One more hurdle is over with respect to
Saturday, June 30, 2007
One more hurdle is over with respect to
Thursday, June 28, 2007
On Saturday, June 23rd, the Town Councils of Fairfax and San Anselmo held a joint meeting to discuss the issues related to police consolidation. The meeting was facilitated by former
- Long-term financial effects
- Maintain/improve quality of service
- Buy-in from stakeholders - Council, community, staff, unions
- Explore sharing Town services, starting with Police.
The Councils then listed all of the components a shared service model must have to be accepted and successful. The following ideas were solicited from individual Councilmembers:
1. Save money and not cost more money
2. Equal to or better than current – If more costly, then must be self-supporting, and identify revenue source
3. Maintain 24/7 facility in each Town
4. Maintain/preserve community policing
5. Reflect common goals and beliefs
6. Allow local control by each Town
7. Have the support of staff
8. Fairfax Measure “F” diligence
9. Analysis of the current ordinances and policies of each Town for conformity/differences
10. Analysis to include cost distribution.
Members of the public added the following must have components to the discussion: (1) incorporate green principles/sustainability; and (2) assurance current community-oriented services will continue.
The Councils then listed the following components that a shared service model must not have, which were two items:
1. Must not cost more money
2. No layoffs.
The meeting concluded with the formation of a Joint Shared Services Subcommittee, made up of the following four Council Members –
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
As a follow up to the meeting held earlier this year, the Town Councils of Fairfax and San Anselmo will hold a joint facilitated public meeting to explore the issues related to consolidation of police services. A main objective of this effort is to identify potential cost savings for both towns. The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 23rd from 9 a.m. to Noon in the Fairfax Women's Club.
The Town Council will hold a special meeting on Monday, June 25th at 7:30 p.m. in the Fairfax Women's Club. The agenda will include five items from the June 6th meeting that were not heard due to the lateness of the hour.
The next regular meeting of the Town Council will take place on Wednesday, July 11th at 7:30 p.m. in the Fairfax Women's Club.
With the growing load of plastic on our streets, in landfills, and in ocean waters, the Town Council has decided to take a leadership role in stemming the tide of pollution here at home, by banning the provision of the ubiquitous plastic shopping bag at our retail establishments.
As you may be aware, petroleum-based plastic bags do not biodegrade, but rather break down into smaller pieces through wear and tear, abrasion, and photo-degradation. Any plastic that does not get stored in landfill ends up eventually in our streams, bays, and oceans. Plastics are entering our food chain as marine animals of all sizes can mistake these plastic bits for food. Plastic ingestion leads not only to discomfort, suffocation, and starvation for the consuming creature, but also to hormonal disruption all along the food chain. Worldwide, plastic bags are proliferating at an alarming rate. Over one million bags are used per minute across the planet, at the cost of over 12 million barrels of oil per year for their manufacture. Californians throw away over one billion plastic bags each year.
The Town Council took the lead 10 years ago when it banned the use of disposable Styrofoam containers for food take-out. Now, as the world’s burden of plastic continues to grow, the Council is working toward a ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags by all stores, vendors, and eating establishments. If adopted, a Town ban on petroleum-based plastic bags would take effect in February 2008. Compostable plastic bags would be allowed for a three-year period to help make the adjustment away from what has, in a few decades, become a deeply entrenched habit of shopping. The Town wishes to encourage the use of recycled and recyclable paper bags, and ideally, the use of reusable cloth bags by patrons to all businesses in Town.
The second reading and adoption of the proposed ordinance is scheduled for the Town Council meeting of Wednesday, July 11, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fairfax Women’s Club at
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Resolution No. 2109 http://www.town-of-fairfax.org/News/ClimateResolution2109.pdf
ICLEI Newsletter - Can be found at the bottom of this page - a Word document. http://www.townoffairfax.org/News/
You can read all about the success of the project here:
Thank you, Bill, for spearheading this project and the kids I'm sure will be very happy to have new toys to play with!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Financial Sustainability in a Changing Climate: As part of an executive seminar application, I recently responded to the question, “What do you perceive to be the most important issue facing local governments, and why?” I share my response here.
