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August Edition I, 2019

Welcome to our community eNewsletter. Here you'll find information about upcoming activities, events, projects, initiatives and more! If you haven't already, tell a friend and visit our email notification page to sign up for future newsletters.

In This Edition

City News
Upcoming Events
Infrastructure Updates

September Nights on B Street

Mark Your Calendars! We're Celebrating 125 Years 

Can you believe it? San Mateo is turning 125 years old! Join us in commemorating San Mateo’s quasquicentennial with pop-up dining, drinks and dancing in downtown.
We’re bringing you free live music, dance lessons and entertainment for the whole family during September Nights on B Street – our newest downtown event series Thursday evenings from 5-8 p.m. on September 5, 12 and 19.
Grab take-out from a local restaurant and join outdoor pop-up dining on B Street between Second and Third avenues. The street will be transformed into an outdoor dining pavilion featuring tables and chairs beneath the twinkle lights. Beer and wine will be available for purchase on site. Visit the September Nights on B Street web page to find out more, including the band line-up and entertainment!

Police chief hat

What Qualities Should We Look for in a New Police Chief?

After an impressive career in law enforcement, Police Chief Susan Manheimer is retiring at the end of the year. We’re beginning an extensive recruitment process for a new Police Chief and would like our community’s input on what kind of leader we should hire for this important role. Your feedback will help inform the recruitment process, including what we look for and what questions candidates are asked.
You can help contribute by taking a few minutes to take this quick online survey, or by attending an upcoming public meeting. In-person meetings are at the San Mateo Main Library Oak Room, 55 W. Third Ave.

  • Monday, Aug. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 17 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

The City will be actively recruiting for a new Police Chief and anticipates interviewing candidates in October. The new Police Chief is expected to begin in January 2020.

Awarded for Transparency in City Budgeting

We earned two awards from the Government Finance Officers Association! For the first time in San Mateo’s history, we received an award for our Popular Annual Financial Report, which provides a high-quality extract of the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report in a readily accessible format that is easily understandable for those without a finance background. Congratulations to those in our Accounting Division for their efforts to enhance transparency with our community!
The City also received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Fiscal Year 2017-18 CAFR, which meets the highest financial reporting standards. This marks the 28th consecutive year of the City receiving this prestigious award and reflects a long tradition in San Mateo of prudent and transparent fiscal stewardship. It’s easy to learn about the City’s budgeting, including how much we receive in taxes and revenue, and how we’re using these dollars to fund necessary services for our community.

A worker cleans sidewalks in Downtown San Mateo

Cleaning Up Our 
Commercial Districts

We’re doing more to keep our beloved Downtown and 25th Avenue commercial districts clean! We have a new contractor working to keep the sidewalks and garages clean, and are increasing the frequency of both day-to-day cleaning services as well as scheduling regular deep-cleaning pressure washing. The contractor’s staff primarily works in the wee hours of the morning making sure everything is scrubbed clean for the start of a busy day. However, the City and the Downtown San Mateo Association have partnered to also provide up to two daytime porters to pick up trash during Downtown’s busiest hours. Residents and visitors are encouraged to do their part to help keep Downtown clean. Please think twice about littering and alert restaurants or stores if you spill food or drinks on the sidewalk. Businesses can help by storing their garbage bins inside and not on the sidewalks, and avoid placing overflowing bins on the street. We love our commercial districts and hope you enjoy your next visit!

San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department shield

The Fire Department Can Help You Get Ready! 

