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.

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…

Commuting, Carbon Footprints and Data Mining

I was recently motivated to write an op ed about how the carbon footprint of commuting generally gets overlooked in discussions about addressing climate change. I’ll publish the piece online after the print edition comes out, but here I wanted to talk about how you can access all sorts of…

Comments on Redrawing County Districts

I made a brief version of these comments at today’s County Board of Supervisors meeting (there were so many commenters the Board chose to limit public comments to one minute rather than the normal two…which is perfectly understandable but was unanticipated by me :)). Good morning, and thanks for giving…

Room to Represent Us

This op ed was published November 9, 2021 in the San Mateo Daily Journal. This version may be slightly different due to editing by the Journal. “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your…