Saturday, December 22, 2007

MMWD Workshop on Water Supply and Desalination

Message from the Marin Municipal Water District:

The Marin Municipal Water District will be holding a workshop on water supply and demand and the desalination option on January 10, 2008. The workshop will be held from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm in Olney Hall at the College of Marin Kentfield Campus.
The workshop will consist of four concurrent sessions to allow participants to get their questions answered by MMWD experts. The workshop will cover the topics of water supply and demand, quality of water produced by desalination, San Francisco Bay ecosystem and energy use/cost of desalination. MMWD customers and other interested parties are urged to come to this workshop to have a dialogue with MMWD Board members and staff on this important topic.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shop Locally – Save Gas – Help our Merchants

Hit the brakes before you take Drake to that big box!

As you look to do your holiday shopping, please first consider shopping locally. Shopping in town is a tangible way you can help our merchants and support our local economy. Did you know that one cent (1¢) of every dollar you spend purchasing taxable merchandise at Fairfax businesses makes its way back to the Town into our General Fund, the fund from which we finance most Town services? The rise in internet shopping is not good news for city governments and local economies since many internet sales transactions do not charge local sales tax, and moreover, the small, locally owned shops that make up the heart of most downtowns miss out on critical sales. Thank you for helping our local, unique Fairfax businesses survive and thrive.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dec. 19th Council meeting

The agenda packet for the Dec. 19th special meeting of the City Council is posted here

Teen Event - "Poetry Slam & Open Mic Night"

Click the flyer to read about the December 21st event for teens age 14-19, sponsored by the Fairfax Youth Commission.

Spare the Air Tonight

The Air District advises everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area to avoid burning wood tonight, and to drive less, as air quality is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Wood burning and driving are the major winter sources of particulate pollution.

This is one of our two signs to advise residents to skip the woodburning on Spare the Air nights.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ice Skating at the Pavilion

Yes, you read that right! We will have ice skating right here in Fairfax on Saturday, Jan. 5th from 2-5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 6th from Noon-5 p.m. at the Pavilion. This is the last weekend of Winter break for the Ross Valley School District, so this should be an extra special way to celebrate before the kids return to school.

BH Skating will set up an 1,800 square foot rink made of recycled synthetic material, i.e. the "ice," an eco-friendly process which requires no refrigeration or electricity. Skates will be provided. We will also have family board games and hot cocoa.

Bring the kids and try out the ice!! This is a free event sponsored by the Fairfax Parks and Recreation Commission.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Council accepting applications for Town Treasurer

Click to read the press release.

Job Announcement

Management Analyst

Part-time, limited term (one year)

The Town of Fairfax is seeking a self-directed professional to assist the Town with a variety of complex, professional administrative duties. Primary job duties will center on tracking and organizing all federal and state disaster recovery information for reimbursement by FEMA and writing and administering state and federal grants for flood recovery and other public works projects, as well as coordinating a flood gate grant program.

Education and experience expected is a bachelor’s degree in public or business administration or related field and four years of experience in program administration or any combination of education and experience that would provide the requisite skills and experience necessary to carry out the position responsibilities.

Compensation is $35-$40/hour (no benefits), approximately 20 hours per week. The limited term is one year. The position is being funded through one-time SB418 (Sen. Migden) funding.

Resumes accepted on a continuous basis with the first review of resumes by December 21, 2007. Submit resumes to candidates will be asked to submit of a Town of Fairfax Application for Employment. For further information, please contact Public Works Director Michael Rock at 453-0291. EOE.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Year's Eve Costume Arts Ball

Mark your calendar for Dec. 31st as the Fairfax Artist in Residence Shoshanna Parry, in conjunction with the Fairfax Parks and Recreation Commission, invites you to a New Year's Eve party that is not to be missed! The event will be held at the Pavilion from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and promises fun for the entire family.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Agenda packet for Dec. 5th posted

The Council's next regular meeting is Wednesday, Dec. 5th at 7:30 p.m. The agenda packet is posted here

Friday, November 30, 2007

Voluneers to host Holiday Potluck Party

The Fairfax Volunteers are hosting a wonderful Holiday Potluck Party on Sunday, December 16th from 3-7 p.m. in the Pavilion. Santa will be arriving at 3 p.m. sharp, and there will be sing-alongs, wreath-making, art projects using recycled materials, and information about sustainable gift-giving. Bring a dish to share and evergreen clippings if you'd like to make wreaths. For more information, call Community Resources Coordinator Maria Baird at 456-5652.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


It is with mixed emotions that I announce that I have accepted the position of City Manager of Sonoma. I will be leaving the Town of Fairfax in mid-January. I have appreciated and been honored by the strong support of the Fairfax Town Council and the able assistance of an excellent staff, each and every one giving 110% to continue to deliver community services on a very limited budget. I have been inspired, encouraged, and have learned a great deal from our elected officials and residents. I’ve been challenged and enlightened by different viewpoints that have enlarged my perspective and that have enriched me personally as a human being. It’s been a privilege to see visions shared, people coming together - young and old, long-time residents and newcomers - all treasuring and caring about the unique community that makes being in Fairfax a rich experience.

