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Snapshot — Alternative Response Team, Contract Authority Updates, and More!!!

Posted on January 13, 2023

Snapshot en Español


Spotlight Photo

Rainbow over downtown San Rafael

Photo Credit: Bernadette Sullivan, City Manager’s Office

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to James Findlay for being the first to answer our latest Snapshot Quiz. San Rafael hosted its first lighted boat parade in 1966! Congrats James, and thanks for reading Snapshot. Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer!

San Rafael City News

Alternative Response Team

Over the past several years, there has been an emerging practice of replacing traditional law enforcement responders to 911 calls involving people in crisis with social workers, mental health counselors, or medical staff.  At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider a resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a professional services agreement with Petaluma People Services Center for a three-year Alternative Response Program pilot. This pilot program would create a new way to assist people in crisis.

City staff identified a civilian-based model that would be best suited for San Rafael. In July 2022, the City Council directed staff to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for implementation of an ART to meet the needs and provide support to those in our community that need additional services. The proposed pilot program is in response to that RFP. ART Teams have the capability to deal with a wide range of mental health-related crises, including conflict resolution, welfare checks, substance abuse and potential suicide threats and they rely on trauma-informed de-escalation and harm reduction techniques.

Read the staff report here.

Contract Award Authority (Purchasing)

At the upcoming Council meeting on Tuesday, January 17, the City Council will consider an ordinance to make minor amendments to the City’s public works contract policy. The City’s dollar amount limits for awarding public works contracts have fallen behind rising construction cost indexes and those set by the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission. Adopting set dollar limits is a common practice for municipalities. This policy mirrors the policies of other similarly sized charter cities in the area and would simplify administration of small construction projects; speed up the award process; reduce the time, effort, and expense associated with bidding projects under the minor project bidding limit; and expedite delivery of important construction projects related to the City’s buildings, streets, parks, drainage, and other infrastructure.

Read the staff report here.

Tenant Relocation Assistance

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider a policy on specific tenant relocation assistance benefits required under Health and Safety Code section 17975. This law requires landlords to provide monetary assistance to tenants forced to leave rental housing from a notice to vacate due to health and safety concerns, at no fault of their own. If the owner fails, neglects, or otherwise refuses to make the required payments, the law permits a City to advance relocation benefits and be reimbursed by the owner.  The policy would grant the City Manager the authority to advance reimbursable payments and seek reimbursement for all costs and penalties from the owner.

Read the staff report here.

Special Presentation for Service to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

At Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council will present a proclamation of appreciation to former Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) member Daniel Allison to recognize his years of service. Mayor Kate and the City Council extend their sincere appreciation for the important contributions and community service Daniel has given to the City of San Rafael.

Read the proclamation here.

Third Street Improvements   

During this week (January 9 – January 13):

  • Due to wet weather and storm activity that has impacted construction, certain work activities may be postponed.
  • Crews will continue removing sections of pavement and median islands to construct bike lane separator islands. This work will require a lane closure and no parking on eastbound Second Street from West to G Street.
  • Crews will continue to install new wiring within the traffic signal controllers.
  • Crews will remove and replace the sidewalk along the new retaining wall on Second Street. This work will require curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the new wall.
  • Crews will install new pedestrian pushbuttons at Third and C Street. This work will require a curb lane closure and no curb parking.
  • Crews will install new pedestrian lights along Second Street.
  • Crews will be installing splice boxes for new electrical service on Second Street. This work will require a lane closure and no curb parking.
  • Crews will replace the sanitary sewer main on Third Street between Shaver and the intersection of Second and Third Street. This work will require a lane closure on westbound Third Street.


  • The stairway from Second Street to Jessup Street (south of Ida) is closed.
  • For the Lane Shift on Second Street the posted speed limit is 25 mph, drivers should be aware of changed conditions and be alert.
  • Traffic Controls (temporary signs, message boards, traffic cones, delineators and detour signs) will be put in place to direct motorists through the work area.
  • Curb parking spaces will be marked “No Parking.”

