Devil’s Slide Coastal Trail Concept Plan: Special Meeting Thursday

August 27, 2013

On Thursday, August 29, the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Commission will hold a special meeting to consider the 90 percent project plans for the Devil’s Slide Trail Project. At this public meeting, the Commission will hear a presentation and receive public comment on the plans.

The Commission will make recommendations on the project plans to the Board of Supervisors.devils-slide1

The Devil’s Slide Trail Project involves converting a segment of Highway 1 south of the City of Pacifica into a public multi-use, non-motorized trail. That segment was closed to vehicle traffic following the opening of the Devil’s Slide bypass tunnels earlier this year.

The project includes roadway surfacing, signage, accessibility improvements, habitat protection, and overlooks. The 90 percent project plans include revisions based on public comments and staff review.

The meeting will be held:

Thursday, August 29, 2013, 7 to 9 p.m., at the  Cypress Meadows Conference Center,  343 Cypress Avenue, Moss Beach, 94038. View a Google map.

Visit the project’s website for more information and detailed plans.

If you wish further information, or want to provide comments on the plan, please e-mail San Mateo County Parks at

San Mateo County Releases Balanced Budget: Hearings Start September 16

August 26, 2013

San Mateo County Manager John L. Maltbie today unveiled a balanced budget for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years that invests in public safety, prepares the County for federal health care reform, funds affordable housing projects and rebuilds aging infrastructure.

The Recommended Budget for FY 2013-14 is $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The Recommended Budget for FY 2014-15 is $1.9 billion.

The Recommended Budget invests in numerous projects and initiatives that were delayed due to the economic downturn that began five years ago. During that time County officials focused on staving off deep cuts to services.

“By making wise decisions over the past five years we have avoided the drastic service cutbacks faced by many public organizations,” Maltbie said. “Now with the rebounding economy we are positioned to invest wisely in securing a stable and prosperous future for our residents.”

The number of new positions in the Recommended Budget total 112 in the 2013-14 fiscal year and 42 in FY 2014-15. The new positions being recommended are primarily for the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and the opening of the Maple Street Correctional Center, which will replace the outdated Women’s Correctional Center and relieve overcrowding in men’s facilities. The Maple Street Correctional Center is expected to open July 2015.

The overall level of staffing is still approximately 10 percent less than five years ago.

The most significant changes to the budget include:

  • $97.8 million in FY 2013-14 and $60.2 million in FY 2014-15 for the construction of the Maple Street Correctional Center.
  • $62 million, over two years, for other capital improvement projects, including taking over the former Devil’s Slide section of Highway 1 from Caltrans to turn it into a park, replacing the Skylonda Fire Station, and various facility and infrastructure projects, including roads, utilities and airports.
  • $50 million in FY 2013-14 and $10 million in FY 2014-15 for additional pension contributions to begin the accelerated pay down of the County’s unfunded pension liability.
  • $26.4 million in FY 2013-14 and $27.9 million in FY 2014-15 for major IT initiatives, including payroll system replacement; upgrades to the County’s network, Criminal Justice Information system and radio system; and web redesign.
  • $13.4 million to build more affordable housing and construct and/or renovate emergency shelters
  • A reorganization that reestablishes the Parks Department as a separate department.

This budget also allocates $355,000 in FY 2013-14 and $200,000 in FY 2014-15 to the Housing Department to fill two critical positions. “We have seen first-hand how critical housing assistance is. The fire that struck a Redwood City apartment complex in July left dozens of people seeking emergency housing at a time when apartment rents are out of reach of so many,” Maltbie said.

There are no Measure A Half-Cent Sales Tax funds in this budget.  The Board will consider for final adoption 22 proposals totaling $92 million during the budget hearings.  The proposals address a wide range of issues, including emergency response, early learning and childhood development, mental health services, school safety, homelessness, Veterans services, improvements to unincorporated areas including North Fair Oaks and coastside communities, transportation, buildings and facility infrastructure, and park improvements

The Recommended Budget hearings for FYs 2013-14 and 2014-15 will be begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, September 16, at the Board of Supervisors Chambers on the first floor of the Hall of Justice and Records, 400 County Center, Redwood City, 94063.

Hearings will continue at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17, and Wednesday, September 18, in the Board Chambers.

