PictureCharles McGlashan and Carol Misseldine.

For many Mill Valley residents and Bay Area politicos, March 27, 2011 was a devastating gut punch. That was the day Charles McGlashan, the District 3 supervisor whose relentless energy and commitment propelled Marin toward a number of major sustainability achievements, died of a heart attack at the age of 49.

To mark the 10th anniversary of his passing, Marin District 3 Supervisor Stephanie Moulton-Peters led the board through a tribute earlier this month, crediting McGlashan for pushing forward a wide range of issues in his seven years on the board, from the Marin Energy Authority’s hard-fought launch of Marin Clean Energy in May 2010 and Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) to seemingly smaller but innovative initiatives like the Muir Woods shuttle, the plastic bag ban, non-motorized transportation projects and curbside composting.

“It’s important that we take a moment to consider Charles and the briliant leader he was and his legacy,” Moulton-Peters said, quoting his wife Carol Misseldine’s words after McGlashan’s passing about his “audacious refusal to accept the status quo” in building a sustainable world and that “there is no conflict between good business practices, environmental protection and a more livable community.”

“Charles wanted to soar, and he did,” she added.

“Here we are at 10 years and I’m amazed how much emotion and grief, frankly, is still here,” Misseldine told the supervisors.

“Charles was a visionary and had the political vision and will to get us to the finish line,” former longtime District 3 aide Leslie Alden said. “The closer we got, the more perilous the road became. It was an extremely stressful time. But Charles said, ‘we are engaged in right livelihood and that is what matters most. Charles is proof that one person can make big changes happen in our world.”

The remembrance brought reminders of the shock that spread through Mill Valley and beyond in the immediate aftermath of McGlashan’s passing in Truckee after a day of skiing with friends, including then-Mill Valley City Councilmember Shawn Marshall, who has gone on to become a leader in the movement for local community choice aggregation.

The day after McGlashan’s passing, then-Mill Valley Mayor Ken Wachtel said, “It’s a loss that I don’t know how we’re going to fill. He pursued his issues with his heart and he was dedicated to our community. He was just an amazing guy. For a county supervisor, he was larger than life.”

Marshall observed at the time that McGlashan’s star was on the rise beyond Marin, as he’d been mentioned as a possible representative for Marin at the state and national level.

“He had way more to do on this earth than his body would allow,” Marshall said at the time. “He died happy and we will carry on in his honor, but the loss is devastating.”

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