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November 2019 - Edition II

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HOLIDAY CLOSURES: City Hall and respective offices will be closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29. 

In This Edition

City News
Events and Seasonal Activities
Enhancing Our Community
Transportation and Infrastructure Updates

Ed Barberini

New Chief of Police Named  

The City of San Mateo is getting a new leader in law enforcement as Ed Barberini has been hired as the next Chief of Police. Following a months-long national search, City Manager Drew Corbett announced today that Barberini was chosen for his diverse law enforcement background and extensive experience in San Mateo County. The current San Bruno Chief of Police, Barberini will be assuming his new position with the San Mateo Police Department on Feb. 3, 2020.

Barberini brings 25 years of law enforcement experience, including having spent the last 5 years as Chief of the San Bruno Police Department and 2 years as Chief of Police for the Millbrae Police Bureau. He spent over two decades with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and served as director of the county’s Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security. As San Mateo’s next Chief of Police, he will be responsible for overseeing a roughly $47-million annual budget for a department that’s comprised of approximately 170 law enforcement personnel, including 115 sworn officers. Read more about Barberini’s experience in a news release.

Amourence Lee

City Council Appoints
New Member to Dais

After commending six applicants for their interest in serving San Mateo, the City Council decided to appoint former Amourence Lee to fill a 1-year vacancy on the dais. Lee was sworn in as San Mateo’s newest Council member Monday, Nov. 18.
The Council was tasked with appointing a new member to fill a vacancy, and the seat will be up for election in November 2020. After issuing a call for civic-minded San Mateo residents to apply, the council heard from applicants and members of the community before moving to select Lee at a Nov. 12 public meeting.

Lee was vice chair of both the Parks and Recreation Commission as well as the General Plan Subcommittee, and is an active board member of the Home Association of North Central San Mateo. Lee has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from New School University. A community volunteer with executive nonprofit experience, she is a stay-at-home parent of two children who has lived in San Mateo with her family for over a decade.

City of San Mateo logo

San Mateo Enacts Tenant Protection Measures 

The City Council unanimously approved an urgency ordinance to provide many San Mateo renters just cause eviction protections until new statewide tenant protection laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. San Mateo’s local urgency ordinance prohibits evictions without cause, and retroactively applies starting Oct. 1, 2019. Certain limits apply based on building type and term of occupancy.

The Council adopted the ordinance during a Nov. 4 public meeting after hearing from tenants who indicated they received eviction notices following the passage of Assembly Bill 1482. That statewide law goes into effect next year and includes rent caps as well as just cause protections. Other San Mateo County jurisdictions – including the County, Daly City, Redwood City and San Carlos – have also adopted rules to address the gap between when the law was signed and when it goes into effect. The San Mateo City Council did not adopt rent caps, however noted the governor’s current emergency protections stemming from the wildfires, limit rent increase to no more than 10 percent. Review an informational brochure for more information.
Minimum Wage January 1st circle graphic

New Year Brings Minimum Wage Increase 

The minimum wage in San Mateo will increase to $15.38 starting Jan. 1, 2020. To help balance the rising cost of living in the Bay Area, in 2016 the San Mateo City Council adopted an ordinance approving a local minimum wage that is higher than the state and federal minimums. The City's ordinance went into effect in 2017.  On Jan. 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the City will be $15.38, then increase annually by the regional Consumer Price Index. For information on the City of San Mateo Minimum Wage, email or call the City Manager’s Office at (650) 522-7153.

To help food services businesses better anticipate the rising cost of doing business locally, the Northern California Small Business Development Center has created a free workshop to learn best practices that have been done in other communities to manage increasing costs of doing business for a rising minimum wage.

The free workshop will be on Dec. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Oak Room at the San Mateo Main Library, 55 W. Third Ave. Local business owners can come learn strategic cost-management strategies to best position their business for success in 2020.

Rendering of new hillsdale shopping center with tree

Hillsdale's Nights of Lights Holiday Spectacular

The Hillsdale Shopping Center’s holiday celebration kicks off at the new North Block Plaza with a full lineup of awe-inspiring events Fridays Nov. 22, Nov. 29 and Dec. 6. Each night features a magical synchronized Holiday Tree and Fountain Light show, illuminating entertainment, and special guests appearances. San Mateo’s Mayor Diane Papan will help initiative the festivities Friday, Nov. 22.
Each Friday night's activities take place beginning 6 p.m. For details visit or call 650 571-1029.

Winter Wonderland bear next to lighted tree

Winter Wonderland & Skate Around Central Park

San Mateo on Ice  has returned and the outdoor rink at Central Park is NOW OPEN! Mark your calendars for our Winter Wonderland celebration and tree lighting ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7! There will be food trucks, rides, and more during our Parks and Recreation Department’s fourth annual event. Families can enjoy free activities including arts and crafts, cookie decorating, snow, music and more! The annual tree lighting ceremony is from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and includes performances and the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department will be giving Santa a lift to the event!

Man holding sign

Listen & Learn at the Library

Can We Create New Senses for Humans? What would the world be like if we could expand our senses beyond the meager capacities of humans? Using the approach of sensory substitution, we can translate and feed almost any kind of data through the skin, expanding the human sensory experience. Join us at the San Mateo Public Library on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. for a talk by renowned neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, bestselling author, Guggenheim Fellow, adjunct professor at Stanford University, and host of the PBS program The Brain. This program is presented by the Library's Biotechnology Learning Center.

