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Greg Brockbank to Run for San Rafael City Council in November

Contested November council race will include former Councilman Greg Brockbank and council members Barbara Heller and Kate Colin.


Former San Rafael councilman Greg Brockbank formally announced Tuesday he will run for San Rafael City Council in a contested race this November. 

Brockbank, who was on the council from 2007 to 2011 and lost a race for San Rafael mayor in November 2011, will face council members Kate Colin and Barbara Heller on the November ballot. 

Heller, who has been on council since 1993, confirmed Tuesday afternoon she plans to run for re-election in the fall. 

Colin, who was appointed to replace Assembly member Marc Levine’s seat in January, also plans run in Nov. 5 election for a four-year term, Heller said.

In a release, Brockbank said the issues he would focus on as a council member include:

  •  Further “greening” San Rafael by reducing its carbon footprint and implementing the Climate Change Action Plan
  • Improving transit options and economic development in the downtown area
  • Inviting neighborhood participation in decisions made at City Hall that affect residents’ quality of life

He said San Rafael officials should focus on getting more people to come downtown to eat and shop. 

Brockbank, an attorney, works at the Marin Law Center and is on the boards of Sustainable San Rafael, the Federation of San Rafael Neighborhoods, the Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative, Senior Access, and the American Sports Institute. He also serves on the Green Committee of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, the San Rafael Community Coalition, the Homelessness Policy Steering Committee, and the Thursday Morning Group.

Brockbank said he has already earned “support” to run for council from Congressman Jared Huffman, former Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, Senator Mark Leno and former assembly members Vivien Bronshvag and Michael Allen. 

San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips beat Brockback with 56 percent of the vote in the 2011 race to replace former San Rafael Mayor Al Boro.

In the same election 2011, council member Damon Connolly was re-elected to council and Peacock Gap resident Andrew McCullough was elected to council. 

Residents interested in running in the race can pull papers from the city as early as July 15, according to San Rafael City Clerk Esther Beirne. 

