The Coastal Post - October, 1997

News And Notes From Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Hello, Dear Hearts

Indian Summer has come to Novato

The Sea Point Parlor of the Native Sons came up from Sausalito for their annual picnic at Stafford Lake on Saturday, September 20, and the weather was beautiful for the event. Ed Madsen does a great job being the coordinator of the picnic. Of course, wife Wanda is the one who does all the notices. Great team!

Speaking of Stafford Lake...

This is the water supply for North Marin. Did anyone read about the Novato Fire District and the U.S. Coast Guard holding a boat rescue by helicopter training exercise at the lake? Who needs that in our water supply? The U.S. Coast Guard is stationed at Hamilton Field-why didn't the firemen and Coast Guard go to San Pablo Bay or use the Petaluma River? Maybe the North Marin Water District Directors will have something to say about the activity.

Partridge Knolls problem

The subject of the Public Advocate program of September 18 was Partridge Knolls. People were not receiving answers or services from the City of Novato regarding the landslides that have destroyed driveways, sidewalks and streets plus 21 homes.

I faxed a letter to Special Mediator John Griffith in Palo Alto, and he agreed to be on my TV program. The citizens came down, telephone calls came in and Marin County Tax Assessor John Thayer appeared with John Griffith.

Information was revealed that I am sure no one previously knew. I am tracking down the application to FEMA which I am sure must have been submitted by the City of Novato.

You cannot reach the Novato City Hall staff on every other Friday, and that makes it very hard to do business. The whole City Hall is shut down for three days twice a month.

There was a lot of interest by the Partridge Knolls people in being able to talk together. This is what the Public Advocate program is all about. Watch for further developments on this subject.

Novato Community Hospital

The Novato City Council will be signing the final Memorandum of Understanding with Sutter at the end of September. A notice came out concerning the issue, stating the public could receive a copy of the final MOU. But read this sentence and try to make sense out of it: "The agreement does not represent the preferred position of the parties but the best agreement able to be negotiated between the representatives of the parties."

In the Minutes of the City of Novato dated September 18, Councilmember Gray stated that the Ad Hoc Committee will bring forward the best negotiated document for the whole Council to review and vote on. He responded to Mayor Pro Tem Dillion-Knutson that he and Mayor Eklund, as members of the Ad Hoc Committee, will indicate where the issues are firm and where they need to be "tweaked." The Ad Hoc Committee will talk about the timing of the MOU. End of statement in the Minutes.

I am not in favor of signing an MOU with Sutter. The mess at Marin General is enough to convince me to not get involved with Sutter. It has taken 10 years to get to this point in signing. There is a lease that Sutter is honoring, so far. But we do not have a back-up plan should the MOU not be to our liking. I understand you should not sign a lease with the operating company. You can have a management agreement with an HMO and if not happy, farewell.

Councilman Gray is scared of the City getting into the hospital business. I have news for you, Councilman-we have been in the hospital business for 10 years, with sad results. We had a signed agreement to build a birthing center and Sutter has reneged on that agreement. Will give you the next chapter...

Electronic News Board at Vintage Oaks

Does anyone remember when the City was into negotiations with Hahn over the 4 million dollars for community building when we settled on the expensive electric news board to be located in Target to give the community immediate updates on what was going on in Novato?

Christine Knight and I had a conversation on the subject, since she was mayor at the time. Target took out that expensive news board and added their camera department in the space. This was the first time local citizens ever heard the word-that the electronic news board is missing. Christine Knight said it is very expensive, so let's look for it!

What brought up the subject was the candidates for the November 4 election. There is no master list to tell where the candidates will be speaking on Candidates' Night. The Sierra Club has requested to use the October 16 meeting of the Public Advocates TV show for the City Council Candidates' Night, and now we find out the Marin Country Club, of which Christine is President, is having a 7:30 Candidates' Night on October 16. It will have to be solved as to how the October 16 program will be handled; the candidates can't attend two meetings in one night.

Novato Fire District going into real estate business

The September 17 agenda carried the following item: Conference with real estate negotiator, Section 54956.8 re. 7049 Redwood Blvd. Under negotiations, instruction to negotiator concerning price and terms of acquisition of real property.

I attended the meeting, listened to the architect and his staff give their renditions on how they would remodel the building to provide space for a training center, administrative offices plus storage, and still have tenants!

To date, I have not heard the outcome of the closed session, I did not speak to the issue, but I regret I did not go on record with the following thoughts: As a service agency, how can the fire district enter into real estate property business with tenants? As far as the training station goes, we did build Atherton Station for that use.

Alternative? Go to Hamilton, purchase loan and put up the best fire training station in the nine Bay Area counties, and rent the facility to other fire districts, if they want to go into rental of property. Hamilton is a natural for this type of use. What a shame the runway wasn't kept for fire-fighting planes. Bill Kelly will be a tenant!

In my opinion

The Marin County Civic Center employees have taken the attitude that they are doing you a favor to render you service. Take the County Counsel's office: I had to call for Dorothy Jones to interpret a code in the law regarding Section 9725 of the W&I; Code. She decided to give me friendly advice instead, wants me to drop everything, yet under the Code as the conservator of the person, meaning Jack, I am entitled to view files relating to our case. No disclosure.

Give me the days of Lee Jordan and one secretary in the County Counsel's office. The County ombundman's office demands an appointment like you make with your dentist, and the secretary is trying to convince me she carries all files in her briefcase when Sheila McGorty goes out in the field. In my opinion the employees forget who the employer is-the taxpayer who pays dues known as property taxes!

Let's end on a positive note

Roy Barron has published the best book, God's Looking Glass. Send request and check for $9.95 to Roy Barron, 737 Wilson Ave., Novato 94947.

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