This is a letter to the San Mateo Daily Journal I wrote which was published on December 5, 2022.
I see the San Carlos City Council extended an emergency ordinance to come up with policies implementing SB9, a state law mandating some modest changes to address the housing crisis.
This strikes me as classic foot-dragging. It’s another step in the council’s long tradition of trying to whistle past the fact San Carlos has rarely, if ever, met even the previous, less-onerous housing obligations defined by the state.
I know this because I was part of that collective delusion when I was on the council. Until I learned just how bad the situation was and just how lousy a job we’d been doing. All the while reaping the financial benefits of more and more commercial development, retail development, hotel development, you name it, any kind of development. Other than our fair share of the housing for the people who staff all those places.
What our fellow Californians are trying to do, through the Legislature, is get us to maintain some degree of balance between economic growth – which fills our coffers and increases home values – and the desire of people to be able to live not too far from where they work. Which, by the way, will also significantly reduce highway congestion, and help slow down cooking the planet to death.
But I guess none of that is important enough to address quickly.
former mayor of San Carlos