Saturday, December 17, 2011

Talking to Local Government to Boy Scout Troop 42

One of the fun aspects of being on City Council is getting to help teach folks about how local government works.

Earlier this year I had the honor of addressing 60 boy scouts from San Mateo Troop 42 about how local government works.  Thanks to Scout Leader and local Dad Tony Villanueva for the invitation to speak!

Domestic Violence Council

Part of my new duties as a Councilmember is to assist our larger regional community on issues of importance to all of us. 

Therefore, I am please to announce that earlier this week I was appointed to be the representative for San Mateo Cities to the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council.  

As part of a committee comprised of county, city, social service, and neighborhood representatives, I will help shape county policy to reduce and prevent domestic violence and enhance victim services in our county. 

I am honored to have been selected to this role unanimously by representatives from all 20 cities in San Mateo County.  

As a Deputy District Attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, I have personally obtained convictions in domestic violence cases, and have worked personally with victims of domestic violence to keep them safe and help them regain their dignity and move on from this very terrible crime.  

I look forward to adding my experience to address the issue of domestic violence in San Mateo County, and to enhancing services for domestic violence victims in our community. 

To read more about the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council, click here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Proud to Serve as San Mateo's Deputy Mayor for 2012

At tonight's City Council meeting, I was humbled and honored to be selected by my fellow Councilmembers as Deputy Mayor for the upcoming 2012 legislative year.  

I look forward to working with Mayor Brandt Grotte in continuing my work to listen to residents, neighborhoods, and businesses about ways to make San Mateo an even better community for all of us.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Comcast Invests in Downtown San Mateo

Earlier this week, Comcast announced a large investment in Downtown San Mateo to build a high-speed communications infrastructure.  Here are two articles about this wonderful investment for our City. 

Downtown San Mateo to go digital  
December 01, 2011, 03:22 AM
By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

Downtown San Mateo will become a hotbed for bandwidth junkies next year as Comcast has committed to radically upgrade the broadband network in the city’s underground utility district.

The “Digital Downtown” concept was developed by the Economic Development Growth Enterprise, or the EDGE, an initiative of the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce.

The EDGE approached several broadband providers late last year to bring higher-speed broadband downtown and Comcast was the only provider willing to invest the capital, said EDGE President Corey Geiger.

The point of the project is to give high-tech companies, particularly startups, the tools they need to stay in business. After startups YouTube and AdMob relocated out of downtown San Mateo, chamber officials started scratching their heads, wondering what the chamber could do to keep such companies from leaving the city.

“We’ve been an incubator for high-tech companies, startups especially, and this will help us be competitive with any city in the United States to attract and keep these businesses in downtown,” Mayor Jack Matthews told the Daily Journal yesterday.

Downtown is vibrant, Matthews said, and already attracts startups.

“All this is happening even without the upgrade,” Matthews said.

The EDGE and Comcast have worked with downtown businesses, property owners and city officials to ensure that the project will deliver the maximum benefit to downtown while minimizing any impacts to the underground utility district.

As a result, hundreds of businesses, from medical offices to high-tech companies, will now have access to Comcast’s business-class offerings, which will be delivered over a state-of-the-art optical fiber backbone.
The expansion aims to allow for download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 10 megabits per second. Bandwidth up to 10 gigabits per second will be available for businesses with the largest data needs.

Attorney Paul Barulich, with an office downtown, said the growth of his practice has been limited, in part, by a lack of good telecommunications infrastructure.

The underground fiber optics network Comcast will install will make it easier for Barulich’s office to serve its clients and grow, he said.

The chamber worked closely with the Downtown San Mateo Association initially to engage property owners on the proposal, Geiger said.

“DSMA is thrilled that high-speed broadband is finally coming,” said President Kris Cesena. “We have played a small role in part by having representation in the EDGE’s meetings regarding this endeavor. It’s becoming apparent that high-tech companies like the idea of locating in San Mateo and especially downtown because of our location on the Peninsula.”

High-speed broadband is a prerequisite to establishing and growing new business downtown, said Linda Asbury, president of the chamber.

Work should start on the project in January, Geiger said, and should be completed by spring. Comcast will essentially equip each property downtown with fiber-optics that can then be accessed by businesses, he said.

It is a forward-looking concept, Geiger said, in which other cities have already taken an interest.

This could become a model for other cities to follow, he said.

Comcast Investment in Downtown San Mateo Highlights City of San Mateo's Continued Emergence as the Place to Be for Business

SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim responded to the news of Comcast's investment in Downtown San Mateo with praise for Comcast and the San Mateo business community in forging their ground-breaking partnership. 

"The latest news confirms the continued growth of the City of San Mateo as a hub for high tech businesses in the Silicon Valley region," said San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim.  

Lim added, "Comcast's unprecedented investment in communications infrastructure for Downtown San Mateo, along with San Mateo's central proximity to San Francisco, San Jose, and the 92, 101, and 280 corridors make the City of San Mateo uniquely positioned to meet the needs of every business well into the 21st century." 

Comcast's announcement comes on the heels of a report issued by the Silicon Valley-San Jose Business Journal on October 14 that one-third of Silicon Valley's top 51 fastest growing private companies are in San Mateo County.  

