Corte Madera Chronicles: The Town of Corte Madera's Newsletter
The Town of Corte Madera's Newsletter for January 4, 2019

Message from Town Manager and Public Works Director regarding the Town Hall Complex Addition

Happy New Year!

A recent posting on Nextdoor regarding the Town Hall Complex Addition was brought to our attention from a resident of Corte Madera. We truly appreciate the thoughtful comments that were posted regarding the subject and would like to provide some factual information to assist with the conversation as the Town Council considers next steps. The discussion on Nextdoor referenced a $300,000 study. To clarify, this is not a study. The Town has hired an architect and engineering team (through a public process) to assist the Town in navigating through a needs-assessment and the designing of a new building, in the 3,000-5,000 square foot range which could potentially be ready for construction in the next 12 months.

In late 2016, when I was hired as your Town Manager, an approximate $250,000 renovation (i.e. paint, carpet, office furnishings, approx. 48 square foot expansion) to the upstairs portion of Town Hall was underway. This renovation was much needed, not only for our employees, but for the community we serve. The last improvement to this area, which serves our Finance and Administration personnel, (6 employees) was in the 1980’s. Once the extent of a potential new building is understood, future renovations to the downstairs of Town Hall may be necessary.

Over the past two years your staff and the Town Council has worked diligently to evaluate, develop a plan, and improve the Town’s infrastructure for the next 50 years and beyond. Our Public Works Engineering Team is working on the delivery of approximately 20 million dollars in infrastructure projects over the next five years and 22 million dollars in sanitary line and pump station replacements within the same time period.

As we evaluate the Town’s infrastructure, we would be remiss not to evaluate our public facilities. First, the good news! Our Public Works Maintenance Corporation Yard on Lucky Drive and our state-of-the- art Central Marin Police Authority Facility will not need to be replaced over the next 50 years, but will need to be maintained. The upstairs to the Town Hall complex is also in good working order and the face of the community, although some feel there is a need to expand our small Council Chamber. We continue to renovate and improve our Community Center in order to provide exceptional services to all generations of our community.

The bad news, we currently do not have office space for the Public Works Engineering Team as they are currently housed at Fire Station 14 as a very short-term solution. Their presence in the building is not only negatively impacting their operations, but that of the Fire Department as well. Additionally, with the recent cost-savings measures of the Central Marin Fire Department consolidation, Station 14 is needed for strictly fire personnel as soon as possible.

Our Planning and Building Department staff are housed downstairs in Town Hall. I have heard this area described by community members and staff alike as a “basement,” “dungeon,” “office closets” and other even less flattering terms. In short, the poor working conditions and the lack of a viable public permit counter for our community members and contractors who visit our downstairs facility on a daily basis prevents current and future staff from delivering optimal permitting and building plan review services to the community. This area is hazardous from both a safety and security standpoint and does not meet a number of building code and accessibility requirements of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Additionally, the air flow quality is poor, the ceiling height is too low, and the fact that closets have been turned into work spaces all speak to the need to develop a Town Hall Addition in order to house staff work spaces, provide a conference room for meetings and create a new public permit counter where more than one person can be helped at a time.

Think about this – we, as a Town, are susceptible to flooding, earthquakes and wild fire which could devastate our Town’s infrastructure if we are not prepared. Maintaining and improving all of our infrastructure, while improving public safety and alleviating traffic congestion are our highest priorities. The staff responsible for delivering these projects and preparing us for what the future may hold do not have the work space and working conditions they need to be successful. Most importantly, the public we serve is subjected to a lack of community amenities they should have from a Town’s Civic Center which they help finance through their taxes.

