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Guiding Principles

Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency
Board of Directors

Guiding Principles: The Board of Directors of the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency is the local governing body that is responsible for determining policy direction for Richardson’s Bay and overseeing its implementation. The Board recognizes that current plans, policies and ordinances for Richardson’s Bay are not always consistent with all of the current activity taking place on Richardson’s Bay. The Board is poised to develop actions to address and rectify incongruence. The purpose of adopting Guiding Principles is to establish how the Board will make decisions on its direction.

1. Relationships with stakeholders
We will seek to understand the perspectives of stakeholder organizations and individual stakeholders before making policy decisions. Stakeholder organizations include, but are not limited to: Audubon California; Bay Development and Conservation Commission; Floating Homes Association; Marin Audubon Society; Marin County Health & Human Services; Marin County Sheriff; Richardson’s Bay Special Anchorage Association; San Francisco Bay Commercial Herring Fishermen’s Association; City of Sausalito; and Seatrek; Individual stakeholders include but are not limited to persons who own boats and/or live, work or engage in recreational activity on Richardson’s Bay; marina/yacht club owners and their boat owners/occupants; owners of property on the Bay; and (other) members of the communities of Belvedere, Mill Valley, Tiburon, and unincorporated County of Marin near Richardson’s Bay.

2. Regard for specialized experience and knowledge
Persons with first-hand experience and/or trained knowledge will help inform our deliberations in the areas of their expertise. Examples of persons with specialized knowledge and experience include those who currently or have:

  • Engaged in recreational activity on the Bay
  • Experienced as a local mariner
  • Fished in Richardson’s/San Francisco Bay
  • Lived on the water (vessels and houseboats)
  • Provided, received or otherwise engaged in human/social services
  • Studied and/or worked in environmental sciences
  • Worked on or adjacent the water in public safety or other public or private services

3. Concern for impact on individuals and communities
We acknowledge the maritime culture and anchorage history that have existed in and around Richardson’s Bay.  We recognize that decisions we make about the future direction of Richardson’s Bay will impact the lives of people who live on the Bay, have vessels on the Bay, navigate vessels on the Bay, live along the Bay, whose livelihoods depend on the health of the bay, whose interests are to maintain maritime culture; who work on the bay; and who live in other areas of our respective jurisdictions. We also recognize the impact of our actions on future residents and generations. We will bear in mind these impacts when we weigh our options and make our decisions, and we will look for ways we can minimize negative human impacts.

4. Concern for environmental conditions
We recognize we are stewards of the environment of the Bay and its water quality and natural resources, including rocky and sandy shorelines, wetlands, mudflats, eelgrass and open water habitats, for the benefit of recreation and wildlife. We understand the Bay provides a wide range of aquatic and wildlife habitats for abundant and diverse populations of fish, birds & other wildlife, including nursery habitat for ecologically and commercially important species such as herring. We acknowledge that there are many manmade and other factors that affect the ecology of the Bay that include anchored vessels, fishing, marinas, waste and waste water disposal/treatment, and other uses, conditions and activities on and along the Bay.  We will bear in mind the impacts of our decisions on the present and future ecology of the Bay.

5. Communication between RBRA and the community
We will be transparent with information as we work to make decisions, we will ask questions when we do not understand, and we will support means for conveying information between the Board and public who may or may not have access to a computer/the internet. We will pay attention to notifying stakeholder communities about meetings and aim to create an environment where we can learn from multiple perspectives.

6. Opportunities for collaboration
We will look to other organizations to establish and/or share common goals. We will be open to ways that we can collaborate with other organizations in the direction and/or actions we undertake to achieve our goals.

7. Fiscal responsibility
We will be mindful of our fiscal responsibility to our constituents to use tax dollars prudently, carefully, wisely, and openly.

8. Deliberate speed in achieving results
We will be mindful about taking actions in a timely manner while respecting the need to have sufficient information on which to base our decisions. We recognize that the thirst for more information and time is ever present and that as representatives of our agencies we have the responsibility to make the best decisions we can with the information that is available using a reasonable amount of staff time, Board time, and calendar time. We understand that seasons and weather have a bearing on the timing and impacts of our decisions.

9. Implementation, Enforcement, and Maintenance
We acknowledge the existence of the current regulatory policy, plans, ordinances, and law. We recognize that wherewithal to implement, enforce and maintain will be required for our decisions on policies, plans, ordinances, and other actions.. We will not adopt rules and regulations for which we will not establish credible and reliable means of operation, enforcement, and maintenance. We understand the need for our ordinances to accurately reflect our direction for our entire jurisdiction.

10. Regard for health, safety, and respect
We recognize and respect the inherent dignity, worth, and rights of all inhabitants of the communities of Richardson’s Bay.  We will seek ways that our actions and collaborations can improve health, safety, and respect for those on and around the Bay.

11. Water quality
We recognize that the value of clean water spans all stakeholder groups and fiscal areas, and is integral to human health, economic productivity, recreation, and wildlife. We also understand and will take into consideration that multiple human and natural factors affect water quality, including populations on and surrounding the Bay, tidal actions, and absence of fresh water inflow, the shape, depth and tidal flushing of the Bay impacts pollution of the Bay. We will bear in mind how our decisions affect water quality in the Bay.

12. Meeting protocol
We will adhere to the Brown Act open meeting laws, and we will request the public’s understanding that it constrains the Board members’ ability to respond to comments and questions from the public during the public comment period. We encourage a respectful dialogue that supports freedom of speech and values diversity of opinion. The Board, staff and the public are expected to be polite and courteous and refrain from questioning the character or motives of others. We will expect persons in attendance to refrain from booing, whistling and clapping, to adhere to speaking time limits, and to silence cell phones.

Adopted February 8, 2018

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