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.

Treating People Like Mushrooms

This is a public comment I made at the February 28, 2022 City Council meeting. It relates to nearly $2,000,000 of expenditures by Silicon Valley Clean Water, our local sewage treatment agency, which was hidden from public view until uncovered by the Palo Alto Daily Post. You can read their…

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…

Hard Truths

This was published as an op ed in the January 24, 2022. edition of the San Mateo Daily Journal. It’s surprising people are congratulating the San Carlos City Council, on which I used to serve, for standing up to Sacramento “usurping” local control over housing policy. They’re ignoring where that…

The Trillion Dollar Club

Long-time readers of this blog will recall my last State of the City address focused on just how gigantic the Bay Area economic powerhouse is. I knew it was big…but had no idea just how big it was, despite having lived here for many years. Today the Federal Bureau of…

Let’s Not Forget Commuting’s Carbon Footprint

This op ed ran in the Palo Alto Daily Post on December 8, 2021 (I’ll add a link to the paper’s version if and when the publisher posts a link to it). It was prompted by comments made by Gina Papan, who serves on the Millbrae City Council, about how…

Droughts and First Come, First Served

Recently a question was raised on NextDoor about why new homes continue to be constructed when we’re in the middle of a multi-year drought. It’s a great question and sparked a lot of discussion. These are some thoughts on the topic and how it relates to the principles we’ve embodied…