The Coastal Post - November, 1995

BETTY MACHADO

News And Notes Of Novato

Hello, dear hearts

November is a very busy month. Of course, top priority is the election of November 7. Marin United Taxpayers held the candidates meeting on Saturday, October 21 in San Anselmo at the First Baptist Church across from Red Hill. With the candidates there were 20 people in attendance. It was the Annual Meeting of MUTA. Even Fielding Greaves didn't show up. He was out of town. John Conkle was not in attendance. Mike Ford is in Texas. Gene Prat must be busy with Republican politics; he wasn't there. But, bless Claude Witzel and his wonderful wife, Claire, they were in attendance.

Election of officers was accomplished during the meeting. Nancy McCarthy is now the President. The shame of the whole affair was, Nancy McCarthy could have offered a live TV "Candidates Meeting" on Channel 23 in Novato. She decided the letters had gone out to the membership and could not be changed. Due to over-booking, the people attending had to climb up a long flight of stairs—32 steps, according to Sarah Nome. But, we did have a good time telling everyone why they should vote for the candidates running for the College of Marin Board. Had MUTA chosen to go live on Channel 23, the tape could have gone to Channel 31, plus being run in Novato before the election.

There could be a new majority on the College Board if you select the following numbers: 9-12, 12-14. Be sure you vote. Call two other people to vote.

New Run Off Tax

Look at your tax bill. If you live in the cities, not the county, you will find a new tax item called Run Off Tax. The average is only $15, but somehow the fee has been escalated up to $6,000 for one taxpayer with acreage. Can you believe that? There is a Novato number to call if you need an explanation. Don't call that number. John and others answering the telephone will redirect you to the right number: 899-1200. Seems in 1987 an amendment to the Clean Water Act implemented by EPA required the adoption of strict stormwater management programs. This was done on both city and county levels, according to the story by Chad Sellmer of the Novato Advance. The program has been in place for a few years, but the money has come out of the General Fund—$80,000. But now the city is hurting and decided to pass an ordinance to create the new "Clean Stormwater Fund."

On the October 20 City Council agenda, the City Manager requested a transfer of $50,000 from the Fund into the General Fund. His intent: To do street work listed on Measure F, the bond issue passed by voters to do street work,Virginia Avenue being one of the streets on the list. He listed additional time for the street sweeper, from nine to 12-month usage. In two years, no one will remember why they needed to transfer $50,000 into the General Fund. More money for salaries. That is the first place the unions look for money. How much is in the General, Fund, unspent? This columnist hopes MUTA will present a forum on Channel 23 to discuss the new tax and find out where the money will be spent.

Seems if you look on some storm drains and culverts, you will find blue trout painted. That is part of the education usage of the money. In checking out the background of this program, I did locate the following information: $575,000 is collected for this activity through the run-off storm water tax.

The City Manager Association of Marin put out a job description to hire a person to draw up a plan to spend the funds. A young public works employee of San Rafael has the job. Now he is drawing up the plan. To date, he is designing doorknob hangers to educate the public.

Very interesting how we manage to go around Prop. 13. Novato is having a hearing on the projects this coming Tuesday night, which is too late for this issue. Watch for the next chapter.

Good-bye to Lt. Rick Rudy of the Novato Police Department

When you reside in the community for a long time, you become attached to some people. Lt. Rudy is one of those people. You felt safe when he was on duty. He was a police officer who could be very business-like but could also make you feel like he would go to bat for you in a situation. He always had time to ask how are you and made you feel important to him. Novato will have a hard time replacing Lt. Rick Rudy. May you enjoy every moment of your retirement.

Welcome to the Bell Markets in Novato

Roger Wilco stores in Novato and Ignacio have been sold by Bill Jonas. These were home-town stores. Many of us remember Bill's first store on Front Street. It burned down and he built a new shopping center in West Novato, The Square. Later he purchased the store in Nave's; he had already built the store in Ignacio.

Bell Markets have retained Lorraine Westwood for the Ignacio Center as Manager, Jeff Lipe for the Nave Center and Jack Lorenzen for the store in the The Square. Every Tuesday, if you are over 62, you will save 5% off your total bill. Double coupons everyday, and wonderful new products to purchase. So good luck Bell Markets in Novato.

Community survey being considered

The Assistant City manger, Richard Hill, is making a proposal to the City Council to adopt a Resolution whereas we will be spending $18,000 to develop a statistically valid telephone survey of the Novato Community. This will provide an excellent and reliable foundation upon which certain public policies can be crafted as stated in the discussion of the proposal. Richard Hill further states: "Some of the issues suggested to be the subject of the survey include: Community facilities ($400,000 from shopping center) priority of City services and determining other City issues of importance." The survey in my opinion, will always be faceless people running the community. No matter how many times you appear before the Council on the above issues, you will be fighting the "statistically valid telephone survey results." Lousy way to run a City! Just send money and stay home.

Dear hearts, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.