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.

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…

Reflections: Paranoia, Tribalism and Politics

This is one of a series of reflections I plan to write as I wind up my almost twenty year stint as a local elected official. The goal is simple: share things I’ve learned, or think I’ve learned, which I didn’t know before I began that journey. Which will, hopefully,…