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County Supervisor Charles McGlashan Dead at 49

Mill Valley resident and a leading force in county government and beyond dies after an apparent heart attack Sunday in North Lake Tahoe.

Marin County Supervisor and Mill Valley resident , who emerged as one of the leading political forces in Marin over the past seven years, collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack Sunday in the North Lake Tahoe area after a day of skiing, county officials have confirmed. He was 49.

McGlashan collapsed outside a residence in Tahoe Vista on Lake Tahoe’s north shore a few minutes after 5 p.m., according Sgt. Paul Schmidt of the Nevada County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office. Mr. McGlashan had been skiing with friends at Northstar-at-Tahoe resort earlier Sunday and was just about to leave for home when he suffered a cardiac arrest while sitting in the back seat of a car, Schmidt said.

“They took him to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee where they pronounced him dead,” Schmidt said. “North Tahoe Fire responded to the call and did CPR. They got to the hospital at 5:30-ish but he did not have a heartbeat.”

McGlashan collapsed outside the home of Mill Valley City Councilwoman Shawn Marshall as a small group of friends loaded up cars to return to the Bay Area when he collapsed after "a great day of skiing" at Northstar-at-Tahoe, Marshall said. McGlashan's wife, Carol Misseldine, was in Mill Valley at the time and headed to the Tahoe area Monday.

Marshall said McGlashan had no complaints of ill health and although he was an advanced skier and “attacked the slopes,” there was no indication of any ill health before he slumped over in the back seat of a car in her driveway.

“We tried valiantly and did everything we could to revive him,” she said. 

Marin County Administrator Matthew Hymel confirmed McGlashan’s death in a statement prepared by McGlashan’s staff and sent to Patch Sunday night. A similar statement was posted early Monday morning on McGlashan's Facebook page, delivering the news with "devastating sadness."

“Marin County lost a visionary environmental leader suddenly and tragically on Sunday,” read the statement. “Supervisor Charles McGlashan died of an apparent heart attack (near) Lake Tahoe, a place to which he had deep family ties and loved since boyhood.

“Supervisor McGlashan leaves a legacy of environmental leadership that was passionate, inspired and pragmatic. His many accomplishments during his short political career include the formation of the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), the Marin Economic Forum and the Marin Energy Authority."

McGlashan is survived by his wife and "by family, friends and colleagues who all greatly mourn his passing," according to the statement.

As the supervisor for District 3 in Marin, McGlashan represented Strawberry, Sausalito, Mill Valley, Belvedere, Marin City, the Floating Homes, Almonte, Tam Valley and Tiburon.

“Charles was so passionate about what he believed in and was courageous enough to take those passions and turn them into reality,” said Supervisor Judy Arnold, who represents Novato. “He was a dear, dear friend. It’s such a loss to the board and to the county.”

McGlashan was born on July 15, 1961 in Hillsborough and spent his childhood in Santa Barbara and the Lake Tahoe area. He graduated with a degree in English from Yale University and received an MBA from Stanford. McGlashan moved to Marin in 1991, and later launched an environmental consulting firm that took on Marin County as a client.

He was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board of the Marin Municipal Water District in 2003, and ran a successful campaign for supervisor the next year, winning re-election in 2008.

In more than six years on the board, McGlashan established himself as a staunch advocate for progressive causes.

Perhaps McGlashan’s biggest accomplishment was spearheading the December 2008 creation of the Marin Energy Authority, a joint powers authority consisting of the county of Marin and seven Marin municipalities, including Mill Valley. In May 2010, the authority launched its , which took advantage of a state law passed in 2002 that allows cities and counties to purchase or generate their own electricity and sell it to customers.

Dawn Weisz, who served as interim director of MEA until she was hired as its permanent executive officer in February, declined to comment immediately on the news of McGlashan’s passing except to say, "Of course I’m very shocked like everyone else."

McGlashan was also a leading force behind the SMART train project, which has in its ongoing campaign to bring commuter rail service between Sonoma and Marin counties.

He championed an ordinance to at local markets and place a fee on paper bags, a move that drew widespread praise from local environmentalists and also a .

McGlashan served in dozens of other appointed roles ranging from the Marin County Housing Authority to the Transportation Authority of Marin to the Greenbelt Alliance, according to his website.

Check back later for more details about and reactions to McGlashan's passing.

Jerry Butler March 29, 2011 at 05:50 AM
Charles was a man of principle and of drive. He was passionate about Marin County and the environment. As the recent Chair of the RBRA all of us on the board were very clear about the goals he had and his determination to make them happen. He brightened every room when he entered and his dynamic personality was always present. All of us in Belvedere and the greater Bay Community will miss him greatly. Jerry Butler Vice Mayor City of Belvedere
Erika March 29, 2011 at 08:45 AM
Charles McGlashan voted a resounding Yes , with the other members of the GG board for a suicide barrier on the GG Bridge. He was one of the first to adopt this decision. It was a decision that had waited over 70 years to come to pass. Last year at the "Fire and Ice Ball"/ Sausalito fire dept. fund raiser, he delivered on a promise of a disaster preparedness emergency vehicle for the community. He had to remain on the stage and hold the mic for everyone ,because the static would only stop if he held it . He had the magic touch. He was the type of independent thinker and leader that we sorely needed in Southern Marin. We won't forget him or his good works. Sending our heartfelt condolences to his wife and extended family. Erika and John Brooks Fairfax,CA
Christine Rosen March 29, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this! What a loss!! Charles was such a great, dynamic, articulate, and creative advocate for corporate as well as community environmental sustainability. He spoke to my MBA class at the Haas School of Business many times - and even taught it one year when I was on sabbatical. Students loved him. My heart goes out to Carol and his family. We'll all miss him. I'm sorry we won't have the benefit of his leadership in the future. Chris Rosen Berkeley, CA
Rev. Daniel Christian May 30, 2011 at 06:18 AM
I do not understand all the attention given to this man. The parade draws upon the popular Christian message, "what would Jesus do", while at the same time comparing him to the "Buddah". The choice to make the Memorial Day Parade theme, "what would Charles do" is most disturbing. Jesus died on the cross. Memorial Day is about honoring the sacrifice of men and women who have served our country. Charles died of a heart attack after a day of skiing and "attacking the slopes". This is most troubling disrespectful.
Rev. Daniel Christian May 30, 2011 at 06:22 AM
I had real questions about his "good" causes. I saw someone very different. His people keep comparing him to Buddah and the Memorial Day parade them compares him to Jesus. Was he really Jesus and Buddah all in one? This is most troubling.

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