A Mayor's Years in Review

Andy Berman, Mill Valley's Former Mayor, writes his final "Review," with some inside news, reminders and reflections, and whatever else comes to mind.

Thank you all so much!
Thank you all so much!

“It’s Been a Great Run”

I’ve been nervous about coming into tonight, Not knowing if I could position things right

And I don’t even know where to start telling, This story of mine without you folks yelling

To stop talking already and get to the point, So we can start partying outside of this joint

But please just indulge me – it’s just a short time, It’s about heart and soul, and a true love of mine

Yes it’s been a great run, it’s been lots of fun, I’ve loved it a ton, but sadly it’s done

It all began in ‘89, when George Gnoss came to my side:

“You need to learn more about this place called Marin, it’s a place to call home, and let your family begin”

We took that advice, found a home in Mill Valley, started having some kids, we were happily married

Then I decided to get involved in the town, and began to look for any opportunities around

Call it good fortune or simply dumb luck, but the Planning Commission is where I got tucked

And little did I know, nor could ever then comprehend, that friendships made there would last years on end

Then in 2005, while at the Memorial Day Parade, I saw Fisco coming down, I was expecting a wave

But instead of a wave, he just pointed at me, and insisted his seat was where I should be

Then later that month while strolling the streets, Girija & Larry came up with this greet:   “If you will just run, we'll help with your race, and bring along Wavy, with his painted face”

And Betsey insisted the she would be, emotional support for the family and me, Which we needed because it wasn’t natural to be, The candidate that people expected of me, after all: I was just Andy you see

And I had no clue what lay in store, but over the years two committees were formed, These were good people, each must be thanked, For without them I’m certain, I just would’ve sank:

·      I had just incredible names at the top:  The Brilliants, The Cutlers, The Fiscos – all worked non stop!

·      Ansel, Foote and Lansing – those 3 – amazing Treasurers each surely would be

·      Dear Lisa Capretta came from out of the blue, we emailed all night, and sometimes still do, and Miller decided to flesh out the team, and added more life to a very fun scene

·      Three more Mayors came onto the team, yep: Waldeck, Raub and Leonard were seen

·      And then there was Sloan, from deep down on Lovell, who became the sign maven, with her pick and her shovel

·      And Bob was the very first Canepa to join, while Bontz and Frieberg would ask for some coin

·      The Greenmans had landscape, Penny took the shots, and Rich worked the social media on top

And of course all my friends and residents who cared, to vote for me twice, with out any fear, Then supporting me faithfully, year after year, with “coffees,” advice, and friendships so dear, Please know that it’s been my privilege and honor, to have you close by, indeed in my corner

Four city managers have straddled a piece, all of them special, and thanks go to each:

·      Don Hunter for really setting the tone

·      Anne Montgomery with resilience, patience and always being in my zone

·      Wayne for keeping the wheels on the bus

·      And my friend Jim McCann, you’ve been such a huge plus

Department Heads, City Staff and Counsel helped a ton, faithful, loyal and part of the fun, I owe so very much to each of you too, our friendship is pure – and my aim is true

And to all of the Boards on which I have served, it’s been a real pleasure to wonder & learn, SMEMPS, SASM and of course MTA, I owe each of you my sincere HOORAY!

And my colleagues on Council each gave me a shot, to each of you folks, I owe a real lot: 

Anne, Chris and Dick, you taught me the ropes, You made me feel good, you provided me hope, We weathered some storms, even took one on the chin, But worked as a team, through thick and thin

But 6 years were spent with these four here tonight, the people with whom I most fought the good fight

·      Garry brought wisdom from his years in the town

·      Shawn’s been my partner, since things first went down

·      Ken who I’ve spent more time with than any

·      Stephanie dear friend, precious times there were many

You have all provided much joy in my days, Enriching my life in so many ways, I can't thank you enough, I hold each of you dear, Thank you particularly, for this my last year:

·      Mission Statements, Core Values and Key Issues for starts

·      A new general plan; all the Housing Element parts

·      A ban on plastic bags was born

·      A comprehensive look at pension reform

·      We reincarnated Miller Avenue

·      One Evacuation drill, and a Community Meeting too

·      Working with Jared to host MCCMC

·      Implementing flow based rates, and beating RBSD

·      An electric vehicle charging station

·      A comprehensive golf course evaluation

·      Ribbon Cuttings left everyone raving

·      Yes we even did Blithedale’s long overdue paving

And off on the side I had time to do, things I enjoyed like my “Week in Review,” And dressing up as Rick, to bid him adieu, Throwing a strike on opening day, a Paul Harris Fellow, a surprise I might say, Memorial Day Parades, helping Friends of Fields, The Redwoods’ Celebration of Service, and serving Meals on Wheels

But it’s really my family who I must thank the most, starting with my parents who are on the east coast, Thank you for being here each and every day, Everything you did paved the way for today

But most of all it’s those at 207, my own little slice of Mill Valley heaven, You gave me something only you 5 could do, the support, the permission, and yes, the critiques too, It’s very hard running for office you see, and without their advice, it simply can't be

Hannah Morrissa Harley & Sam, despite all my absences, I’m a gargantuan fan, You’ve honored my life, let me drag you around, and for this I am grateful, quite touched and quite proud

And Sabra I’m blessed with all that you’ve done, Standing by my side, I know not all of it’s fun, I’m the luckiest man, you're the love of my life, A very special person, an incredible wife

You have supported all my Mill Valley passions, kept my spirits alive, made me feel in fashion, You’re my friend, my partner, and also my hero, and without you my life is nothing but zero


Goodbye everyone, yes it’s been a great run, The time’s flown by, I wish I knew why, But be that as it may, I thank you from my heart, I’m as humbled and honored as I was from the start

I’ll head out to pasture, with one last thing worth raising:  simply put it’s that all this has been just amazing. 


December 2, 2013 

Andrew Berman, Mayor


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Elizabeth Moody December 03, 2013 at 03:41 PM
This final Patch is so wonderful, and I have so much enjoyed each Week in Review. This last is the poem stated last evening at your last City Council meeting. You certainly thanked everybody in a nice way. I will so look forward to your coming perhaps with Wachtels to our The Redwoods Dining Room for lunch occasionally with me. Thanks for all you have given Mill Valley, and I'm sure you have more to give, although it won't be as City Councilman. ElizabethMoody
Elizabeth Moody December 03, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Thanks for all you have given to our Mill Valley City, even though before and now after, it isn't done as our wonderful Councilman or Mayor Elizabeth Moody.
Andy Berman December 05, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Dear Elizabeth: It is people like you who supported me from the start who I must thank for the opportunity to serve this great community. It has all been a privilege and honor. My very best to you and everyone in Mill Valley. Thank you for your kind words. xo Andy
Jack December 05, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Andy, you may not be just the best Mayor I've seen in my 30+ years here, you may be the best person! And I'm pretty impressed with just about everybody. Thank you for your truly exemplary service to our community.
Andy Berman December 06, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Thanks Jack - extremely thoughtful of you to say this. I never expected any of this - but what I have learned is that it takes all of us to keep it going. I've just been blessed with one of the roles. It's been an honor serving. Andy


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