The Mayor’s Week in Review: Feb. 4-10

Andy Berman, Mill Valley's Mayor, writes his weekly review, with some inside news, reminders and reflections, and whatever else comes to mind.

What’s on your list?  Do you even make lists? I do. My mother says I’ve been a compulsive list-maker since age 9. The list that predominates my life is the one I make every Sunday night – all the things I need to get done in the coming week for work, Mill Valley, and my family. Ken Wachtel asked me after last week’s City Council meeting what’s on my City list, so here it is again:

  • Getting a new General Plan passed
  • Safety in our schools, on our streets, and in our homes
  • Positive morale and esprit de corps in our town
  • Articulating a sensible pension policy that respects our wonderful work force but allows Mill Valley to remain fiscally healthy.

Caution though: my yoga teacher, Karen Holland, reminded me Sunday that lists can be like slow leaks in a tire, sucking your energy out over time. Her point is that a yoga practice can be a nice way to put the air back in – sound advice for sure. 

Which leads me to my next topic . . .

Let’s talk about Love:  Love is like yoga – it can put the air back into the deflating tire of life.  And how appropriate is it that Valentine’s Day is this coming week? It’s nice to have at least one day a year where everyone is thinking about love – as we should be! I actually have some very nice Valentine’s Day memories – in fact you may not know it, but I have presided over a few weddings, including one between our good friends Elisa Stancil and Chuck Levine on Valentine’s Day in 2009, in Glen Ellen. A great memory, and happy anniversary to Elisa & Chuck. 

Love is a great emotion; unlike other ones that can be downright toxic in large doses, there can never be too much love. Things will always happen, but as long as we are still here with people we love - that is all that really matters. And when it comes to love, it’s just as rewarding to give as it is to receive. We have many inner lights, but this week be sure to turn on your love light, and let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! 

By the way, a fun way (for ages 5 and up) to “celebrate the love” includes our Origami Valentine Workshop, on Feb. 13, at 2:30 pm, at the Library. You can register here.

Let’s talk more about safety too: 

I got a call this week about another home break in, and a car break in too.  This resident, however, wants to be part of the solution by creating a neighborhood watch group. I “love” that idea because it recognizes that these crimes of convenience are not just “the City’s issue” but require a collaborative approach.  

We like the neighborhood approach and are expanding it to businesses too – called “Business Watch.” Modeled after Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch takes the “neighbors looking out for neighbors” concept to the commercial level. Business Watch seeks to create a partnership between business, law enforcement, and other business organizations that represent business interests (like the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce). Having a good alarm system is a strong asset when it comes to security, but having the strength of good relationships with your neighbors through a Business or Neighborhood Watch program is even better. 

The Business Watch philosophy is straightforward: Take control of what happens in your business community and lessen your chances of becoming a crime victim. Business Watch actively reduces and prevents crime through cooperation and education. Programs vary according to need; however, successful groups adhere to these fundamental steps:

  • Promote communication and understanding between business and law enforcement
  • Encourage and enhance cooperation among merchants
  • Teach merchants to crime-proof their own business; watch over neighboring business; and document and report suspicious activity
  • Develop communication systems to activate when someone needs help.

The Mill Valley Police Department can help form your Business or Neighborhood Watch group. The department can advise you on how to implement security systems, spot and report suspicious activity, and what to expect during a 911 call. Contact the Department at 415.389.4100 x4118 or spatton@cityofmillvalley.org to setup a Watch Program.  See also http://www.usaonwatch.org/resource/businesswatch.aspx.

By the way, we (Mill Valley) are not alone here: my yoga teacher, Alice Rocky, shared with me that her friend’s car was stolen right from the Lucky parking lot in Larkspur while she was inside shopping! Lessons learned: lock your doors, close your garages, set your alarms and don’t make this stuff easy to do.

What else? 

Important meetings coming up include:

  • The Planning Commission on Monday, Feb. 11, at 7:00 pm
  • The Art Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 7:00 pm
  • The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:00 pm
  • The Library Board of Trustees is on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 7:00 pm (humm . . . . I hope that doesn’t mean there is no love for them that night)
  • And, if you want to talk to me in person about anything, I’ll be sitting at The Depot this Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10:30-12:30.

Other news & events:

  • Mill Valley After Hours: Music of India:  Catch a special television airing of our Music of India event on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 5:00 pm on Channel 30.  This great programming is run by our special friends at the Community Media Center of Marin.
  • More traffic: I know, it’s an issue, but we have medians to repair (and hence, lane closures) on Miller Avenue (between Camino Alto & Almonte) from Monday, Feb. 11 through Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • The City is conducting a self-evaluation of our facilities, programs, and events for accessibility. We would appreciate your input on this important topic: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMW2MQJ   

Thanks, as always, for listening. 



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.

Betsey cutler February 11, 2013 at 11:05 PM
We love you , not only on Valentines Day but every day, Sabra el al as well xxxxxJohn & Betsey
Andy Berman February 12, 2013 at 06:05 AM
You are too kind . . . it's all about appreciating what we have, fine tuning it, and staying positive. xo Andy
Chuck Levine February 12, 2013 at 04:40 PM
That's for the comment. Even after 4 years of marriage and 25 years of our relationship we are still truly in love... And we hope you as as great a Valentine's Day as we will.
Andy Berman February 14, 2013 at 03:26 PM
. . . and a happy valentine's day to all . . . .


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