District Lines Advisory Committee to Meet Tuesday, September 24

September 19, 2013

A committee tasked with studying the boundaries of San Mateo County’s five supervisorial districts and recommending possible adjustments will hold its 10th and final meeting on Tuesday, September 24.

The committee, called the San Mateo County Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee, has held public meetings since June. The Committee has gathered public input and reviewed boundary adjustment plans submitted by the public and a consultant.

At its September 24 meeting the Committee is expected to consider whether to recommend one or more plans to the Board of Supervisors. The Board is expected to meet on the matter October 8.

What:   San Mateo County Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee. View the agenda.

When:  Tuesday, September 24, 6:30 p.m.

Where: College of San Mateo Choral Room, Building 2, Room 110, 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo (Free parking in Beethoven lot). View a campus map.

The Committee last met September 12. At that time the Committee voted to focus on three draft plans. These plans are available for review on the committee’s website, www.smcdistrictcommittee.org under “Active Maps.”

The Committee on September 24 can still decide to revisit previously submitted maps (all currently available for review on the website), modify the three maps and consider any new maps submitted.

The public has until 5 p.m. on Friday, September 20, to submit additional maps. A map-making tool can be found at www.smcdistrictlines.org

Comments can also be sent by e-mail to districtlines@smcgov.org and will be posted on the Committee’s website. Background materials, meeting minutes, videos and transcripts can also be found on the site.

The Board of Supervisors created the nine-member District Lines Advisory Committee after voters changed the County Charter in November 2012. 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.

With heightened interest in district-based elections, the Board of Supervisors tasked the Committee with hearing public comment, studying current and potential boundaries and recommending possible adjustments.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to consider recommendations from the Committee at its meeting on Tuesday, October 8, at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, 400 County Center, Hall of Justice and Records, Redwood City. Google map.

Contact: Marshall Wilson, Communications Director, 650-363-4153 or mwilson@smcgov.org

Join the Movement: Register for Active San Mateo County Conference

September 19, 2013

Being active is more than getting in your daily dose of movement. It’s about creating safe streets for all people and accessible neighborhoods that make walking, biking, skateboarding and scooting the easy choice. It’s about connectivity.

Join us at the 5th annual Active San Mateo County Conference on Tuesday, October 15, as we identify and discuss new strategies, techniques, and programs to make our public places desirable destinations that promote healthy living. Sessions include:

  • The Lowdown on Complete Streets
  • San Mateo County Bike Share Debut
  • Innovations and Recreation

Registration is FREE. Light breakfast provided.

Learn more and register here.

Active San Mateo County

County Launches SMC Performance: Gives Residents the Power to Track Government Performance Online

September 18, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – When voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase last year, the Board of Supervisors promised that the public would be able to see how their local tax dollars are spent.

Now San Mateo County has launched online dashboards that give residents the power to track spending and evaluate the performance of County programs and services, starting with those funded by Measure A, the half-cent sales tax that took effect April 1, 2013.

Called SMC Performance, the dashboards site serves as a powerful tool to increase transparency and allow the public to comment. It will evolve to show the performance of all County services toward achieving the goals and priorities of Shared Vision 2025.

“When voters passed Measure A, they trusted us to spend their tax dollars wisely and invest in critical services,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum. “SMC Performance allows residents to take an in-depth look at how the dollars are spent and their effectiveness. SMC Performance holds us accountable.”

Residents can access SMC Performance at https://performance.smcgov.org.

The launch of SMC Performance coincides with the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday approving more than 20 projects funded by Measure A in the current 2013-14 fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2014. Spending totals approximately $50 million on such projects as:

  • Parks and Library capital needs
  • Replacement of fire stations and vehicles
  • Early childhood learning and summer reading programs
  • Child abuse prevention and mental health services
  • Bus services for youth, the elderly and disabled
  • Support to Seton Medical Center, which cares for low-income patients

SMC Performance features a dashboard with a series of interactive tiles, each containing the goals associated with a specific program or Measure A initiative. By clicking on the title, users can explore performance measures, review raw data, read the actual proposal and, in some cases, look at charts, graphs, and maps created with the data.

SMC Performance serves as a companion to San Mateo’s Open Data Portal, https://data.smcgov.org/, a trove of County-generated statistical data launched in August.

This month the County also unveiled https://data.smcgov.org/checkbook, which lists payments of $5,000 or more issued for goods and services at all County-operated facilities.

“Together, these three online sites represent a giant leap forward in government transparency,” said Supervisor Dave Pine. “We invite all of our residents to take a look at how their dollars are spent and let us know what they think of our performance.” San Mateo County has launched SMC Performance, Open Checkbook and its Open Data Portal in partnership with Socrata Inc., a Seattle-based cloud software company dedicated to democratizing access to government data.

“The dashboards will highlight our culture of performance here in San Mateo County,” said County Manager John Maltbie. “We have outstanding employees and partners who want to make a difference and help the most vulnerable in the community. By using this tool, we can make better decisions based on data and evidence, and use taxpayer dollars on what works to make the biggest impact in the community.”

Shared Vision 2025 reflects the goals and priorities for the San Mateo County community expressed during a series of public meetings and surveys in 2008-09. The “community outcomes”  — healthy and safe, livable, prosperous, environmentally conscious and collaborative — provide a foundation for sound decision-making. Focusing on the Shared Vision 2025 goals and priorities places an emphasis on what’s best for all of San Mateo County today and in the years to come.

Media Contacts:

Supervisor Warren Slocum: 650-363-4570 or wslocum@smcgov.org

Supervisor Dave Pine:  650-814-3103 or dpine@smcgov.org

Communications Director Marshall Wilson: 650-363-4153 or mwilson@smcgov.org

Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday, Sept. 21

September 17, 2013

Looking for a fun way to spend Saturday morning while contributing to your community?SB21010x

Join volunteers from across San Mateo County at the 29th annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 21.

Organized cleanups will take place at locations from Daly City to Pescadero.

Find a location.

All you need to do is wear comfortable closed-toe shoes and sunscreen and be ready to work and have fun. Volunteers are encouraged to bring your own buckets, gloves and a reusable water bottle.

You can find the locations of more than 25 cleanups and print out a mandatory waiver here.


Flower Sales a Positive Economic Sign? County Releases 2012 Crop Report

September 10, 2013

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – Are people feeling better about the local economy? Happier in general?

Both are tough to measure. But consider that the market value of roses, snapdragons and other cut flowers grown in San Mateo County grew by nearly 9 percent in 2012.

From lavender to lilies, orchids to Poinsettias, flowering plants and cut flowers increased in total market value in 2012 over 2011, according to the newly released San Mateo County Agricultural Crop Report.SMC5105x

“Flower sales may not be key economic indicators as defined by the Federal Reserve, but it seems pretty safe to say that when flower sales are up, people are feeling pretty happy in general,” said Don Horsley, president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, which accepted the report today. Read the staff report.

Horsley’s district includes San Mateo County’s coastal farmlands that account for the vast majority of the County’s $140 million in agricultural production in 2012. That represents a 2.2 percent overall increase from 2011.

The Crop Report is a treasure trove of information for foodies in general and locavores – those interested in eating food grown or harvested locally and not shipped long distances – in particular.

Like leeks? San Mateo County farmers harvested 1,597 tons in 2012, down from 1,720 tons the prior year, however. Snap peas, fava beans and peas are all grown locally, as are wine grapes and peas. (For a list of certified farmers markets where local produce is often featured, visit www.smcgov.org/agwm)

While San Mateo County today is better known for biotech than brussels sprouts, the latter alone accounted for $9.1 million in sales value in 2012, a 2.8 percent increase from 2011.

With the exception of forest products, product values were up for all commodity categories in 2012.

“That’s the good news. Yet most gains were modest, and many agricultural producers in San Mateo County continue to struggle.  This region is an expensive place to do business and though agriculture is an important economic component, it is not the leading economic driver so it will take a bit longer for local agriculture to benefit from the recovery,” said Fred Crowder, the County’s Agricultural Commissioner.SMC5423x

Indoor floral and nursery crops posted the greatest increase in dollar value, with $1.6 million in additional value, for a total value of $92,176,000 or an increase of 1.8 percent. Outdoor floral and nursery crops had the second highest increase in dollar value with $778,000 in additional value which is a 3.7 percent increase over the previous year.

Though prices were down on vegetable crops, San Mateo County favorites – artichokes and brussels sprouts increased in overall value by 4.4 percent on the strength of additional production.  The overall value on the pumpkin crop increased by 16 percent primarily because of higher prices as both acreage planted and crop yield was down.

San Mateo County’s cattle industry is featured on the cover of this year’s crop report. It is a less conspicuous segment of our agricultural industry but it provides diversity and value to the San Mateo agricultural production community, posting a total value of $2,459,000, a 6.4 percent increase, largely due to a higher dollar value per pound.

Read the report and compare it to past years.Crop Report 2012 Final PDF_Page_01

How does San Mateo County agriculture rank against other counties in the state?  Based on data from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, San Mateo County ranked 36 out of 58 counties in overall agricultural production value in 2011, the latest year that rankings are available.

The top individual commodities produced by San Mateo County ranked as follows:

No. 1 Nursery plants potted unspecified, $79 million (to No. 2 Monterey at $48 million)

No. 2 Flowers, foliage, cut, all, $5.5 million (to No. 1 San Diego at $57 million)

No. 2 Brussels sprouts, $8.8 million (to No. 1 Santa Cruz at $9.8 million)

No. 2 Leeks, $1.5 million (to No. 1 Monterey at $3.9 million)

Join Us: Upcoming Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee Meetings

September 9, 2013

Your Voice Counts!

Come and learn about San Mateo County’s supervisorial district boundaries and a special committee that is studying potential adjustments.

The Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee is holding three meetings this week where you can share your thoughts about possible changes. We want to hear from you.

Join us at one of our interactive meetings to:SMC District Lines Outreach Flier

•Provide input on draft district maps

•Share your ideas and make public comments

•Get answers to your questions

Meeting schedule:

Daly City: September 10, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., War Memorial Community Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City

Half Moon Bay: September 11, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Cunha Intermediate School Library, 600 Church Street, Half Moon Bay

Millbrae: September 12, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Chetcuti Room, 450 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae

Visit the Committee’s website to view agendas, transcripts and videos of previous meetings and background materials: http://www.smcdistrictcommittee.org/

The nine-member District Lines Advisory Committee has been meeting since early June. It is anticipated that the Committee at its September 24 meeting in San Mateo will recommend one or more alternatives to the full Board of Supervisors. The Board would then consider possible district boundary adjustments at its October 8 meeting with a decision on any such adjustments by its November 5 meeting.

San Mateo: September 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Choral Room, College of San Mateo, Building 2, Room 110, 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo (free parking in Beethoven lot)

For more information, please visit the District Lines Advisory Committee website:



San Mateo County Controller Publishes Open Checkbook

September 5, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Bob Adler, San Mateo County Controller, is pleased to announce the launch of the County of San Mateo’s Open Checkbook, a free public database detailing checks written by County departments and agencies for the first month of the County’s fiscal year (July 2013).

From now on, each month’s new checks will be added. It’s the public’s window into County spending.

“We are excited to provide this important step in open government to County citizens,” states Controller Adler.

Open Checkbook lists payments of $5,000 or more issued for goods and services at all County-operated sites, from health clinics in Daly City to social service centers in East Palo Alto. You can find it at: https://data.smcgov.org/checkbook

“These checks represent close to 94 percent of non-payroll spending by the County. Just as important as providing this detail to the public is the requirement to ensure that confidential payments, such as payments to domestic violence victims or to medical/social service providers for patients, are protected,” Controller Adler said.

“Publishing information about checks over $5,000 ensures that the volume of checks to review for these protections is manageable yet also represents a significant portion of taxpayer dollars spent,” he said.

In addition, employee pay and benefits are summarized by department on Open Checkbook.  Detailed information related to County payroll has been published for several years on the State Controller’s website at http://publicpay.ca.gov/.

On Open Checkbook, residents can easily find how much the County spends on medical equipment for patients, maintenance costs for parks, telephones for 9-1-1 dispatchers and rent for buildings.

The database is searchable by year, agency, vendor and expenditure type.

“One of the County’s many responsibilities is to help people struggling with mental health disorders and drug and alcohol addiction,” said Supervisor Dave Pine. “With Open Checkbook, people can see in detail how much the County spends on services that address this critical need. Some may think it’s too much. Others will think it’s not enough. We welcome everyone to visit Open Checkbook and tell us what you think.”

While the database is voluminous, there are a few practical and legal limitations to the data.

Open Checkbook will not list disbursements from certain trust funds that are not technically County monies which are “passed-through” to other entities such as distributions of property tax revenues to schools and other entities.

Open Checkbook will not replace the County’s Budget Report or Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, a mandatory, audited document that also analyzes County revenues, economic trends and conditions, employment, investments and other big-picture financial data.

“Open Checkbook is for those without an accounting degree or hours on their hands to pore over complex economic data,” said Supervisor Warren Slocum. “Open Checkbook offers an easy-to-use search engine that contains reams of raw financial data that residents are welcome to mine, sift, analyze and cross-reference as they wish.”

From the home page, a citizen can click on Search By Agency to view a list of expenditures by department, Search by Vendor to view a list of expenditures by vendor, or view a list of expenditures by account. On each web page, a citizen can also drill down to the next level of detail.

Open Checkbook will serve as a companion database to San Mateo’s Open Data Portal, https://data.smcgov.org/, a trove of County-generated statistical data launched in August.

San Mateo County launched both Open Checkbook and 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.


Controller Bob Adler: 650-363-4777

Supervisor Dave Pine: 650-363-4571

Supervisor Warren Slocum: 650-363-4570


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