Over the last two years the Council and staff have endured a very trying time with the flood recovery; our administrative and planning staff worked out of a portable trailer for 18 months. I’ve appreciated the Council, volunteers, and staff pulling together and succeeding in serving our residents despite these obstacles. There were many lessons learned through the disaster that have now become a part of the community’s collective consciousness.

Thanks to Senator Migden’s efforts with the SB418 ERAF funding, I am finally able to propose to the Council next week the hiring of a part-time employee to take over the FEMA paperwork and disaster mitigation process, which the Public Works Director and I have been handling. It is essential for the Town to continue tracking that process so that every dime owed to the Town is secured.

I am very proud of what our Council has been able to accomplish over the past two years. It was my privilege to support them through a strategic planning process - we opened dialogue on a number of critical issues, and the Council is working effectively together in leading this community. I think the Town is strongly poised to study its options even further as we move into the future.

New Mayor and Vice Mayor

At a special meeting held on November 28th, Council Members selected Mary Ann Maggiore to serve as Mayor and David Weinsoff to serve as Vice Mayor, each for one-year terms. Re-elected Council Members Larry Bragman and Lew Tremaine also took the oath of office.

Congratulations to Mayor Mary Ann Maggiore, Vice Mayor David Weinsoff and re-elected Council Members Bragman and Tremaine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In Memoriam - Edward J. Kelly

It is with much sadness that the Town of Fairfax and Ross Valley Fire announce the passing of Retired Fire Captain Ed Kelly, who also served as Town Treasurer of Fairfax. Ed passed away last evening following a 4-year battle with bone cancer.

Memorial services will be handled by Marin Professional Firefighters Local 1775. Please check for updated funeral information.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Special Council Meeting, Wed., Nov. 28th

Click to view the meeting agenda.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Wintertime Spare the Air public notification program

The Town of Fairfax has begun to notify residents of unhealthy air quality nights and to advise them not to build fires in their fireplaces and to drive as little as possible on these nights especially. This effort is in support of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) “Spare the Air Tonight” program and is mandated by the passage of Fairfax Ordinance No. 720 (2007) which in part provides, “The Town shall endeavor to provide public notification requesting that residents curtail the burning of wood during poor air quality episodes as determined by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District…” “Spare the Air” banners have been produced that will be posted at the entrance to Fairfax on Sir Francis Drake and at Bolinas Park on the days designated by BAAQMD from November through February. The Town of Fairfax and BAAQMD ask residents to refrain from burning wood in their fireplaces and to drive less for 24 hours from the declaration of a “Spare the Air” night. To add your name to the BAAQMD email notification list for the Spare the Air Tonight alerts to help reduce winter air pollution, you may sign up at by clicking on the “E-Mail Sign-up” section of their home page.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Town joins Mayors for Peace

The Town recently joined an international effort called Mayors for Peace. This is from their website:

What is the Mayors for Peace?
In August 1945, atomic bombs instantaneously reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, taking hundreds of thousands of precious lives. Today, more than fifty years after the war, thousands of citizens still suffer the devastating aftereffects of radiation and unfathomable emotional pain. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.

On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.

The Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the program Mayor Araki announced in 1982. As of November 1, 2007, membership stood at 1,828 cities in 122 countries and regions. In March 1990, the Mayors Conference was officially registered as a UN NGO related to the Department of Public Information. In May 1991, it became a Category II NGO(currently called a NGO in "Special Consultative Status") registered with the Economic and Social Council.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

MMWD Volunteer campaign

The Marin Municipal Water District wishes to get the word out on their enhanced volunteer effort as part of their "Everything starts with water - everything starts with you" campaign. Volunteer opportunities and events are posted on their web page here

MMWD Board President Cynthia Koehler has stated that many residents of Fairfax have been among the most active participants in the dialogue surrounding weed control options on Mt. Tamalpais. They have urged the District to avoid the use of all herbicides, and many have encouraged the District to look to volunteers as a means of cultivating a sustainable weed control program.

MMWD is recruiting volunteers to partner with them in the hands-on work of habitat restoration. Visit the link above for more information about how to become involved.

Holiday office hours

Town Hall administrative and Public Works offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and the day after, Nov. 22 & 23. We will reopen on Monday, Nov. 26th. I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday weekend.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Snow in Fairfax?

Manor School put on an awesome Winter Faire today, and thanks to the volunteers' dedication and creativity, real snow came to Fairfax!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Column Preview

Here is what I've submitted for publication in next week's Ross Valley Reporter:

Special Council Meeting: The Town Council has called a special meeting for Wednesday, November 28th at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of certifying the November 6th election results plus selecting Council Members to serve as Mayor and Vice Mayor for 2008. Staff will also be asking Council to award a construction contract for the Center Boulevard redesign project combined with the Pastori Avenue overlay.

