The Coastal Post - December, 1995

News And Notes Of Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Hello, Dear Hearts

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The very best for 1996. There will be a lot of action in 1996, be it courts or carpenters. The Buck Center, Hamilton and the Black Point project will all be on line unless the Court will prevail.

Elections are over until March

Board of Supervisors will be the next election. Majority of the Board will be up for the ballot. Districts 2-3-4. The mail already is being sent requesting money for the campaign. Hear via the grapevine the 1st District Supervisor would like to be out of his misery. Guess he never realized how much work is required to be on the Board.

New Mayor for Novato

Ernie Gray is the new mayor for 1995-96 with Pat Eklund as Vice Mayor. Neither the Novato Advance or the county paper took note of the reorganization of the Council. The Buck Center took precedent. Guess we are becoming a company town. The council meeting went on and on. Seems the Development Agreement and the Resolution to annex were the feature of the evening. Bernie Meyers was mayor 'til 9:30 p.m., going through the above-mentioned documents. The City Manager faxed them over to Bernie's office in San Francisco at 4:00 p.m. Bernie read them on the bus when he came home. The public never did read the documents. They were not available. Yet, the Council voted both in via the Consent Calendar on the agenda. The public tried to continue the items, but no way would the old Council relinquish their power. So vote they did, with out-going Councilman Dennis Fishwick fussing over not having a chance to read through the material as he received it at 4:00 p.m. with the rest of the Council. Dennis abstained, Bessie Meyers left via the back door rather than partake in the celebration of cutting the cake with the new mayor. The new Councilmembers were sworn in individually by City Clerk Shirley Greinmach, Cynthia Murray's daughter Katia stood by her mother's side, but not her son, Max. He went and sat down with the crowd. Carol Dillon Knutson requested her husband to join her while she took her oath. Only in Novato.

Buck Center mess

Thanks to J. Dietrick Stroeh and Nancy Sangster, we now had one vote on the ballot—one county, one city. County voted "no", city voted "yes" to build the Buck Center in Novato. Who got what out of the deal? Well, like the County Jail, vote "no" (three times) and the Board of Supervisors will ignore the vote and build it anyway. The Board of Supervisors would not recognize the County "no" vote on the Buck Center as an override of the "yes" vote in Novato. So now the project offers Novato a million dollars "in lieu" fees which City Manager Rod Wood embraces and hurries the Council to go full steam ahead before the new Council is seated. J. Dietrick Stroeh is happily seated in the back row at the Council meeting. For engineering costs of the Buck Center, he has already run to the bank with $300,000 of Buck funds! Paid to serve as the co-chairman of the "Right Here, Right Now" vote in Novato, even though he resides in the County! Only in Novato!

South Novato residents want to save firehouse

The firehouse on South Novato Blvd. has been declared surplus by the Novato Fire District. The Crossroad residents are organized to negotiate to save the building for a community facility to serve the entire town. Youth drop-in center would be a reality. The Holiday Share for the Human Needs Center would have a place to continue their great work. An emergency building for the community to go to should it suffer flood, fire or whatever. A place where the fire district could teach the school children rather than the firehouses, where liability is a concern. Meeting rooms for the non-profit agencies. Yes, the list is long. But the fire district wants to sell the building as a commercial building, which prices it out of the market for the taxpayers. Yet we bought the site the first time around. Give you the next chapter!

Alternatives

Babcock Foundation could be a model for the Buck Center. Babcock helps the individual. Mrs. Buck wanted to use the Babcock as her model, since the William Babcock family were her friends. "Help the individuals who need assistance." How many senior citizens are being thrown out by residential care centers like the Redwoods once they outlive their estates? No more money—out you go in Marin! Heard of a case where a woman is selling her clothes to keep her husband in a nursing home since everything else is gone. Buck does not help an individual. How do I know? The late Hallie Boyd outlived her family and her estate was gone. She was sent to Southern California from the Redwoods. She died at 84 with few friends around her. A few hundred dollars given by the Buck foundation could have made her life. Only in Marin!