Of the 16 San Mateo County companies listed in the report, 50% of them are located in the City of San Mateo, including Marketo Inc., VSS Monitoring, Movoto LLC, Intelepeer Inc., Guidance Software, EPIC Insurance Brokers, ClickMail Marketing Inc., and The Mice Groups Inc.  

Lim praised Comcast and the business community in San Mateo for their partnership.  The business community in San Mateo was led by an economic development and growth initiative of the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce known as "The EDGE".

Lim noted, "The City invested start-up funds of $75,000 to The EDGE in June of this year.  The Comcast investment in infrastructure to the City more than returns our investment to The EDGE, but the potential business tax revenue that will be generated for years to come from this project will help all residents with things such as investment in public safety and street repair.  When businesses thrive in our community, all our neighborhoods benefit.  I am pleased to support innovative organizations like Comcast, The EDGE, and the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce." 

Monday, November 28, 2011

SMPD Patrol Officers Arrest Two Suspects in Dine-and-Dash Robbery

200 Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403<>

SMPD Patrol Officers Arrest Two Suspects in Dine-and-Dash Robbery

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On Saturday evening, at about 10:13 pm, San Mateo Police officers were dispatched to the Outback Steakhouse at 66 31st Ave. Two subjects were reported to be fleeing the restaurant without paying for their meal. Employees at the restaurant reported that one of the suspects attempted to assault employees during the incident. Officers quickly arrived on scene to find that although the suspects had fled in a vehicle, a witness had taken a photo of the vehicle as it left the area. None of the employees were seriously injured in the altercation.

Officers also discovered some property left behind in the restaurant - a jacket, some paperwork, and a cellular phone. The resourceful patrol officers were able to use these items to track down and locate the suspects at a residence in the 1900 block of El Camino Real in San Mateo. The suspect vehicle, a silver Honda, was located there and determined to be stolen out of San Francisco. The suspects were located at the residence on El Camino, along with evidence linking them to the robbery and other criminal activity. They were both arrested and subsequently booked into San Mateo County Jail.


Maria Preciado, an 18 year-old San Mateo Resident – Booked for Robbery, Conspiracy, and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

Edgardo Castillo, a 26 year-old San Francisco Resident – Booked for Robbery, Conspiracy, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle,and Possession of Theft Tools (modified vehicle key)

Castillo was also booked on an outstanding warrant as a Parolee at Large

Please help us make your neighborhood safer and take a stand against crime. Please report all criminal behavior, join a neighborhood watch program, and help anyone that might fall victim to a crime. If a Neighborhood Watch doesn't exist on your block, you can start one with help from SMPD. For additional information about the City of San Mateo Neighborhood Watch Program, call Sergeant Dave Norris at (650)522-7626 or visit our web<>

This 'Press Release / Community Information' is being sent to you by The Public Information Office of the San Mateo Police Department. We at the SMPD take pride in alerting our community partners about activities and current events relevant to neighborhood incidents.

Monday, November 21, 2011

City Set To Create More Public Parks In Partnership With Local Development

Among a packed San Mateo City Council agenda for tomorrow, I am please to support the creation of 15 new acres of park space at the Bay Meadows development.  Included in that development, worth over $1 million in improvements to the City, will be a new baseball field and soccer field for residents of all ages to enjoy. 

The improvements are part of the development agreement made between the City of San Mateo and the Bay Meadows Development back in 2008.  While that agreement was before I came onto the Council, over the past nine months I've met with the Bay Meadows development team to discuss with them the concerns and desires of the City of San Mateo in creating more recreation space for our citizens.  

As you know, playing field space for baseball and soccer are at a premium in our city.  With the new park development set to be approved tomorrow, the people of San Mateo will gain up to 12 acres of new playing fields for our youth and adult recreation leagues.  

Thanks to the City staff at the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the City Attorney's Office who both worked hard to make this project a reality after the initial plans were slowed by the economic downturn in 2008-2009.  And thanks to the Bay Meadows Development group, who will be funding the creation of this new park space, ensuring that our hard-earned tax dollars are not used for this project.  

I look forward to giving my support to this project at tomorrow's City Council meeting.  

For a full look at tomorrow night's agenda, click here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ensuring fiscal transparency of YOUR tax dollars

Yesterday I took steps to ensure the transparency and safety of how YOUR tax dollars are spent.

In June of this year, while reviewing the City Budget for fiscal year 2011-2012, I noticed an account in the City general fund for half a million dollars for "General Contingency Reserves".

The purpose of the account, in existence since 1992, is to fill short-falls in department budgets which occur naturally over the course of the year.   For example, say the public works department has to spend extra money due to winter storm that causes flooding in our streets, the $500,000 contingency reserve account could be used to fund the efforts to clean up our streets and protect our homes.

The general contingency reserve is an important account to have.  However, I noticed one problem.  The account could be spent by the City Manger with no oversight from either the City Council or taxpayers.  In other words, there was no one to oversee how the money was being spent.

In my opinion, this created a lack of fiscal transparency in how the City spends your hard-earned tax dollars.  In June I raised this issue with City Staff, and urged them to close this loophole.

I am pleased to report that last night along with my fellow Councilmembers, we closed the loophole to the half a million dollar account.

The City Manager will still have the authority to use the contingency reserve fund to close short-falls in department budgets.  Now, however, the City Manager will be required to report those expenditures to the City Council and the public in the form of a quarterly balance statement.

