I am not even sure where to begin – there was just so much fun this past week:
Super Bowl bound: What a great day of football today huh? The 49ers heading to New Orleans.
FURTHUR: What a "grate" run – 4 nights here in town at the Sweetwater. This was truly special – and our thanks to the Sweetwater for all its extra staffing, Jim McCann and City staff for accommodating Shakedown Street on City Hall's front lawn, and Chief Angel Bernal, and his fine team (including, but not limited to: Lt. Jackie Graf, and Officers Smith & Brook), for their patience and deft handling of the crowds. The news reports were positive, the town was in color, and Mill Valley’s history of tolerance was in full swing.
Health & Safety:
- Health Now Forum on Violence Prevention. Our Police Dept. participated in this important event. The forum gave us an opportunity to share information about our close relationship with the school community. The Chief decribed activities like lock down and intruder drills, site safety assessments, reviewing emergency plans, and joint recommendations for additional collaboration around emergency situations.
- Child Safety Seats: I’m told there have been a number of questions from parents regarding current car seat laws and procedures. Some “best practices” for drivers with children in their vehicles can be found at: http://www.chp.ca.gov/community/safeseat.html
- Mayor Bloomberg’s Letter: A few of you have asked me whether I have signed Mayor Bloomberg’s letter seeking national gun reform legislation. To date I have not. Why? Well, the truth is that even as Mayor of Mill Valley I do not have the authority to unilaterally take policy positions on national issues on behalf of the City. Our City & Council policies limit our review of important issues to the way the particular issue directly relates to the City’s ability to govern and/or provide services to the public. This way we stay out of the national fray and focus on what we can do on an issue at the local level - where we can have impact - not in Washington. Even at the local level the subject requires multi jurisdictional coordination among the County, and the many school boards. Our City staff is working with the Police Department to make additional recommendations we can implement locally, and I will share those as they come to Council for discussion. One such effort is the gun buy back program, which had a very successful first date last week. A second surrender date is scheduled for January 21, 2013, at the Mill Valley Police Department, 1 Hamilton Drive, from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Planning: Last week the General Plan Advisory Committee (“GPAC”) collaborated in getting agreement on the draft Housing Element. That is very exciting and something to be proud of. We have a document that expresses realistic policy consistent with our local terms while respecting legal requirements. This comes after inviting and considering the varied opinions proposed by our community. I’m certainly not resting on any laurels here; indeed we have much more to do -- and the next steps are far from certain -- but we really have achieved a milestone, and for that I am very grateful. Staff, the 4 working groups, and the GPAC have done an exceptional job getting us to this point. Thank you all.
- Safeway site: I do, however, want to clarify some misperceptions about the GPAC’s decision on this site. Yes, it’s true that the GPAC removed the site from the overlay district. Doing that does not, however, preclude housing from being built at the site. In fact, today's General Plan and existing zoning allow residential and mixed use projects at this site, and no change in this potential was made by the GPAC's decision. The overlay would simply have brought special emphasis to this site, which on balance the GPAC felt was not necessary at this time. Removing it also does not preclude an overlay (or other policies) from being considered in the (next) 2014-2022 Housing Element.
Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS): On January 26 Marin County is launching a new and improved version of the TENS. Go to http://alertmarin.org/ to sign up.
- MLK Day: Remember that Monday is Martin Luther King Day. City Hall, the Community Center, Library and Public Safety administration offices are closed. The Aquatics/Fitness Center will open at 6:30am and close at 5pm.
- City Council: We are meeting Tuesday, January 22nd at 730 PM, at City Hall.
- GPAC: We are meeting again on Thursday, January 24 at 6:30 PM at City Hall.
- Lane closures on westbound Miller Avenue will occur on Wednesday, January 23 to Thursday, January 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Please plan ahead and allow yourself extra time in case of delays, and watch for signage and cones marking lane changes.
Join our team! - The City is Hiring: http://www.cityofmillvalley.org/Index.aspx?page=1308
* * * * *
I really enjoyed the week. I hope you did too. Keep the wheel turning for the one to come . . .