Friday, November 16, 2007

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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.