Welcome!

My name is Mark Olbert, and I’m a member of the City Council in San Carlos, California. This is my site for staying in touch with my constituents.

Here you’ll find my blog, links to articles about municipal issues, and material that will help you understand my take on the Council’s work. All these can be accessed through the menu links at the top of every page.

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Enjoy! And if you have a moment, drop me a line to let me know what’s on your mind.

Land Use and Business Expansion

You may have wondered why I haven’t written about the Council’s upcoming review of the Carlos Club expansion application. There’s a simple reason: I haven’t made up my mind. And it’s important that I not make up my mind before the public hearing, because the Council acts in a quasi-judicial…

A Planning We Will Go

Today was the joint City Council/City staff semiannual planning retreat. It defines both longer-term goals and the specific objectives that staff will pursue over the next six months. I thought it was a generally useful exercise, but there’s room for improvement. I also have a better idea now of why…

Towering Incompetence

At last night’s City Council meeting we unanimously, but quite reluctantly, approved a revised cellphone tower proposal from AT&T as part of settling a lawsuit they had brought against the City. Much of the meeting was spent discussing the proposed settlement, and taking AT&T to task for continuing to underperform in…

High Speed Rail

At last night’s City Council meeting we gave new guidance to staff as to how the Council views high speed rail as it relates to San Carlos. The short version of where we ended up is simple: the Council doesn’t support putting more tracks through San Carlos. This is a…

Agenda Setting

My colleague Matt Grocott raised an interesting issue the other day when he released a letter to the Palo Alto Daily Post urging the Council to hold a meeting to examine, and take a position on, global warming (the Post normally waits awhile before making its material available online, but…

The ICLEI Saga

At last Monday’s Council meeting (1/23/2012) there was an intense discussion about San Carlos’ $600 a year membership in an organization called ICLEI. Why was this such a heated topic? Few people in San Carlos are even aware of what ICLEI is, let alone why membership in it should be…