The City of Good Living for the Well Off

This is a letter to the editor I wrote which was published in the San Mateo Daily Journal on 2/23/2022.

Editor:

When I was on the San Carlos City Council and proposed we discuss pausing commercial development on the east side – 2 million square feet and counting! — so we could study the dramatic effects it would have on traffic, the jobs/housing imbalance and quality of life all you could hear was crickets in the chamber.

So I found it interesting that when the people of California made some minor changes to where and how additional housing can be built the Council leaped into action and froze application of the new law for almost a year to carefully study how to craft regulations around it. This was particularly odd because we are in the midst of a major regional housing crisis.

It gives the impression the Council cares more about getting taxes and fees from commercial development than they do about the challenges the large and growing population of renters face finding and affording a place to live. It also gives the impression the Council only really represents those fortunate enough to own their own home…which is contrary to the sworn duty of elected officials to represent all community members.

I hope those impressions are wrong. Because in addition to everything else they’re not consistent with San Carlos being “The City of Good Living”. But perhaps the motto is being updated to “The City of Good Living for the Well Off”.

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