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The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month


Snapshot — Public Service Award Nominations, Housing Element, Community Projects and More!!!

Posted on December 16, 2022

Snapshot en Español


Spotlight Photo

San Rafael

Aerial shot of San Rafael

Photo Credit: Scott Hess

Last Quiz Question

Congrats to Suzanne Bean for being the first to answer our latest Snapshot Quiz. The picture is of Max and Phyllis Thelen at Art Works Downtown located at 1325–1337 Fourth Street. The 2nd Friday Art Walk is a highly recommended way to enjoy San Rafael’s galleries, open studios, art exhibits, and more! It takes place every second Friday from 5–8pm. Congrats Suzanne, and thanks for reading Snapshot. Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer!

San Rafael City News

Swearing in New Elected Officials

On Monday evening, the City Council has a Special Meeting at 6:30 p.m. where the City Clerk and Mayor will swear in two City Councilmembers, Eli Hill (District 2/West) and Maribeth Bushey (District 3/East). San Rafael City School Board Trustees Lucia Martel-Dow (Area 2) and Carolina Martin (Area 4) will also be sworn into office. Congratulations to everyone for their successful campaigns and your service to the San Rafael community. This election was San Rafael’s second “district” election. This means that Councilmembers and School Board Trustees were elected to represent a specific geographic portion of the city rather than at-large.

Read the staff report here.

Learn More About San Rafael’s Districts and Areas

Local Agency Technical Assistance (LATA) grant

At Monday night’s regularly scheduled Council meeting, the Council will hear a presentation and vote on a resolution accepting an appropriation from the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“CPUC”) Local Agency Technical Assistance (LATA) grant in the amount of $258,620. If approved, the funds will go to the San Rafael Canal Qualified Opportunity Zone Project and will support high-speed broadband infrastructure project feasibility studies, market analysis, and network designs among other things. By performing these activities, the City will better understand where and how to address the needs created by gaps in service, lack of reliability, and speeds below minimum requirements.

Read the staff report here.

Master Fee Schedule

At the December 19th, 7:00pm regular Council meeting, the San Rafael City Council will consider actions to amend the City’s Master Fee Schedule, affordable housing in-lieu fees, and parking citation fines. City staff will present on how the proposed fees were determined and provide recommendations on new fee rates and structures to best support the community and the activities of the Planning, Building, Fire, and Public Works departments.

For more information on the proposed changes, read the staff report here.

Special Presentation for Service to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee

At Monday’s meeting, the City Council will present two proclamations of appreciation to former Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) members, Kevin Hagerty and Kate Powers, to recognize their years of service. The Mayor and City Council extend their sincere appreciation for the important contributions and community service these two individuals have given to the City of San Rafael.

Read the proclamation here.

2023 Vice Mayor & Committee Selections

On Monday evening, the City Council will appoint a new Vice Mayor for 2023. This responsibility rotates each year among the four Councilmembers. In addition, the City Council will make 2023 appointments for serving on various boards and committees.

Nominations for 2023 Public Service Award

In 2001, J. Michael Maloney, a Marin resident, established an endowment with the Marin Community Foundation in honor of former San Rafael Planning Commissioner Dick O’Brien to fund an annual “Citizen of the Year” award. San Rafael recently changed the name to the “Richard O’Brien and the Mary Ferrario O’Brien Public Service Award” in October 2022. The intent of this award is to recognize a San Rafael community member who has made exceptional contributions to the city. In addition to a $2,500 cash award from the Marin Community Foundation, the annual recipient is recognized at a City Council meeting and at the annual State of the City dinner.

Do you know someone who you think should be recognized with the Public Service Award? Review the eligibility criteria and complete a nomination form on our website by January 13, 2023.


Vacancies on San Rafael Boards and Commissions

The City Clerk’s office is recruiting to fill upcoming vacancies on our boards and commissions. Community members can apply online to serve on our boards and commissions:

Planning Commission: We are recruiting for one District 1/South Representative for an unexpired four-year term through June 2025.

Pickleweed Advisory Committee: We are recruiting for two Canal neighborhood residents to serve for a four-year term through December 2026.

