Sustainable Mill Valley

Survey responses on the subject of the local economy
Local production of basic goods and services including food, keeping the dollars in the community, fostering and connecting local businesses that provide a balance of economic, social and environmental benefits.

Charles McGlashan

I believe that Marin can have a vital economy and restore its environment. We must be careful to provide more housing so that our jobs-housing balance doesn't get worse. I believe we can do this, however, and create a "thrivable" community that is fun to live and work in, and that is an environmental leader.

Actions & Accomplishments
  • Serve as the environmental representative on the Marin Economic Commission, where I have been a leader in developing strategies to grow local businesses in Marin that are uniquely capable of thriving in our limited built areas, that can succeed in our small villages, and employ the well educated and highly talented workforce of the County.
  • Advocated in the County General Plan for purchasing programs, certification systems, and production policies that will support more local and organic food production from small local farms in the County.
  • Advocated for the expansion of farmers' markets, community supported agriculture, and the use of local produce in County functions.
  • Promoted "buy-local" policies at the Economic Commission.
  • Wrote the Sustainability principle in the General Plan seeking "businesses that provide economic, social, and environmental benefits." Worked to avoid the word "balance" since that implies that trade-offs are valid among these benefits.
  • My wife and I maintain a personal membership in a local CSA farm for our eggs, fruit, nuts and vegetables.
  • Will expand funding for farmers markets and more buy-local programs in the County.
  • Will cultivate local large employers with personal attention and leadership.
  • Will seek to attract small firms and start-ups that can grow in our unique environment and utilize well our special assets.
  • Will pay special attention to the housing stock and avoid creating too many low-pay-scale jobs that make the housing shortage even more of a problem (see housing above).
  • Will seek ways to increase local agricultural processing so that our local dairy, beef, and row crops can remain in the County and we can increase the "value add" locally.
  • Will support mixed-use developments in proper corridors so that housing, small businesses and retail are mixed together. Strawberry Center, Marin City, and Tam may benefit from better use of built areas, as long as good shuttle systems are provided.
  • Will articulate a vision of local "thrivability".
Andrew Thompson

In Tiburon, I've worked with the business community to reduce the town's dependence on the radical peaks and valleys of summer and weekend tourism. By expanding local business, we have increased economic activity in our town during the week and year-round. I convinced one of the local commercial landlords to convert one of the town's restaurants to a hotel, increasing economic activity Monday thru Friday. At the county level, I was a founding member, and, later, chairman, of the Marin Economic Commission. I helped write the first economic element to Marin's countywide General Plan. This included the first analysis ever done to identify industry types that fit best the goals for Marin's economy and our jobs-housing balance. I personally proposed that the county publish a profile of Marin's economic vital statistics, which it now does, giving the county the first real capability to measure Marin's economic trends. At the commission, we helped bridge the gap between the business and environmental communities, emphasizing that they need each other to achieve their respective goals. This approach is now reinforced by the commission year after year.

Marin is not an island. We participate in a huge global economy, and are subject to the pressures of globalization and competition. It's important to recognize that this global economy allows us the choices that give us the quality of life we enjoy in Marin. That said, certain economic goods are more "local" than others, and it's important to ensure that the quality and availability of these local goods is guaranteed. I believe it's prudent, to the extent possible, to not be dependent on uncontrolled outside entities for basic subsistence items like food, energy and water. Obviously, the availability of food, local and non-local, is largely a non-issue for Marin, although, as I've said, I have long supported, and will continue to promote, the preservation of Marin's local agricultural sector. We are also fortunate to have our own high-quality water system. With regard to energy, as I've already mentioned, I have recommended steps to gain additional control over Marin's energy supply to gain new choices for Marin citizens.

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Last updated: 04/12/04