The FY 2013-15 Recommended Budget and the complete hearings schedule can be found at:

Media Contacts:

Budget Director Jim Saco, 650-363-4439, or

Communications Director Marshall Wilson, 650-363-4153, or

Sheriff’s North Fair Oaks Festival this Sunday, August 25

August 23, 2013

The 12th Annual San Mateo County Sheriff’s North Fair Oaks Community Festival is coming to Redwood City this Sunday from 11am to 6pm on Middlefield Road between First and Fifth Avenues.Poster2013_Eng-HR

The festival is a free, action packed event celebrating the multicultural diversity of the North Fair Oaks area and will draw a likely 30,000 people. This is a true down home event that displays the ethnic diversity of south Redwood City. View a map.

Every year the Sheriff of San Mateo County sponsors the North Fair Oaks Festival with the dual purpose of solidifying community ties and raising money for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Youth Programs.

Monies raised benefit the gamut of Sheriff’s youth activities including:

  • S.T.A.R. Camp, an annual event aimed at reaching out to underprivileged youth throughout the County
  • The Sheriff’s Activities League provides elementary school children opportunities in athletic, performing arts, creative arts, leadership and scholastic activities
  •  The Sheriff’s Explorer Program introduces teenagers to the many aspects of law enforcement operations
  •  The Sheriff’s Diversion/ Intervention Program works with parents, guardians and first time offending youth to help avoid future interactions with the juvenile justice system

This year’s festival begins at 11 a.m.  with a colorful parade featuring a variety of exciting entrants. Food booths of all kinds will feature world cuisines all along the main fairway. The San Jose Earthquakes soccer clinic will enthrall the kids as well a climbing wall and a whole host of amusements ranging from face painting, an arts and crafts area with hands on projects, a pony ride and petting zoo, mechanical bull, lucha libre, Kaiser Permanente obstacle courses and much more.

Community information booths will provide valuable material covering a breadth of subjects. The culmination of the day’s events will be the coronation of the 2013 North Fair Oaks Queen of the Festival. The Queen is selected based on a competitive process and will receive $10,000 in scholarship money and the recognition of her community.   Four other finalists will receive an additional $12,000 in scholarships.  This program has awarded $100,000 in scholarships since its creation six years ago.

Schedule for Main Stage EventsHomepage_Parade_FogoWomenDance_0

11:00 am  Parade

12:00 pm  N Rumba Orquesta

1:00 pm  Welcoming Ceremony

1:40 pm  Banda Reinas de la Bahia

2:30 pm  Presentation of the 2013 Queen of the Festival and her Court

2:40 pm   Rocio y Su Sonora

3:45 pm  La Red

4:45 pm  Grand Prize Raffle Drawing

5:00 pm  Los Cadetes de Linares

A second stage will feature local youth performing arts groups including Mariachi San Jose, Mariachi Nueva Generacion, Brazilian carnaval dance troupes, Aztec dance and dance performers from Peru and Mexico, acrobats from amongst many others.

Please note: For safety reasons, bicycles will not be permitted within the Festival area.

The Festival is a non-alcohol event.

Visit the festival website for more details:

San Mateo County Library Offers Free Access to eMagazines

August 21, 2013

Along with over 700 libraries nationwide, the San Mateo County Library now offers emagazines to its San Mateo County Library card holders.

Customers have access to complete digital editions of their favorite magazines on smartphones, tables or computers. There are over 100 titles to choose from. Emagazines are available 24/7 to check out and there are no due dates. SMC4076x

Visit with a San Mateo County Library card, and start enjoying unlimited simultaneous access. Emagazines are easily viewed on most electronic devices.

Powered by Zinio, emagazines recreate a print magazine page for page, including full color pictures; they also have intuitive navigation, key word article searching and interactive elements such as audio and video. Bloomberg, Businessweek, Martha Stewart Living, National Geographic, and Newsweek are just a few popular titles available.

Once customers create an account, they can check out and download a magazine to a device of their choosing – and that magazine is theirs until they choose to delete it from their device.

For more information and instructions, please visit your local San Mateo County Library branch or visit the ebooks page on

Visit San Mateo County Library’s award-winning website at for information about the Library and its services.

Register for Free Training to Draw Your Own Supervisorial District Map

August 13, 2013

You are invited to register for a free training where you can learn how to draw your own Supervisorial districts.

We will show you how to use on online mapping tool, access data and create your own maps. Computers will be available so that attendees can get some hands-on time to test drive the site.