Flood Workshop: A Community Workshop on the Town’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29th from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Fairfax Women’s Club at 46 Park Road.

This is the second of two public workshops regarding the update to the Town’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan, funded through a FEMA grant. Consultant Paula Schulz of Natural Hazards Mitigation will present the flood damage survey results, the draft flood mitigation plan, the community’s role in implementation of the plan, and the proposal for Fairfax to join the Community Rating System (CRS) for flood insurance. The meeting is open to everyone and public participation in the process is encouraged.

Creek Reports Available: A CD with copies of the following reports is now available for purchase at Town Hall: (1) Fluvial Geomorphology Assessment of Fairfax Creeks by Matt Smeltzer, Geomorph and Greg Orum, Stetson Engineers, conducted in 2006; and (2) Fishery Resources Assessment by Dr. Alice Rich, PhD, A.A. Rich and Associates, also conducted in 2006. Both studies cover Fairfax and San Anselmo Creeks within the Town of Fairfax limits. The CD is $4.00 (the Town's cost for having the copies made), and you may purchase the CD at the Town Hall reception counter.

Joint Fairfax-San Anselmo Subcommittee: The Town Councils’ Joint Fairfax-San Anselmo Subcommitee on Service Sharing met on November 15th and directed the Town Managers and Police Chiefs of Fairfax and San Anselmo to work on a draft request for proposals to hire a consultant to study the cost savings and service implications of a consolidated police dispatch operation. The study is to cover both options of locating such an operation in Fairfax, and the cost of locating the operation in San Anselmo. The Subcommittee will reconvene on January 17th at 6:30 p.m.

Volunteers Holiday Caroling: It’s not too early to plan for the holidays! The Fairfax Volunteers will be hosting its Annual Holiday Caroling Event on Sunday, December 16th from 3-7 p.m., this time indoors at the Pavilion. The Volunteers are pairing with Sustainable Fairfax and the Marin Conservation Corp to bring this event to the community. Come and join in for singing, wreath making, card making, and gift making, as well as a potluck plus catering by Chad’s Grill.

Citizens’ Disaster Council: The next Disaster Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 7th at 11:45 in the Youth Center. The agenda will include the progress of the Get Ready disaster preparedness program and the update of the Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Amended Plastic Bag Ordinance: Due to the North Bay Coalition lawsuit that was filed against the Town as a reaction to the proposed plastic bag ban ordinance, the Town Council chose to not fight the lawsuit, which would have cost thousands in taxpayer dollars. Instead, the Council is moving forward on an ordinance making the discontinuation of plastic bag use by retailers in town voluntary. The second reading of this ordinance is scheduled for the Council’s December 5th meeting.

Funding Assists Cities: On October 11, Senator Carole Migden announced that “Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Senator’s bill, SB 418, removing about 40 percent of Marin County’s responsibility for paying the costs of licensed children's institutions (LCIs) in the county, which will result in county coffers receiving another $1.7 million in perpetuity.” What this also means is that some Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) monies that had been held in trust by the County of Marin will now be released to the cities of Marin. As a result, the Town of Fairfax will receive $187,000 in one-time, unplanned funding this fiscal year. The Town Council will consider the best use of this funding by reviewing our project needs and projections for this year as well as our disaster recovery funding needs. We thank Senator Migden for her tireless efforts to move this legislation forward, which took a period of years.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nov. 29th Flood Mitigation Planning Workshop

Click to view the flyer regarding the second public workshop on the Town's Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Creek Study CD available

A CD with copies of the following reports is now available for purchase at Town Hall:
- Fluvial Geomorphology Assessment of Fairfax Creeks by Matt Smeltzer, Geomorph and Greg Orum, Stetson Engineers, 2006
- Fishery Resources Assessment by Dr. Alice Rich, PhD, A.A. Rich and Associates, 2006
Both studies cover Fairfax and San Anselmo Creeks within the Town of Fairfax limits.
The CD is $4.00 (the Town's cost for having the copies made), and you may purchase the CD at the Town Hall reception counter.

Town Holiday Nov. 12

Town offices will be closed in observance of Veterans' Day on Monday, Nov. 12th.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Want to volunteer to help the wildlife hurt by the oil spill?

Click to read about meetings being held on Saturday, November 10th.

Council Actions from Nov. 7th Meeting

Report of actions from the November 7th regular Town Council meeting:

Council granted a request for waiver of a use permit application fee from Sustainable Fairfax for 141 Bolinas Road.

Held second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 725, A Social Host Liability Ordinance for Underage Drinking. This item was sponsored by Vice Mayor Mary Ann Maggiore. The administrative fines for violating the ordinance are $750 for the first violation, $875 for the second and $1,000 for the third. Violators may apply for community service to work off a fine.

