CAPTION: Photo of sunset on San Pablo Bay, taken from China Camp State Park
PHOTO CREDIT: Walter Gonzalez, City Manager’s Office
Last Quiz Question
Congrats to William McClure for being the first to correctly respond to our last Snapshot Quiz. The quiz asked about the first woman elected to the San Rafael City Council. Dorothy Breiner was first appointed to the San Rafael City Council in April 1979 and was subsequently elected as the first Councilwoman in November 1981. We commemorate Dorothy’s achievements as a pioneering City leader on the final day of Women’s History Month. Thanks for reading Snapshot, William!
Scroll down for this week’s quiz and be the first to answer.
San Rafael City News
City Council to Proclaim Support for “Celebrate Diversity Month”
In 2004, diversity educators created a proclamation to declare April “Celebrate Diversity Month” in celebration of the many backgrounds, experiences, and identities that enrich our world. Recognizing diversity in this manner enhances our understanding and celebration of diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and contributions and makes San Rafael a more thoughtful and welcoming place.
At Monday’s City Council meeting, the City Council will proclaim the month of April 2022 as “Celebrate Diversity Month” to recognize the many ways that our diverse and varied perspectives, identities, and experiences enrich our society and community across Marin County and San Rafael.
City Council to Support “National Library Week”
First promoted in 1958, National Library Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed by libraries across the country each April. This year, National Library Week is April 3–9, 2022, during which the City will join all other libraries (schools, public, academic and special) nationwide recognizing this year’s theme “Connect with Your Library,” by promoting libraries as points of technology access to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers, and other resources. Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas, and classes, in addition to books.
At Monday’s City Council meeting, the City Council will proclaim April 3–9, 2022 to be National Library Week. During this week, the City Council and staff encourage all residents to connect with their library by visiting any of the San Rafael libraries online or in person to access resources and services.
City Council to Hear Updates on Community Development Block Grant Funds
On Monday, March 21, the City Council will hear an update on the proposed allocation of Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) funds. The CDBG program is a federally funded program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) that provides funds for local community-based projects including affordable housing, community infrastructure or capital projects, and public support services.
The amount of CDBG funding available for the City in 2022-2023 is $485,000. Under a cooperative agreement with the County of Marin, the City Council provides its funding recommendations for the San Rafael planning area to the County of Marin Board of Supervisors (“BOS”). In May 2022, the BOS plans to hold a public hearing on the CDBG funding recommendations.
City Council to Support “Week of the Young Child”
Week of the Young Child is a time to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. This year, Week of the Young Child is April 2–8, 2022 and the City of San Rafael will join agencies nationwide in taking this opportunity to recognize that the early childhood years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life.
Housing Element Update
At Monday’s City Council meeting, Community Development staff will present a progress report to the City Council on the work completed so far and major upcoming tasks for the Housing Element Update. The Housing Element represents the City’s plan for conserving and maintaining its housing supply, removing regulatory barriers to housing production, and meeting the housing needs of all residents, including lower-income households and persons with special needs. The adopted San Rafael Housing Element covers 2015-2023 and the new Element will cover 2023-2031.
To date, the project team has evaluated the prior Housing Element, assessed housing needs in the city, and conducted initial community engagement. The team has completed a first draft of the Housing Sites Inventory and is starting to analyze constraints to housing in the city. The 13-member Housing Element Working Group that provides feedback on housing policies and programs has convened four times since December 2021. Staff will continue engaging the community during spring and summer through workshops, electronic media (website, survey, etc.), briefings to civic organizations, and Housing Element Working Group meetings.
Fore more information, visit: www.sanrafaelhousing.org.
Paramedic Tax Rate Public Hearing
On Monday, April 4, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the Paramedic Service Special Tax, which provides funds for the City’s paramedic services. Tax rates and paramedic charges are based upon recovering the cost of service. Through prudent fiscal management and the pursuit of additional revenue and reimbursement opportunities, this tax rate has increased by an average of 1.22% per year since 2012. Based upon rising projected expenses outpacing revenue sources in future projections, staff recommends a $5 increase in the tax rate for residential property in San Rafael, raising an estimated $114,120 in revenues towards an estimated $8.6 million in expenditures. Even with the increase, the residential rate would remain below the voter-approved cap of $108 per residential property. Commercial property tax rates will remain unchanged at the voter approved cap of $.140 per square foot.
Upcoming Joint Community Conversation and District Community Conversation Meetings
As part of the City Council’s effort to increase inclusive community engagement, Mayor Kate and City Councilmembers are hosting community conversation meetings throughout 2022. These gatherings allow community members to request a topic of discussion and meet with their local elected officials in a friendly and accessible environment.
Although our community conversation meetings so far this year were held virtually via Zoom, future meetings will be hosted in a variety of formats, from an ice cream social to a local waste clean-up event. Be sure to mark your calendars for the district focused community conversation meetings coming up in April and keep an eye out for them as they are scheduled periodically throughout 2022.
See events section below for details on upcoming community conversations events. You can also visit our community conversations page to learn more about community conversations. Unsure of your district? Find your district here.