ADA Access Advisory Committee: We are recruiting for three members to serve on the Committee for four-year terms to the end of October 2026.

Apply online:

For more information:

Third Street Improvements   

During this week (December 12 – December 16):

  • 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 Street to G Street. Also, West End Avenue will be blocked at Marquard and a detour will be set up.
  • Crews will remove and replace the curb ramps at the intersection of Third Street and E Street. This work will require curb lane closure and no parking adjacent to the intersection.
  • Crews will install a new traffic signal controller at Second Street and East Street. This work will require curb lane closure and no curb parking.
  • Crews will pull wire to new pedestrian lights along Second Street.
  • Crews will install splice boxes for new fiber optic cable on Third Street. This work will require lane closure and no curb parking.
  • Crews will replace sanitary sewer laterals on Third Street between D Street and C Street. This work will require a closure of the center lane on Third Street.
  • Crews will replace the sanitary sewer main on Second Street between the intersection of Second Street and Third Street and Shaver Street. This work will require a lane closure on eastbound Second Street.

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 continue to enjoy the time and company of friends and loved ones during the holiday season, 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 9th Marin County has 305 “Active Cases” (cases confirmed in the previous 10 days) bringing the total confirmed cumulative cases to 43,214 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 present at American Public Works Association (APWA) conference


City of San Rafael Department of Public Works employees April Miller, Shawn Graf, and Theo Sanchez presented at the American Public Works Association (APWA) conference that was held in Pleasanton last month. Shawn discussed pavement preservation techniques, Theo presented on public outreach efforts on the Southern Heights Bridge project, and April shared her road to becoming a Public Works Director as well as presenting on the large Third Street Rehabilitation and Improvement project that is currently underway. The conference was attended by hundreds of public works employees within the Northern CA Chapter of APWA that includes the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte.

At the Last Council Meeting on December 5th, 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 5th, Special City Council meeting, the Council:

  • Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports
  • Approved consent calendar items

At the December 5th, Regular City Council meeting, the Council

  • Held open time for public expression
  • Approved submission of the San Rafael 2023-2031 Housing Element
  • Approved resolution for the Aldersly Retirement Community Project
  • Approved resolution for the Rotary Manor Culvert Replacement project
  • Approved resolution for Marin Sanitary Service Rates for 2023
  • Approved resolution of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) Business Assessment Annual Renewal
  • Approved consent calendar items

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.


San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade

Saturday, December 17th, 6:00pm-8:00pm

San Rafael’s annual holiday lighted boat parade is one of the biggest in the country. The parade can be enjoyed from most areas along the San Rafael Canal. Good viewing areas include behind Montecito Plaza and the San Rafael Yacht Club.

Downtown San Rafael’s Menorah Lighting & Gelt Drop

Sunday, December 18th, 5:00pm-7:00pm

Downtown San Rafael’s Menorah Lighting, with the Chabad of Marin, will take place on the first night of Chanukah on Sunday, December 18th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm in the Downtown San Rafael Plaza, 1000 Fourth Street. There will be music, dancing, Giant Menorah lighting, hot chocolate, chocolate gelt drop, and much more.

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

If you have a live tree and are looking to have it recycled, you can take it to the following locations:

Monday January 2nd until Friday, January 13, 2023:

  • Pickleweed Park & Albert J Boro Community Center, 50 Canal St., San Rafael
  • Scotty’s Market Parking Lot, Manuel T. Freitas Parkway & Del Ganado, San Rafael

Monday, January 2nd until Tuesday, January 31st, 2023:

  • Marin Resource Recovery Center, 565 Jacoby St., San Rafael

*There will be a charge for flocked trees*

City Hall

Reminder, City administrative offices and facilities will be closed from Friday, December 23rd through Monday, January 2nd. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd. Police, fire, and paramedic services will be fully staffed with 9-1-1 emergency service continuing to dispatch calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Public Works and Sanitation District crews will be staffed and monitoring emergency maintenance requests.


What year did San Rafael host the first lighted boat parade?

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