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What Do You Think of the City of Mill Valley’s New Community Values?

Over the past several weeks, the city’s General Plan Advisory Committee has tweaked and expanded the values on which the last General Plan was based in 1989. Did they get it right?

With the city of Mill Valley in the early stages of an , the group of local residents charged with leading the way – the General Plan Advisory Committee – have dug into the “community values” on which the last updated was based.

The committee has come up with a working list that it intends to use to drive the process. We’ve pasted them below, with the 1989 “community values” list below that. For starters, you’ll notice that the number has expanded from seven to 11.

The next meeting of the GPAC is Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Two working groups, Community Vitality and the Natural Environment, meet July 18 and 19, respectively, at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Go here for more info on meetings andhere for more info on the General Plan update.

Here are the new values for 2012:

  1. A strong local economy that encourages entrepreneurs, and home-based businesses, and supports locally-owned and local-serving businesses. 
  2. Prudent municipal fiscal policies and practices, and operational excellence.
  3. The free flow of information, leveraging technology.
  4. Personal mobility by foot, bike, private vehicle and public transportation that is safe and convenient, reduces congestion, advances public health and promotes environmental sustainability.
  5. Our residential neighborhoods and their unique topography and natural features, architectural diversity and historic character.
  6. Housing choice for all income levels that provides for the local workforce, aging residents, young families and others to live in and contribute to our community.
  7. Open space and natural resource and habitat protection that define the physical character of our community, promote active, outdoor recreation and fulfill our responsibilities toward environmental stewardship and climate protection. 
  8. Protecting our community by planning and preparing for the impact of natural and man-made disasters, anticipating and adapting to potential threats to community facilities, systems and resources and promoting a community-wide level of readiness that will insure a timely and effective response. 
  9. The arts, our artistic community and its on-going and lasting contribution to our culture, heritage, history, character, economy and quality of life. 
  10. Community participation and volunteerism based on open communication, mutual respect, civil discourse, civic responsibility and building local and regional leadership.
  11. An excellent public education system and the contribution that an open, effective, mutually supportive relationship among the community, public schools and the city makes to our quality of life.

And here are the 1989 values:

  1. Preserving the quality and diversity of residential neighborhoods
  2. Maintaining healthy, attractive commercial areas serving local residents
  3. Maintaining the scenic quality of the bayfronts, ridgelines and hillsides
  4. Preserving and enhancing creeks, marshes and other natural areas
  5. Protecting people and buildings from natural hazards
  6. Minimizing traffic congestion and encouraging use of public transit
  7. Accommodating more low- and moderate-income households

What do you think of the changes?

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Jim Welte July 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Thanks very much for the insightful comments so far. City officials have emphasized that this is a working list and I assume they'll be adding verbs to improve consistency between the 1989 and 2012 lists.
Anne Tique July 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM
With value 11 in mind, maybe someone in the MVMS Language Arts dept. can assist with a re-write.
Barbara Bauer July 20, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Anne, excellent suggestion!
Dave LaDuke July 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Elizabeth, you state that small town character is a deceptive term. Could you please explain what is deceptive about it?
Dave LaDuke July 25, 2012 at 03:56 PM
It's why I moved here - because Mill Valley is a small town, one of the Bay Area's last. I wonder if a lot of people move to Mill Valley because it values operational excellence?

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