The Coastal Post - January, 1997

News And Notes From Novato

Hello, Dear Hearts

As we enter into 1997, don't you wonder what the New Year has in store? We managed to get over the holidays, and now we have to start over with worrying about budgets, projects and everything we thought we had taken care of last year.

Santa Claus replaces the City Manager

During the holidays, Rod Wood had gone to speak to the Navy about the housing problem. Someone placed a life-sized model of Santa Claus in his chair in front of his desk, facing the big window on Sherman Avenue, with the feet propped up on the desk. This is Rod's favorite position with the telephone up to his ear. I know because I had to wait an hour one morning while he was in that position. Never again!

Marin College Board minutes: November 12

Trustee Barbara Dolan was in discussion concerning the removal of items from the Consent Calendar. She contended she thought she had two items removed for discussion. President Phyliss Metcalfe said those items had already been voted on and approved, and went on to state: "She was enforcing a memo authored by former President Dale Fleming that instructed trustees to call in advance if they had questions about items on the Consent Calendar." So, the Board of Trustees did not wish to hear her concerns about items #10 e and #10 f. Now, the public will never know what those concerns were, nor did the Board care. This type of representation will lead to a Team Building Workshop. So all the Board will work in harmony at the expense of the taxpayers.

Taxpayers pay for Omission and Error insurance

This item appeared at the LAFCO meeting of December 19. Seems the elected officials serving on this Board require the above insurance, even though the City Council or other agencies they are elected to will not allow the policy under which they are covered to extend to LAFCO. So, the public will pay for five million coverage under LAFCO. Just think! Gary Giacomini belongs to 21 boards, so how does he cover the Omission and Error insurance?

Goodman acquisition

This continues to move ahead despite the procedure being faulty. Staff presented new renovation costs when the item came up on the agenda at 11:30 p.m. Not one Council person thought it was wrong procedure, even though the item was listed as a negative declaration for the environmental clearance. This is a real rush item to spend money during the holiday season. Public is not really involved. Special interest group.

Hospital District formation

Tom Hendricks of the County Counsel Office sent a letter on how to establish a new district. I took the letter to the City Council requesting a directive be given to the staff to have a letter sent to Sacramento for the information on the subject. I also requested the Novato Fire District be brought into the loop concerning the present situation with Sutter/Novato Community Hospital speaking to the lack of the Birthing Center being located in the new hospital. All will be done at Marin General Hospital.

Yet, when the discussion came up about reaching Marin General Hospital, the Sutter personnel were very strong on the point: Call 911 and the paramedics will take the patient to Marin General. Well, what happens when, as Councilwoman Carol Dillion stated, the paramedics are stuck in traffic and can't reach Marin General?

So, I am requesting the City Council have the Novato Fire District create a policy as to how they will handle such a situation. To date, no letters have been written but councilman Ernie Gray assures me it will take place. Time will tell.

Television program of public advocate

On the third Thursday of every month, as public advocate, I have established a time of 8 to 9:30 p.m. to discuss what is going on with the local scene. Gail Meyers and I held a session on December 19 and we did hear from citizens. One man wanted to know how the curfew was going. It started on Tuesday and to date, no information. Will have to have a report for the January 16 program. A lady living in the Cambridge area of Rancho School, Gabe Silva baseball field showed concern over the amount of wires overhead on the existing poles. Referred her to Tom Nolan of the City Public Works Department, since there is a utility committee within his department. Guess Internet will be adding to the overhead wire situation. Rancho School must be hooked into the system.

Grand Jury report on Marin General Hospital

I requested and received this report from the Health and Human Services Committee by calling the grand jury listing under Courts in the county section of the telephone book. You can do the same and receive the report. The issue: Has patient care been affected by redesign? I will share this report with the City Council regarding our merging with Marin General Hospital.

Correction of item in December column

Remember my reporting on the Team Building Workshop held in November with a consultant, City Manager and the City Council, regarding the illustration by the consultant that the Council were zoo keepers and when problems/issues are given to them, they become monkeys and if not taken care of, they become gorillas? Well, in translation between the computer and the column, the monkeys became people instead of issues. Councilman Ernie Gray became upset over the reference and even though we had discussed it on the telephone, he made me explain before the television audience at the last City Council meeting what the correction in this column would contain in the January issue. Mission accomplished.