This statement will be required to be on the agenda of a public City Council meeting, so that both the Council and the public will be able to account for every dollar spent in the contingency reserve fund. 

I believe this action creates a more transparent, open process to how the City spends your tax dollars.  In these tough economic times, every penny counts! 

As we head into the next fiscal year, I will continue to monitor our finances and find more ways to increase efficiency and transparency in our City finances. 

To view last night's report on this item, click here

Friday, October 28, 2011

San Mateo looks to toughen code enforcement rules

October 27, 2011, 02:52 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff
A plan to beef up San Mateo’s code enforcement rules has stalled as some on the City Council are concerned an idea to turn an infraction into a misdemeanor may be going too far.

The City Council considered amending the city’s municipal code at its last meeting to also give citation authority to a broader group of city employees, including the public works director, building inspectors, park rangers, the waste/recycling program coordinator, tree maintenance specialist and parking enforcement officers, among others.

The most significant amendment to the municipal code are revisions to the penalties for violations so that a violation of any code can be punishable as either a misdemeanor or an infraction.

Councilman David Lim, however, thinks misdemeanors should be issued by police, since they are properly trained to deal with such situations.

At the very least, Lim said, the authority to issue a misdemeanor should be left up to either department heads, the city manager or the city attorney.

Changes to the municipal code would also allow the waste/recycling program coordinator, as an example, to immediately book someone into jail.

“I think it is a bad precedent to set for the city to allow those positions to put someone in jail. Sworn police officers are trained properly” and better suited to deal with any potential problems with issuing misdemeanors, said Lim, who is an Alameda County prosecutor.

Councilman Robert Ross, a former police officer, also has issues with broadening citation authority and penalties.

To take the infractions from a fine to possible “imprisonment” goes too far for Ross.

“I don’t know I like that, to take civil behavior and make it criminal,” he said.

The city’s municipal code covers all kinds of behavior, from the size of permitted signs and what is allowed on sidewalks to issues with homeowners, including junk in yards and the proper installation of water heaters, for example.

“These are civil matters and the penalties include daily fees” if someone is found in violation, Ross said. “Do we want to put people in jail for having a sign too big?”

Mayor Jack Matthews understands the concerns considering Lim and Ross both have law enforcement backgrounds but does not have a problem with broadening the rules.

“It is unlikely code enforcement officers will give misdemeanors without the aid of a police officer,” Matthews said.

Councilman John Lee agrees.

He mentioned a parking enforcement officer who was recently spit at downtown after issuing a parking ticket.

“He did the right thing, he called the police,” Lee said.

It is not likely parking enforcement officers will start carrying handcuffs on them, Lee said.

“By allowing the city to charge all violations as misdemeanors or infractions, the city can better tailor the penalty to the specific violation,” according to as staff report to council by Bahareh Abdollahi, assistant city attorney.

The item was continued to a future council meeting for a vote.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fire Station 24

Last Monday I was pleased to give final approval with my fellow Council Members on a much needed remodel for San Mateo Fire Station 24, located on Humboldt and 4th Avenue near Downtown San Mateo.

Final approval for the project comes after months of hard work by City Staff and the Planning Commission.

The approval to rebuild Fire Station 24 into a modern, 21st Century station is part of the continued effort by me and my fellow Councilmembers to provide our fire department with the most modern equipment to keep our communities safe.

I continue to make public safety my top priority, and thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work!

To view the staff report for the approval of Station 24 from last week's meeting, click  here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ensuring Accountablity for Public Safety

At last night's City Council meeting, I made a motion to delay a vote on an important amendment to our City codes so that we could slow down and make sure we are doing everything we can to better protect our communities.

At yesterday's meeting, City Staff introduced a resolution that would amend San Mateo's City Code to make all violations of the Code enforceable as either infractions or misdemeanors.

I support the concept of allowing our City Attorney more flexibility in dealing with violations of our City  Codes as either infractions or misdemeanors.  In today's complex world, there are unfortunately times where the City needs the ability to protect our communities through the use of misdemeanor citations.

In my opinion, however, the ordinance offered yesterday empowered too broad a group of City employees to issue citations for misdemeanors.

While infractions are non-criminal citation which carry fines in the range of $100-$500, misdemeanor citations are criminal violations punishable by fines of up to $1000 and imprisonment of up to six-months in the county jail.  Furthermore a person cited for a misdemeanor violation may face arrest and booking procedures at the discretion of the person who cites them. 

Under the new ordinance, employees such as code enforcement officers or building inspectors with no formal training in law enforcement would be empowered to issue misdemeanor citation.  In my opinion, this is simply too much power in the hands of government. 

I believe that the power to charge someone with a misdemeanor crime should be limited to the City Attorney, sworn police officers, the Fire Chief  and Fire Marshalls (in the case of issues involving fire safety), the City Manager, and City Department Heads. 

By limiting the power to issue misdemeanor citations to the above individuals, your City Council and city  staff can remain more accountable to the public in the judicious use of police power. 

I therefore made my motion to delay action on this ordinance until we can further review, discuss, and consider the issue.  I am pleased to report that my motion was approved on a 4-1 vote.

Moving forward, I plan to stay involved in this issue to ensure that our City is able to fully protect our residents or communities without granting overly-broad powers to City employees.  Protecting the civil rights of our residents is equally as important as enforcement of the law. 

