Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Forget Waldo, Where's Katie?

Katie Rice, Supervisor District Two was a "no show" at the Community Meeting in Ross on March 22, 2014 .
Supervisor, Katie Rice, Fails to Appear
Over 300 Ross Valley Residents Attend Community Meeting on High Density Housing in Marin

Marin County, CA. – On March 22, 2014, 300 to 400 people concerned about high-density housing in Marin attended an open community meeting at the Marin Art & Garden Center’s Livermore Room in Ross. The over-capacity crowd spilled out into the patio to listen to a presentation by Bob Silvestri, a former low-income housing developer and a critic of ABAG and Plan Bay Area. Conspicuous by her absence was District 2 Supervisor, Katie Rice, Ross Valley’s representative on the Board of Supervisors, who three (3) days before the meeting, informed her constituents that after much thought, she decided that “it was best for the community” if she “did not attend.”  Rice’s last minute announcement of her cancellation forced event organizers, Ross Valley volunteer residents, to scramble to inform attendees that the show would go on, but that the first hour and a half reserved solely for Rice, instead, was now two hours exclusively for Silvestri’s presentation and a public comment and Q & A session.

Peter Barry, M.D., former Town of Ross Mayor moderated the event. Dr. Barry observed that the 180 unit Win-Cup development in Corte Madera was the catalyst that sparked residents’ outrage regarding high-density housing in Marin and the interest in Mr. Silvestri’s presentation.
Bob Silvestri, author of "The Best Laid Plans"
spoke to an enthusiastic audience of 300 plus residents.
 For the first hour, Mr. Silvestri explained in layman’s terms the intricacies of Federal and State housing laws, ABAG, and Plan Bay Area, followed by an hour of questions and answers.  Mr. Silvestri was frequently interrupted by prolonged, loud applause, e.g., when he stated that Plan Bay Area is a one size fits all plan that does not fit Marin, that Marin’s metropolitan designation should be changed to suburban, that ABAG is a voluntary organization from which any city, town or county may withdraw at any time, and that an alternative to ABAG would be a new council of governments that included Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties, which share common interests such as agriculture, open space, parklands, and suburbs. 

During the question and answer period, Marin resident, Clayton Smith, noted with anger that Ms. Rice’s failure to appear signaled that District 2 and all of unincorporated Marin “have no representative.” His comment was greeted with demands for Ms. Rice’s recall.

The Art and Garden Center of Ross was packed with an overflow crowd.
See Bob Silvestris's Blog Post on

The Rumble In Ross


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