The items below may help to alleviate some of the confusion I’ve sensed from this Nextdoor thread. Town staff, beginning this next council meeting and meetings moving forward, will be providing the following information and discussion items to the Council and community:

  1. Presentation on the Town Hall work space issues and why we chose the current civic center site over other locations (i.e. Park Madera Shopping Center, Town-owned house, purchase or leasing of other properties)
  2. Establish a working group which will consist of an architect, staff, Council members and community members
  3. Needs Assessment, design concepts and public input (i.e. office space for up to 17 employees, community amenities)
  4. Workshop / study session with the Planning Commission and the community
  5. Design Review Process with the Planning Commission, as is done with all new buildings in Town
  6. Public Discussion and Council Approval of a Town Hall Addition, if desired by a majority of Council
In short, I directed staff to come up with a project with the following parameters:
  1. Fiscal prudence – understanding this is a long-term decision but should be at the lowest cost possible ($2-3 Million)
  2. After discussion with a structural engineer to confirm that Fire Station 14 could remain in its current location, a renovation plan (but not a complete rebuild) would be recommended in the future for Station 14
  3. The new complex would house the Public Works Engineering and Planning and Building Teams (up to 17 employees) and provide a modern public permit counter
  4. The Finance and Administration Staff would remain on the second floor of the current civic center.
  5. Maintain and/or improve on-site parking, circulation and ADA access After evaluating many options using the above criteria as a starting point, the current location of the Town’s Civic Center emerged as a strong candidate for the following reasons:
                 1. It minimizes cost to Town tax payers
                 2. It has the ability to improve parking conditions on site
                 3. The current location allows staff from multiple departments to easily work together - Thus improving our service delivery for the public
                 4. The chance to preserve and protect the historical identity of the Town

We recognize the Town Hall Addition is not an exciting project, but it is a necessary one. It is also important to understand that it is not at the expense of any other high priority project. We also encourage you all to watch, participate and engage staff as we move forward in 2019 and beyond as we discuss many important projects and decisions facing our great Town. The January 15th meeting in particular will review high priority Town transportation projects as well as this Town Hall Addition.

We hope you find this information helpful,

Todd Cusimano, Town Manager
Peter Brown, Public Works Director
What's Happening in Town

Park Madera Center – Future Community Workshops

A message from the Town Manager

Dear Corte Madera Residents:

I wanted to take a moment to clarify some information regarding the current status of the Town-owned shopping center at Park Madera Center. My intent is not to rehash the past as that has been well documented but the Town Council does want our residents to be informed about the current status of the center and what our plans are for the future.

Fiscal Status:
For the second straight year since purchasing the shopping center (purchased in 2006), we can report that due to the 2016 debt refinancing and renegotiated lease agreements, the Town’s annual revenues exceed total expenditures (i.e. management, maintenance, minor improvements, and debt payments) by approximately $21,000 per year. To be clear, we have not lost money on the shopping center over the past two years and we project that trend to continue moving forward. The Town currently holds approximately $9.2 million in debt payment costs through 2035 and the center was recently appraised at approximately $12 million. Financially, the shopping center is earning money and is now worth more than the debt service owed.

Future Community Workshops:
At a recent Town Council planning session, Mayor Ravasio and the Council directed staff to prepare a series of community workshops in 2019. The goal is to have a public conversation about the opportunities the shopping center may provide our community now and in the future and to establish a long-term plan with all options available for discussion.

Please sign up for our Corte Madera Chronicles Newsletter and follow our Town news. We plan to hold our first shopping center workshop in the early spring of this year.

Happy New Year!
Todd Cusimano, Town Manager


Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance Workshop

Did you know that Sanitary District No. 2 recently passed a Private Sewer Lateral Ordinance?  
The intent behind the Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) ordinance is to provide for the operation and maintenance of Sanitary District No. 2’s (SD2) wastewater conveyance and treatment facilities in a more safe, reliable and serviceable manner. 

In 2017, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board ordered SD2 to fix damaged and deficient sanitary sewer pipes. Many pipes are in need of repair to prevent the infiltration of rainwater and groundwater, which can overwhelm the wastewater collection system and treatment plant, leading to sanitary sewer overflows in the community or discharges of partially treated wastewater into the San Francisco Bay. Improperly maintained private sewer laterals also lead to raw sewage spilling into residential areas.   