I welcome your view and discussion on this very important topic.  Please feel free to call me or email me if you'd like to talk about this issue. 

To view the staff report on this issue, click here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Group plans to protest at aging bridge

October 13, 2011, 04:52 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

In an effort to pressure Congress to pass jobs legislation, a local group of activists is planning a protest Friday on a bridge in San Mateo they say is structurally unsafe and should be fixed with federal stimulus money.

The Mid-Peninsula American Dream Council, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, wants Congress to put money toward fixing the country’s ailing infrastructure and to create jobs in the process.

The local Dream Council is a relatively new group made up of members that rallied in August at U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo’s Palo Alto office.

At 4 p.m. Friday, the group hopes to attract at least 100 people for a rally at a bridge that crosses State Route 92 at Alameda de las Pulgas in San Mateo to highlight the bridge’s state of disrepair.

The bridge, built in 1963, has a current structural rating of “4” for the deck, considered to be structurally deficient, requiring frequent monitoring and repair, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s 2010 National Bridge Inventory.

The bridge has a superstructure rating of “7” and a substructure rating of “5,” according to the report. Any rating below “5” is considered to be structurally deficient. The superstructure supports the deck and the substructure connects the bridge to the ground.

The bridge was last inspected in 2008, according to the bridge inventory report.

“Fixing our infrastructure is a solution to the jobs problem,” said Cilla Raughley, spokeswoman for the local Dream Council.

The intent of the rally, she said, is to pressure Congress to pass the American Jobs Act.

But the Senate shot down President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill Tuesday night. The White House now intends to force additional votes on separate pieces of the measure, such as infrastructure spending, jobless assistance and tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

“The government needs to create jobs before making cuts,” Raughley said.  “Our aging infrastructure is alarming.”

In San Mateo, 74 bridges have been found with ratings below “5,” according to the national bridge inventory report. 

The bridge at Alameda de las Pulgas where the rally is planned is listed as No. 350161 on the report.

The bridge structure itself is the responsibility of Caltrans, said San Mateo Public Works Director Larry Patterson. The city’s responsibility is limited to the paving, railings and other items on the structure, Patterson said.

An official with Caltrans did not tell the Daily Journal yesterday whether the bridge was indeed structurally deficient as the report indicates or when the last time the bridge was inspected.

Regardless of whose responsibility it is to fix the bridge in San Mateo, the local Dream Council wants it done with federal stimulus money.

“Those are good-paying jobs,” Raughley said.

She is not sure how many will attend the rally but she is hoping for at least 100.

The San Mateo Police Department is aware of the event and will be taking steps to ensure public safety and minimal disruption to residents while respecting the right of all citizens to gather and protest peacefully, according to an email from San Mateo Councilman David Lim.

To learn more about the rally visit

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Town Hall Meetings Coming to San Mateo

 Here is a press release going out from my office tomorrow morning:


Contact:           David Lim, San Mateo City Council
Town Hall Meetings Coming to San Mateo:  Councilman David Lim Helps to Host Two Upcoming Town Hall Meetings To Engage Community On Local Issues

San Mateo, CA – October 10, 2011 –  San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim will be helping to host two important town hall meetings in San Mateo over the next three weeks.    

On Thursday, October 13, 2011 from 6-8 p.m. at San Mateo City Hall, David will serve as moderator at a town hall meeting featuring Assemblymember Jerry Hill and former Assemblymember Sally Lieber as they discuss “How Redistricting Affects You.”   

Sponsored by the San Mateo Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, the event is free to all members of the public.  Light refreshments will be served.

“With San Mateo County being drawn into new districts for the California Assembly (22nd District), California Senate (13th District), and U.S. Congress (14th District), it is important for residents to know how these new district boundries will affect their representation at all levels of government,” noted David.  “We are lucky to have two of our local leaders from Sacramento on hand to discuss this important topic in an informal town hall format.” 

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011 from 6-7 p.m. at the San Mateo Public Library (3rd Ave. at El Camino), David will hosting “San Mateo Unplugged” a town hall meeting to discuss goals and issues important to residents of the City of San Mateo. 

In discussing the goal behind “San Mateo Unplugged,” David stated, “Residents asked me to host more informal gathering where instead of agendized meetings, they can just come and chat with members of the City Council about issues important to them.  It allows for a more open exchange of ideas about what’s important to our community and how we can work together to make things happen.”

Flyers for both events can be found attached to this press release. 

For more information, contact San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim at (415) 290-4044.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Asking Questions About Rising Garbage Rates

This past Monday, the City Council reluctantly agreed to set a public hearing for November on a 9.9% rate increase to our trash bill, but not before I asked some tough questions about the need to increase the rate.  

I put together a brief slide presentation on the issue.  You can view the slide show by clicking on the link below, and also watch video of Monday's meeting.  

My basic issue is whether it is necessary to raise our bills for trash pick up in these tough economic times.  

I hope to hear more from all of you when this issue comes up in November.  

To view my slide show, click HERE

To view my questions raised on this issue at Monday's meeting, click HERE

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

OP-ED: Many reasons for new county jail

While I normally don't weigh in on the decisions of County agencies, the decision on the expansion of the San Mateo County jail has the potential to have huge consequences for residents of the City of San Mateo when it comes to public safety.  

