County Manager Releases Recommended Budget

May 30, 2012

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – San Mateo County Manager John L. Maltbie today unveiled a recommended budget of $1.83 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year that would eliminate 234 positions, pushing the total number of eliminated positions to more than 700 over the past four years.

“We have taken great steps toward improving our efficiency and targeting our services more effectively than ever before,” Maltbie said. “Still, we cannot escape certain cutbacks due to the many demands placed on our organization.”

Despite the elimination of 234 positions, the total budget will grow from $1.756 billion in the current fiscal year to $1.836 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The primary reasons for the growth are a number of capital projects:

• $44.2 million budgeted for the first phase of planning and construction of a 576-bed jail to replace the aging and outdated Women’s Correctional Center and to relieve chronic overcrowding in men’s facilities
• $9.7 million for tenant and seismic improvements to Circle Star South, one of two towers located at the recently purchased Circle Star Plaza, with the South tower to house County departments, including Public Safety Communications (9-1-1 Dispatch)
• $2 million for improvements on the Alpine Trail along Alpine Road between Menlo Park and Portola Valley
• $2 million to assume responsibility and maintenance of the Devil’s Slide trail once the highways is abandoned by the state when the Highway 1 bypass tunnel opens

Additional funding is provided in the 2012-13 Recommended Budget for the following:

• $2.7 million to supervise inmates who were previously sent to state prison under a state-funded initiative called Public Safety Realignment
• $17.1 million for the operating loss and to transition clients from the Burlingame Long-Term Care facility to other suitable housing
• $3.4 million to provide Sheriff’s patrol services to the City of Millbrae, a contracted service paid for by the city
• $1.5 million for negotiated salary and benefit increases

Since 2008, labor groups and unrepresented employees have partnered with the County by agreeing to a host of salary and benefit cutbacks. The modest $1.5 million increase in salary and benefits countywide is mainly for step increases for certain employees and negotiated raises for nurses.

The Recommended Budget assumes the passages of Measures T, U and X in June and negotiating labor agreements that result in lower salary and/or benefits costs.

The recommended cutbacks for the coming year include $1.1 million in efficiency measures from Information Services, $1.1 million by eliminating a fire engine company at Tower Road near San Mateo and $2.7 million in cutbacks at San Mateo Medical Center unrelated to the Burlingame Long-Term Care transition.

In his budget message, Maltbie calls for a fundamental restructuring of the County’s organization in the year ahead to improve overall efficiency and service to the public.

“By the end of FY 2012-13 the County will have eliminated a net of 766 positions or about a one-sixth of its work force. While there is some improvement in the local economy and stabilizing of revenues the County still faces many financial challenges,” Maltbie said.

“We can no longer assume that what once worked well will work well in the future. Help will not be forthcoming from Washington, D.C. or Sacramento. I am convinced that the only way forward is to remake the organization in a way that will provide financial stability and flexibility to meet the uncertainties ahead of us,” he said.

This budget proposal is the first step in a weeks-long process that includes public hearings before the Board of Supervisors. Hearings are scheduled to begin on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:00 am in the Board Chambers, located in the Hall of Justice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, California.

The Recommended Budget is available for viewing at and in the County Manager’s Office, 400 County Center, Redwood City.

Media Contacts:
Jim Saco, Budget Director, 650-363-4439
Marshall Wilson, Communications Director, 650-363-4153 or 650-464-2899

Street Closures for Presidential Visit to Redwood City

May 23, 2012

Parking and traffic in downtown Redwood City and near the San Mateo County Center complex will be impacted by today’s visit of President Obama.

The City of Redwood City has posted the latest information on its website.  The City is also providing a street-by-street listing of closures.

Please allow extra time if you plan to visit the County Center complex today. The complex includes the offices of the Board of Supervisors, County Manager’s Office, Public Works, Planning and Building, Sheriff’s Office, County Clerk-Assessor-Recorder, Parks, Human Resources and courts. Contact information and addresses for all departments is available here.



Restore Habitat in San Pedro Valley Park Saturday, May 19

May 17, 2012

On Saturday, May 19, join volunteers for a morning work party removing invasive weeds and help restore and preserve the native plants, home to many insects, amphibians, birds and mammals, at San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica.

Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. the Visitor Center near the parking lot. The work should be done by noon.  For more information, call 650-355-8289.

For a map to the park and other information, visit the San Pedro Valley Park website.


Join Take A Hike on May 19 and Enjoy a Free Barbecue

May 15, 2012

Enjoy a guided hike and the beauty of Memorial Park on Saturday, May 19, as part of our monthly Take A Hike series.

