In early 2012, the Council held an all-day Strategic Planning session with management staff that was open to the public. This effort resulted in the development of a listing of goals and priorities as set forth by the Council. A Town Hall meeting was held on a subsequent Saturday to obtain community input on the 33 Council goals that were outlined for the medium term. Following this effort, a survey was prepared that asked participants to identify their top ten 10 goals of the 33 presented. Over a two week period 261 people completed the survey. The results of these community efforts were combined to outline the community’s top ten goals.
SURVEY TOP TEN GOALS AS IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMUNITY
1. Explore strategies for increasing funding for road maintenance and drainage improvements to ensure that Town infrastructure is in good condition (202 votes)
2. Work with Ross Valley Watershed program on detention facilities, improvements at Memorial Park and other flood protection strategies. (140 votes)
3. Develop community facilities master plan to ensure best use of Town community facilities. (121 votes)
4. Explore sharing staff with other jurisdictions. (119 votes)
5. Consider blocking off a portion of San Anselmo Avenue during certain events to encourage shopping, biking and socializing. (105 votes)
6. Create a budget advisory committee composed of one or two Councilmembers and citizens to review the Town’s financial position and make resource allocation/budget recommendations. (103 votes)
7. Work with Transportation Authority of Marin to clarify solutions to safety and speed issues on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (102 votes)
8. Adopt a program for median upgrades and maintenance, including Drake and Red Hill medians. (96 votes)
9. Consider Isabel Cook Community Center remodel for Recreation offices and programming space downstairs (88 votes)
10. Increase code enforcement of ugly vacant buildings and illegal signs. (88 votes)
PROGRESS TOWARD GOALS
Town staff is proud to report that significant progress has been made toward these top ten goals:
1. Town Infrastructure : The Financial Advisory Committee was appointed to conduct research and gather data, and ultimately recommended that the Town pursue a sales tax measure of ½ of 1% for the purpose of upgrading the Town’s roads, drainage, medians and infrastructure. The sales tax measure was placed on the November 5, 2013 ballot and passed with a nearly 70% majority. Work is underway to plan for the increased streets and storm drain and other capital improvement projects that will be made possible by the Measure D sales tax revenue.
2. Flood Mitigation: Town staff has worked extensively with Ross Valley Watershed staff on flooding issues, as follows:
• Obtained grant funding for three bridge replacements, (Nokomis, Madrone and Bridge), with funding ranging from 87.5% to 100% of cost.
• Received an $8.7 million dollar grant for the possible Memorial Park Detention Basin. Staff held three community meetings with the community to present conceptual drawings and answer questions.
• Submitted a grant for the possible removal of Building Bridge No. 2, which provides a significant blockage to creek waters in the downtown. Unfortunately, it was not funded this year but will be considered next year.
• Worked with Morningside area residents to address flooding concerns and to have a volunteer brigade trained and ready to place inflatable dams at the Morningside Bridge.
3. Community Facilities Master Plan – Staff issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant to begin a Master Plan process. The process will begin in the spring and will include numerous community meetings with residents and stakeholders, as well as a Community Advisory Committee (CAC).
4. Sharing Staff with Other Organizations – As of January 1, 2013, San Anselmo became a full member of the Central Marin Police Authority Joint Powers Authority, saving an estimated $600,000/year. In addition, Public Works staff has been providing engineering/construction management services to Ross.
5. Events with Street Closures – Country Fair Day, Picnics on the Plaza, Dinner Under the Stars, Art & Wine Festival, and Holiday Lighting Ceremony were all downtown events that involved street closures in the last two years.
6. Budget Advisory Committee – After soliciting applicants and conducting interviews, a Financial Advisory Committee was appointed in October 2012, resulting in the successful Measure D Sales Tax Measure.
7. Traffic/Speeding Issues on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. – A Safe Routes to Schools grant was obtained that includes pedestrian improvements on the 1400 block of Sir Francis Drake. A grant was obtained for a signal synchronization study which is currently underway.
8. Median Upgrades and Maintenance – Small medians were placed on Bolinas Avenue to slow traffic with a Safe Paths to Schools grant. Median improvements may be included in future planning for the infrastructure funding from the sales tax measure.
9. Isabel Cook Community Center remodel – Plans for remodeling will be informed by the results of the Master Planning process that is just getting underway.
10. Code Enforcement of Buildings/Signs – The Planning and Building Departments’ continue enforcement of code regarding illegal signs and unsightly/unsafe buildings.
While much progress has been made, there is still work to be done to achieve full realization of the Town’s top ten goals. Staff members are continuing to work toward completing these goals. Look for an announcement for an upcoming meeting in March to discuss Strategic Planning further.