.
He was, in my mind, the father of flood control as we know it, said Howard Siegel, who later held Dicksons job with the county.
He had an uncanny ability to make people feel they were winning even if they didnt get everything, said Heather Stanton, who later managed the local flood control district.
Dickson left the county about 10 years ago to work for a consulting firm that advised other cities on how to work out compromises on water projects, Stanton said.
He was a very intelligent and analytical person with a lot of wisdom in a lot of fields, Martin said.
Dickson and his wife, Sandee Hoffman, lived in Deer Park where they founded Andrew Lane Wines in 1978. The winery was named after their two sons, Andrew and Lane, according to the winerys website.
Their first commercial release was in 2002.
Dickson and Hoffman had lived in Napa County since 1973.
No information about funeral arrangements was available Wednesday afternoon.