For that reason, I wrote the following opinion piece in today's San Mateo Daily Journal, in response to an article written by San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, opposing expansion of our current, out-dated county jail.  

I urge all residents to study the issue and let the Board of Supervisors know your opinion on this critical public safety issue.  As always, feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss this or any other issue. 

OP-ED: Many reasons for new county jail
October 04, 2011, 01:03 AM By David Lim

Supervisor Dave Pine’s decision to oppose expansion of the new jail as proposed is commendable for keeping sight of today’s fiscal realities, but the consequences of not building an expanded jail big enough comes with long-term negative effects on public safety (“Time to rethink criminal justice in county” guest perspective in Oct. 3 edition).

Mr. Pine’s position for a smaller jail based on the ability to reduce the jail population through evidence-based programs to reduce recidivism misses one major point.

When the state Legislature passed Assembly Bill 109 and its companion bills, it fundamentally altered our criminal justice system in ways not seen in more than 100 years. The largest change is that a majority of felons not convicted of “non-violent,” “non-serious” and “non-sex-related” crimes will now be housed in county jails, not state prisons.

This realignment means that hundreds of new convicted felons will be the responsibility of local agencies such as the county of San Mateo.

Mr. Pine suggests a number of worthy programs that are part of the realignment to the criminal justice system, and I agree with him that we should explore those options. However, those programs in and by themselves will not reduce our need for a larger county jail.

For example, even when using more electronic monitoring as suggested by Mr. Pine, there will be a need for periods of incarceration. Upon conviction, an individual charged with a felony will have to be in custody for at least 60 days before being eligible for electronic monitoring. For misdemeanor defendants, the requirement is 30 days in custody.

Thus, even with the new services to reduce recidivism, the need for adequate housing for inmates will remain and even increase in some cases.

There are also possible unforeseen consequences of inadequate housing for inmates. Adequate housing is fundamental to the basic human dignity of those incarcerated. No matter what their crimes, inmates have a right to decent housing while serving their sentences. Failure to provide adequate housing over the long term could subject the county to expensive civil rights lawsuits from inmates and lead to early release of inmates before they are rehabilitated.

Supervisors Rose Jacobs Gibson and Don Horsley set the correct tone in their support for the expanded jail, and I urge Mr. Pine to follow their lead.

Supervisor Gibson has years of experience working to reduce violent crime while a member of the East Palo Alto City Council, and her suggestion to use the expanded space at the new jail to provide alternative services to reduce recidivism are laudable.

Supervisor Horsley has more than 30 years in law enforcement, and was instrumental in ushering in modernization of our county correctional system while serving as our San Mateo County sheriff. We should rely on his expertise and listen to his guidance.

Ultimately, if the county fails to adequately provide for the incarceration of county inmates in the future, it is local communities who will suffer.

Releasing inmates due to lack of space remains a serious concern in our community without an expanded jail. If that happens, it will fall to city police agencies and local city councils to increase their funding in public safety to keep our neighborhoods safe.

I urge Mr. Pine and the rest of the Board of Supervisors to support the expansion of the new jail. The short-term investment will be tough now, but will pay dividends in public safety for years to come.  

David Lim is a member of the San Mateo City Council and works as a deputy district attorney for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. This guest perspective represents the viewpoint of Lim, and is not the official viewpoint of the city of San Mateo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

October 13 - Town Hall Meeting With Assemblymemeber Jerry Hill and former Assemblymember Sally Lieber

On Thursday, October 13 from 6-8 pm, I am proud to act as moderator at a town hall meeting featuring Assemblyman Jerry Hill and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber.  The FREE event, open to ALL residents, will be held at San Mateo City Hall located at 330 W. 20th Avenue in San Mateo.  

Click HERE for larger version of flyer.

Co-hosted by the San Mateo Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, a non-profit civil rights organization, the town hall will discuss the effects of recent redistricting in our neighborhoods.  The event will also feature Assemblymembers Hill and Lieber, who are expected to run for election in the new California State Senate seat created by redistricting.  Senator Leland Yee, our current Senator, is also an invited guest. 

The event is free and open to all residents.  Refreshments will be served. 

About OCA San Mateo:  Established in 1987, the OCA San Mateo Chapter is one of the four chapters in the Bay Area and one of the seven chapters in California. OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) is a national nonprofit nonpartisan, civil rights advocacy and educational organization dedicated to embracing the hopes and aspirations and advancing the social, political and economic well being of Americans of Chinese and Asian descent. 

Note:  This event is not sponsored by the City of San Mateo and does not utilize any public funds.  OCA San Mateo is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.   

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bayfront Cleanup - September 17, 2011

Last Saturday I took my girls out to take part in the 27th annual "Bayfront Cleanup Day".  Cities and organizations throughout the Bay Area met to spend the morning cleaning up our most beautiful and precious resource -- The San Francisco Bay. 

I started the day at 9:00 a.m. with community leader and marina lagoon resident Rick Sakuda, as he organized a group of volunteers to clean up the marina lagoon in both San Mateo and Foster City.  Employee groups from Prometheus Real Estate Group, Solar City, and Gilead were on hand to help clean up the lagoon. 

My two daughters helped me fish out plastic bags, water bottles, and even an office chair out of the lagoon.  My kids love to help play in water and mud, and they also got to learn about the importance of keeping our waterways clean. 

