In the weeks since , Mill Valley resident and Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan has been the subject of a plethora of tributes, from a and a to a . He’s also serving as the inspiration for .
Mill Valley city officials have been involved in many of those tributes, but City Hall unveiled its official tribute plans for McGlashan this week. At a ceremony on May 21, the city will dedicate a massive new hillside stairway that leads from Wainwright Place to Monte Vista Avenue, not far from the Renz Ave. home where McGlashan lived with his wife Carol Misseldine.
The stairway, which climbs nearly 100 feets with 170 steps, is one of six recently completed Steps, Lanes and Paths projects for which the city will be hosting a ribbon cutting at the Old Mill Park amphitheater. That event, will precede the McGlashan steps dedication.
“I know he would deeply appreciate it,” said Mill Valley City Councilwoman Shawn Marshall, a close friend of McGlashan’s and one of the contenders to replace him on the board. “I am positive of that.”
Mill Valley Mayor Ken Wachtel and a number of city officials will gather at Old Mill Park at 1 p.m. for the ribbon cutting. They’ll be joined by representatives from several groups that were involved in the latest Steps, Lanes and Paths projects, including the Board of Supervisors and the Marin County Department of Public Works, which manages the county’s Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot Program, from which the city received all of the funding for the SLP projects. Questa Engineering Corporation of Pt. Richmond handled the design of the projects, while Maggiora & Ghilotti of San Rafael did the construction.
The City Council identified the repair and reconstruction of the city’s maze of Steps, Lanes and Paths in 2010 as a priority. While the pathways are used recreationally and as commuting alternatives, they also serve as major evacuation thoroughfares in the event of an emergency.
The steps that connect Wainwright Place and Monte Vista Avenue were constructed with local recycled redwood milled by Parks Superintendent Rick Misuraca and his team. Misuraca has been milling recycled redwood for the past year and retrieves it from a wide variety of sources, he said.
Parks and Recreation Director Christine Sansom suggested that Misuraca could also make the sign for the steps bearing McGlashan’s name out of recycled redwood.
At the conclusion of the Old Mill Park event, attendees will walk over to the bottom of the Wainwright-to-Monte Vista steps. A shuttle will be provided as well from the amphitheater to the corner of Cascade Drive and Wainwright Place. The optional hike will start at around 1:30 p.m from the amphitheater.
The event will likely feature a musical tribute to McGlashan, as former Mill Valley Mayor Bob Burton revealed this week that he wrote some new lyrics to a love song he and his wife Elsa wrote before they were married 55 years ago. Burton said the lyrics, available in full below, reflected his sadness upon McGlashan’s death and his great respect for the fallen supervisor and his former neighbor.
“I cried a lot when I learned of his death,” Burton said. “I have tried to figure out something that I could do to honor his memory. I really respected the man and everything he stood for and I admired what he did. It’s a terrible loss to the city, the county and who knows beyond those borders eventually.”
The council agreed that the dedication and Burton’s tribute were a good fit.
“It’s completely appropriate,” City Councilman Andy Berman said. “He lived in Mill Valley - he is our son.”
The 411: The ribbon cutting for the city’s Steps, Lanes and Paths takes place at 1 p.m. at the Old Mill Park amphitheater. At 1:30, attendees will walk to Wainwright Place for the McGlashan dedication. An RSVP is required for the shuttle. Contact Linn Walsh, Assistant to the City Manager at 415-388-4033 x 103 or email firstname.lastname@example.org a week prior to the event to reserve a spot.
Here are the six Steps, Lanes and Paths projects that will be part of the ribbon cutting on May 21:
Mirabel Lane - SLP 11 - Mirabel Ave to Ethel Ave
Molino Way - SLP 23 - Molino Ave to Florence Ave
Marion Lane - SLP 33 - Marion Ave to Cascade Drive
Steps that connect Wainwright Place to Monte Vista Avenue - SLP 39
Alcatraz Lane - SLP 51 - Lower Alcatraz Place to Upper Alcatraz Place
Magee Lane - SLP 54 - Magee Avenue to Lyon Place
Bob Burton’s tribute to Charles McGlashan:
"Charles McGlashan a name that will live on
a man of passion who sadly now is gone
With his grit and vision, he took on PG&E
and suffered their derision but went on to victory
Muir Woods Shuttle, another challenge faced
attempts to scuttle his actions soon erased
Charles was never daunted he relished every fight
‘cause failure would have haunted him through every day and night
Til morning we will miss him
we’ll miss his generous heart
Now none diss him, not even those opposed to SMART
let us vow his cause to embrace
and heed his clarion call to make this world a better place for us all
Let’s heed his call"