Countywide Half-Cent Sales Tax Takes Effect Monday, April 1

March 29, 2013

The sales tax across San Mateo County will increase by a half-cent on Monday, April 1, as a result of voter approval of Measure A on the November 2012 ballot.

The sales tax will rise from 8.5 percent to 9 percent in all cities and in the unincorporated areas except in the cities of San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. As a result of voter-approved sales taxes in those cities, the sales tax will be 9.5 percent in Half Moon Bay and 9.25 percent in the city of San Mateo.

Measure A was placed on the November 2012 ballot by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. The tax, which sunsets after 10 years, is expected to raise approximately $60 million a year for general fund purposes. Read the ballot statement and full text of Measure A.

For a full listing of sales and use tax rates effective April 1 by county or city, visit the State Board of Equalization.


Grand Jury Applications Accepted Until April 19

March 27, 2013

The Honorable Lisa A. Novak of the San Mateo County Superior Court has announced that the application period for service on the 2013-2014 Grand Jury has been extended to April 19, 2013.

Judge Novak made the announcement as the appointed Grand Jury Advisor for the next grand jury term, which commences July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014.

Any resident of San Mateo County for more than one year who is a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, of ordinary intelligence, sound judgment and good character, with sufficient knowledge of the English language is eligible for selection by Judge Novak.

Elected public officials are not eligible.

The Court encourages all interested individuals to apply. The Court strives to obtain a cross section of the county population. After the completion of an interview process by Judge Novak, jurors will be selected through a random draw.

Application forms can be obtained by writing Grand Jury Clerk, Court Executive Office, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063 or telephoning (650) 599-1210 or on-line.

Commission on Disabilities Seeks New Members, Hosts Open House April 25

March 26, 2013

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the Commission on Disabilities are currently recruiting new members to serve on the Commission on Disabilities.

The Commission advises the Board of Supervisors on disability-related issues and co-sponsors various activities and events to raise disabilities awareness throughout the community.  Its mission is to promote the independence and full participation of people with disabilities in San Mateo County.BBall Game

Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and generally serve three-year terms.   The minimum monthly commitment is 12 hours, which includes meetings, committee work and projects.  The Commission on Disabilities was founded in 1991 and has 21 members including people with disabilities, family members, agency representatives and the community-at-large.

“The Commission on Disabilities is one of the hardest-working Commissions we have in the County,” Supervisor Carole Groom said.  “The Commissioners are very dedicated and provide the Board with so much invaluable input on how the County can best serve the disability community.”

Interviews for candidates will be held in May. The Commission will host an open house on Thursday, April 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. at 255 37th Ave. San Mateo, Room 100, in the offices of the San Mateo County Health System. The Commission typically meets the fourth Thursday of each month at the Health System.

Persons interested in applying can find an online application at the Commission’s website:, or they can contact Craig McCulloh, Staff Liaison to the Commission, at or 650-573-2480 or the California Relay (711) for those who are deaf, or have hearing or speech impairments.

Draft Plan on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Released

March 22, 2013

The County of San Mateo has released draft planning documents for energy efficiency and climate change.  This follows a two-year process of extensive public involvement including three public workshops, surveys and the involvement of stakeholder committees.  The County has released a draft Energy Efficiency Climate Action Plan (EECAP) as well as a draft Amendment to the San Mateo County General Plan, including a new chapter on Energy and Climate Change.

The EECAP aims to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and plan for adaptation to the effects of climate change within unincorporated San Mateo County.  The document builds on the County’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, including the Cool Counties Declaration adopted by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in 2007.

Implementation items include policies and programs that are designed to help the County sustain its natural resources, grow efficiently, ensure long-term resiliency to climate change, and meet state recommendations for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.  The proposed strategies include a mix of actions that support the overall goals of a cleaner, greener San Mateo County.  Specific proposals include supporting programs that improve residential energy use and reduce waste generation.

For example, one strategy tasks the County with supporting the Energy Upgrade California Program for residential energy efficiency retrofits. This program provides financial rebates to homeowners completing pre-approved upgrades that reduce energy use while enhancing home quality and livability. This program would build upon financial rebates the County has already provided to local homeowners through the County’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

The draft Amendments to the General Plan complement the EECAP, integrating key energy efficiency and climate change issues from the EECAP into the County’s planning framework. The County has also prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the project.  The public comment period on the DEIR runs through April 8, 2013.

The San Mateo County Planning Commission will be considering the EECAP as an information item at its March 27, 2013 public hearing.  The public is invited to attend this hearing and comment on the draft documents. View the agenda.

What: San Mateo County Planning Commission Public Hearing:  Energy Efficiency Climate Action Plan and General Plan Amendment

When: Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 a.m.

Where: County Government Center, 400 County Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers, Redwood City, CA

For additional information, please visit the project website at


San Mateo County Earns Top Credit Ratings in the State

March 21, 2013

Standard & Poor’s has reaffirmed San Mateo County’s AAA issuer credit rating. San Mateo County is the only one of California’s 58 counties to secure AAA ratings from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s rating services, evidence of the County’s sound fiscal health.

In a recent report, Standard and Poor’s cited the “wealth and depth of the county’s economic base” and “moderate to low debt levels, resulting in part from a history of pay-as-you-go capital spending” among other positive indicators.

“These reports affirm what our residents know: that San Mateo County provides excellent public services while constantly watching the bottom line,” said Don Horsley, President of the Board of Supervisors.

The strong ratings mean the County can borrow money at low interest rates to finance major capital projects such as a new fire station and replacement jail project, saving taxpayer dollars.

Standard and Poor’s noted the County has eliminated 727 positions over the past four years while at the same time winning voter approval for a vehicle rental business license tax and a half-cent sales tax, which takes effect April 1.

The reported stated, “In our view, the county’s finances have been consistently very strong” and noted the “county’s excellent financial performance … as well as a favorable position regarding long-term pension and retiree health care liabilities.” Read the report.

Save the Date: Streets Alive! Parks Alive! May 4 and 5

March 14, 2013

Streets Alive! Parks Alive! events are again coming to San Mateo County Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th.main_header2

This year, we are looking forward to a range of activites that promote being healthy, in parks and public spaces across the county. Look forward to zumba, farmer’s markets, bike rodeos, hikes and many more fun, free options for everyone to enjoy.

What is Streets Alive! Parks Alive!?
Streets Alive! Parks Alive! is about people being active on streets, parks and public spaces in their own communities to ensure a healthy future.

Cities all around the world are organizing car-free open street events to promote health, reduce carbon emission, and build a sense of community. Streets Alive! Parks Alive! isn’t intended to be just another festival or fair. It is about enjoying our everyday public places – streets, parks, plazas and trails – and transforming San Mateo County to make everyday activity easy and fun for everyone.

Events will be held across San Mateo County.

Learn more at

Hula in Belmont 2012

Hula in Belmont 2012

Applications Available for Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee

March 12, 2013

On November 6, 2012, residents of San Mateo County voted to approve Measure B. Measure B amended the County’s charter and requires that Supervisors be elected “by-district” rather than by an “at-large” vote of the entire County. In light of that change, a decision has been made to take another look at the County’s current district lines and consider a boundary adjustment.

A committee is being formed to advice the Board of Supervisors. The County is soliciting applications from members of the public who would like to be appointed to the Committee.

The deadline is March 15 at 5 p.m. Learn more about the process and find an application.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers