A bit more than two years ago, with a newly arrived daughter at home and a profession whose industry was on its heels, I took a job with Patch, a startup company of hyperlocal news and information websites that sought to both reinvigorate local journalism and find our business a way out of financial morass.
The gig was to launch and run Mill Valley Patch, digging deeply into the 94941 and giving it the coverage it deserves.
I had two stints at the stalwart Marin Independent Journal under my belt, but admittedly knew Mill Valley no more than a casual friend. There were the occasional stories about the local business scene in town for the IJ, jaunts to the old Sweetwater and the frequent hikes and bike rides all over Mount Tam.
I dove in head first, determined to let my work ethic and genuine interest in making a difference speak for itself. I showed up at nearly everything, from just about every Mill Valley City Council and Mill Valley School District board meeting to Tam High sporting events and the town’s astounding number of cool arts and culture events.
Between our newborn daughter and my fledgling website, I wasn’t getting a lot of shuteye.
Both brought incredible stress and wonderful rewards. That first time someone stopped me in town to tell me how much they appreciated what I was doing? It pales in comparison to the first time I got my daughter to laugh. But it gave meaning to the mission, made those insane work weeks somewhat palatable and reminded me of the legitimate impact that was possible.
Flash forward 27 months, and our daughter no longer needs me to make her laugh (though I’m pretty good at it). She's able to make herself and everyone around her laugh hysterically out of nowhere.
And Mill Valley Patch? Well, you all have given back as much as you’ve gotten, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how you’ve embraced the site.
Oh yeah: the point of all this. I’ve taken a different position with Patch, overseeing the five Patch sites here in Marin (Novato, San Rafael, San Anselmo-Fairfax and Larkspur-Corte Madera are the others). I’m thrilled at the opportunity to support those sites, each of which is run by a local editor working their tail off to both inform their communities and make the lives of its residents easier and better.
One of those editors is , a talented Patch veteran who just transferred out from Back Bay Patch in Boston to take over for me in Mill Valley. I’m thrilled to introduce you all to her, and we're both committed to making our transition gradual and seamless. Cate is reachable at 617-833-3632 or firstname.lastname@example.org and is brimming with excitement about her newfound stomping grounds.
So this is only sort of a farewell. I may no longer be the one trying to stay awake in the back of those or , but I’m not going very far. You are always welcome to bend my ear at 415.948.8919 or email@example.com with thoughts about where we’re falling short or ideas about how to get this truly engaged community even more involved.
You see, Mill Valley, I’m smitten.
I’ll still be a regular at the , one of my favorite places in the Bay Area, as well as all of the places serving up the fantastic food that has kept me going through many a marathon day. (I'm looking at you, .)
And who knows, maybe one day we’ll hit the lottery and be able to buy a house here. And then you’ll never get rid of me.