Introduced and held first reading of Ordinance No. 726, An Ordinance Amending Chapter 8.18, Sections 8.18.010 through 8.18.100 of the Fairfax Town Code regarding the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags by shops, stores, eating places and retail food vendors located in Fairfax. This ordinance amends the existing regulatory plastic bag ordinance which was challenged through a lawsuit by a coalition including plastics manufacturers who purported that the Town needed to prepare an environmental impact report prior to enacting the ordinance. The case would have cost the Town significant attorney’s fees to resolve. The amended ordinance leaves in place the detailed findings and standards for more environmentally protective bag use, but removes the penalties and mandates of the ordinance.

Introduced and held first reading of Ordinance No. 727, an ordinance deleting in its entirety the current Title 15 of the Town Code and adopting a new Title 15 in its place, adopting and amending the California Building Code. This ordinance is a standard procedure to update our building codes by referencing the new State updated codes.

Introduced and held first reading of Ordinance No. 728, An ordinance adopting the California Fire Code, International Fire Code, and Uniform Fire Code prescribing regulations governing conditions hazardous to life and property from fire or explosion; providing for the issuance of permits for hazardous uses or operations; and establishing a Fire Prevention Bureau and providing officers therefore and defining their powers and duties. Similar to the Building Code, this ordinance adopts the newly updated State fire code.

Introduced and held first reading of Ordinance No. 729, An Ordinance creating Chapter 8.06 of the Fairfax Municipal Code, adopting the 2006 Edition of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code, regulating and governing the mitigation of hazard to life and property from the intrusion of fire from wildland exposures, from adjacent structures and prevention of structure fires from spreading to wildland fuels in the Town; and further providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees. This ordinance provides for strengthened building standards for property areas with high fire danger.

Discussed and considered an ordinance regulating Surface Mounted Utility Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way, requested by Mayor Larry Bragman. Council directed staff to use the model ordinance of the Marin Telecommunications Authority to draft an ordinance regulating the placement, noise impacts and other aspects of utility boxes used for deployment of new broadband technology.

Discussed and considered the expansion of the Ross Valley Fire Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to include the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District as a voting member, requested by Council Member Lew Tremaine. Council requested more information on data regarding operating costs, capital costs, and financial statements of the JPA, and information regarding any potential financial impacts on the Town.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bay oil spill

Click to read the press release issued by the Marin County Office of Emergency Services.

House destroyed by fire

Attached is a press release regarding a fire last night on Tamalpais in Fairfax.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Town Council Meeting Nov. 7th

The next regular Town Council meeting will be held on Wed., Nov. 7th at 7:30 p.m. in the Women's Club. The agenda packet is posted here

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Earthquake advisory issued

The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council issued an earthquake advisory early this morning. See attached press release from the County of Marin.

Now is a good time to verify your readiness for a disaster by checking your supplies and family preparations.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Activities

There will be no haunted house in the Pavilion this year, as the volunteers were not able to devote time to it this year. We appreciate all of their efforts on the terrific haunted houses held in the past.

The Chamber will have their traditional Halloween Parade starting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31st at the Fairfax Theater. Come all ghosts and goblins and join in the fun!

Traffic calming meeting tonight

A Creek Road Bridge area traffic calming subcommittee of the Council will meet tonight, Oct. 29th, in the Women's Club at 7 p.m. The subcommittee members are Council Members Susan Brandborg and Lew Tremaine.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

First official customer for electric car charger

Today, we had our first official customer use our electric car charger at Town Hall! Greg Simon of Mill Valley plugged his RAV4 electric vehicle into the charger this afternoon. As was previously reported, the Fairfax Town Council recently agreed to open our existing electric vehicle charger to the public, asking for a donation of $1 per hour of charge. The Town of Fairfax wishes to encourage the development of non-oil dependent fuel sources and is helping to support the infrastructure for the electric vehicles that are currently on the road. Greg told me that he and his wife were planning on visiting Good Earth Natural Foods on their visit to Fairfax today.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Strategic Planning meeting

The Town Council will hold its next Strategic Planning meeting tomorrow, Saturday, October 27th from 9:30 a.m. to Noon in the Women's Club. Documents for the meeting are posted here

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Flood Mitigation Planning Meeting

The second public community workshop for the Town's flood mitigation planning project has been set for Thursday, November 29th from 7-9 p.m. in the Women's Club. A detailed meeting notice will be posted on our website within the next few weeks.

The Town has hired Paula Schulz of Natural Hazards Mitigation to help formulate the Town's flood hazard mitigation plan, a planning document which assists in prioritizing our flood planning activities and funding. The Town received a FEMA planning grant for this project.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Candidates' Night announcement

I have been asked by the League of Women Voters to post the following notice:

Fairfax Candidates Night for the Town Council

Thursday, October 25, 2007

7:30 p.m.

Women’s Club, Park Road, Fairfax

Listen to and question all candidates for the Town Council.

