Max is running to make a positive impact on our town, by using his volunteer work and leadership skills and his passion for our community. His vision for Mill Valley’s City Hall is one that serves our residents, local businesses, workers and visitors with a welcoming and inclusive mindset. There likely will be divisive issues that the Council will have to vote on in the next four years, and not everyone will agree on every issue, but Max will always strive to make himself available to listen and treat everyone in town with respect.
He promises to work alongside and in support of our City Commissions and Task Forces, our schools, and our community and neighborhood groups. Max believes that by being proactive as a City and as a community, we can make Mill Valley more resilient in the face of fires, flooding, and sea level rise. We can find creative ways to support our local businesses and workers, ensure that our roads, bike paths, and sidewalks are safe and accessible, and work to “green” our City. We can collaborate to address cost-of-living challenges in town, promote affordable housing, and address longstanding inequities, all with an eye towards stewardship of our City's finances.
We can do all this (and more!), but Max needs your help. To start, please consider filling out a very short survey here so that Max can learn what’s on your mind. While not an exhaustive list, below are some key priority issue areas that Max plans to work on if elected June 7th.
To be successful, the government must be responsive to those it serves. Max’s professional career has included public relations and community outreach. He is dedicated to making Mill Valley a model in inclusive government and looks forward to working closely with valued partners, including but not limited to MVFREE, the Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Mill Valley, Safe Routes to School, and the arts community.
- Monthly office hours in different parts of town.
- Explore models in other cities for community budgeting and transparency.
- Implement a regular e-newsletter with community events and ways to get involved, to complement MV Connect.
- Welcome the community into City facilities with more events.
- Full utilization of all tools on and offline by all departments and promote new tools for accessibility.
Our local businesses face many challenges. Retail, restaurant, and office space rents and operational costs continue to rise. There’s competition from regional shopping centers and e-commerce giants. The COVID-19 pandemic is still in play. If elected, Max’s promise is for City government to be a proactive partner and cheerleader for local small businesses.
- Proactively recruit businesses for vacancies downtown.
- Regularly review code requirements and ensure that local businesses are structured to flourish and that creative entrepreneurs are supported.
- Support local merchants and restaurants over big box stores and chains.
- Promote Mill Valley as a place to eat, drink, shop, and enjoy cultural attractions.
- Work with the Chamber of Commerce and community groups to bring even more community events to highlight our town.
As Chair of the Mill Valley Emergency Preparedness Commission, a member of the Southern Marin Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and a representative of the Citizens Oversight Committee of the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority, Max has seen firsthand the professionalism with which our first responders approach their role. It's up to us as residents to do our part to support them and to prepare ourselves to be resilient.
- Ensure our first responders are funded, trained, and adequately staffed.
- Continue to support comprehensive evacuation planning.
- Support our Neighborhood Response Groups (NRGs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).
- Maintain the Steps, Lanes, and Paths (SLPs) evacuation routes to a high standard and ensure they are clearly marked.
As the pandemic recovery continues to progress and the East Blithedale overhaul gets underway, traffic will increasingly be a frustration for residents in town. The City needs to take a lead in developing possible short- and long-term solutions.
- Work with neighboring jurisdictions on syncing lights and timing road improvements to space out traffic-inducing projects.
- Work with CALTRANS directly to address the traffic slowdowns exiting Mill Valley
- Accelerate bike-pedestrian improvements and build bike-pedestrian safety considerations into all Department of Public Works (DPW) projects.
- Work with neighborhood leaders and explore solutions to existing neighborhood traffic issues in the Hauke Park and Sycamore/Nelson communities.
- Advocate for Amazon and other delivery services to prioritize off-peak deliveries and encourage home-serving businesses to operate in non-peak times.
As Co-Chair of Sustainable Mill Valley since 2019, Max has worked to make Mill Valley a model for other small cities to follow for best practices. We are lucky to have both the talent and finances to make this happen. All we need is the political will to act and the commitment and dedication to follow through. Max recognizes that climate action and sustainability are issues to be tackled to preserve the natural beauty of Marin and the health and welfare of all communities.
- Follow the lead of the City of Mill Valley's Climate Action Plan (CAP) Task Force on priority projects once they release an updated CAP in 2022.
- Follow the example set by 8 of the 11 cities in Marin by adopting a visionary Climate Emergency Resolution (CER) that lays out a roadmap for concrete local actions and galvanizes support from the community.
- Use the levers of City Hall to make it convenient and cost-effective to electrify our homes, businesses, and vehicles in town.
- Collaborate with the business community to pass a single-use foodware ordinance and prohibit plastics in City facilities.
- Work with the water district to implement water-saving policies, including greywater.
- Ban toxic chemical pesticides on city property and require neighbor notification for private property.
- Protect our open space and parks in town and work to increase accessibility.
Our community can and should do more to reduce costs for our middle and lower income residents. We should support local workers and view all policy discussions through an equity lens. A diverse community is a healthy community.
- Work with the business community and neighboring jurisdictions to increase the hourly minimum wage.
- Leverage the City’s housing fund to secure regional, state, and federal funds for the acquisition and production of well-sited affordable housing.
- Promote state and local programs offering rental and mortgage assistance, income-based nutrition and health benefits, tax prep assistance and tax rebates to our residents and workers who may be eligible.
- Partner with the school district and neighboring jurisdictions to identify government property suitable for workforce housing.
- Ensure that programming offered through the Recreation Department and the Library remains accessible to all residents and families, including those who live within the Tamalpais HS enrollment area.
- Promote community efforts to provide universal Pre-K and quality childcare for children.
- Regularly review City fees with an eye towards reducing user costs of City services and facilities and increasing accessibility.
- Ensure that City materials, whether print or online, are accessible through a language justice lens
To ensure that everyone who lives, works, or visits our community is safe, Max has committed to ensuring that we prioritize addressing crime while also implementing police transparency and reform measures.
- Work with our sworn officers and partners across the region to address car break-ins, burglaries, and other property crimes.
- Maintain a payscale to ensure that we are recruiting and retaining the very best sworn officers.
- Demand accountability of oneself, fellow elected officials, and City staff, including police, to ensure that people of the most marginalised backgrounds and demographics are treated with respect and welcomed to the decision-making table.
- Work with our dedicated public safety officers to continue to implement and fund best practices, police reform measures and officer training programs locally.
- Provide civilian oversight of our Police Department to ensure that no one is above the law and that everyone is treated with respect.
- Implement California State Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) policies for Bias-Free Policing and align MVPD training with RIPA Best Practices, protecting both our community and police officers.
- Support civil liberty protections locally, such as putting constraints on surveillance equipment purchasing.
- Support measures at the State and Federal levels that enact police reforms and provide funding for implementation of community policy models at the local level.
- Consider options to share or consolidate services with neighboring jurisdictions.
To provide quality service to the public, local government is best served by Councilmembers who understand municipal budgeting. Max has committed to provide an open door approach to governance that values and respects the views of all the community.
- Provide transparency and community engagement into the budgeting process.
- Aggressively pursue grants at the federal, state, and regional levels.
- Demand cost/benefit analysis of all major decisions.
- Pursue opportunities for shared services and consolidation where services can be improved with cost savings.
- Look to increase revenue, such as bringing the sales tax up to the level of neighboring communities, to fund key priorities.