As has been the City of Mill Valley’s longstanding tradition, the City Council has passed of the proverbial baton from the outgoing to the incoming Mayor. At their meeting on Monday, April 1, 2019, the City Council thanked outgoing Mayor Stephanie Moulton-Peters on her year of service and third term as Mayor, and elected Jim Wickham as Mayor and Sashi McEntee as Vice Mayor.
In Mill Valley, Councilmembers traditionally are elected to serve in the role of Mayor for one year during their four-year terms. Moulton-Peters was elected to the City Council in 2007 and re-elected in 2011 and 2015. Wickham and McEntee were elected in 2015.
Members of the community, City staff and fellow City Councilmembers shared their insight and thoughts about the year that was and the year to come, with Moulton-Peters receiving an abundance of praise for leading the City through a busy and eventful year.
Key events in the Mayor’s term include the completion of the Miller Avenue Streetscape and soon afterwards receiving three major awards on the project, the passage of the Measure AA Transportation Tax, traffic congestion relief initiatives, fire prevention and preparedness, and kicking off the Flood Management and Drainage Master Plan. She has been keenly involved in the City’s bicycle, environmental and age-friendly programs, lead efforts on youth alcohol and drug awareness, and worked on initiatives to improve the City’s SLPs, crosswalks and sidewalks.
Councilmember McEntee thanked Mayor Moulton-Peters for her friendship and service to the City, and Councilmember John McCauley expressed his appreciation of her Council leadership through respectful dialogue and decision-making processes.
Councilmember Jessica Jackson was not able to attend the meeting, but she sent a message to the Mayor thanking her for her year of leadership. “The Mayor has been an incredible example of what a Mayor should be,” said. “She dives deeply into every topic in front of us, learning all perspectives and hearing all sides before she forms her always thoughtful opinion.”
The Mayor thanked her Council colleagues, the City Manager and staff, Board and Commission members, and her family, and acknowledged the many accomplishments the City has achieved over the past year.
“We have a wonderful team here in Mill Valley,” she said. “We have respect for each other, we are constructive, we have complimentary skill sets, and we follow Mill Valley’s traditions, of being positive and respectful of our community. You can’t ask for more than that.”
About the incoming Mayor, Jim Wickham, she applauded his deep knowledge as a fourth-generation Mill Valley resident and former Police Captain in the Mill Valley Police Department.
“I want to thank you, Jim, for your passion for community, fairness, and for bringing us together. Given the recent heightened awareness of the risk of wildfire and emergency preparedness, you are the right person to be taking on the Mayorship at this time. I am confident that you are going to lead us forward on this front and other critical issues. We could not be in better hands.”
Jim Wickham is not the first Wickham to serve as Mayor in Mill Valley, Jim’s father, George Wickham, was elected to the City Council in 1964 and served as Mayor from 1971-1972.
“I want to thank my fellow Councilmembers,” he said. “I am honored and very humbled that the four of you, on this April Fools Day, have chosen me to be your Mayor.”
“I am also pleased that this longstanding tradition of rotating the Mayor position shows our constituents the respect and confidence we have toward each other,” he continued, “and how five individuals from different parts of life can come together, open minded and dedicated to the values and mission of this great City.”
Wickham went on to list a number of existing projects and new initiatives for the year ahead, including fire preparedness, flood management strategies, the upcoming Downtown paving, sidewalk and utility improvements, golf course operations, and shared service agreements with the Fire Department.
He introduced the idea of working with Police Chief Alan Piombo to start a Youth Advisory Board with local students to address issues such as Police relations, hate crimes, teen suicide, anxiety, and drug use. He proposed that the Police Department and Youth Advisory Board work together to create a community dialog on these important issues and to make a recommendation to Council on programs and policies to improve and empower Mill Valley youth.
He also indicated his interest in continuing the work begun by Moulton-Peters on Age-Friendly City initiatives, to work closely with the senior community to make it easier for our older population to stay connected.
Jim concluded his remarks with a quote from his father, which emphasizes the importance of community involvement. “If we don’t get involved then the democratic process is a farce, it doesn’t mean anything,” he quoted. After the meeting adjourned, Councilmembers, colleagues, friends and family enjoyed a reception to celebrate the Mayoral transition.