CHALLENGES VISIONS VALUES

  • Wake Up to threats of development plans for your community, loss of local control, and regional planning.
  • Learn the language of Plan Bay Area, the alphabet agencies like MTC and ABAG, and programs like TAM, PDAs, TODs.
  • Network with neighbors, leaders from Marin and beyond, and elected officials.

CITIZEN MARIN ACTION
Meet the LAFCO Candidates
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LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) has been called “the most powerful agency you’ve never heard of.” CM-LAFCO-Panel-QandA-2-smallest-IMAG0536-300x237Meet four candidates for the Commission on Citizen Marin’s panel video, along with an introduction to LAFCO from Carla Condon, Corte Madera City Councilwoman who currently sits on the LAFCO Board. Candidates who participated included John Carapiet, Sanitary District #5; Lew Kious, Almonte Sanitation District; Justin Kai, Marinwood Community Services District; and Pam Miegs, Ross Valley Sanitary District.

Why LAFCO matters to Citizens
LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) is an influential planning and regulatory agency that controls boundaries of cities and special districts, such as water, sewer, and fire. Marin’s 7-member commissioners are not directly elected. Instead LAFCO is comprised of 2 city council members (Carla Condon and Gary Phillips – Alt. is Herb Weiner), 2 county supervisors (Judy Arnold and Damon Connolly – Alt. is Kate Sears), 2 special district members (Dennis Rodoni and Craig Murray – Alt. is Jack Baker) and 1 public member (Jeff Blanchfield – Alt. is Christopher Burdick), who oversee 65 agencies.

Background Information
The California Legislature created LAFCO in 1963 for the 58 counties to discourage sprawl and encourage the orderly formation of local government agencies. LAFCO can annex, consolidate, merge, and dissolve boundaries. Because LAFCOs are agents of the Legislature, voters can’t use an initiative or referendum to challenge decisions, but must use the courts. Some people point to the efficiency of LAFCO as a means to discourage sprawl and encourage orderly growth. Others challenge LAFCO’s powers, lack of direct representation, and working out of the public’s view.

CITIZEN MARIN is a group of everyday citizens waking up to high-density growth, increased congestion, and far-reaching plans to urbanize Marin. We share a concern that long cherished practices of local control and fair and transparent government are eroding.

Citizen_Marin_Study_Session_crop_548x376We care deeply about small town character and the incredible beauty of Marin. We believe views and vistas should be preserved. We value environmental protections for our communities over planning to meet the financial interests of developers and investors. We strive to assure the infrastructure that supports schools, safety, and adequate water supply is sustainable.

CM-LAFCO-Panel-listening-1-smaller-IMAG0503-300x178We don’t live in a vacuum. We respect the value of regional and long-range planning, done with honest numbers, valid assumptions, and reliable processes that get to the heart of the matter, without manipulation to get to pre-determined outcomes.

In Citizen Marin we learn that what is happening in our community is happening everywhere. We are not alone. We help educate and engage others in this great process of representative democracy and the power of dedicated people to make a difference.
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