Moderated by the League of Women Voters of Marin County

For further information, please contact Rose Taber at 453-1851.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Town Council Actions from Oct. 17th

1. 183 Frustuck Avenue; Appeal # 07-28 - Appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of a Hill Area Residential Development Permit, Excavation Permit and Encroachment Permit to construct a 3,050sf single-family residence, a 610sf garage and a 134sf utility room for a total square footage of 3,794sf single-family residence (includes a 610sf garage); Assessor’s Parcel No. 003-193-13; Residential Single-family RS 6 Zone; Shane Deal, owner; Niccolo Caldararo, appellant; CEQA categorically exempt, § 15303(a); Adoption of Resolution No. 2513, A Resolution of the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax regarding the Decision on Appeal No. 07-28 (continued from 9-19-07): The Council heard the continued appeal and denied the appeal, which allows the project to move forward to the next phase of design.

2. A Proclamation declaring Sunday, October 21st, 2007, as Take a Step For Marin Abused Women’s Services to honor MAWS on the occasion of their 30th anniversary, Brandborg: Council adopted the proclamation.

3. Adoption of Resolution No. 2516, A Resolution of the Town Council of the Town of Fairfax Adopting the Police Department Plan to Allocate Funds for The Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) Program for 2007-2008: Council adopted the resolution, allowing for continued Federal funding which supports our Police Department with $100,000 per year.

4. Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. 725, A Social Host Liability Ordinance for Underage Drinking, Maggiore: Council introduced and held first reading of the ordinance, which would penalize parents, minors and/or other individuals hosting parties where underage drinking of alcoholic beverages is taking place. Council directed staff to increase the fines as follows: 1st offense - $750; 2nd offense - $875; 3rd offense - $1,000; and to add community service as an option to pay off the fine.

5. Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance No. 723 amending Ordinance No. 721 to permit the use of tandem parking for the second unit amnesty period only, Brandborg: Council held second reading and adopted the ordinance, which is intended to encourage the legalization of second units.

6. Status Report on Wall Property, Tremaine: Council heard from the many community members present regarding the desire to keep the property as open space. Residents explained the issue of landslides on the property as well as homeless encampments on the property. There was a general consensus that the community needed to work together to find a creative way to acquire the land as dedicated open space. Council directed staff to bring back the Ridgeline Protection Ordinance for amendment and to create an overlay map showing both the ridgeline resources and Town streets. The Open Space Committee is to collaborate with the community, Council, the Town of San Anselmo and the County of Marin on acquiring the property.

7. Discussion and consideration of the adoption of Resolution No. 2517, A Resolution of Intention of the Fairfax Town Council to initiate an amendment to Chapter 17.020 of the Fairfax Town Code to include design criteria encouraging the use of sustainable construction and landscaping (Recommended by the Design Review Board): Council adopted the resolution and directed staff to fully develop the ordinance specifying the design criteria integrating sustainable practices.

8. Status report and discussion about the Ross Valley Sanitary District’s sewer replacement project that runs from the end of Meadow Way along Cascade Creek to Bolinas Road, and coordination of utility district projects, Bragman: Mayor Bragman explained that the Ross Valley Sanitary District had a large project which included the creation of a road where none previously existed and that their project was resulting in habitat damage to the creek. Staff was directed to inform the Ross Valley Sanitary District to send all notices of projects to the Town Manager and to Public Works, to inform them that the Town expected the area to be fully restored after the project and to receive assurances that the mitigation work will happen.

9. Request from Electric Auto Association to allow public access to the Town’s small paddle inductive electric car charger: Council adopted the Town Manager’s recommendation to allow public access to the charger, as a means of supporting alternative fuel vehicles in Town.

New Public Works Director appointed

We are pleased to announce that Michael Rock has been appointed as our new Public Works Director. Click to read the press release.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

GoSolar Marin

This is an update message from an effort called GoSolar Marin:

A wonderful thing happened has happened since we announced GoSolarMarin less than a month ago. The possible discounts of 20-30% for installations have struck a responsive chord with homeowners throughout Marin County and the potential numbers of interested homeowners have whetted the appetites of several providers. We believe going solar will benefit the environment, add value to our homes, and reduce our electric bills. So we'd like to ask you to help spread the word because the more homeowners who sign up, the better it will be for all of us who want to turn Marin County into a solar power role model.

If you would like more information, please contact Lisa at or 415-847-0900.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Creek Clean up

What's all that stuff? It's the trash we pulled out of the creek on Sunday at the Fairfax Volunteers' Annual Creek Clean-up. About 25 people spent 3 hours clearing debris out of our creeks and here's the fruit of our labors. A great visual reminder to care for our environment.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Council Agenda for Oct 17th meeting

Click to view the Council agenda for next Wednesday's meeting. The packet items are posted here (click link below):

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Annual Halloween Parade

See the flyer for details on this year's parade, sponsored by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce!

Creek Road Bridge Repair Update

The attached letter is being mailed to all residents in the area affected by the temporary closure of Creek Road Bridge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Events this weekend!

Take part in community-building this weekend at two events where you can meet your neighbors and help our Town.

