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Bidding Adieu to Mill Valley – But Not Really

After 27 incredibly rewarding months in the 94941, I’m moving into a different role with Patch. I’m not going very far, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to my successor.

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 cate.lecuyer@patch.com 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 jimw@patch.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.

steve bouchard September 14, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Jim, You've done a fine job with this little news gatherer. I've enjoyed reading your articles immensely. Thanks. Steve Bouchard
Brent Ainsworth September 14, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Standing O for everything you've done with MV Patch, Jim ... Cate's gonna be great.
Katie MacBride September 14, 2012 at 03:20 PM
You had best still be a regular at the Mill Valley Public Library!!! Also, good luck and congrats and all that stuff.
Carlos Villatoro September 14, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Congrats buddy!
Rebecca Chapman September 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
congratulations, jim welte! so glad you'll still be around the library too. and, hey, if you ever have an extra slice, you know i can always be easily found...
Keri Brenner (Editor) September 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Good work Jim...you rock! Congrats on your new position. Welcome Cate!
Mari September 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Congratulations, Jim! Glad to know you'll still be in the neighborhood.
Millicent Skiles September 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Congrats, Jim!! I have always been amazed by how many places you can be at once! "Here I am taking a sunrise photo on Mount Tam," "Here I am writing a five-sourced article about girls getting ready for prom while taking notes during a Planning Commission meeting about parking meters." I have no idea how you did it, but you did. Can't wait to see your effect on Marin's other Patch websites. Welcome, Cate!!
Louisa Hufstader September 14, 2012 at 04:59 PM
This is a win-win-win for MV, all the Marin sites and the whole Patch region. Go Jim.
Justin Medley September 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Congratulations, Jim!!!
TR September 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Congrats on the promo. Hey, I'm sure Cate is wonderful but why not hire someone local (at least a few years) and/or is ideally from Mill Valley and intimately knows the people, the retailers, the community, the politics, the history, etc? Then again, it's a small town and I'm sure Cate will get up to speed swiftly and bring a unique perspective. Looking forward...
Alex Horvath September 14, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Congratulations, Jim -- I know that you have really left an impression on Mill Valley.
Mike S September 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Congratulations! I was sad when I heard you where leaving from a insider friend at Patch, but glad your not leaving entirely. Best of luck.
Tim Amyx September 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Jim - You've done a great deal for MV in 27 short months - your impact has been heartfelt and appreciated by all... thanks, and good luck...
Elaine Ginnold September 14, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Jim, Thanks for the update. Good luck on your new job and welcome to Cate. Elaine Ginnold
Daniel Weaver September 15, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Hey Jim, Good for you - well deserved no doubt. Hope to see you soon and perhaps we can get our daughters together to help ease the drumbeat of, "Make up story!" which she blurts out with the verve of a Shogun. Daniel
Paula Reynolds September 17, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Jim, a heartfelt thank you for the care you showed every single day. You listened, probed, analyzed and informed. You defined excellent and fair journalism. Patch is so lucky to have you as Regional Editor. Please stay in touch. A huge thank you and congratulations. Cheers, Paula Reynolds
Cindy McCauley September 17, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Congratulation Jim! I can't even begin to thank you for all the long hours you put in to keep us informed, often posting articles at 5am. I so appreciated your coverage of everything from Tam HS sports to planning commission meeting all of which have galvanized the whole community. Mill Valley Patch has become to "Go To" place for news in Mill Valley and Marin County for that matter. All The Best.....
Jessica Mullins (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Marin is very, very lucky that you are still going to be around, Jim. Congrats!

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