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.

Community Conversation: Managing During the Pandemic

Ray Mueller — a long-serving member of the Menlo Park City Council whom I’ve gotten to know over my years on the San Carlos City Council and whom I greatly admire — is moderating a Zoom panel discussion on Wednesday, September 9th, starting at 6:30 PM. The topic is “A…

Reflections: What’s Wrong with First Come, First Served?

This is one of a series of reflections I plan to write as I wind up my almost twenty year stint as a local elected official. The goal is simple: share things I’ve learned, or think I’ve learned, which I didn’t know before I began that journey. Which will, hopefully,…

A Seat at the Table

This is a letter to the San Mateo Daily Journal I wrote in response to a recent article by Matt Grocott, a former member of the San Carlos City Council. I read Matt Grocott’s August 11th column with interest. Matt & I were locally elected in the same year, 2001.…

Mask Requirements, Administrative Violations, Criminal Violations and Enforcement

This article is prompted by recent discussions on NextDoor about the County Board of Supervisors decriminalizing failure to wear masks when required and authorizing fines for violations. Much of the discussion involved how the enforcement process would work, who would be enforcing it, etc. Standard disclaimer: I am not a…

Covid-19: County Authorizes Fines for Not Wearing Masks

The County Board of Supervisors today (8/4/2020) authorized enforcement officers, throughout the County, to fine individuals and organizations not adhering to the State’s mask requirements. Individuals can be fined $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for each additional violation within the same year. Individual violations…

Even in The City of Good Living…

As I was walking north on Laurel today, passing the post office, an older1 woman walking south — nicely dressed, nothing odd about her — passed an Hispanic/Asian2 family, including a young teen boy, also going north. And proceeded to lambast them about needing to go home to their own…