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Richard Hall February 27, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Greg surely faces an uphill struggle after his performance at the 20th August council meeting where 200+ San Rafael voters packed the council chamber and witnessed his dismissal of majority public input around the Civic Center Station Area Plan- captured on this video: Skip to 3h 28m... http://cityofsanrafael.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=288 The outreach for the committee recruitment and meetings was flawed - emails and attached presentations made no mention of rezoning or high density housing, instead referencing platform landscaping and accessibility. 2 years later when the committee, which Greg personally helped select, published a draft proposal advocating 800+ new high density residences 5 story’s in height it resulted in residents packing the final committee meeting with its highest ever turnout. Shocked residents were dumbfounded. Greg states that this “sends an unfortunate signal that any time you can get 100 people in the council chamber [who oppose a plan it] …sets an unfortunate precedent that just because some people are unhappy don't let this come to pass” Residents might ask Greg Brockbank just how they are supposed to oppose a plan? Are we supposed to believe that Greg will not now listen and represent the community? Those hundreds of north San Rafael residents returned and talked to their neighbors. Perhaps Greg Brockbank can somehow convince them, but it may be challenging to find words overcoming his prior actions.
Michael February 28, 2013 at 01:42 AM
we need to move ahead not go backwards. Heller has been in there since 1993? Wow. Is this supposed to be a lifetime post? I think we need some new blood and new thinking. At least some new listeners.
Greg Brockbank February 28, 2013 at 02:44 AM
Yes, I urged the council to accept (not "adopt") the report the citizens committee had worked on for two years, becasue to reject it because a group of resdients who came out at literally the 11th hour to oppose it (some or most of whom did not have all the facts), would have discouraged residents in the future from serving on such advisory committees. But before any buildings are approved, they will have to be applied for on a site-by-site basis, often with zoning changes and general plan amendments, which may or may not happen. And I never even mentioned, much less supported, any specific buildings at any specfic heights. And yes, I helped "select" the citizens committee, along with then-Mayor Al Boro, by accepting virtually everyone who applied, with the exception of one person employed to advocate for housing, and 1-2 others who were made ex officio (non-voting) members from local public agancies. Any of the now-complaining residents who would have applied for the committee would have been accepted, but they didn't apply. If anyone wants to check my new campaign website tomorrow --GregBrockbankforSanRafael.com -- they'll find my positions on various issues, and my 300+ list of very early endorsers, including most neighborhood leaders. And I was the founding Vice President of the North San Rafael Coalition of Residents 26 years ago.
Richard Hall February 28, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Greg states: “Yes, I urged the council to accep the report the citizens committee had worked on for two years, becasue to reject it because a group of resdients who came out at literally the 11th hour to oppose it would have discouraged residents in the future from serving on such advisory committees.” People showed up “at the 11th hour “in their hundreds in shock and disbelief because... - the original committee was promoted as focusing on station accessability and landscaping, there was never any mention rezoning or adding new housing - multiple highly impacted neighborhoods (Marin Lagoon, The Gables) were never even informed of committee events - only in July 2012, less than a month before concluding, did the committee arrive at proposing 800+ five story high new residences with 45 units per acre When the community final became aware and showed up in numbers you dismissed our input. Sorry that you might have upset and discouraged 20 committee members – however hundreds of highly impacted homeowners feel stunned, railroaded and disenfranchised. This shouldn't have been a surprise, what few had attended the meetings had consistently voiced not to go above 3 storys as the number one most common comment. “[the group of residents] did not have all the facts” Here's a summary the concerns that the community submitted after the council vote – which facts are incorrect? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b5QyUeWv9b7cQGpvOcoq8Q8Gwfrajpqfd8W9Kuh6dco/edit
Richard Hall February 28, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Short version: North San Rafael residents will give a strong "tailwind" to sincere council candidate who will effectively represent their concerns - not just listen, but represent and take action. Concerns regarding the Civic Center Station Area Plan and ensuring process is fair and ensures fair community input is front of mind. Candidates have until July to throw their hat in the ring...
Stephen Nestel February 28, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Some "citizens" in San Rafael are more equal than others ? Since when can you choose which citizens have a legitimate voice? You ignore the tens of thousands of residents in Terra Linda who are not part of your inner circle at your peril. The civic center station plan will cost the community millions of dollars in infrastructure, costs for education, more traffic, pollution. These low income developments pay virtually no taxes either. No wonder some don't want to the taxpaying public to know. This Fall, the people will elect politician who understands true democracy and the responsibility of leadership.
John Parulis February 28, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Glad to see you in the race Greg. The City Council functions more like a wing of the Chamber of Commerce than a representative of the people. The balance you would add is crucial. Give me a Brockbank bumper sticker!
Georgette Trees February 28, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Greg is breath of fresh air. So sorry he lost the Mayoral race, but so glad he is back in the Council race. I have watched Greg in action. He listens, he does his homework, he does not get involved with back room deals and is not swayed by lobbyists. Greg will be a good representative of all San Rafael's neighborhoods. And by the way, he used to live in Terra Linda himself.
Gerald Belletto March 04, 2013 at 06:10 AM
I'm puzzled why citizens of the neighborhoods Richard Hall mentioned would prefer uncontrolled growth encroaching on their areas. Greg is right about a sincere effort to get residents from the impacted areas and most were not paying attention. Rafael Meadows had reps and provided valuable input. Perhaps many are under the misconception that all sorts of development will be built without the benefit of the usual safeguards, like going before Design Review, the Planning Commission and Council, just like any project. The Plan was to guide any development, not go out and build it.
Richard Hall March 04, 2013 at 08:41 AM
Gerald - north San Rafael residents have no faith or confidence in the planning process after the station area plan events. We would welcome restoration of faith and are reaching out to the planning department, mayor and councilors to try to understand how this might occur. Residents now have a complete lack of trust in the planning process - whether Design Review (the Design Review Board's input on the station area plan was disregarded), Planning Commission or Council. San Rafael Meadows provided input, much of which was disregarded. One Meadows rep who attended almost all of the meetings called the chairman at the conclusion to convey how unhappy he was with the outcome as it failed to represent their input. We support growth that is in character with the neighborhood - and where population figures support the need for such growth (reality check: the state finance department projects a decline in Marin's population). We don't support development to justify a train (which should have been built only if the population already made it economic). We don't stack and pack housing that turns suburban low rise north San Rafael into an urban high rise landscape that is entirely out of character of Marin.
Kevin Moore March 04, 2013 at 08:44 AM
Many people judged a book by its cover and got fooled. I thought the "Civic Center Station area plan" was about the station alone. Not addeding infill housing around the area surrounding the station. I believe some of the proposed zoning changes are on the opposite side of the mall. We are seeing SMART being used to change the areas far from the station. Again and again we were told there is no need to add more housing for SMART to reach the housing density numbers, then we see a plan for hundreds more. From the beginning, prop Q to fund SMART was presented as a benefit for commuters to reduce congestion on 101. Not a word about housing in prop Q. It is now becoming more obvious the purpose of prop Q is to provide an amenity for infill housing. Very little benefit to the existing residents of Marin. http://www.smartvoter.org/2008/11/04/ca/sn/meas/Q/ A lot of voters feel they got hit with a bait and switch. Why didn't the title include "housing" in the title. Hundreds of new housing units is a big impact in the area. The traffic flow is jammed up on those streets already. Don't tell me all of the new residents won't have cars as they have SMART. That is like the "paperless office". Nice theory only.


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