Around 10:30 a.m., we moved over to Ryder Park along the San Mateo shoreline, were we joined over 800 of our neighbors to help clean up the Bay Trail.  

I helped the City of San Mateo register countless elementary, middle school, and high school students who showed up to lend a hand.  I also helped City staff, including the Public Works Department, as they served a picnic lunch to all the participants.  Thanks to Whole Foods and other sponsors for sponsoring the lunch!

All in all, it was a great day to clean up the Bay.  Efforts such as this are important not only to clean up our Bay, but to highlight the importance of keeping our environment clean and sustainable for everyone.  Thanks to the wonderful City of San Mateo staff who staffed the event, and to everyone in the community who showed up to help!  

Here are some photos from the day: 

 Thanks to Community Leader and Marina Resident Rick Sakuda for Organizing the Lagoon Clean-Up!

The Staff from Prometheus Real Estate Group Registering Volunteers

My Daughters Doing Their Part To Clean-Up the Bayfront!

My Daughter and I Taking a Break After Hauling An Office Chair Out of the Lagoon

This is One Less Bag of Trash That Will Bother Our Bay!!

City of San Mateo Staff Busily Helping Volunteers

Mayor Jack Matthews Thanks All the Participants

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Neighbors Working Together to Improve Our Coummunity

Last night's City Council meeting showed why we live in such a great City.

Thanks to the leadership of local residents working with our City Public Works Department, a new program to help owner save $2000-$3000 on their sewer lateral replacements was approved by the City Council.  I was proud to support this community effort to make home improvement easier for more of our neighbors.

Sewer laterals are the pipes that connect your home sewer system to the "main" sewer line that runs down the middle of the street.  In San Mateo, the average home was build in the late 1940's after World War II, meaning that for most of us our sewer laterals are well past the end of their useful life (My own sewer lateral was replaced in 2005 after many, many visits by local plumbers!)

The City had previously had an ordinance that provided courtesy maintenance for homeowners whose sewer lateral was blocked where the line ran under the sidewalk or street.  While this ordinance helped some homeowners save on maintenance costs, there were two big problems with this ordinance: 

  1. Only about 17% of homes in the City were eligible for this program due to requirements on the types of sewer lateral a home had. 
  2. The ordinance did not address the pressing need to replace aging infrastructure.  
On their own initiative, members of the Sugarloaf Homeowners Association approached the San Mateo Public Works Department to voice their concerns.  Working with City Staff, these resourceful neighbors helped craft a new program that was approved by the City Council last night.  

Under this new program:

  1. Homeowners will be able to obtain free video scoping service when there is a problem with their lateral line. 
  2. If the lateral line is defective, homeowners will be able to apply for up to $2000 to $3000 to cover the costs of a lateral replacement.  Best of all, this money comes from fees paid by the City to the State help reduce sewage overflow in the Bay.  The State allows the City to apply those fees to help homeowners improve their sewer systems. 
  3. The City also helps homeowners by providing a list of approved contractors to do the work, or the homeowner can select their own contractor and still apply for the $2000-$3000 reimbursement for the work.  
While I voted to approve this innovative effort, I can not take any credit.  The credit goes to the residents of the Sugarloaf Homeowners Association and our City Staff who worked long hours to make this new ordinance a reality.  This cooperative spirit is yet another example of why the City of San Mateo is a great community to live in!  

To view details of last night's meeting and the program, click here.  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cheesecake Factory Preps to Open in San Mateo

by Dave Colby & Joan S. Dentler

San Mateo Patch, Septebmer 17, 2011

 What began as a humble cake baked in a Detroit kitchen has grown into one of the country’s most successful restaurant franchises.

The Cheesecake Factory, which will open its first San Mateo County location in the Hillsdale Shopping Center on Monday, is famous not just for its cheesecake (more than 30 flavors), but for its inventive menu and generous portions.

Alethea Rowe, senior directing of marketing for the Calabasas-based restaurant franchise, said the company is excited about opening in San Mateo.

“The Hillsdale Shopping Center is a great shopping destination. All of the enhancements that are being done in the mall make this a great spot for Cheesecake Factory,” she said.

She noted that two new retailers, H&M and Forever 21 Mega Store, will soon be opening in the mall.
The 8,300 square-foot restaurant employs 271, and Rowe added that they are still hiring for server positions.
The restaurant, which occupies the old Mervyn’s department store site, can seat 311 guests in its one-story dining room and outdoor patio. Take-out and curbside service will also be available.

“We’ve redesigned the parking lot so that it can accommodate more cars at our curbside pickup,” Rowe explained. “Just call ahead and we’ll carry it out to your car.”

The new restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on Sundays.

Although San Francisco is the home to the company’s Bay Area flagship store, Rowe expects San Mateo to be an equally popular location. “We will offer the same great service and food, and we hope it will become everybody’s favorite family restaurant.”

Of the 154 Cheesecake Factories nationwide, eight are in the Bay Area.

Friday, September 16, 2011

27th Annual Bayfront Clean Up

Tomorrow morning communities around the Bay Area will host the 27th annual Bayfront Clean Up.

The City of San Mateo will be hosting an official event at Ryder Park from 8:30 am until noon. No advanced registration is required. Food, music and fun will be provided while we clean up the Bay!

