What Kind of People are San Anselmo People

Last month, the MarinIJ ran a story about downtown Novato. One interesting comment in the story was from Dr. Robert Eyler chief economist of  the Marin Economic Forum

“Novatans are more Costco people, not boutique people,” he said. “The data is plain that Target and Costco are big players. Downtown doesn’t have that anchor to draw wallets.”

This analysis of Novato residents reminds me of some of the current challenges in San Anselmo residents.  What types of merchants or services do San Anselmo residents want in their community.  When I was recently passing out the San Anselmo Merchant survey I was struck the number of times merchants made reference to wealth of San Anselmo residents without placing it within any other context.  There seemed to be a sense that people have an infinite amount of disposable income and would purchase any service or goods regardless of its value or desirability.

Are the residents of San Anselmo “house-rich” and cash poor?  Are they long-time residents whose wealth is primarily the value of the house and not necessarily in a relatively high income.

I’m hopeful the forthcoming consumer survey will allow the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee (EDC) to begin to answer these questions in a constructive manner


San Anselmo Merchant Update Update

The San Anselmo 2016 Merchant Survey is in full swing.  If you’re a merchant, landlord or other stakeholder you can take the survey here.

We’ve already gotten about 60 completed surveys and there is approximately one more month to collect responses. I’ve spoken with some of the respondents and there is genuine excitement about the outreach by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee (EDC) and the upcoming consumer survey.  We’ve already received  some very valuable questions to integrate into the consumer survey. The completed surveys also suggest there is a strong desire to remain in regular contact with the EDC.

It will be an interesting puzzle to determine how EDC will communicate with the community in the future. One of the challenges I’ve found since moving to San Anselmo is the difficulty in communicating with various stakeholders.  Whether it’s between the town and residents, the school with parents or  businesses to consumers,  it is very difficult to find an efficient communication channel with an appropriate signal-to-noise-ratio.

One of the most effective methods communication tools  I’ve seen so far is the Marin Power Yoga Facebook Group. Amy and  Jamie (the co-founders) and the other teachers, do an exemplary job of communicating with the members and soliciting feedback from the membership about current programs and new offerings. They also highlight other local merchants.   There’s always a concern about Facebook lock-in, but Marin Power Yoga is a very interesting use case to ponder as the EDC decides how to best communicate with the the community

Delivering the Promise of Precision Medicine


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the “Delivering the Promise of Precision Medicine” conference sponsored by the Bay Area Council in conjunction with Genentech and Oracle.  The conference was great!! I have much deeper understanding of precision medicine from a variety of perspectives. I also came away with a much better understanding of the relationship between population health and precision medicine.

I left the conference with some strong takeaways:


  • How precision medicine might ultimately provide the supporting framework for successful population health program.  
  • The possibilities and potential roadblocks for precision medicine in changing the drug industry and ultimately affecting people’s health status.
  • How payers such as Blue Shield of California view precision medicine.
  • There seemed to be an overwhelming sense that the development of precision medicine could ultimately lower costs in the U.S. Healthcare system.  Dr. Michael Seiden provocatively suggested that precision medicine may be more like airbags than stagecoaches.  His point was that cars replaced stagecoaches, airbags simply increased the coast (and safety) of cars.  He also pointed out that none of the market participants in the healthcare space ever suggest that the companies and by extension, size and revenue are going to shrink.  So where are the cost savings going to come from?


The highlight of the conference may have been the admission by conference organizer and President of the Bay Area Council, Micah Weinberg that he is a fan of the The Smiths.


San Anselmo neighbors object to plan to house homeless overnight at St. Anselm’s School

A plan for a two-month summer pilot program at St. Anselm School in San Anselmo to house the homeless overnight has run into opposition from some neighbors of the school.

“I think it is going to be an attractive nuisance. I don’t want it across the street from me,” said Marsha Hallett, who lives adjacent to St. Anselm School.

Hallett has submitted a letter to San Anselmo Town Attorney Rob Epstein asserting that the planned use of the school violates a town law governing emergency shelters, and about 40 San Anselmo residents have added their signatures to the letter. Hallett also objects to the fact that men sheltered at the school will be allowed to smoke while supervised outside the school from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Read more here

San Anselmo weathers major storm

Debbie Stutsman, Town manager updates us on the state of San Anselmo


The major storm that is passing through the Bay Area had a significant impact on San Anselmo, including localized flooding and downed trees. Fortunately, the creek level peaked at 10 feet and then quickly began to recede. We typically experience flooding at 13 feet. …. more here