Had a great kick off on Saturday!
Had a great kick off on Saturday!
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
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
SFGate has an interesting story about the history of San Anselmo here. It will be interesting to see if the San Anselmo can leverage its history in the service of Economic Development.
One of the action items from the recent Business Retention Study is a merchant Survey
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:
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.
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.
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