Welcome!

My name is Mark Olbert, and I’m a member of the City Council in San Carlos, California. This is my site for staying in touch with my constituents.

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

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

Downtown Laurel Street Program Extended

Last night the Council had a lengthy discussion focused on what the “end date” should be for our temporary downtown Laurel Street configuration. I say “end date” in quotes because the Council can extend or adjust the date at any time…at least to some extent. Public Decisions Cannot Be Arbitrary…

Promoting Diversity in Local Government

These are remarks I made during the November 11, 2020 Council meeting. I’ve lightly edited them for clarity. Recently the Council was faced with making a choice on who to appoint to various commission slots and the backup lists for those slots. In at least one instance the argument was…

Helping All Downtown Merchants

Sorry about the late notice about this — it’s been a busy week! — but tonight the Council will be discussing whether or not to set an end date for the current use of public parking spaces by downtown merchants. Presumably discussion of the program more broadly will take place,…

A Word from Law Enforcement

Several people have contacted me, or written on social media, how they are concerned about the prospect of people interfering with others’ right to vote. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue in San Carlos, and I suspect the Sheriff’s Office, from whom we get our law enforcement,…

Big Challenges Generally Require Big Responses

…and in the case of childcare capacity as it’s been mauled by Covid-19 it definitely does. Many, if not almost all, childcare facilities are teetering on the edge because they have had to reduce the number of children they can support to maintain appropriate social distancing. So their revenues are…

Laurel Street Closure Poll

Late last week I released a poll — an unscientific, not statistically-valid poll — seeking feedback on how San Carlans and visitors use of downtown Laurel Street had changed as a result of the pandemic. Here are the results (this is Powerpoint slideshow I’ll be sharing with my colleagues and…