Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Belated Earth Day!

Earth Day was yesterday. Although I was busy spending the day walking with my kids to school, making them instruments out of recycled products, and talking to kids about conservation programs, we all know that protecting our planet is more than a one day endeavor.

That is why today, the day AFTER Earth Day, is a great day to highlight some of the things I'm proud we in the City of San Mateo are doing to promote a more sustainable City year-round.

During the past 12 months, the City has adopted both a bicycle master plan and a pedestrian master plan that incorporate a vision for making San Mateo more friendly to bikes and pedestrians, and less reliant on cars. The plans include both short and long term goals, and ties into the City's general plan for overall development in our City.

City staff worked hard over a number of years with a great deal of community input to craft these plans, and I was proud to vote to implement both plans.

Earlier this year, the City started the work of drafting legislation to curb the use of leaf blowers, single-use plastic bags, and polystyrene containers. City staff is collaborating with other cities, county agencies, and local neighborhood groups to create a comprehensive plan that will benefit the entire region. Each of these issues is anticipated to come before the City Council for consideration before the end of this year.

So while yesterday was a great celebration to hightlight the importance of protecting our planet, you can see that at San Mateo, we consider every day "Earth Day"!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Congratulations to San Mateo's New City Commissioners!

Tonight the City Council appointed three San Mateo residents to important positions on City Commissions.

Rick Bonilla was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission helps approve and enforce development and zoning issues in the City.

Nancy Ruspil was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Senior Citizen's Commission. The Senior Citizen's Commission works on policies and events to help maintain a high quality of life for our City's senior population.

Rosie Rivera was appointed to fill a spot on the Community Relations Commission. The Community Relations Commission oversees allocation of federal funding to support non-profit organizations that provide services to the homeless, children, and seniors.

All of our new appointed Commissioner come with impressive resumes, but more importantly share a passion to serve their community. Congratulations to our new Commissioner!

New Planning Commissioner Rick Bonilla being sworn in by City Clerk Patrice Olds. Congratulations to our new Commissioners!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Increased Train Activity Through May 24

Dear Neighbors,

On Friday, April 13, I received the following email from Caltrain authorities. 


Over the next six weeks, there will be a temporary increase in overnight activity along the Caltrain corridor.  Caltrain’s new contract-operator, TASI, will be “qualifying” several Federal Railroad Administration-certified engineers, for revenue service operations. 

Experienced, FRA-certified engineers go through a qualification process to familiarize themselves with the Caltrain Right-of-Way and operations.  Caltrain’s corridor contains physical and geographic characteristics that are unique to our system.  With more than 40 at-grade crossings between San Francisco and San Jose, it’s critical that our engineers are familiar with operating conditions before they begin running passenger service. 

Unfortunately, communities located near the corridor will notice an increase in horn noise and gate down time during the overnight hours as the training runs operate through their area.  These trains will be operated largely overnight to avoid impacting regular service.  Overnight operations will take place Monday through Thursday between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.  Practice runs will operate during the weekend but they also will not carry passengers.  Passengers at stations should be aware that trains may arrive off schedule. They will not be able to pick up riders.

TASI was awarded the Caltrain operator contract in 2011 during a competitively bid process.  Over the past year, TASI, Caltrain staff and the previous operator, Amtrak, have worked closely to minimize impacts to our passengers and communities during this transition.  We’re pleased that the majority of our engineers will be staying on with TASI.  By expediting the training and qualification for the additional engineers joining our service, we anticipate a safe and seamless cutover between operators, when TASI takes over in-service operations on May 26th.

We apologize for the temporary inconvenience.  We expect all overnight training activities to be completed by May 24th.  Should any questions or issues arise, please feel free to direct them to me.  Residents may call the Caltrain Comment Line at (650) 508-7726, staff will respond within 24 hours.

Monday, April 9, 2012

City Commission Interviews

Tonight I am interviewing candidates for San Mateo's Senior Citizens and Community Relations Commissions. There are many qualified San Mateo residents interviewing tonight for these very important positions.
City Commissions serve a vital role by acting as advisory commissions to the City Council. They make policy and funding recommendations on issues such as senior services, funding for non-profit organizations, and a host of other issues.
If you have an interest in serving the City, I urge you to learn more about out City's Commissions, and consider applying!
Good luck to tonight's candidates!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Apologies for typos!