It is critically important that our city council represents our community with balanced, respectful, forward-looking leadership, always working hand-in-hand with its very talented and engaged residents.
I take pride in our legacy of supporting public schools and youth activities, maintaining our parks and open space, and ensuring top-notch public services.
You deserve the best from your elected council. Someone who is 100% prepared, engaged and there to represent you.
I am that representative, listening and always keeping the door to decision-making open.
As your council member I see five immediate priorities:
1. Hire the best City Manager possible. Our town deserves it. This will be “job one” of your newly elected council. I have hired dozens of managers through the years and understand the importance of identifying the intrinsic qualities of a good leader and manager.
2. Fiscal prudence. Our budget is under significant pressure as our employee costs, benefits, and pension obligations grow - labor consumes 70% of our General Fund and it is going to rise in the years ahead.
3. Emergency preparedness with a hard focus on evacuation. We must have viable evacuation protocols in place, neighborhood by neighborhood, house by house to minimize the loss of life in the event of a catastrophic earthquake and/or fire. Our City’s limited number of first responders will be overwhelmed in a major event and we are not ready.
4. Sustainable practices and preservation of our natural resources. Mill Valley is behind the curve. I am your candidate endorsed by the Sierra Club. I will fight to create and serve on a Sustainability Commission to recommend and adopt practices that are not simply aspirational or fear-driven but impactful and supported by our community.
5. Housing, planning, community character, and local control. Like other Bay Area cities, Mill Valley is under pressure from the State to promote the development of affordable housing. This is a worthy goal that I support, but I believe that the best way to accomplish this is by retaining local control of our planning and zoning process in order to ensure that future development complements all the things that make Mill Valley a great place to live.
Sylvia, our three kids and I have lived in Mill Valley for over 20 years. We moved here from Singapore in 1999 because it was affordable and had good schools. Through the years I have been very involved in our community, coaching and managing youth sports teams, volunteering on numerous city committees and serving two terms on our Parks and Recreation Commission - twice as its Chairperson.
Our children went to Mill Valley’s public schools and all are Tam Graduates. We are very proud parents of two college graduates working in the Bay Area, and our third and youngest son Patrick, born in Marin, is a junior at Cal.
Professionally, I had a 22-year career with Berlitz Corporation (a company focused on international corporate language training with 550 locations worldwide) culminating in a global, board-level position leading strategic planning, new business and product development as well as R&D and global product launches. I was responsible for over $55M in revenue from seven business segments, and a team of 27 managers and 200+ employees.
Today, I do pro bono consulting work, putting together teams of specialists to develop strategic plans for non-profits. My last project was with Urban Ed Academy in Bayview/ Hunter’s Point, and prior to that I put together and led a team to develop the strategic planning prep for an affordable housing non-profit, Resources for Community Development, in the East Bay.
This year I have not taken on new projects so that I can dedicate all my attention and work hours to serving you as your city council member.