Girls and a woman dancing

Holiday Festival of Dance

Don’t miss our Parks and Recreation Department’s beloved seasonal performances Dec. 14 and 15! This year’s presentation is the 47th anniversary of this magical production and will feature dancers currently within the City’s Youth and Adult Dance Programs, as well as city employees who perform in our famous Reindeer and the City Dancer’s dance.
This 2019 production is entitled “The Greatest Gift of All” and is sure to warm hearts both young and old as the San Mateo High School gym in transformed with lights, music, costumes and choreography. Tickets go on sale Monday, Nov. 18! Performances are 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15. Visit our special events web page for more info.

Construction Underway on New Fire Station 25

City leaders with shovels at groundbreaking

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, San Mateo City leadership and the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department joined to break ground on the new Fire Station 25. Construction is taking place at the site on the corner of Borel Avenue and Shafter Street, and is expected to be completed in 2022. The updated station will provide the neighborhood a modernized facility perfect for the most current in firefighting equipment and personnel. It will consist of a single engine bay within a two-story structure totaling 4,950 square feet. The new building has been designed to house and support a typical three-person crew and captain. It includes an office, kitchen and dining area, day room, exercise room, private sleeping rooms, bathroom facilities, lockers and storage areas, and an emergency generator. Along with a new Fire Station, the site will also be the location of a new City park.

We Stand United Against Hate graphic

San Mateo Stands United

We're proud to be participating in the 2019 United Against Hate Week, and have taken the pledge to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Find out how you can participate, get your own free “San Mateo United Against Hate” poster, join our photo contest, and check out our library’s reading lists!
Started in 2017 in Berkeley, this year’s event runs Nov. 17-23 as a call for local civic action from Bay Area communities to stop hate and implicit biases that threaten the safety and civility of our neighborhoods and cities.

Get your free copy of the San Mateo poster at City Hall during normal business hours.

Photo Contest:   

Submit a photo of you with your United Against Hate poster, or a picture highlighting how you stand against hate, along with a caption to You’ll have  a chance to win a free eco-kit! You'll be featured on our social media channels too!  
Rules: photo must have been taken in the City of San Mateo and be submitted by Nov. 30.

Reading List:

Our Library Department has also curated special United Against Hate book lists for pre-readers, K- 3rd grade, adults non-fiction, and adults fiction. We’ll also have a special display on the second and third floors throughout November, and staff will be conducting outreach with stickers and pledges to share on Monday, Nov. 18 from 3-5 p.m. 

Man holding poster next to a tree
Library staff holding posters on staircase
Public Works staff outside holding a poster
Map of highway 101

Caltrans Returns with Update on 101 Express Lanes Project

Are you interested in learning about the 101 Express Lanes project? If so, you might want to mark Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in your calendar. Caltrans is back with its most current update about plans to add 22-miles of express lanes on Highway 101 throughout San Mateo County.

The meeting will be at the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club, 200 N. Quebec Street and will open with a short (10 minutes) presentation followed by an open-house style community meeting. The meeting will cover the project construction starting soon from Redwood City's Whipple Ave to I-380 on Highway 101 as well as related construction activities within our city limits. For questions or inquiries about this meeting or to request language translation, hearing/visual accommodations, or special seating accommodations, please contact Jeff Weiss, Caltrans Project Public Information Officer, at or (510) 286-5543.  You can also visit our City’s project page to find out more. 

Picture of parked cars

Renew Your Residential Parking Permit Today

Residential Parking Permit Program (RPPP) permit renewals began on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Applications will now be submitted online, including required supplemental documents. A How-To Guide will be posted online to assist customers with completing the online application. Permit stickers will be mailed to applicants.
There will be a 30-day grace period at the beginning of the two-year permit cycle to allow residents to obtain a new permit sticker. Those who do not have an email address and/or internet access, or who prefer assistance, can apply in-person at the Public Works Department Counter at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo. Visit the Residential Parking Permit page to apply and view the Residential Parking Permit Program Policy and Procedures document.

A crane lifting a metal beam for a new grade separation

Watch Time-Lapse Video of Rail Bridge Installations 

Big infrastructure projects – like the 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project – take a very long time but the milestones are noteworthy and important to our history. Since July, Public Works and Caltrain staff have collaborated to make sure our residents can watch the milestones come to life. Staff strategically placed cameras in locations with enough battery power to run overnight and collected the cameras the next day. Now that all rail bridges have been installed across the roads where the grade will separate, you can view each one of the three installations in time-lapse by visiting on our project web page. There is one other rail bridge installed that wasn’t captured on camera, that’s the pedestrian rail bridge that will be the access to the new Hillsdale Station. The project now moves on to the next stage, building the new through roads at 28th and 31st avenues that will provide better east-west connection in our City. 

Curious about the history of the project? Check out some of these links that tell the tale of how this infrastructure improvement project got rolling: Construction began in 2017 with an official groundbreaking, The 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project aligns with the San Mateo Rail Corridor Transit Oriented Development Plan, adopted in 2005. You can always find all the project news on our 25th Avenue Grade Separation page.

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