Open Space Pancake Breakfast
The Fairfax Open Space Committee invites everyone to a pancake breakfast fundraiser for open space on Saturday, October 13th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Women's Club. Tickets at the door are $10 for adults, $4 for children under 12 and $20 for a family of four. Enjoy a delicious organic pancake breakfast, music by Miss Kitty and the Native American Drummers. For more information, contact Committee member Jack Judkins at 456-5503.

Annual Volunteer Creek Clean-up
Fairfax Volunteers will be once again be coordinating our annual creek clean-up on Sunday, Oct. 14th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will meet at the Youth Center at 16 Park Road that morning, and then be sent out to the areas of the creek that need attention. Volunteers will enjoy coffee and scones donated by Chad’s Grill the morning of the event, and pizza and sodas donated by Ghiringhelli’s following the clean up at 1:00 p.m. Questions may be directed to Maria Baird, Community Resources Coordinator, at 456-5652.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Teen Improv Workshop at Fairfax Library Oct. 27th

The Fairfax Library is hosting a Teen Improv workshop for teenagers on Saturday, October 27th from 1:30-6 p.m. The event includes dinner and a performance for family and friends. Led by Jeffrey Weissman, actor, teacher and director. Call the Fairfax Library to enroll, 457-5629.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Council Actions from Oct. 3rd Meeting

The Town Council took the following actions at its meeting last night, Oct. 3rd:

Approved of plans and specifications and authorization to advertise for bids for Pastori Avenue Measure K project. This is a grind and overlay of Pastori Avenue, which includes asphaltic concrete grinding, furnishing and installing of 2” of asphaltic concrete overlay, and pavement markings. The work will be performed in conjunction with the Center Boulevard Redesign Project in order to coordinate the work and obtain the best pricing.

Awarded bid to responsible lowest bidder, Republic ITS, for flashing pedestrian crossing project on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard at Oak Tree Lane. The project will connect the new Manor Circle pedestrian and bicycle bridge with a safe route to cross Sir Francis Drake, improving access to the bus stop at Oak Tree Lane and to and from Manor Elementary School. The majority of funding for the project is being provided by a Hazard Elimination Safety grant.

Received the monthly storm damage recovery update on Town FEMA projects, including the six creek-related projects: Peri Park Pedestrian Bridge; Creek Road Bridge; Glen Drive Culvert; Cascade Drive Culvert; Pastori Storm Drain Outfall and Peri Park Tennis Courts. On Creek Road Bridge, we have the following to announce. The project has been delayed for 18 months while the Town awaited permits from the multiple environmental agencies that safeguard the creek for steelhead, coho salmon and the red legged frog. Those permits were only recently granted six weeks ago. We have filed appeals on the scope of work and we have enlisted the support of our State and Federal elected officials in hopes of moving this project forward. Currently, the project is stalled since the scope of work approved by FEMA still does not match the estimate of what our engineers and the environmental permitting agencies have informed us is required. As such, FEMA’s estimate is a few hundred thousand dollars short of the actual funding needed to repair the bridge to its pre-disaster state. Once all of the remaining issues between the Town, OES and FEMA are resolved, the earliest the Town could work on repairs to the bridge is July 15, 2008 due to environmental permitting requirements. The state of disrepair of Creek Road Bridge is not a situation the Town of Fairfax wants to see continue, and we are working to expedite the approval process in order to move forward with the repair as quickly as possible.

Adopted Resolution No. 2515 increasing the authorization of the Town Manager to award contracts up to $435,000 for the Emergency Watershed Project at 82 and 88 Creek Road. This is a special project being funded by a Federal and State program to mitigate flood damage to creek front properties.

Discussed amending the Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program ordinance, to restrict residential car washing to further prevent polluting runoff into the storm drains, at the request of Council Member Brandborg. Following discussion and public input, Council decided to have Council Member Brandborg and Mayor Larry Bragman work on drafting an ordinance incorporating best practices guidelines for runoff water from car washing, which would encourage practices that do not harm wildlife in the creeks, and to not establish any criminal penalties associated with car washing practices.

Held introduction and First Reading of Ordinance No. 723 amending Ordinance No. 721 to permit the use of tandem parking for the second unit amnesty period only, at the request of Council Member Brandborg. The intent is to encourage the legalization of second units by allowing for more flexible parking arrangements.

Discussed and considered an ordinance restricting the use of leaf blowers, at the request of Vice Mayor Maggiore. Following discussion, Council requested that the Police Chief provide a report of noise ordinance complaints and recommendations for amending the noise ordinance to revisit and consider hours of operation for power equipment.

Received a report from Joint Fairfax-San Anselmo Shared Services Subcommittee, by Council Members Brandborg and Tremaine. Following discussion, Council directed staff to ascertain from San Anselmo if there was an interest in hiring a consultant to study cost savings with respect to shared police services.

