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.

Hang On to Your Seats!

. …and I sure hope you’re ready for the ride. I’m not sure I am. Last night the Council authorized an environmental impact report “…for the Alexandria Life Sciences & Technology Project at 987 Commercial Street…” For those not recognizing the address this will be a giant commercial development spanning…

Surely They Deserved a Refund

Last night during agenda setting — when the Council discusses what items it’s willing to put on a future agenda for discussion and action — I asked my colleagues to do something simple and non-controversial. At least I thought it was simple and non-controversial. Discuss refunding the $2,000 appeal fee…

Why Doesn’t the Council Listen to Us?

At this week’s Council meeting we heard an appeal from residents of the Pacific Hacienda complex who objected to the Planning Commission’s approval of a multi-family project to be built right next door to where they live. And to be clear, in this case “right next door” means “right next…

Dreaming Bigger Would’ve Been Much Better

The Council last night approved on a 4-1 vote (I opposed) establishing a temporary/experimental bike loop near the downtown core. I’m not opposed to giving people a chance to ride their bikes. In fact, I had just voted to approve the Pedestrian/Bicycle Master Plan (with the caveat it be quickly…

Outdoor Dining Comes to Laurel Street

Last night the Council unanimously approved re-configuring parts of Laurel Street into a pedestrian mall. Restauranteurs and shop owners will be allowed to use parts of the public right of way in front of their businesses. The details vary depending upon which section of Laurel Street you’re talking about. Some…

$14,000,000 to Protect Pensions

The City Council tonight approved — by a 4 to 1 vote (I opposed) — pre-paying an additional $7,000,000 towards the city’s pension obligations. A pre-payment means investing money in the California Public Employee Retirement System (CALPERS) above and beyond what the city is required to contribute. This latest prepayment…