News from the City of Sausalito
Sausalito Currents

City of Sausalito 2015 Year in Review

A Message from the City Manager

City Manager Adam Politzer
As we approach the end of 2015, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the City of Sausalito's achievements over the past year. This second annual City of Sausalito Year in Review provides a collection of some of the bright spots in our work over the last year and is another step forward in the City's efforts to conduct city affairs openly. The Year in Review features articles that exhibit the excellent work our staff (in collaboration with the Sausalito community, non‐profit partners and other agencies) provided in 2015 in bringing the best possible service to our residents and to all those who work in and visit Sausalito. So here's to all the successes of 2015 and my best wishes for a productive and happy 2016!

 – Adam Politzer, Sausalito City Manager

Public Works Department Highlights of 2015

Sausalito Beautiful Event
Collaboration with Sausalito Beautiful Flourished. In 2015, the Public Works Department continued to build on its successful collaboration with Sausalito Beautiful. The collaboration resulted in significant changes to the landscaping on the Bonita side of the City Hall/Civic Center grounds last year and will produce additional improvements with this fiscal year's budget, independent of the planned Sweeny Park improvements. The collaboration has also resulted in renovation of the landscaping at Bolinar Plaza on the northeast side of the intersection of Bridgeway and Napa Street, renovation of the landscaped area at Bridgeway and Easterby, rehabilitation of the Easterby Bus Shelter, the completion of previously unfunded tree maintenance work by the City, and periodic Beautification and Green Thumbs days. Sausalito Beautiful is also working with the City to complete restoration of the Tim Collins art piece in Tiffany Park and replace worn out US Postal Service public mailboxes.
Sewer Manhole
Sewer Capital Projects Were a Priority in 2015. With the City under a mandate from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to accelerate collection system facility rehabilitation, the City accepted a Sanitary Sewer Fee Study Report on May 20, 2014 and adopted a new sewer service charge schedule.
The City then issued City of Sausalito 2015 Sewer Revenue Bonds, raising almost $6 million for design, permitting, construction and construction management of sewer capital projects over the next three years. In the first year of that design work, City Staff and consultants prepared plans for two projects, a construction contract for one of which was recently awarded by City Council. Subsequent phases of work will address long-standing inflow and infiltration issues with the sanitary sewer system in the vicinity of Gate 5 Road, Glen Court, Bridgeway (along its underwater segment between Richardson and the Cote d'Azur complex), and at the Whiskey Springs pump station and Coloma Street.
Recycled Water Notice
Water Conservation Efforts Made a Difference. On April 1, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15, imposing statewide mandatory water use reductions. Soon thereafter, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced emergency conservation regulations for water agencies to meet the Governor's call for a reduction of 25% from 2013 water consumption levels.
As reported to Council during the course of its meeting on July 21, 2015, City Landscaping Staff continue to be diligent about water use at our public parks and facilities and have been making adjustments to our water use to meet state mandated goals as well as do the utmost to keep our City looking presentable. For the period between April and June, using records provided by MMWD covering our parks, medians and facilities, we were able to reduce our consumption compared to 2013 by 21%.

Community Development Department Highlights of 2015

Implemented a Reservation Appointment System on Tuesdays and Alternate Fridays. To better serve the public and to manage counter assistance more efficiently, a reservation appointment system was established this year for over-the-counter permit requests and for Building Inspector consultation on Tuesdays and alternate Fridays. Appointments can be requested in advance by calling the Building Division office at (415) 289-4128 or in person at the Building Division counter at City Hall. The appointment system ensures that permit issuance and consultation is completed in a timely, efficient manner.
Sausalito Hillside
Began General Plan Update Process. A General Plan Update 101 presentation was given to the City Council in April, and a Task Force was appointed to review and assess the 1995 General Plan and develop a work plan and scope for the General Plan Update effort.
Funding to support the General Plan Update was budgeted in June for the 2015-16 fiscal year, to commence work starting with the Circulation Element, one of the seven elements of the General Plan.
Housing Element
The 2015-2023 Housing Element Update Was Certified. The 2015-2023 Housing Element was adopted by the Planning Commission and City Council and certified by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in March 2015, a significant accomplishment after over a year of public meetings to complete the document. The Housing Element covers the maintenance and development of housing to meet the needs of existing and future residents of Sausalito.
2015 Community Development Department Statistics
  • The Building Division received 743 Building Permit applications
  • The Building Division performed 2,070 inspections
  • The Planning Division received 349 planning applications 
  • The Planning Commission reviewed and took action on 25 applications