The most important issue facing local governments is financial sustainability, especially in the wake of a changing global climate and the need to respond to environmental concerns. In 1978, Proposition 13 forever changed the way that cities are funded, and since then, municipalities have responded to the need to maintain services in various ways. Some have seen the “fiscalization of land use” impact the character of their communities as cities chase retail developments in order to gain sales tax revenue. Others, like the Town of
The threats to our natural environment, brought about more aggressively by the consequences of climate change, will mean that more local financial resources will need to be devoted to disaster preparation and response. As first responders, cities must be prepared to react immediately to disasters such as fire and flood. Ideally, this role requires dedicated funding in order to maximize preparation and response. Like most of the
The Town’s public facilities sustained approximately $1.5 million in damage due to the flood, and many residents and businesses were affected as well. We have worked closely with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency throughout the process, and have done our best to comply with all of their agency regulations. The outcome has been that we are in five appeals regarding our public projects, in those instances where FEMA is not approving funding for various reasons. The situation continues to be unacceptable and is devastating to the Town financially. The lessons learned are that we needed to get our State and Federal elected officials involved earlier in the process and on an ongoing basis, in order to assist us with lobbying for the monies we are owed from the disaster. Seventeen months after the disaster, we are still fighting for funding from FEMA. We understand that FEMA is understaffed, but this is a great burden on a Town that already has a very limited budget with little reserves. I can only imagine the lingering suffering of the Hurricane Katrina victims and municipalities that are having to rebuild.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
In a letter just received from FEMA, they accepted our explanation for the emergency contract for street debris and mud removal which took place in the hours after the 12/31/05 3 a.m. flood, and are approving our appeal for $220,245!
The letter says “FEMA has determined that with this additional information, the contracts met the criteria for Federal Time and Material contracts. Therefore, the appeal is approved. FEMA will prepare PW 1845 Version 1 for an additional $220,245 for eligible costs.”
Monday, June 04, 2007
"YOUR WEBSITE SUCKS AND HAS DISCOURAGED US ENTIRELY FROM ATTENDING YOUR FESTIVAL. SINCE THE WEBSITE HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED SINCE LAST YEAR, I'M NOT ANTICIPATING ANY RESPONSE, BUT THANKS FOR ASKING."
Please note that the Festival Website has been updated and was live as of May 18th:
The link from the Town's home page has been live since then too. Much thanks to Steve Wyrostock for a fabulous Festival website!!!
Friday, June 01, 2007
Thank You Economic Development Advisory Committee: In November 2006, your Town Council decided to enlist the assistance of the business community in reviewing and tackling the issues of how we can foster greater business success, increase revenue to the Town, and enhance economic development activity. To that end, the Town’s first ever Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) was formed. The members of the EDAC include: Jeff Burton, owner of Bath and Beyond; Fred Codoni, retired railroad company manager; Garry Graham, owner of 19 Broadway nightclub; Leah Smith, manager at Marin Farmers Market; Mark Squire, co-owner of Good Earth; and Augie Venezia, co-owner of Fairfax Lumber and Hardware. Over the course of six months of volunteering their time to this endeavor, these businesspeople met several times, reviewed financial data provided by the Town, and provided the Town Council with their suggestions on how the Town can generate more revenue and augment economic development efforts. Their proposal has been posted on the Town website for two months now for all to view at www.townoffairfax.org, click on Strategic Planning, then locate the item, “Final Economic Committee Recommendations.” The list of ideas is long, and I recommend that everyone read through the posted 5-page document. The next step is for the Town Council to make its recommendations regarding the EDAC proposals and to direct staff regarding implementation of the ideas. On behalf of the Mayor and Council, I would like to publicly thank the members of the Economic Development Advisory Committee for their time, thoughtful deliberation, and dedication to helping the Town of
FEMA Appeals: I’d like everyone to know that we are in the midst of five appeal processes with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on disaster-related projects from 17 months ago. We are supplying them with additional justification and data that they have asked for, and we are still waiting for responses on these issues while approximately $700,000 due to the Town of
Town Council Meeting: Our next regular Town Council meeting is on June 6th at 7:30 p.m. in the Women’s Club. Among the items on the agenda will be the introduction of an ordinance establishing a second dwelling unit amnesty program, and an ordinance banning the use of plastic take-out grocery bags by retail stores in town. We will also have a review of a Marin Grand Jury report on retiree health care costs.
Joint Meeting on Police Consolidation: As a follow-up to the joint meeting with San Anselmo with respect to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) study on police consolidation held in January, the Town Councils of Fairfax and San Anselmo are holding a joint meeting to further explore the issues with respect to potential consolidation of police services for cost savings. The public meeting will be held on Saturday, June 23rd from 9 a.m. to Noon in the Fairfax Women’s Club at