Known for its old-growth redwood forests, Memorial remains a favorite of many for the camping grounds, picnic areas and beautiful trails. 

Two hikes will be offered. The first is an easy and panoramic stroll along Pescadero Creek with a stop to admire the largest tree in the park. The second hike will be a hearty climb up the Mt. Ellen Nature Trail, which offers excellent examples of the plants found in the area. Rangers and park staff, including the interpretive specialist who leads the summer programs at Memorial, will lead the hikes.

Memorial Park is located near the town of Loma Mar, approximately 23 miles southwest of Redwood City.  Make the drive worth it and plan on spending a little extra time following the hike to enjoy a free picnic barbecue with your fellow Take A Hikers. Take A Hike is a monthly series that offers free guided hikes in our County parks.

For more information about Memorial Park, visit Also learn more about Take A Hike at or call 650-599-1009.

Directions: When coming to Memorial Park from the bayside of the Peninsula, use Highway 84 west from either Interstate 280, Highway 101 or Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard). Travel west on  Highway 84 from Skyline Boulevard to Pescadero Road near the Town of La Honda. Turn left (south) on Pescadero Road. Follow Pescadero Road to the park entrance.

When coming to Memorial Park from the coast, take Highway 1 to Pescadero Road. Follow Pescadero Road to the park entrance.

You can find driving directions here.


Literacy for Democracy Breakfast

May 11, 2012

Reading, literacy and the ability to access information are essential for our democratic process. This has been well demonstrated in recent news about the Occupy movement, Arab Spring, the upcoming election and discussions about civil political discourse.

“Literacy for Democracy” will address this timely topic with speakers California State Assemblymember Jerry Hill, political satirist Will Durst, and Kevin Vogeltanz from Dovetail, a group messaging application company, who will all provide their unique, thought provoking perspectives.

In addition to these speakers, Supervisor Carole Groom of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and Jeanine Asche will say a few words on behalf of the Literacy Network.

The event, sponsored by the Peninsula Library System and the San Mateo County Library, is open to the public. The Literacy Network of San Mateo County is a cooperative of more than 20 organizations concerned about community literacy issues.

The Literacy Breakfast will be from 7:30 to 10 am. Admission is $35. Reservations may be made online at

For more information go to

Members of the media are invited to cover the event as guests of the Peninsula Library system. Call 650-349-5538 to RSVP.

Media Contact: Jeanine Asche     

County Launches Free Housing Locator Service

May 9, 2012

SAN MATEO, Calif. – Just as the Internet changed the way Americans shop, a new Web-based service promises to transform the way people find housing in San Mateo County.

The free service,, represents the next generation in Web 2.0 tools. The service provides renters, landlords, housing professionals and anyone with access to a computer, tablet or smart phone access to real-time information about rental housing ranging from subsidized to market rate.

The service is provided by the San Mateo County Housing Authority and the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, with contributions from a variety of community agencies and local business sponsors.

“First there were classified ads with tiny print. Next came websites where you would have to troll through hundreds of listings only to find that the place you wanted was already taken,” said Duane Bay, director of the San Mateo County Department of Housing. “This service is uniquely tailored to San Mateo County and provides the kind of details people want to know.” 

Listings include map links and information about rent, deposits, accessibility features and neighborhood amenities such as parks, schools and shopping. Property providers can add 10 photos and details to highlight listings. There is never any cost to list, and listings can be removed from public view immediately after rental to reduce unwanted calls on unavailable units.

Special features include a listing of quick links to housing resources as well as rent-affordability and moving-cost calculators.  Users can also apply filters to home in on housing for seniors or apartments near transit, for example.

A toll-free, bilingual (English and Spanish) call center is available to help landlords and renters with any aspect of, increasing accessibility to information on the service and helping to ensure that listings stay accurate and current.

As the service ramps up across the county, landlords are particularly encouraged to sign on and take advantage of the free advertising on this easy-to-use and valuable service for the community.

For more information or to begin listing rentals on, go to 24/7 or call, toll free, 1.877.428.8844 from Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

Board Approves Contracts for Jail Replacement

May 8, 2012

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. –  Sheriff Greg Munks announced today that site preparation for the San Mateo County Replacement Jail will begin this month.

At this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved contracts with Hellmuth, Obata+ Kassabaum (HOK) for architectural services and Sundt/Layton for construction management services. Both firms bring extensive jail construction and design experience to the Replacement Jail project.

The Replacement Jail is ultimately planned for 640 beds with a strong re-entry and programming component. The 260,000 square foot jail has a projected cost of $155 million and is expected to be completed in 2015. The jail will be located at the corner of Maple and Blomquist streets in Redwood City.

Read the full news release.


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