Red Hill Trees
The trees on the Red Hill median provide a welcoming entrance to the Town of San Anselmo. The Elm trees, however, are infected with Dutch Elm Disease and are slowly but surely dying of the disease. In late January I reported that we were going to have to remove five trees because they presented an immediate safety hazard. Those trees have now been removed, along with two others that also presented an immediate hazard.
The arborist has re-evaluated the remaining trees in light of information gleaned from the removal of seven trees, and very unfortunately has found that there are four more trees that are so badly diseased that they must be removed immediately. That work will begin next week.
The good news is that the Town has been working with a landscape architect to put together a plan for replanting the vacant spaces on the median with disease resistant Prospector Elms. The plan includes bringing water to the median to ensure that young trees planted get the proper watering during the dry season to ensure they are healthy and strong. We have that plan together, thanks to the volunteer work of Landscape Architect Dick Glanville. We also have funding for the project from a donor.
In the meantime, I’m very sorry that four more trees will have to be removed next week. If you have any questions, please contact Rick Franco at 258-4601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Police Are Here in San Anselmo!
Over the past three years the San Anselmo Police Department and the Twin Cities Police Authority collaboratively worked together toward police consolidation through the sharing of services. This sharing of services allowed each agency to increase the resources available to them while reducing redundancies.
This public process encompassed eighteen public meetings, two State of the City/Town addresses, two joint Chamber of Commerce meetings, and the San Anselmo Strategic Planning meeting. Our sharing of services model was reported by the Marin County Civil Grand Jury as a model for other communities to follow. In addition, the process has been publicized on the websites of all three towns/city, appeared numerous times in individual newsletters and has been offered to our citizens via a printed brochure.
Throughout this process, we have maintained a fully operational 24 hour/7 days a week police station in San Anselmo, and this continues now that the consolidation is complete. A full complement of police officers is assigned to San Anselmo and conducts police operations out of the San Anselmo Police facility. Five fully equipped police cars are assigned to the San Anselmo Police Station along with three police motorcycles. These vehicles don’t traverse back and forth between San Anselmo and Larkspur at the change of every shift; they are permanently stationed in San Anselmo.
The total number of police personnel employed by the two agencies prior to the sharing of services was 70. Today, three years after the sharing of services began, the total number of police employees is 58. This represents a reduction of 12 full-time paid and benefitted employees. This was accomplished by reducing the number of redundant positions between the two organizations and better utilizing personnel to address policing issues that are important to all three communities.
Other benefits of shared police services are as follows:
• Increased the patrol forces in San Anselmo, Larkspur and Corte Madera by two police officers to improve visibility and deter crime.
• Increased our Detective Unit to five full-time investigators.
• Added a Directed Patrol Unit made up of two Patrol Officers and one Corporal to address specific crime problems that might arise.
• Consolidated dispatch from two communications centers into one.
• Consolidated our reserve police officers, doubling our size and capabilities.
• Consolidated our traffic unit, which qualified us for $72,000 in State grant funds.
• Reduced overtime costs.
• Reduced the cost associated with the redundant purchase of new and replacement equipment.
The fiscal benefit to San Anselmo has been significant. The San Anselmo Police Department budget for fiscal year 2012/2013 without the sharing of services would have been $4.67 million. With consolidation it is estimated to be $3.8 million, an annual savings of approximately $900,000. This brings the cost of policing in San Anselmo back to what it was in fiscal year 2006/2007.
In addition, the cost of policing in San Anselmo prior to the sharing of services was $375 per resident per year. With the consolidation of police services, the cost per resident is now $283 per year.
The Twin Cities and San Anselmo Police Departments, when faced with the objective of maintaining services with fewer resources, teamed together and formed a partnership that transformed our departments into a much leaner single organization.
Now we are a member of the Central Marin Police Authority, a fully consolidated police organization that has the resources to address any situation, provide the policing services our communities have come to expect, and bear the responsibility of improving the quality of life for all those who live, work or visit San Anselmo, Larkspur or Corte Madera.
San Anselmo News, published weekly on Fridays, is available at the San Anselmo Town Hall, Library, on the Public Notice Bulletin Board. It is also available on the Town’s website, www.townofsananselmo.org, and by email subscription.