Tomorrow morning I will be with one of our local homeowners associations doing Bay cleanup in our local lagoons. This local offshoot of the Bay cleanup will be meeting at Virgo Lane off Beach Park and Polaris in Foster City starting at 9 am.

Hope to see you out on the Bay tomorrow!

For more information, visit the San Mateo City website here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Apologies for typos!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Discussion with State Controller John Chiang

Attending a talk on ways to help small businesses with California State Controller John Chiang.

David Lim
San Mateo City Council
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
Apologies for brevity and typos

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

San Mateo City Council Unplugged


Dear David,  

During my first two years in office, a common suggestion I've heard from residents, businesses, and community groups is:

"Why don't you make it easier for us to share our ideas with you?"

You asked.  I've listened.   

I am pleased to announce two gatherings designed to allow you to share your ideas in an informal environment, away from the agendas, the microphones, and the 3-minute time limits normally associated with Council meetings.  

It's the San Mateo City Council.  Unplugged.  

Please join me at the Main Library at  55 W. 3rd Avenue in the Laurel Room on either of the following dates and times.   
  • Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 6-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2011 from 6-7 p.m. 
Come join me and fellow Councilmembers to share your ideas on how together we can make our community a great place for all of us.  Ask questions and get answers directly from your elected representatives!

Residents old and young, as well as businesses and community groups are welcome to attend.  As an added incentive, a raffle will be held with great prizes from some of our local merchants.  Light refreshments will also be served.*  

Our City is only as good as we make it.  I hope to hear from you on September 20 and October 25.   


David Lim  
San Mateo City Council

P.S. - Everyone's voice is important.  If you have friends or family who would be interested in this email, please forward it to them! 

* - Raffle items and refreshments are donated and will not be provided using taxpayer money.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Memorial San Mateo

Attending 9-11 Memorial at San Mateo Fire Station 23. God Bless America!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Tutoring Center Set to Open at MLK Jr. Community Center: Community Bands Together to Help Local Students

I am please to highlight the opening of the new tutoring center for local San Mateo students at the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center located at 725 Monte Diablo Avenue in San Mateo this evening, September 6, 2011 from 6-7 p.m.   Media and members of the public are welcome to attend the grand opening this evening from 6-7 p.m. 
The tutoring center is the result of a collaborative effort between the City of San Mateo, a $7,500 grant from the Boris and Vera Bogart Foundation, and volunteer work from local neighbors.  

The tutoring center at the MLK Center will provide much needed access to quiet, dedicated study space for local students.  Generations of students, especially those in the North Central Neighborhood of San Mateo, will benefit from the collective team effort put forth by San Mateo residents to make this tutoring center a reality.

Initial funds for the tutoring center were provided by a $7,500 grant from the Boris and Vera Bogart Foundation, which was started by the late Boris Bogart to help fund programs for disadvantaged and underserved youth.  

Additional funds were received in federal grants secured by the San Mateo Community Relations Commission and the City of San Mateo Community Development Department. 

But even with these additional funds, the community needed to ban together to make the tutoring center a reality. 

With funds for the tutoring center still tight, Community Relations Commissioner Joshua Hugg recruited his neighbor Erik Waldorf, a local interior designer, to volunteer his time and energy to design and furnish the tutoring center for no charge.  

This tutoring center is a great example of neighbors banding together to make our community better for everyone.  Community leaders such as Commissioner Hugg, the late Mr. Bogart, and Mr. Waldorf are to be commended for their dedication to the youth of our community.

Thanks to everyone involved!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dishcrawl Back in San Mateo - September 14 - 7 PM

I'm happy to welcome back DISHCRAWL to San Mateo on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 pm.  

If you haven't experienced the fun of walking around downtown sampling 4-5 of the best restaurants San Mateo has to offer with 30-50 of your closest, newest friends, what are you waiting for?  Sign up here

So grab your friend, spouse, or significant other, or just sign up by yourself.  It's sure to be a great gastronomical event on September 14 at DISHCRAWL

Here is my previous post about Dishcrawl: 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dishcrawl San Mateo - A Culinary Adventure in Our Own Backyard

Last night my wife Terri and I hired a babysitter and went out for a night in Downtown San Mateo for one of the hottest new trends to hit the Bay Area -- DISHCRAWL!

Our cool Dishcrawl badge of honor!

The idea behind Dishcrawl is to "blend good food with good company" according to owner and founder Tracy Lee. The concept is simple:  For $25 per person (drinks not included), you get to walk around a City and sample the best food from 3-4 different restaurants.  On the way, you meet, mingle (and drink!) with 50-60 new friends! 

Adding to the fun of the event, the names of the restaurants are kept a surprise -- only the meeting location for the first location is revealed via email 24 hours before the event. 

Terri and I joined a group of 50 other Dishcrawlers in front of our first stop:  RAVE BURGER at 144 East 3rd Avenue in Downtown San Mateo.  We signed in with the friendly Dishcrawl staff, got a cool Dishcrawl button to wear for the evening, and then . . . eating ensued!

Terri in front of Rave Burger with our new Dishcrawler friends!

At Rave Burger, we started off with sweet potato fries and homemade curly fries, then had a mini-cheeseburger made with all natural Niman Ranch beef.  Despite warnings from seasoned Dishcrawlers to "pace yourselves", I threw caution to the wind by eating two helpings of sweet potato fries.