Do you want to know how this ordinance affects you?
Join us for a workshop we have scheduled to discuss details from the PSL ordinance, sewer lateral exemptions from the ordinance triggers including information on shared sewer laterals including laterals managed by HOA’s and much more. We will also seek your feedback regarding PSL funding options on Town initiated projects. 

WHEN: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Town Hall Council Chambers: 300 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera. 

We hope you can join us for this very important workshop. If you have any questions, please call SD2 at 415-927-5057 or email Associate Civil Engineer, Fernanda Stefanick at To view and share the event flyer, please click here

Winter Wonderland BINGO

Winter Wonderland Spaghetti BINGO

With winter coming to an end let’s enjoy its beauty for a little longer. Corte Madera Parks & Recreation invites you and your friends & family to come play Bingo and enjoy hot coco and other winter favorites.

Pasta dinner will be prepared by Marin Joe’s.

The event takes place on Friday, January 18, 2019 from 6PM to 9PM at the Corte Madera Community Center, 498 Tamalpais Drive.

Please register online, by phone (415-927-5072), or in person at the Corte Madera Community Center to ensure you get your spot – you won’t want to miss out on this chilling good time! Click here to download and share the event flyer

Let's Talk Vaping

Let's Talk Vaping

At the end of the year, news was announced that Tobacco giant Altria (previously Phillip Morris) invested $12.8 billion in Juul, taking a 35 percent stake in the e-cigarette maker. This puts the value of the company at $38 billion, larger than Ford Motor Co., Delta Air Lines or the retail giant Target. 

Join Hall Middle School Parent Ed, Coalition Connection, Bay Area Community Resources (BACR), Marin County Office of Education (MCOE), and Marin Health and Human Services (HHS) for this community event to learn the facts and discuss what we can do as parents, educators and community members to combat the rising use of vaping products among local kids. 

The will be held on Tuesday, January 15th at 6:30PM at Hall Middle School, 200 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939. 

For more information, please click here

A New Year, A New You! Ten Secrets to Successful Weight Loss

A New Year, A New You! Ten Secrets to Successful Weight Loss

The Corte Madera Library invites you to a presentation on successful weight loss strategies. 

Start the New Year off right! Imagine yourself at a healthier weight. You have more energy, your clothes fit better, and your blood pressure and cholesterol are lower.

Join Pamela Riggs, Board-Certified Specialist in Obesity and Weight Management and Outpatient Nutrition Coordinator and Dietician at Marin General Hospital’s Center for Integrative Health & Wellness, as she shares her top ten evidenced based weight loss strategies for making changes that can last a lifetime.

The event will be held on Monday, January 14th from 10:30AM to 11:30AM at the Corte Madera Library, 707 Meadowsweet Drive. Call 415-924-4844 for more information—no registration required.

What's Happening in Marin
Marin County Parks

New Year's Resolution Hike

Marin County Parks invites you to join Ranger Lisa Wilson for a day of exercise. You will hike the Big Trees Trail to the top of the preserve and back down (Approx. 6 miles). This event is ideal for ages 12 and up. The emphasis of the hike is to spend more time with nature, to get your heart pumping, and burn calories, all the while fulfilling your New Year’s resolution!

Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. They’ll provide water and healthy snacks. They request that no pets (except service animals) attend. Rain will cancel.

RSVP's are appreciated but not required. Questions or to RSVP: Contact Ranger Lisa Wilson at

The event will take place on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 from 8AM to 12PM at the Indian Tree Preserve. Meet at the trailhead on Vineyard Road in Novato. From Highway 101 in Novato, take the exit for San Marin Drive west 2.7 miles. San Marin Drive turns into Sutro Avenue at Novato Boulevard. Follow Sutro Avenue 1 mile, turn right at Vineyard Road and follow 1 mile. Trailhead is on the left where the paved road becomes a dirt road. For more information, please click here

Infant and Child CPR

Infant and Child CPR

Learn to recognize an infant or child in distress, rescue measures for choking, CPR techniques, and infant sleep safety. Includes hands-on practice with mannequins. One-year certification provided. Pre-crawling babies welcome. With Kimble Torres, CPR instructor certified by the American Heart Association in basic life support. 

