Landmark Tam High Clock Needs Repair, Can You Lend A Hand?

The Tam High clock tower has not kept accurate time in many years, the Alumni Association's goal is to fix that in 2014.

Posted by Judith Wilson
The Tam High Alumni Association is reaching high with its new goal, aiming to have the clocks in Tamalpais High School's landmark tower in Mill Valley keeping time accurately in 2014, something it hasn't done in years.

Currently, a connecting axle drive controls the faces of all three clocks, and because the old wooden hands swell when it rains, they stick on the numbers, warping the axle. The plan is to provide a separate motor for each clock face and replace the hands and numbers with ones made from a weather-resistant material. The clocks are only accessible from the outside, so the work requires erecting scaffolding.

The Alumni Association needs to raise $30,000 to get the job done and is asking for support from the community to reach the top. Donations large and small are welcome. It all adds up.

Lend a hand and help repair Tam's clocks. Send your tax-deductible contribution to Bill Sefton, CPA, Class of 1961, Tam High Alumni Association, P.O. Box 992, San Ramon, CA 94583-5992. If you would like to give a non-cash contribution, such as a direct rollover from your IRA, please call Bill Sefton, First Vice-President, Major Giving, at 925-735-6529.
Bill Sefton December 10, 2013 at 11:22 AM
1946 was when the 3 clocks were first installed and it is a rare picture indeed that shows all 3 clocks agreeing with each other. $ 10 makes you a particpant and will give you a warm fuzzy as you drive by and look up and can say to yourself, 'I helped fix the clocks.' I expect a lot of participation in this from our neighbors across the street at The Redwoods... Bill
Entropy December 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM
How come fixing the clock was not included in the millions upon millions generated by the Tam Union High District bond issue for repairs and improvements (new swimming pool, tennis courts, buildings)to Tam High???
Cindy McCauley December 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Thank you to the Tam High Alumni Association for their continued support of this "gem" in our community. I am mailing in my check today - hope others in town will join me even if you didn't go to Tam High School this is a community asset. Plus it will be wonderful to have the clock actually working!
Bill Sefton December 10, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Does Entropy have a name? Or is it an alias? Good question. All of the decision makers: Superintendent, Principal, Facility Director have left the District and moved on....Bill
Barbra December 13, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with Entropy above. Having read that One-Hundred-Million Dollars has been pumped into Tam High in the recent past... Why are we being solicited for donations to fix the clock? Landscape the median strip along Miller? What are you teaching your kids about this?
Barbra December 13, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Here is a great idea for a fundraiser. I live not far from the back of Tam High. Ask all the kids to forfeit six months worth of ganja budget money to fix the clock. That would surely cover the bill. When my community spends a hundred million on a high school, I want every kid attending to sign an agreement that they will not smoke dope anywhere near the premises. I didn't spend a hundred million on an education system for stoners.
Bill Sefton December 13, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Fact Check: The 2 Bond Issues (1 in 2001 and another in 2006) covered 5 high schools within the District: Temescal, San Andreas, Redwood, Drake, and the first and original high school, Tamalpais (Tam). The first bond issue in 2001 was for $ 121 Million and the second bond issue in 2006 was for $ 80 Million. The 2 together = 201 Million. So, contrary to your comments and implications, it wasn't hundreds of millions of dollars spent on only Tam High. Anyone who took the opportunity to walk the campus during the rehabilitation of Wood Hall and the rebuilding of Keyser Hall, and who is aware of the cost of building anything (even the Bay Bridge) that is government related, would understand why it cost so much.
Bill Sefton December 13, 2013 at 08:05 PM
For $ 10, you will be able to drive down Miller Ave. next month, look up at the clock and say to yourself: "I was part of fixing the clocks." All the Tam Alumni Association is asking for is for 3,000 to give $10 to be a particpant. We understand that there will be spectators and whiners who expect others to do what needs to be done; after all, the clocks were first installed in 1946 as a Graduating Class Gift from the Class of 1946 to honor the Tam students who died serving in WW II. Tam's Class of 1986 installed Chimes, and the Class of 1994 paid for repairing the Clocks. So the District has never played a serious part in the installing or maintaining of the clocks. Like much of Tam's early history, Tam was built by students, administrators, faculty, and parents. Bill Sefton, CPA, Tam '61, 1st Vice President, Major Giving Tam Alumni Association P.O. Box 992, San Ramon, CA 94583-5992 Or give your participation to George Cagwin, our President.
Barbra December 13, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Nothing personal Bill, but even $201M divided by five is $40.2M each. Still seems extravagant, you know? Does the athletic field lighting really need to brightly illuminate the protected wetlands on game nights? Does the sound system really need to entertain the entire residential area? The clock would better serve the community. I like that idea.
Bill Sefton December 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Agreed Barbra. I could even add to your list; perhaps we could have a cup of coffee during the clock fix. Here's an idea: Perhaps Starbucks, etc. would host a coffee at the foot of the tower to celebrate our grand fix?..Bill
Bill Sefton December 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM
The clocks are replaced and working!


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