Police Department Highlights of 2015

The Disaster Preparedness Program Stepped Up Outreach. This year Sausalito's Disaster Preparedness Program has concentrated on outreach to the citizens of Sausalito. It has presented neighborhood informational meetings, organized a Disaster Preparedness Awareness Day, and published monthly (and sometimes more frequent) disaster preparedness messages in Currents. The program also gave away smoke/carbon dioxide detector batteries at the Easter Parade and provided information and resources in handouts and on the City's website. The Disaster Preparedness Program is a valuable resource in our community and provides leadership and guidance throughout the neighborhoods of Sausalito.
Added Bicycle Patrols. In February 2015, Patrol Team 1 made good use of the recently added swing shift officer positions by frequently putting officers on bicycles to patrol along the waterfront during evening hours. Officers on bicycles were able to safely locate ongoing issues and make valuable field contacts in areas that are not as easily detected or accessible in a police car or on foot.
Built Trust with the Homeless Advocacy Program. The Homeless Advocacy Program was established in 2010 and has continued to grow. On a yearly basis, the program partners with a wide variety of social service agencies to provide health and wellness referrals and services, flu shots, donated safety and health items, and other resources to the homeless and anchor-out population in and around Sausalito. 
These events have helped build trust and communication between the Police Department and the homeless community and have also, by addressing some of the underlying causes, helped reduce crimes that affect the quality of life in Sausalito 
Crime Statistics at a Glance 1/1/15 - 10/31/15 1/1/14 - 11/30/14
Homicide 0 2
Rape 0 1
Robbery 1 3
Aggravated Assault 9 11
Burglary 19 25
Larceny 179 151
Stolen Vehicle 8 8
Arson 0 0
Simple Assault 23 14
Totals 239 214
Traffic Accidents 86 61

Southern Marin Fire Protection District Highlights of 2015

Shared Battalion Chief Services Yielded Cost Savings. This past year, the Southern Marin Fire District and Mill Valley Fire Department initiated a new program whereby each agency shared Battalion Chief Services. During this year, the program has been deployed and evaluated. Thus far, the program has resulted in increased organizational efficiency, cost savings and cost avoidance. The District expects this program to result in a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement in early 2016.
Increased Government Transparency. During 2015, the Southern Marin Fire District implemented a number of changes in its ongoing quest to ensure that the District is providing transparent and participatory government. Programs include the purchase, design and deployment of OpenGov, a web-based financial tool for the community to view District finances.
The District implemented operational and policy changes to its social media systems to ensure timely and accurate information distribution, initiated a new strategic planning process that included community participation, and updated its website to the transparency standards that the Marin Civil Grand Jury has set as a benchmark. The District also received and responded to two separate Grand Jury Reports addressing transparency in government.
New State of the Art Fire Engine Delivered. In the fall of 2014, the Southern Marin Fire District finalized specifications for the replacement of one of its fire engines. Countless hours were spent in ensuring the design specifications could meet the unique demands of the Southern Marin area. In November of 2015 the completed vehicle was delivered to the Southern Marin Fire District, where it is currently being equipped and readied to be placed in service at Fire Station 4 in Tam Valley.

Parks and Recreation Department Highlights of 2015

New Programs Introduced. Each season, the Parks and Recreation Department introduces new classes and programs to the community. This year we hit home runs with two new programs. In partnership with the Marin Humane Society, we are now offering Family Dog 1 on Saturday mornings at the Recreation Center. This is a beginning-level class teaching the fundamentals of good manners, including sit, down, stay, come, polite greetings and walking, wait at doors, and leave it. Attendance has been high at these classes but we still have a few spots available each quarter. This fall we also started Open Gym on Monday and Tuesday nights. The MLK gym is now the place to be for pickup games of basketball.
Dunphy Park Schematic Master Plan Moves Forward. In addition to finalizing the plans for Robin Sweeny Park (which is scheduled for construction this winter), Staff has been working with the Friends of Dunphy Park on a Draft Schematic Master Plan.
The Friends developed the draft of the schematic plan based on public input, land use concerns, environmental concerns, and a love for Dunphy Park. Meetings will be held early in 2016, on January 19 and 27, for the public to see the plan and make comments.
New Special Events Recreation Supervisor Takes the Reins. After five years, our popular Special Events Supervisor Erin Stroud moved upward and onward to take a position with the Town of Windsor. While we will miss Erin, it took no time for our new Supervisor, Julie Myers, to step in and take the reins. While Julie has only been in Sausalito for six months, she already has a string of successful events under her belt and is busy planning future events for all of us to enjoy.