The class will be held on Thursday, January 17th from 6:30PM to 9:00PM at Parents Place Marin, Dr. George Sugarman Swift Building, 600 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael.

For more information about this event and to register for the class, please click here

Age-Friendly Intergenerational Center
AGIC January Schedule

Intergenerational Center

The Intergenerational Center is a gathering place for seniors, children and young adults, featuring programs in art, games, yoga, literature, technology and more. AFIC offers events and activities for all ages -- preschool to 100+. 

For information or to view the January program schedule, please visit the Intergenerational Center website: or call 415-991-4040

Intergenerational Center Members are FREE. Membership cost for Corte Madera residents is $15; for those outside of Corte Madera, $25. 
This is a tax-deductible donation to Age-Friendly Solutions, a 501(c))(3) tax-deductible organization. Membership entitles you to ALL Intergenerational Center activities at NO CHARGE for the rest of 2018. 
Please contact Pam at The Center at 415.991.4040 to reserve space for your child or email

The Intergenerational Center is located by the "pencil bench" at 498 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera CA 94925

Makerspace and KidsArt

KidsArt and MakerSpace 

KidsArt with Debra
Classes are scheduled every Wednesday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM
For students, 2nd to 8th grade. 

MakerSpace with Charles

Every Thursday, 3:30-5:30PM

For ages 10 to 110. 
December activity: Make your own light show. Space is limited. Call in advance to reserve a spot.  

To view the description flyer, please click herePlease call Pam (415-991-4040) at the Intergenerational Center or email  with any questions or get more details about MakerSpace.

Upcoming Town Council, Board and Commission Meetings
Upcoming Town Meetings

Work Week of Monday, January 14th to Friday, January 18th

***IMPORTANT*** - Please Read. 
Notice Regarding the Meeting Agendas and Agenda Packets for the Corte Madera Town Council and the Sanitary District No. 2 Board of Directors:

Beginning with the January 15, 2019 Town Council meeting, the Town Council agendas will be posted through Granicus, a new agenda management software portal, in order to provide both better access to the agenda contents and simplified viewing of  meeting video.  Live streaming will still be available while the meeting is in progress via the following link: Archived videos, beginning with the January 15th meeting, will be indexed so that each agenda item will be linked to take you directly to the start of the discussion for a particular item in the video.
Over the coming months, all Town Boards and Commissions will be transitioned to the new system.  Information and access to all Council, Board and Commission agendas, minutes and videos, can now be accessed on the following page:
Additionally, beginning with the January 15th meeting, the agendas for the Sanitary District No. 2 (SD2) Board meetings will be posted separately, along with a new start time. SD2 Board meetings had previously been held concurrently with the Town Council meetings, as SD2 is a Subsidiary District to the Town of Corte Madera and the Corte Madera Town Council serves concurrently as the Board of Directors of SD2.
At its December 4, 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors for Sanitary District No. 2 voted to separate the meeting agendas for Town Council and the Sanitary District Board beginning with the first meeting in 2019 in order to provide greater transparency to the public and promote ease of access to Sanitary District agenda items. Meetings for SD2 are now scheduled to be held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, in the Corte Madera Town Hall Council Chambers (300 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA), and will begin at 6:45 p.m., or upon conclusion of the Corte Madera Town Council meeting, whichever is later.  Meetings will be streamed and archived in the same manner as the Town Council meetings and the agendas, minutes and videos can be accessed through the Agendas, Minutes and Notices page on the Town website:
We hope that you find these updates useful and welcome your comments and suggestions at or 415-927-5085.
Stay Informed

Stay Informed

Remember that you can subscribe to receive notifications on everything happening in Town. Whether it's meeting agendas or community events, we want you to stay informed. Please visit the Notify Me page and select the topics that interest you!

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus