Welcome!

My name is Mark Olbert, and I’m a former member of the San Carlos, California City Council. This was my site for staying in touch with my constituents. My last day on the Council was December 14, 2020. 

It’s now a platform I use to address local and regional issues that my neighbors may find interesting. 

Here you’ll find my blog, links to articles about municipal issues, and material that will help you understand my Council work and my current views. All these can be accessed through the menu links at the top of every page.

If you’d like to be automatically notified when new content is added to this site just click the Subscribe button at the top of any page. If you’re already a subscriber you can use the Subscribe button to edit your subscription options.

Enjoy! And if you have a moment, drop me a line to let me know what’s on your mind.

The Value of Diversity

A recent article in Nature reported on how our ancestors apparently were cooking and eating grains long before they realized they could be grown and invented agriculture. While that’s interesting in and of itself the really interesting thing is the way in which the discovery was made. Discarded animal bones…

Juneteenth Holiday is Long Overdue

This is an op ed I wrote which was published in the Palo Alto Daily Journal on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Note that the published version may differ slightly from what’s here due to editing by the newspaper. In a rare act of near unanimity Congress voted to recognize Juneteenth…

Facts, Hypotheses and Theories

This is an op ed I wrote which was published in the San Mateo Daily Journal on June 2, 2021. A recent Daily Journal op ed repeated common misunderstandings about what constitutes a theory and created a false dichotomy involving evolution and the “theory” of intelligent design. That kind of…

A New Addiction

This post was inspired by an editorial in the San Mateo Daily Journal, which focused on “social media addiction” enabled by the technology which wired the world. I encourage you to read it. Every technology has its pluses and minuses. For the “good” ones the pluses outweigh the minuses. I…

A Conservative Budget in a Crisis Is Not a Good Thing

This is an op ed I wrote which was published in the Daily Post on April 26, 2021 under the title “Wrong kind of budget in an emergency”. Both titles are catchy, IMHO, so go with the one you prefer :). I’ll post a link to the Post’s website once…

Appoint or Hold an Election

The San Carlos School District is faced with a choice on how to fill the seat soon to be vacated as a result of Carol Elliot’s retirement. This is a topic I have quite a bit of experience with. I’ve been through two different appoint or elect decisions, one when…