Posted 9/7/17: Umbrella Group Monthly Meeting Notes from August 30, 2017

The Coalition meets monthly with the City of San Rafael along with two other umbrella groups (Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods and Coalition of North San Rafael) to discuss activities, concerns and/or issues that are not readily addressed directly with the appropriate City agencies or where there is concern about the City’s approach. Items are placed on the agenda by the City and/or the three umbrella groups. This provides the Coalition with an opportunity to raise issues of particular interest to residents of our area. If you have any suggestions regarding potential topics for these meetings, we urge you to let us know via the Coalition Board contact form.

Items discussed were (NOTE: The Coalition representative was unable to attend and these notes were provided by another attendee):

Community Meeting Places: Jim Schultz is following up on our complaint that meeting rooms at BioMarin (SR Center), formally available without charge and without proof of insurance in a deal worked out with the City, are now only available for non-profits with proof of insurance. Mayor Phillips believes BioMarin will comply with past practice. Jim will also confirm that B St Community Center is available free of charge to non-profits with one month’s notice.

Third Street Crosswalk: Mayor Gary Phillips informed us that a new crosswalk on Third St will be soon installed, to cross from SR High to the Montecito Plaza side.  This had been requested (it was part of the SRHS EIR) after hearing about the dangerous mix of automobiles and jaywalking high schoolers at lunchtime that could not be accommodated at the crosswalk at the corner of Union/Third St.  A current, seldom used crosswalk north of SRHS will be eliminated.

SMART Update: Mayor Phillips discussed the high ridership and comments about signal irregularities. He suggested that we should report all problems to Bill Guerin, DPW Director.

Senate Bill BIll SB-54:  SB-54 has been approved by the State Senate, and is now in Assembly.  In a nutshell, it is about local law enforcement agencies being required to enforce federal immigration policy. The City has written a letter of advisement against this bill. Police organizations have also opposed the bill.

Good Design Committee: Mayor Phillips has asked architect and former Planning Commission member Larry Paul to select a committee of 5 citizen design residents to determine, “What does good design look like in San Rafael?” The group will report to the Mayor and Andrew McCullough (Subcommittee on design), followed by public input, and eventual adoption by the Community Development Department.

Council Retreat:  Not sure of the date, but the Council has a yearly retreat, and Gary asked for our input on topics.  Here’s some of what was offered: Emergency Preparedness Dept has no leader, homelessness, traffic & congestion surrounding the SR Transit Center, what kind of growth do we want in SR?