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.

Choosing What Kind of Community to Be

Last night we agreed to roll back the changes made in 2011 to the rules governing residential lot splits in San Carlos. I made the following comments out of concern for something I didn’t hear during the community dialog, and from my colleagues: that San Carlos is the people who…

You Can’t Lead From Behind

This op ed was published on September 19, 2016 in the San Mateo Daily Journal. If, like me, you think the Council should endorse Prop 63 on behalf of San Carlos, please email or write the Council and let us know. You can find all our email addresses at http://cityofsancarlos.org/depts/mayor_council/default.asp. There’s…

Money Is More Important Than Protecting Lives?

At tonight’s City Council meeting I asked my colleagues to consider endorsing Proposition 63, Safety for All, a statewide ballot initiative that aims to put a few, simple additional protections into California’s gun regulations, aimed at reducing the potential for mass shootings. Sadly, only Ron Collins supported the idea. Matt Grocott, Bob…

Change Sidewalk Repair Policy Petition

Sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/san-carlos-city-council-stand-up-against-unfair-sidewalk-repair-costs?recruiter=176010379 Cities used to repair sidewalks out of their own budget. But years ago the California Legislature gave cities the option of assigning that obligation to the adjacent property owners. San Carlos, like many cities, made that choice. I was okay with that for several years as a…

SpeedView Launch

Traffic in San Carlos, and particularly the way people drive, is a frequent subject of emails I get from constituents. Many contact me, or city staff, because they are concerned about traffic speeds in their neighborhood. This often results in the police department deploying our stealth radar tracking system to…

Tripping Over Sidewalk Maintenance

This post was published in the San Mateo Daily Journal today, June 10, 2016. Simple things sometimes turn out to be complicated when you dig into them. Take the question of who pays for sidewalk repairs. They’re a public asset, paid for by the city, right? So the city pays.…