Part of my job as a City Councilmember is to listen to residents and help them fix issues that don't make sense.
Over the holiday season, a number of residents emailed me to complain that on Monday, December 26 and Monday, January 2, the City of San Mateo was enforcing metered parking in Downtown San Mateo despite the fact that both days were recognized state and federal holidays. The dates were even listed on the San Mateo City website as "City Holidays".
After a bit of research, I discover that this was not the fault of City staff, but was due to an oversight in our San Mateo Municipal Code.
San Mateo Municipal Code section 11.44.015 defines which holidays during the year are "parking meter holidays." And when the law was enacted in the 1990's, it defined "parking meter holidays" as "December 25, Christmas Day" and "January 1, New Year's Day".
However, there is nothing in the code that allows City staff to recognize the state or federal holidays of December 26 or January 2 when the holidays fall on a Sunday, which is what happened this year.
That is why earlier this week I was pleased to introduce a proposed amendment to San Mateo Municipal Code section 11.44.015. The amendment will allow the City Manager or the City Council to declare a "parking meter holiday" on a state or federally recognized holiday, when any of the holidays listed falls on a Sunday.
I have asked that this item be heard at the next regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2012.
I believe this simple yet important amendment will allow residents to enjoy our City with free parking during the holidays, as well as provide our city employees more time to spend with their families during the holiday season.
You can view a full copy of my proposed amendment by clicking HERE.
Thank you to the residents who brought this issue to my attention. As you Councilman, I remain committed to listening to all my neighbors and being responsive to your concerns.