The daytime hours of work will be from 6 am to 6 pm, with lane closures from 6 am to 3 pm on Third Street and Second Street westbound. Lane closures will also be in effect from 9 am to 6 pm on Second Street eastbound.


COVID-19 Updates

As we come out of the holiday season and return to school and work it is important to remember that the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 during gatherings remains high. Please remain diligent against the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing, masking, and testing whenever possible.

According to the Marin County Department of Public Health, as of December 30th Marin County has 236 “Active Cases” (cases confirmed in the previous 10 days) bringing the total confirmed cumulative cases to 43,915 since March 2020. These numbers continue to highlight the remaining threat of COVID-19 in our communities, and the need for all community members to remain diligent in their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Please follow the links below regarding the appropriate steps to follow if:  

COVID-19 booster shots and vaccination appointments continue to be offered at all Marin vaccine clinics. If you need transportation assistance to get vaccinated, please visit the following links about Lyft’s Vaccine Access Program and GoGoGrandparent. As always, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 like symptoms, please get tested as soon as possible, even if you are fully vaccinated.

TALES OF THE CITY—Public Works Staff prepare for Winter Storms

DPW staff storms

City of San Rafael Department of Public Works employees clearing a ditch along Deer Park Road that was blocked with debris, in preparation for the upcoming atmospheric river. Department of Public Works staff work to keep us safe during intense weather by clearing ditches, opening drains, and addressing other problem areas. Thanks for all your hard work!

At the Last Council Meeting on December 19th, 2022

Beginning with the April 18th City Council meeting, the City Council has returned to in-person meetings combined with a virtual real-time public comment on agenda items.

At the December 19th, Special City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Approved consent calendar items
  • Held swearing-in ceremonies for elected Councilmembers and School Board members

At the December 19th, Regular City Council meeting, the Council

  • Held open time for public expression
  • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports
  • Approved consent calendar
  • Held special presentation of proclamations for members of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee
  • Adopted resolution amending the City’s Master Fee Schedule
  • Adopted resolution accepting Local Agency Technical Assistance (“LATA”) Grant
  • Approved 2023 Vice Mayor selection
  • Approved 2023 City Council appointments

City Council meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month. City Council meetings that fall on a holiday are rescheduled for the following Tuesday.


Free Online Climate Action Workshops – Learn to Live Lightly on the Earth

In the online Climate Action Workshop offered by Resilient Neighborhoods, you will adopt an earth-sustaining lifestyle, create a low-impact home, and learn how to be resilient in our new ‘normal.’ Taking simple actions like trimming energy and waste, utilizing clean energy, conserving water, and making smarter transportation choices can save you money too. Help build a stronger and safer community. Free for Marin residents! The next 5-session workshops start on Jan 12 and Jan 18. >>Learn More and Sign-Up Here.

Christmas Tree Recycling 2023

Monday, January 2nd through Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

If you have a live tree and are looking to have it recycled, you can take it to Marin Resource Recovery Center, 565 Jacoby St., San Rafael

*There will be a charge for flocked trees*

Virtual Community Meeting: B Street Two-Way Conversion Improvements Project

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 6:00 PM

The City of San Rafael invites you to attend a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 6:00 PM (via Zoom) for the Phase II – B Street Two-Way Conversion Improvements project. City staff will be providing updates on the latest conceptual design and accepting public comments at the end of the presentation. Please join the meeting at and share your feedback!

SMART is accepting applications for appointment to the Citizens Oversight Committee

Application deadline has been extended to January 20, 2023

Residents of Marin and Sonoma counties are invited to apply for appointment to the SMART Citizens Oversight Committee (COC). The nine-member COC is an advisory committee established by the SMART Board of Directors and is comprised of private citizens who collectively represent the diversity of Sonoma and Marin counties. Completed applications and supporting documents may be submitted by email at or submitted either in-person or mailed to:

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District
Attn: Clerk of the Board
5401 Old Redwood Highway, Suite 200, Petaluma, CA 94954

If you have questions or require additional information, please email Leticia Rosas, Clerk of the Board, at or call (707) 794-3072.


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