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.

New Feature: Q&A Discussions

I typically spend several hours prepping with staff for each of our Council meetings. That way I don’t have to get all of my questions answered during the meeting itself. You can imagine how long those would be if I didn’t! Not to mention how much longer they’d be if…

Transit Village Referendum

Questions I emailed to Greg Rubens, our City Attorney, regarding a potential referendum to overturn a Council decision about the Transit Village. Greg, Given interest in certain parts of the community in a referendum to overturn a Council decision on the Transit Village, I want to ensure everyone understands what’s…

Line 147 Update

This op ed piece I wrote was published last Friday in the Palo Alto Daily Post. As we move into our second month since major safety concerns with PG&E’s Line 147 were disclosed, it’s important to take stock about what has happened, and what has not.

How Big Is Big Enough?

The ultimate size of projects like the Transit Village always end up reflecting a balance between economic pressures striving to make them bigger and community pressures trying to keep a lid on them. Given that, it’s important to understand a project’s economics. Unfortunately, that’s not as simple as one might…

Transparency: Good for Governments, Great for Gas Companies

Next Monday Senator Jerry Hill will hold a public hearing in the San Carlos City Council Chambers on gas pipeline safety. If you are able to attend, I urge you to do so. It’s important that our community continues to demand accountability from PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission.

It’s Not Settled

This was published as an op ed in the San Mateo Daily Journal on October 17, 2013. You can find it on their site here. San Carlos residents could be forgiven for thinking all the issues surrounding the proposed Transit Village are resolved or being successfully managed based on the…