Issues


For the most up to date information on current issues, please visit my Hot Topics Page at my official County website, read my most recent District 5 County Newsletter or visit my County Facebook Page.

Thank you for your support and hard work as we go forward together.  Below, I have summarized key milestones achieved last year.
 
2016 Accomplishments 
 
  • Kicked of construction of an additional 3.2 miles of carpool lanes through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows, getting us one step closer to completing the carpool gap through this critical commute corridor
  • Opened Phase 2 of Stafford Lake Bike Park in Novato, providing for expanded age and skill opportunities for visitors. Phase 2 features include a flow trail, skills area, a re-designed pump track and a learn-to-ride zone.
  • The Novato Theater broke ground in May and Phase 2 of construction is almost complete! With a projected spring grand opening, programming for 2017 is underway, and we are continuing to work diligently to open this extraordinary cultural venue downtown.
  • Launched the opening of a new Marin County Free Library South Novato location - doubling the size of the former South Novato branch! The new location is conveniently located in the Hamilton neighborhood near the Hamilton K-8 public school, the North Bay Children’s Center, the Novato Charter School and the future SMART rail station.
  • We made a lot of progress this year in preparation for getting the SMART train up and running this coming spring: fare structures have been set; Clipper ticket machines have been ordered; an Eco-Pass program has been established for businesses, educational and nonprofit institutions – where passes can be purchased in bulk with discounts up to 50 percent for employees and patrons; a comprehensive Marin Quiet Zone has been applied for; and rigorous testing efforts continue.
  • Adopted a Source of Income Protection ordinance which prohibits discrimination against renters based on third party rental assistance, including: Section 8 vouchers, Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers, Shelter Plus Care vouchers and Housing for People with AIDS. This ordinance is a meaningful step to expanding our fair housing goals and alleviates some of the barriers residents face when seeking housing.
  • Working with the Pacheco Valle community, the Novato Fire Department and County Parks, we developed actions to provide additional fire mitigation measures to the Pacheco Valle neighborhood while balancing the need to protect natural resources within the Pacheco Valle Open Space Preserve. These actions include mowing a 50 foot buffer around the meadow, a larger buffer along Alameda del Prado on the opposite side of the road and a realignment of the trail through the preserve.
  • Opened a Veterans Resource Center at the South Novato Library. This “one-stop shop” includes information on state and federal benefits for veterans, housing, health care, education and employment; has a dedicated computer station, printer and phone available for free use by veterans; as well as drop-in hours for volunteer assistance.
  • Improved Marin Transit bus service by increasing service levels by 19%, adding new express routes, establishing more direct connections to major destinations, adding service frequency and improving underperforming routes and scheduling efficiency!
  • To improve creek capacity for winter storms, dredge work was completed in Novato Creek and tributaries – this included approximately 1.5 miles of creek bed from Diablo Avenue, near downtown Novato, to the railroad tracks off Rowland Way.
  • Debuted a centralized online location for accepting payments - to make it easier for local residents to conduct their business with County government, including: Child Support Services, the Sheriff’s Office, the Marin County Free Library, Finance, Probation and Parks.
  • Opened the Central Marin Ferry Connection Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge in Larkspur. The North-South Greenway network closes a critical gap and supports the County's efforts to promote multi-modal transportation options, increase mobility and promote active lifestyles.
  • Adopted a Vegetation and Biodiversity Management Plan for County Open Space. This plan provides a decision–making framework aimed at reducing wildfire risks and saving indigenous wildlife from invasive species. The plan was developed to provide a science-based approach to the District’s vegetation management efforts.
  • Completed needed safety improvements to the half-mile leg of Olive Avenue that connects downtown Novato to Highway 37, including: addition of a 4-foot-wide bike lane on both sides of the two-lane road, improved line-of-sight vision where the road curves at Club Drive, resurfacing of the road and drainage was improved at key points.
  • Approved an implementation program to support the medical cannabis dispensary ordinance we passed in 2015 – which allows up to four medical dispensaries in unincorporated Marin County. The implementation program includes an internal review of all applications (eleven are currently under review), an external advisory committee review process allowing for public comment, and ultimately a recommendation to be made by the County Administrator. A public benefits plan including factors such as local ownership, living wages, community relations and access for low income patients will be considered. The goal is to provide regulated professional operations that provide safe and accessible medicine for patients who need it.