June 22, 2022
Mayoral Transition and Swearing In
At their June 21, 2022 meeting, the Mill Valley City Council conducted their annual mayoral transition and unanimously elected Jim Wickham as Mayor and Urban Carmel as Vice Mayor.
Newly-elected Mayor Wickham shared his priorities for the next year, which included Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Age-Friendly initiatives, the Climate Action Plan, and employee recognition. He shared his commitment to work with his fellow Councilmembers to provide the best policies for our community, citing the importance of “recognizing our historic past, while acknowledging that in our future, changes need to be made.“
“There will be times when Council decisions will be at odds with those affected,'' he continued, “but understand our decisions are not made in vain, as a Democratic process ultimately brings about the best interests of the City.”
Councilmembers Jim Wickham, Stephen Burke and Max Perrey were next administered their oath of office and seated on the Council. They made remarks expressing their gratitude to the community, City staff, and their fellow Councilmembers.
Celebrating and Thanking John McCauley
Councilmembers and City staff shared their thanks and appreciation for McCauley for his two terms of service on the Planning Commission and two terms on the City Council, serving as Mayor in 2016 and 2021.
Key accomplishments during McCauley’s long history of service include:
- The MV2040 General Plan
- $18 mil, 18-month Miller Avenue Streetscape Project
- SASM Master Plan and Project - 2021 CASA Award for the Headworks Building Biological Odor Control System
- 10-year Long Range Financial Plan
- Successful passage of the MST with 77% voter approval
- Coordinated policy and strategies to address affordable housing needs
- Innovative partnerships to expand emergency evacuation planning strategies
- Support of the City’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and the City’s DEI Work Plan
- Sustained attention to road improvement projects, improving the overall condition of the community's street network - Raised the City’s Pavement Condition Index (PCI) from a score of 58-Fair in 2014 to 73-Good in 2020.
- Targeted traffic congestion reduction actions, including the Caltrans/Hwy 101 signal project, the East Blithedale off ramp widening project, and the pilot Yellow School Bus program.
- Action to reduce pension and other post-employment benefits costs, address unfunded liabilities, and develop of a Long-Range Financial Plan
- Shared services to improve service and reduce operating costs.
City Manager Alan Piombo kicked off the accolades for the departing Mayor, citing his steady guidance and counsel, especially during the pandemic. “John is very supportive of City staff and deeply committed to creating a thriving community that is accessible and welcoming to all,” he said. “John has been a valued mentor to me and his fellow City Council members, and his presence and influence will be sorely missed.”
Mayor Jim Wickham spoke next: “John, you will truly be missed,” he said. “You’ve been the CPA on the Council and a friend, and we have worked together on many issues. You have brought your own leadership style to the Council, which I really appreciate. I am looking forward to having you still be involved with the City and staying connected for years to come.”
Vice Mayor Urban Carmel lauded McCauley for reinforcing Council values such as working together in a collaborative and collegial manner. He highlighted how the Council embraces the diversity of different viewpoints and has a strong tradition of mutual respect. He acknowledged McCauley for demonstrating these key points repeatedly in all Council interactions.
“John,” he said, “we are a stronger City for everything that you’ve done, and we are better for the example that you have set.”
Councilmembers Sashi McEntee and Stephen Burke shared their appreciation of McCauley’s many years of service, followed by members of the community sharing their accolades for the outgoing Mayor.
Marin County Board of Supervisors representative Stephanie Moulton-Peters spoke of getting to know McCauley when he was on the Mill Valley Planning Commission, where he served for eight years.
“You served in that role the way you served on the Council,” she said, “giving your heart, mind, and everything you have. That’s what I admire about you so much. You jump in with both feet on all issues.”
Paula Reynolds, Chamber of Commerce Director of Operations and Advocacy, thanked McCauley for his leadership during the pandemic. “On behalf of our entire Chamber Board and team,” she said, “I’d like to express our appreciation for your leadership as Mayor and fostering the economic vitality of our community during one and most difficult periods in Mill Valley‘s history.”
McCauley shared some reflections on his service. He cited his role in contributing to forward progress on many important initiatives, including reforming the City’s policy on Other Post-Employment Benefits, improving road conditions in Mill Valley, supporting the diversity of housing opportunities, and fire evacuation procedures.
“It’s been a real pleasure to be a part of this mess we call Democracy, with its passion, controversy and energy,” he said.
He thanked and acknowledged his wife Cindy, fellow Councilmembers, volunteers that have served on the City’s Boards and Commissions, and City staff.
On behalf of the City of Mill Valley, we thank John McCauley for his many years of dedication and leadership.