The training will be Tuesday, August 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at JobTrain in Menlo Park. Learn about the online mapping tool, view a video tutorial and register for the training here.

Why register?

A nine-member committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors is gathering public input on current and potential boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts and is expected to recommend potential adjustments.

This committee, called the District Lines Advisory Committee, was formed after voters in November 2012 changed the County Charter. The change requires that only voters within a district can elect a supervisor who lives in that same district to represent them. Under the prior system voters countywide elected all five supervisors.

The Committee is encouraging members of the public to submit their own draft maps for consideration.

The District Lines Advisory Committee last week conducted its sixth public meeting out of a scheduled 10 meetings. Visit the committee’s website,, to find:

  • A schedule of upcoming meetings
  • Draft maps submitted by the Committee’s consultant and the public
  • Videos and transcripts of meetings
  • And just posted under “News:” public comments submitted via e-mail.

Subscribe to this blog for updates on the Committee’s progress. View the online tutorial below:

San Mateo County Opens Access to Key Data

August 6, 2013

How well do San Mateo County third-graders score on reading assessments? What is the assessed value of real estate in Brisbane? How long does it take to travel across San Mateo County in a car? In a bus? On the train?

San Mateo County is throwing open the doors to a treasure trove of public information with the launch of the San Mateo County Open Data Portal, accessible at

Residents wishing to review data collected by any of San Mateo County’s departments will be able to search and review the information online, 24/7, without having to file a request or stand in line.SMC4609xcx

San Mateo County is committed to transparency and open government, and the new Open Data Portal will allow the public to review the same data, studies and information that the government uses to design academic programs, development guidelines and transportation solutions.

“Every single County department, from criminal justice to social services to parks and road construction, is going to begin posting its data on the Portal,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum.

“This will allow citizens to review, compare and analyze fundamental community data for themselves,” he continued. “We believe that lowering the barriers to access this data will start a series of community conversations, as well as opening a trove of information for aspiring technology entrepreneurs.”

“Our constituents are technologically savvy and want to access government information as easily as they do when looking for a restaurant recommendation on Yelp or directions on Google Maps,” added Supervisor Dave Pine.  “This initiative is a big step in that direction.”

County departments have committed to adding data sets to the site as they are completed, and hope to add dozens of new data sets per year.

“This resource will grow deeper and richer as we add to it over time,” said Jon Walton, San Mateo County’s Chief Information Officer. “With this launch the County of San Mateo is taking an important step towards open government with citizen access to data that will result in better government transparency and accountability.”

The range of data now available includes such diverse areas as travel time on Highway 101 from the San Francisco to the Santa Clara county borders (29 minutes on average in the morning commute in 2011), number of annual visitors to the San Mateo County Library per year (2.2 million) and population and race in the county by 2010 Census tract. The list will grow over time.

San Mateo County launched its Open Data Portal in partnership with Socrata Inc., a Seattle-based cloud software company dedicated to democratizing access to government data. Socrata has launched similar services in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Oregon and Maryland, as well as for organizations including the World Bank and Medicare.

Media Contacts:

Supervisor Warren Slocum: 650-363-4570 or

Supervisor Dave Pine:  650-814-3103;

Jon Walton: 650-599-1284 or


Public Invited to View Draft Supervisorial District Maps, Give Input

August 5, 2013

The public is invited to view draft maps that show potential changes to the boundaries of San Mateo County’s five supervisorial districts at a special meeting on Thursday, August 8.

The maps represent a preliminary attempt to redraw boundaries based on comments by the San Mateo County Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee and input by the public to date. You can find the draft maps at

Join the District Lines Committee this Thursday, August 8, at the East Palo Alto City Council Chambers, 2415 University Avenue, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to share your comments about the proposed boundaries and your ideas for potential adjustments. View the East Palo Alto Agenda.

The Committee will vote on draft minutes from their July 11 meeting in Millbrae. Then a demographer will present draft maps submitted by members of the public and draft maps that were developed based on comments from the Committee.

Following this meeting, the Committee is scheduled to meet four additional times: Sept. 10, 11, 12 and 24. At the meeting on the 24th it is anticipated the Committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors.

To view draft maps and for more information, visit the Committee’s website at

You still have time to submit maps and draw your own districts. Visit the website above for details.draw





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