The San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department is hosting another FREE Get Ready! class on Thursday, Aug. 15. This basic disaster preparedness class will give you tools and confidence to prepare yourself, family, home and pets for a major disaster. You can be empowered to be ready to help, instead of needing help. The class if free to residents of San Mateo, Belmont and Foster City, who are 15 years and older. The class is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 at Fire Station 28, 1040 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Foster City. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Sign up today online or by emailing

Strive San Mateo logo

Studying Our Future  

After receiving feedback from the community both in person and online, the General Plan update team will present draft study areas to the City Council on Aug. 19. The Council will view and discuss and provide direction on the draft General Plan study area boundaries - suggested areas that have the potential to experience land use changes over the next 20 years. Identifying study areas is the first step in the process to develop and select land use and transportation alternatives. Meeting materials will be posted online by Friday, Aug. 16. To learn more about the General Plan Update, and sign up for email updates please visit the Strive San Mateo website.

RB Digital logo

Free Digital Magazines with Your Library Card

Try out the Library's new digital-magazine service RB Digital. Over 120 magazines are available in full-color for instant desktop reading and mobile-app download. You can add new and back issues to personal reading libraries, with no holds and no limits to the number of magazines checked out. Several Spanish and Chinese magazines are also available. Popular titles include The Economist, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, US Weekly & National Geographic

Firefighters with a child at chili cook off

Don't Miss the Tastiest Fundraiser of the Year!

The 11th annual San Mateo Consolidated Firefighter’s Association Chili Cook Off is spicing up Central Park 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. All proceeds of this heated competition and tasty fundraiser go to supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Attendees at this year’s event will be treated to live music, a car show, and those 21 years and older can check out the homebrew competition. Just $10 gets you in to this family-friendly event where you can taste as many of the chili entries as you want, and get a bowl of your favorite. Join our firefighters’ in having fun and raising money for a great cause!

A family covered in mud after obstacle course challenge

Kids Course at Coyote Point

The Kids Obstacle Challenge is at Coyote Point Recreation Area on Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday Aug. 11. The adventure course is designed for kids ages 5-16 and includes 1.5-2 miles of running with 15+ obstacles. And the best part is it’s a family adventure - parents get to run with their kids for free! Use promo code BEBRAVE15 to get 15% off children’s registration. Visit Kids Obstacle Challenge online to sign-up today. Kids Obstacle Challenge’s mission is to build brave and perseverant kids, while forging family bonds through obstacles and adventure. It encourages kids to courageously face the obstacles they encounter on obstacle courses and carry that courageousness over to obstacles they encounter in life. Don’t miss this annual event.

We're Open! Notice Construction on 20th Ave?

Have you noticed the construction near City Hall? Don't worry, we're still open during normal business hours and our public meetings remain on schedule! California Water Service is upgrading its water infrastructure so we can all have a reliable water supply, and so that firefighters have the resources they need to protect our community in an emergency. The project started in late July and continues to mid August. CalWater’s construction hours are Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please watch for single-lane traffic closures along W. 20th Avenue during construction hours. Have questions? Contact CalWater’s Bayshore District at (650) 558-7800. Thanks for your patience

PG&E Gas Projects

Starting Monday, Aug. 12, PG&E is going to begin rebuilding the gas distribution regulator station at Edison Street and West Hillsdale Boulevard. This work is in addition to the gas line improvement work in on Pacific Boulevard in Bay Meadows that the utility started in July. Nearby residents have been notified, but for those not in the area, expect to see PG&E, contractor trucks and other heavy equipment in these two neighborhoods. The work should not interrupt gas service, and you might hear a loud steady noise. Anytime during these two projects, residents might notice the smell of natural gas as PG&E empty the pipelines in a controlled and safe manner. This is normal when crews are working. Have a concern? Call 1-800-743-5000 or email

Construction crews install a rail bridge

Have You Seen the New Rail Bridge at 25th Avenue?

How do you capture years of work in 20 seconds? Thanks to time-lapse photography, Caltrain was able to share the first rail bridge installation as part of San Mateo’s 25th Grade Separation Project. The bridge went up on July 19, and the time-lapse captures the overnight work in a quick snapshot. Next up 28th Avenue rail bridge later on this summer. Want to stay up to date on this exciting traffic flow improvement project? Click on the project page to see the latest.

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