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Monday, November 28, 2011

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

MEDIA RELEASE / COMMUNITY ALERT
CITY of SAN MATEO POLICE DEPARTMENT
200 Franklin Parkway, San Mateo, CA 94403
www.cityofsanmateo.org<http://www.cityofsanmateo.org/>

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.


SUSPECTS:


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 www.cityofsanmateo.org<http://www.cityofsanmateo.org>

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