Received an update on 300 Olema Road creek restoration and flood mitigation project. The project is on hold as we negotiate with the property owner and the neighboring property owner over parking space issues.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

California's Water Crisis

The Association of California Water Agencies has launched a public information campaign on the impending water crisis in our state. The agency states, "For the first time in the state’s history, the water supply and delivery system may not be able to meet our growing needs. At the same time, critical environmental resources are in peril. From aging infrastructure to population growth to climate change, we face a complex set of problems that threaten the future of California’s population, economy and environment." For more information, visit

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Disaster Preparedness Program - Get Ready

Please click to view the announcement about the new "Get Ready - Ross Valley" two-hour disaster preparedness program for residents of the Ross Valley.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Geomorphic Assessment of Fairfax Creeks

Please see this flyer for a presentation coming up in November on our creeks.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Annual Volunteer Creek Clean-up

Fairfax Volunteers will be once again be coordinating our annual creek clean-up on Sunday, Oct. 14th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers will meet at the Youth Center at 16 Park Road that morning, and then be sent out to the areas of the creek that need attention. Volunteers will enjoy coffee and scones donated by Chad’s Grill the morning of the event, and pizza and sodas donated by Ghiringhelli’s following the event at 1:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Open Space Committee Fundraiser

Here's a press release from the Fairfax Open Space Committee:

Contact: Jack Judkins at: 415-456-5503 or

Who: Fairfax Open Space Committee


Where: Fairfax Women's Club, 46 Park Road, Fairfax

Why: Raise funds to purchase and preserve open space in Fairfax

When: Saturday, October 13th from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Delicious organic pancake breakfast

Music: Miss Kitty (10 am-11 am)

Native American Drummers

Raffle for a bicycle

Tickets at the door:

$10 adults

$4 children under age 12

$20 family of four

The Fairfax Open Space Committee was founded three years ago to preserve open space in and around Fairfax. The committee was key in acquiring a pristine nine-acre redwood grove, home to spotted owls, in Cascade Canyon.

The Committee’s goals include saving natural lands for recreation and wildlife corridors and linking our town’s open spaces with existing Marin open spaces wherever possible. We are working in collaboration with other groups in an effort to acquire additional properties that will preserve the beautiful ridgelines and open space located in and around our town.

Families Flipping Flapjacks for Fairfax Open Space, an Organic Pancake Breakfast, is to help raise awareness and funds for these projects, which will preserve our beautiful natural environment for future generations.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Town Hall Flag Display

At the September 19th Council meeting, the Council directed staff to fly the Town Hall Flag at half-staff each Friday until directed otherwise by Council.

The vote on the motion was:
Ayes: Maggiore, Tremaine, Weinsoff
Noes: None
Absent: Brandborg
Abstain: Bragman

Council Members wished to explain their votes publicly as follows:

“The flying of our federal and California state flags at half-staff provides a daily reminder to us all of the service men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
David Weinsoff, Council Member

"I am a mother. I believe that every child is my child. The deaths of these young men and women in this dreadful war upsets me deeply. We as peace activists continue struggle to end this wretched conflict. Everything we gesture we can make to stop the agony, for us and for the Iraqi people, we must do."
Mary Ann Maggiore, Vice Mayor

“While I abhor the war, I abstained from the Council's decision to display the flag at half mast every week. The display of the flag is controlled under the United States Code which requires a proclamation from the Governor. Governor Schwarzenegger declined to issue such a proclamation in spite of this council's request.

Governor Schwarzenegger, himself, lowers the flag to half staff to commemorate the death of each day that a Californian killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. I believe the Town of Fairfax is legally entitled to do the same thing but I do not believe that it has the legal authority to go beyond that.

The United States flag stands for the rule under law and I do not wish to inadvertently offend the family or friends of the volunteers who have sacrificed their lives to uphold those values.”

Larry Bragman, Mayor

Sept. 19th Council meeting actions

The Town Council held its second meeting of the month on Wednesday, September 19th and took the following actions:

· Appeal: Council heard an appeal on 183 Frustuck Avenue and decided to continue the matter to the second Council meeting in October to allow the applicant time to prepare and explain the design elements of the planned house.

· Council authorized the Town Manager and Council Member Weinsoff to request the University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy to undertake a project relating to the Town’s current economic challenges and provide recommendations on revenue enhancement.

· Council approved a Proclamation commending the newly-formed Northern California Girl Scouts, at the request of Vice Mayor Maggiore, who serves as the Director of Girl Scouts Save the Bay.

· At the request of Vice Mayor Maggiore, Council adopted a resolution urging the Transportation Authority of Marin to persuade employers to implement telecommuting and flex time in order to lessen peak traffic.

· Council discussed a social host liability ordinance to address the problem of underage drinking parties. Council directed staff to draft a civil penalty enforcement ordinance, find out if Council members can act as administrative hearing officers, and whether the Town can use small claims court as a venue for the hearings.

· Vice Mayor Maggiore presented an update on Ross Valley Fire negotiations with neighboring agencies. The Town of Ross has decided to enter into a joint powers agreement discussion with the City of Larkspur, and Ross Valley Fire has now entered into discussions with the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District regarding full voting membership in Ross Valley Fire. Council concurred that the discussions with Sleepy Hollow should continue.

