Sustainable Mill Valley

September 18, 2007

To: (Name of Candidate)
From: Sustainable Mill Valley
Subject: Candidates' Survey

Part of the mission of Sustainable Mill Valley is to educate the public about sustainability issues. As a public service, in light of the upcoming election for Mill Valley’s City Council, we are inviting all of the candidates to participate in a survey covering their accomplishments and perspectives on sustainability issues of concern to the community.

We hope you will see this as an opportunity to broaden your reach in the campaign.

Purpose of This Survey
This survey is intended to inform the public about how the concept of sustainability influences your thoughts, plans and actions surrounding key areas of concern to the City of Mill Valley. We plan to have the responses of all of the candidates published in our local newspapers, posted on our website and circulated on the Internet and in the community to other interested organizations. After the election, this document will be archived and will serve as a measure of your performance with regard to furthering sustainability in Mill Valley and beyond.

Please provide two paragraphs (no longer than 200 words apiece) for issues 1 through 6 and two paragraphs covering one or more of the subtopics of issue 7.

1. The first paragraph should highlight your specific actions and accomplishments over the last three years to promote sustainability in that area.

2. The second paragraph should outline your vision and specific intentions for the next four years with regard to the issue.

To be fair to the candidates with limited political experience, we ask you to go beyond mention of local ordinances and resolutions and speak of your direct personal participation in these areas relating to sustainability. We are looking for specific examples of your direct involvement in the past, or specific plans for future initiatives should you be elected to the City Council.

The Issues

1. Affordable housing - Affordable housing means different things to different people.  ABAG quotas  side, how do you define affordable housing and what do you think our obligation as a community is to provide affordable housing?  What are your ideas to implement affordable housing?

2. Local Business - Much concern has been expressed about Mill Valley losing its locally based business character. Do you share this concern and how would you address it?

3. Traffic Congestion and Safety - Local and regional transportation account for over half of Marin’s greenhouse gas contribution and much concern has been expressed over traffic congestion and safety both locally and regionally. What solutions are you considering for our local traffic problems, including pedestrian and bicycle pathways, Safe Routes to Schools, shuttles, etc.? What would you do to make sure that Mill Valley has a presence in regional transit planning?
(See for background information)

4. Water Supply and Conservation - MMWD foresees future supply reductions and increases in demand that may require building an expensive and energy intensive desalination plant or pipeline. What is our local responsibility to address our own water use and our community’s contribution to increasing demand? What do you think the City’s leadership role should be with respect to water conservation?
(See for background information)

5. Ecological Footprint - The Ecological Footprint of Marin is higher than the U.S. average, and is unsustainable. Do you think we as a community have a responsibility to reduce our ecological footprint? If you believe this is important, what steps have you taken to reduce your own?
(See for background information, to calculate your ecological footprint)

6. Cities for Climate Protection Campaign - The Mill Valley City Council has passed the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign resolution committing the City to determine a baseline and set targets to reduce our community’s greenhouse gases. Will you support setting targets and how will you implement them?
(See for background information)

7. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) - CCA is a state law that allows municipalities to competitively procure power on behalf of ratepayers. Initial studies for Marin have shown that we may be able to substantially increase use of renewable power (e.g., wind, geothermal and solar) while remaining at or below PG&E rates, promote local renewable generation and provide greater price certainty and stability to ratepayers. Under a CCA, homes and businesses would have a choice to buy power from the CCA or PG&E and PG&E would still maintain the power lines and billing. Mill Valley along with the other cities and County of Marin is in the process of investigating the creation of a CCA. What is your commitment to promoting increased use of renewable energy and to continuing Mill Valley’s participation in this investigation?
See: for background information)

We ask that you complete the survey and return it via e-mail it to SMV Steering Committee member Jørgen Vos ( by October 5, 2007. To assist you, a member of our Steering Committee will call you in the next week to verify that you have received the survey and to answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you for your participation.

For more information, contact Sustainable Mill Valley Steering Committee members:
Marie Kerpan, 389-9803,
Jørgen Vos, 290-0263,

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Last updated: 10/06/07