Cities in the Bay Area are trying to find new ways to work together, by combining police and fire services and sharing other services, technology and investments. But who says similar levels of cooperation can't extend past U.S. borders?
The City of Larkspur put on its best face for a government delegation from Shang Yu, Zhiejiang, China. The delegation included the vice-mayor of Shang Yu, the governor of Zhiejiang and representatives from the city's police, medical and educational boards and business community.
Shang Yu is Larkspur's "friendly city" partner. The Larkspur City Council called for a special meeting Nov. 7 at which the Council presented a resolution promoting communications, goodwill and partnership between the two cities.
Larkspur Vice-Mayor Dan Hillmer took the delegation on a two-day tour that included visits to Redwood High School and Hall Middle School. They then toured the new Twin Cities Police facility on Doherty Drive. They later visited the Ross Valley Paramedic Authority, Marin General Hospital and the Buck Institute for Aging Research.
The purpose of the visit was to explore "friendly city" opportunities for exchange of cultural, educational, technological and trade partnerships between the two cities and regions, according to a report from Hillmer.
The visitors toured several floors of Marin General Hospital, examining medical scanning devices, communications and even looking at the plans for the proposed new hospital campus. Shang Yu does not have access to all the same technology, systems and equipment, according to Hillmer, but the two cities could help each other.
The City of Shang Yu has a physical setting and demographics similar to Marin and is the "north Bay" of the Shanghai, PRC region.
Shang Yu even resembles Marin County in that it has their version of Mount Tamalpais, known there as "Dragon Mountain." Shang Yu is known as a very high-quality tea growing region and as a manufacturing center for umbrellas, celadon ceramics and other well-known products, according to Hillmer.