· After deliberation on the issue of the American flag display in front of Town Hall, which was an item requested by Council Member Weinsoff, Council directed staff to fly the flag in front of Town Hall at half-staff every Friday. (See next post for explanation)

· At the request of Council Member Weinsoff, Council discussed a proposal to put into place formal rules for selecting the Mayor and Vice Mayor. Council decided to take up this matter again in December.

· Council engaged in a discussion requested by Council Member Weinsoff regarding potential consolidation of public works management with San Anselmo, and decided to take no action on the issue.

· Council carried forward the following items to the next meeting: First reading of an ordinance permitting the use of tandem parking for the second dwelling unit amnesty program (Brandborg); Report from Joint Fairfax-San Anselmo shared services subcommittee (Brandborg/Tremaine); Discussion and consideration of first reading of an ordinance restricting residential car washing to prevent polluting runoff into the storm drains (Brandborg); Discussion and consideration of an ordinance restricting the use of leaf blowers (Maggiore).

· The award of bid for the lighted pedestrian crosswalk project on Sir Francis Drake at Oak Tree Lane will be made at the October 3rd meeting due to the bid date being changed to September 26th.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Meeting on Emergency Warning Siren

In order to address community disaster preparedness needs, including early warning systems for fire and flood, the Town has proposed the installation of a three-siren emergency warning system. As part of this effort, the Town is holding a neighborhood meeting to discuss the installation of an emergency warning siren for the Cascade Canyon area. We are seeking resident input to determine an optimal location. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th, 7:00 p.m., Fairfax Women’s Club, 46 Park Road.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Resolution urging creation of a bus pass system

At the Sept. 5th Council meeting, at the request of Council Member Lew Tremaine, the Town Council adopted the attached resolution, requesting the Marin County Transit District to begin a monthly bus pass fare system. Such a system could encourage the use of public transit and in turn take more vehicles off of the road, helping to provide relief to our crowded roadways. Click the image to enlarge.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Additional report available

Item #5, the Financial Report for July-August 2007, was not ready for the Sept. 19th Council agenda packet on Friday and it has now been posted here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Town Council Meeting Sept. 19th

The packet for the next Council meeting is now available at this link:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Town Council actions

Council Action: The Town Council held its regular meeting on Wednesday, September 5th and took the following actions:

  • Youth Commission: Council interviewed and appointed Jacob Mooney to serve on the Fairfax Youth Commission.
  • Appeal: Council heard an appeal on 75 Rocca Drive, and upheld the decision of the Planning Commission to require the applicant to comply with the conditions to require two off-street parking spaces before an occupancy permit is granted, and to require review of the project by the Design Review Board.
  • Bus Passes: At the request of Council Member Tremaine, Council adopted a resolution requesting that Marin County Transit District begin a monthly bus pass fare system as expeditiously as possible.
  • Creek Road Bridge: Council heard a status report on the repair of Creek Road Bridge. The repair has been delayed while the Town receives the necessary environmental permitting documentation and approval from the State. Once the State signs off on the project, the bridge will be repaired to its pre-flood condition and will be open to all vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian use. The Council heard from many people who would like the bridge to remain closed to vehicles on a permanent basis in order to lessen traffic in the area, as well as from those who would like the bridge re-opened as soon as possible. The Town, in order to qualify for the repair funding of $500,000+, must repair and re-open the bridge to its pre-flood use. The issue of traffic calming in the area of Creek Road will be taken up separately by a subcommittee of Council Members Susan Brandborg and Lew Tremaine.
  • Countywide Plan: At the request of Mayor Bragman, the Council adopted a resolution supporting the strongest proposed environmental protections for stream conservation areas and the Baylands Corridor under the Marin Countywide Plan.
  • 300 Olema Flood project: Council heard an update on the 300 Olema flood mitigation project which is currently at a standstill while the Town further negotiates with the property owner on the project’s impacts.
  • Impervious Surface Runoff: At the request of Mayor Bragman, Council directed staff to formulate amendments to the Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program ordinance and the Zoning Code to encourage the use of permeable surfaces to decrease runoff into creeks and storm water drainage channels, in order to decrease the contribution to flooding.
  • Residential car washing: At the request of Council Member Brandborg, Council directed staff to draft an ordinance which would not allow residential car washing in the street or in driveways if the runoff would flow into storm drainage channels leading to the creek.

Due to the lateness of the hour, the following three items were carried over to our second meeting of the month on September 19th:

  • Adoption of Resolution No. 2499, a resolution of the Town Council outlining the policy for the selection of the Mayor and Vice Mayor by the Town Council, Weinsoff
  • Introduction and first reading of Ordinance No. 723 amending Ordinance No. 721 to permit the use of tandem parking in the residential second unit amnesty program, Brandborg
  • Update on Ross Valley Fire Board discussions with neighboring agencies, Maggiore