Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blog #2 Town Council Actions January 11, 2012 Council Meeting

Fairfax Town Council Releases Plans and Specifications for three capital projects

Plans and Specifications Released for Bid on Pastori Sidewalk, Drake Bike Lane Striping Project and Street Light Energy Efficiency Project

Pastori Sidewalk: This project includes installation of a new sidewalk on Pastori Ave. from Center Blvd. to Sir Francis Drake Blvd on the west side of Pastori Ave. on the side of the street where the new Good Earth Natural Foods store will be located very soon. It will also include natural swales for improved drainage and will preserve all of the liquid amber trees along Pastori Ave. A short retaining wall will be needed to stabilize the sidewalk area and provide the appropriate slope needed for disabled access and drainage.

Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Bike Lane Striping Project: This project consists of restriping Sir Francis Drake Blvd between Olema Road and Claus Drive, including minor shoulder paving and widening in certain areas. Street markings will be painted with Thermoplastic for better visibility and for longevity. Thermoplastic typically will last about six years while conventional paint only one or two years. Markings will include “BIKE LANE”, “PED XING” and “STOP”.

Street Light Energy Efficiency Project: The work entails removing the lamp or post and replacing downtown street lights with energy efficient LED lights. LED lights are about twice as efficient as regular sodium or incandescent lights and thus will last about twice as long and save the Town significant money on energy costs.

Abolishing Corporate Personhood

The Town Council adopted a resolution calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing corporate personhood. The resolution calls for federal legislators to join tens of thousands of citizens, grassroots organizations and local governments across the country in the “Move to Amend” campaign to call for an Amendment to the United States Constitution to Abolish Corporate Personhood and return our democracy, our elections, our communities back to America’s human persons and thus reclaim our sovereign right to self-governance.

Report from Fire Chief on adding the Town of Ross to the Ross Valley Fire Department Joint Powers Authority

The Town Council received a presentation from Ross Valley Fire Chief Roger Meagor on the possible addition of the Town of Ross as a member of the Ross Valley Fire Department (RVFD). Formal discussions have begun with the Town of Ross and with the RVFD Board of Directors. Many details are being worked on including assets, liabilities and labor issues. There are significant financial savings and improvement of service with the addition of the Town of Ross because it would add another Fire Station to the RVFD and add personnel including paramedics that would enhance service for the whole Ross Valley. Both the Town of Ross and the RVFD are working towards a possible merger by July 1, 2012. There will be much more discussion over the next few months with the Town Council.

Other actions taken at the Town Council January 11, 2012 meeting:

• Appointed Laura Kehrlein to the Planning Commission; Appointed Michael Aaronson to the Marin Commission on Aging; Appointed Bruce Ackerman to the General Plan Implementation Committee; and Appointed Mia Andler to the Open Space Committee.

• Discussed the concept of combining the Design Review Board with the Planning Commission. After a fairly lengthy discussion the Council voted to conduct the first reading of Ordinance 764. A second reading and adoption of the Ordinance is scheduled for February 1, 2012.

• Council conducted a public hearing on how to allocate the proceeds from the refinancing of the 2002 General Obligation Bonds (Measure K Bonds). After a short discussion the Council directed staff to give partial savings to taxpayers and to cash out part of the proceeds for use in future Measure K projects. The Town will receive approximately $220,000 for new capital improvement projects.

• The Council signed a petition urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to delay consideration of CPUC President Peevey’s preliminary decision to charge fees to customers who elect to opt out of the SmartMeter program.

• Adopted a resolution urging Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration to reschedule cannabis as a drug with recognized medical benefits.

• Approved a letter be sent by the Mayor to the Marin County Board of Supervisors and the Marin County Sheriff supporting the right of private ownership of farm animals.

Other notes and announcements:

• Fairfax Food Pantry – Saturdays 9-11AM at the Fairfax Community Church,1000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd-Volunteers needed!!

• Vacancy on the Fairfax Youth Commission for Ross Valley youth between 14 and 19 years of age

• Vacancy on the Volunteer Board to complete an unexpired term to 12-31-12

• Two vacancies for community members on the newly formed Cittaslow Committee

• Jolly Hill Cleanup – Invasive Plant Eradication is scheduled for Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM sponsored by the Open Space Committee in Cooperation with the “Gift of Love” Countywide Event

The next Town Council meeting will be February 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM at the Women’s Club.