Parks and Recreation Master Plan Community Meetings and Questionnaire
Help shape the future of our parks and programs! We’re developing a plan to improve San Rafael parks, recreational facilities, and programs and want to hear from you. Between now and May 20th, we invite you to participate in our communitywide Parks & Recreation Questionnaire. This questionnaire will help guide how San Rafael parks, trails, and natural spaces are developed, preserved, and enjoyed. Let us know how you like to play, get outdoors, and recreate in your community, and what types of programs are important to you and your family.
To participate, click on the following link.
Reusable takeout containers are back at select local stores!
The reusable container pilot program between the City of San Rafael, Sparkl Reusables, and Whole Foods Market San Rafael will officially re-launch next week at Whole Foods Market. The launch will coincide with the store’s 25th anniversary on Saturday, April 9th from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. when shoppers can enjoy cake and learn more about the program. Other local vendors including Andy’s Market will be joining the pilot starting April 16th.
For more information and to sign up, please visit Sparkl Reusables’ website.
Easy and Convenient Ways to Park Downtown!
It has never been easier to park in Downtown San Rafael, where locals and out of town visitors enjoy hundreds of diverse shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the heart of San Rafael. Now is the time to take advantage of several parking perks offered in Downtown that make parking easy.
Parking Perks include:
- Free parking on the weekends in both the A St. and C St. garages.
- Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers in many of our paid public parking facilities with free charging.
- Ability to pay for a parking meter through a convenient phone app (ParkMobile).
- One-hour validations for the A St. and C St. garages available from participating merchants (merchants can purchase the validations at a discounted rate).
- 5-minute grace period at all meters.
- Discounted rates for monthly parkers.
- Free 15-minute curbside merchandise/food pickup locations at designated locations downtown.
For more parking perks and parking information, click here.
As of March 25, 2022, Marin County had 157 active cases, with a total of three current hospitalizations. Although these numbers may appear low and indicate that the pandemic may be subsiding, the risk of COVID-19 remains as we enter the endemic stage of a highly transmissible disease against which we must remain guarded.
Indoor masking is still highly recommended by the Marin County and State of California Public Health Departments. Everyone must still wear masks in the following settings, regardless of vaccination status:
- Public transit
- Healthcare settings
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
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.
- FIND AVAILABLE AT HOME TESTS: https://www.findacovidtest.org/
- MAKE A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/vaccinefinder
- BOOSTERS & THIRD DOSES: https://coronavirus.marinhhs.org/VaccineBooster
TALES OF THE CITY – City of San Rafael Green Team Kicks Off 2022 Sustainability Projects
For several years, a diverse, inter-departmental group of City employees have joined together to complete important sustainability projects in and around the City of San Rafael. This team, known as the Green Team, have implemented several key initiatives from carpooling to providing ‘e-tips’ to help our City achieve its sustainability goals.
The current Green Team welcomed several new members in 2021 from the Finance, City Manager, and Community Development departments. The newest cohort have planned a few critical projects to help City staff comply with California’s recently enacted Senate Bill 1383 (Organics Recycling) and to train and upskill current City staff on recycling, e-waste and organics recycling best practices.
Thank you, Green Team, for your continued support and dedication towards fulfilling our sustainable goals in San Rafael.
AT THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING on March 21, 2022
Due to Executive Order N-29-20, we no longer offer an in-person meeting location for the community to attend public meetings. In an effort to provide remote community participation for our City Council meetings, we are piloting real-time virtual public comment on agenda items.
At the March 21, 2022 regular City Council Meeting, the Council:
- Approved consent calendar items
- Heard a fourth Public Hearing on Redistricting and Adopted a Resolution approving the current district map for use beginning at the City’s November 2022 election
- Heard an Annual Progress Report & Housing Policy Update
- Approved a Resolution for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Project Funding for FY 2022-23 to the Marin County Board of Supervisors
- Adopted a Resolution recommending Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) Project Funding for FY 2022-23 to the Marin County Board of Supervisors
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
Upcoming Community Meetings for Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Wednesday, April 20 | 6:00 p.m.
Albert J. Boro Community Center (held in Spanish/en español)
50 Canal St, San Rafael, CA 94901
Join us as we introduce the planning process, share information about the community questionnaire, and seek community input.
Thursday, September 8 | 6:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Zoom
See the planning process come together as we present the analysis outcomes, recommendations, and priorities.
For more information on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan click here.
Upcoming Community Conversation Events
Join Mayor Kate and your local Councilmembers for upcoming community conversation events! Learn more about local and citywide updates and happenings and submit your inquiry or question to staff for the opportunity for discussion at upcoming community conversations events to be held periodically in 2022.
District 2 Community Conversation with Councilmember Eli Hill
Thursday, April 21 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
San Rafael Community Center
618 B Street, San Rafael, CA 94901
District 1 Community Conversation & Canal/East San Rafael Cleanup for Earth Day with Councilmember Maika Llorens Gulati
Saturday, April 23 | 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
50 Canal St, San Rafael, CA 94901
Meet at Pickleweed Park for cleanup event followed by lunch and community conversation at Albert J. Boro Community Center
District 4 Community Conversation with Vice-Mayor Rachel Kertz
Sunday, April 24 | 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Terra Linda Park
District 3 Community Conversation with Councilmember Maribeth Bushey
Wednesday, April 27 | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Peacock Gap Park
Peacock Dr, San Rafael, CA 94901
Unsure of your district? Find your district here.
Learn more about community conversations here.
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