Administration Department Highlights for 2015

2015 Southern Marin Management Academy Expands. This year's Southern Marin Management Academy expanded from six public agencies (Sausalito, Mill Valley, Belvedere, Marin City, Tiburon and the Southern Marin Fire Protection District) to eight agencies with the addition of the Central Marin Police Authority and the City of Larkspur. The primary purpose of the Academy is to develop employees, at all levels of city government, who have the talent to rise in public sector management, either within their own city or in another municipality. The Academy was established in 2013, and since that time twenty City of Sausalito employees have graduated from the program; eighteen of whom remain working for the City today. Four graduates have been promoted to management.
MLK Certificates of Participation Issued. In November, Sausalito voters passed Measure F, an advisory measure that directed the City Council to move forward with Certificates of Participation (COPs) that will raise a total of $7.4 million ($7.2 million in project funds and $0.2 million to cover the cost of issuance). 
The City Council reauthorized the issuance of the COPs on December 1 and City Staff moved quickly to bring the COPs to market and price the issue on December 10. The City’s "AA" rating generated a lot of investor interest when the COPs were brought to market. The COPs were sold with a premium of more than $430,000 by the banks and investors that purchased them through the underwriting firm handling the sale. This premium reduced the amount of debt required to be issued by the City from $7.4 million (projected) to $6.94 million (actual). The $6.94 million is the "par value" (face value) of the COPs, i.e. the amount of the debt that the City issued to receive $7.4 million in proceeds. Annual debt payments over the fourteen year life of the COPs will now be $619,000 per year compared to the $630,000 per year that was originally projected. This speaks not only to the attractiveness of the issue but also the strong credit worthiness and financial position of the City.

Funds from the COPs will enable the City to do much-needed work at the MLK site and Robin Sweeny Park, Southview Park and Dunphy Park. The next step in the process will be to move forward with the improvements at Robin Sweeny Park. The Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Works Department are already working on this phase of the capital improvements. The plan is to bring the project to the City Council at the first Council meeting of 2016, on January 12. Work on the three additional sites (MLK, Southview and Dunphy) will be under development soon.
IT Strategic Plan Adopted. From January through July 2015, the Technology Manager worked with the Sausalito Management Team and key members of the City Staff on an extensive Information Technology (IT) Strategic Plan with the assistance of Third Wave Corporation. 
The plan identified a number of areas where the City's IT infrastructure and systems need upgrading. In November, the City Council reviewed and approved an IT Strategic Plan. The adopted plan provides for updating the technology and software in use by City Departments in a manner that fits within the City's Budget. The initial round of computer and software upgrades for City operations are now underway. 2016 projects include the purchase and installation of equipment to upgrade the City network and infrastructure and the deployment of a fully automated Permit Management System.

Public Library Highlights of 2015

Ten New Public Computers Installed. At the end of May 2015, the Library installed ten new Dell desktop computers. Six of the machines are sit-down public internet stations, two are stand-up public internet stations, and two are library catalog stations. In addition to the new hardware, the Library is now using new software for computer reservations. All of the internet stations can be scheduled for up to two hours of use per day by Library users. If the Library is not busy, an additional hour of internet time is available via guest pass. The computers replaced were more than five years old. In addition to being slow, they were running an expired version of Microsoft XP. With the new computers, Library users will experience faster performance on up-to-date software.
Annual Sausalito Documentary Film Series Launched. The Library's Sausalito Documentary Film series in January and February was an overwhelming success. A total of over five hundred people attended the four films shown in the series.
Screenings took place in the Library "living room," with shelves and tables moved aside to accommodate chairs from the Library and the Council Chambers. Films included Saul Rouda's Last Free Ride and Marianne Dolan's Houseboat Wars. For each film, the filmmaker was on hand to answer questions after the screening. The second Sausalito Documentary series will begin in January 2016 and run for four weeks. Featured will be two programs about the life and work of Sausalito's Phil Frank.
Overdue Fines on Children's Materials Eliminated. Following the lead of the Marin County Free Library and the San Rafael Public Library, the Sausalito Library Board of Trustees voted in March 2015 to eliminate overdue fines on children's and young adult materials. Children's items that are checked out still have due dates, and long overdue items are billed at the replacement cost plus a $7 processing fee.
The Library by the Numbers
To date in 2015, the Library has circulated over 86,000 books and over 7,000 e-books. More than 7,000 adults and children have attended the Library’s special events, lectures, and story times.  4,829 Sausalito residents have library cards.

The Library is open 63 hours per week, more than any other public library in Marin. Stop by sometime soon! We’re a warm place in the winter and Wi-Fi internet is always free.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

During the winter holidays, Currents will be taking a brief hiatus until the beginning of 2016. Sausalito City Hall, along with the Library, will be closed on Thursday, December 24, Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1. The Library will close at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 31. We hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season! We will see you with our next issue on Friday, January 8.
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