Our 2nd stop was to newly-opened FLETCH'S at 385 2nd Avenue, across from the movie theater.  Fletch's serves authentic Chicago Style hot dogs -- hot dog with sweet green relish, onions, mustard, tomato, dill pickle, and pepper on a poppy seed bun.  Fletch's is so authentic, the buns are delivered daily from Chicago!

Meeting the owner of newly-opened Fletch's Hot Dogs

I was so busy admiring the Chicago-themed decoration of Fletch's I barely had time to eat my hot dog before it was time to move onto our 3rd stop which was . . .

KINGFISH at 201 South B Street.  An upscale American restaurant specializing in seafood and steaks, we were whisked to a private room upstairs where many of us bought the famous Hurricane drinks (fruit juice and rum) Kingfish is known for.  While we sipped our drinks, we were treated to warm homemade truffled potato chips sprinkled with creamy blue cheese and chives, followed by baked garlic parmesan bread.  To top it off, Kingfish served us delicious filet mignon crispy potstickers topped with red pepper vinaigrette and pesto aioli.

At this point, I was seriously stuffed, and so it was fortunate that our 4th and (supposedly) final stop was a little further back up 3rd Avenue.  We all needed the walk to make some room for our last stop!  By that time all 50 of us had mingled and talked for over an hour, so we were a merry band of Dishcrawlers as we headed to

ASTARIA at 50 East 3rd Avenue, located on the ground floor of the historic Ben Franklin Hotel.  Specializing in California fare, the owner of Astaria, Alicia Petrakis greeted us and escorted us inside.

At Astaria, we ordered a tasty pineapple mojito while dining on delicious Asian style pulled pork tostadas and sauteed portobello manchego and gorgonzola quesadillas.  It was truly a great way to end a wonderful evening of Dishcrawling.

Or so we thought.  We were then told that as a surprise, a final stop was being added to our night.  We therefore tramped back into the night, and ended up at . . .

BEARD PAPA'S at 365 2nd Avenue.  Known for their fresh and natural cream puffs, we all loaded up on chocolate and vanilla cream puffs.

And with that, our Dishcrawl adventure was over.  We traded phone numbers and emails with some of our new-found friends, and made plans to meet up at the next edition of Dishcrawl in San Mateo.

That's the beauty of Dishcrawl.  Each Dishcrawl is a unique experience with all new restaurants, and all new adventures, so our next outing will feature all new places to eat. 

As a San Mateo City Councilmember, I was excited to see such an exciting, vibrant, and tasty experience come to Downtown San Mateo, and I look forward to welcoming back Dishcrawl later this summer.  I hope everyone in our neighborhood will come out for to make new friends, try new foods, and have a wonderful time!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

San Mateo Autumn Moon Festival this Sunday, September 4!

This Sunday in downtown San Mateo, come enjoy the diversity of our City at the second annual Autumn Moon Festival.  

Originally one of the most important annual celebrations for Asian communities around the world to celebrate the autumn harvest, in San Mateo the event is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity by bringing together individuals, families, and business from all walks of life!  

The event, which will run from 10 am to 4 pm, will feature live entertainment, lion dances, arts and crafts, traditional performances, delicious food and product vendors, and exhibitors from community organizations and government agencies. 

As we celebrate and explore San Mateo's diversity, we also learn more about the rich cultural tradition surrounding the Autumn Moon Festival.

For more information and driving direction to downtown San Mateo, click here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Every dollar counts!

Saving every dollar of your tax dollars is important. 

At last night's City Council meeting, I pulled an item off the consent calendar dealing with approval of a revised contract for the company that provides software services and credit card processing for the City of San Mateo's Parks and Recreation Department for online registration of recreation programs such as swimming, dancing, art, etc.

Since 1995 the City of San Mateo has contracted with the company "Active Network" to provide the software to handle online registrations.  The software "Active" provides has been user friendly, and the rate charged the City for the service has been reasonable.  

Up until this year, the City of San Mateo handled the credit card processing for online registration in-house, utilizing the City's computers to process credit card transactions.  However staff decided to make all our credit card information was as secure as possible, and to therefore allow Active to take over the collection and storage of credit card processing.  It is a decision I fully support, and City staff are to be commended for their work. 

However, in reviewing the staff report, I noticed two things:

1)  Although the City has been loyal cutomers with Active since 1995, Active was asking for an increase of 25% in fee.  This increase in fees means an additional $23,500 per year in fees for this service.  

2)  City staff did not open the new contract process to competitive bidding. 

During my time on the Council, I have been consistent in my belief that an open bidding process is important because it not only ensures a quality product through solicitation of bids from a variety of companies, it also uses market forces to help drive down the cost of services.  The result is savings of your tax dollars. 
I am happy to report that based on my request, the Council voted to continue the matter to give time for staff to look into a competitive bidding process, while ensuring that the public is not adversely affected by any disruption to online registration of recreation services. 

You will not read about it in the newspapers, and it won't be on the nightly television news.  the amount of $23,500 may not even seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things.  But if you saved $23,500 on ten contracts, you would save $235,000.  It all adds up.  And it took less than 10 minutes of Council meeting time to make sure we are spending your tax dollars wisely. 

I will continue to advocate for responsible spending wherever possible.  

To watch video of last night's meeting and the above item, click HERE and watch Item # 9.