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December 2019 - Edition I

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In This Edition

City News
'Tis the Season - Events & Activities
Seasonal Safety Tips & News
Transportation and Infrastructure Updates

Mayor Joe Goethals and Council Member Diane Papan

New Mayor After Annual Council Reorganization 

San Mateo’s annual City Council reorganization took place Monday, Dec. 2. Council members are elected to 4-year terms and rotate the mayoral position annually. Joe Goethals was chosen as Mayor and Eric Rodriguez was named Deputy Mayor. The ceremony included thanking our 2019 Mayor Diane Papan, who will remain on council along with Rick Bonilla and Amourence Lee. The key themes of the evening's speeches focused on the invaluable role families play in supporting the work our electeds do, and how vital cities are in fostering a sense of community. Many council members spoke about how honored they feel to serve, and encouraged the public to get involved in their community.

People drawing on a map

Draft Bicycle Master Plan Now Available for Comments!

Remember all of that bicycling feedback the community shared with City staff this summer? Hundreds of San Mateo residents stopped by our pop-up outreach events and shared their thoughts. Now, the new draft 2020 Bicycle Master Plan is ready for review! Join us Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave., to review the draft plan!

If you didn’t provide feedback, it’s not too late! The event starts at 10 a.m., with a 10:30 a.m. brief presentation, followed by light refreshments and an open-house style discussion. You can also read the draft plan online before the meeting and bring your feedback. See you Saturday!

City of San Mateo logo

Tenant Protection Measures in Effect 

An urgency ordinance is in effect 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 state law was signed and when it goes into effect. The San Mateo City Council did not adopt rent caps. Review an informational brochure for more information.
Winter Wonderland bear next to lighted tree

Storm Prompts Changes to Weekend's Winter Wonderland

Due to inclement weather, we unfortunately need to cancel the first day of our Winter Wonderland celebration Friday, Dec. 6. The Tree Lighting Ceremony and an indoor Winter Wonderland will still occur on Saturday at Central Park. Please visit our Winter Wonderland web page to view event changes and stay up-to-date!

This is the fourth annual Winter Wonderland holiday celebration in Central Park. The 2019 event is Dec. 7 from 5-8 p.m., with the tree lighting ceremony tentatively planned from 4-5 p.m. on the Ice Skating Rink on Fitzgerald Field. 

San Mateo On Ice

The outdoor ice skating rink in Central Park is now open through Sunday, January 12, 2020. Please visit the San Mateo On Ice website for more information!

Caltrain Holiday Train

Don't miss the Holiday Train coming to visit the Downtown San Mateo Caltrain Station Sunday, December 8 at 6 p.m.

Firefighters and Santa

Join Santa & Firefighters for Breakfast

Join firefighters with the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department as they welcome Santa to breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 14! The downtown San Mateo Station 21 at 120 S. Ellsworth Ave. will open its doors to the public for breakfast and photo opportunities with both Santa and our historic 1921 fire engine! This annual fundraiser supports the Firefighters’ Toys for Tots Programs, which helps ensure no child in your community goes without a gift this year. The event is 9-11:30 a.m., and attendees are asked to donate $10 or an unwrapped new gift.

Toy Drive Helps Brighten Holidays

Help our firefighters spread joy to the community during the annual Toys for Tots Program. Volunteers with the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department are collecting unused toys and monetary donations to support their nonprofit that benefits families in the community. Firefighters will have a booth set up in Hillsdale Shopping Center from noon to 8 p.m. everyday between Dec. 7 and Dec. 23. Toys or donations can also be dropped off at any fire station! Please make sure they’re unwrapped, new gifts. This is a great way to spend time with the local firefighters serving your community, and support those in need.

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.

Kid at a desk

Event at Library - Explore Independent School Options 

Join a brief presentation and Q&A on independent schools here in San Mateo County. The event is presented by representatives from Crystal Springs Upland School and St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School. With financial assistance available, did you know independent schools can be a financially viable option for families? 
Discover Independent Schools: Explore Your School Options is Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Main Library Oak Room, 55 W. Third Ave., San Mateo. 

Seasons Greetings

Help Protect Your Family Against Crime this Season

The San Mateo Police Department is offering some tips to protect your valuables from the Grinch this holiday season. Remember, if you See Something Suspicious, Say Something SpecificYOU are our extra eyes and ears! Theft occurs within a matter of seconds, therefore if you see a suspicious vehicle or person contact SMPD – trust your instincts.

  • Keep all doors, windows, locked and manually lock your garage.
  • Remove all keys and garage remotes from your vehicle.
  • Lock your backyard side gates.
  • Cut back any landscape. Keep tree canopies over six feet and shrubbery under two feet.
  • Invest in a 4k HD (or better) video security system to monitor your home and the street.
  • Install an alarm system and place a sign in your front yard. Be sure to install an alarm sensor on your garage door too. 

If you become a victim of a crime or witness a crime, please dial 9-1-1 for emergencies or (650) 522-7700 for non-emergencies. You can also report crimes online. Anonymous tips can be submitted to or by calling (650) 522-7676.?

Free Sandbags

Free Sandbags - New Location

We sure do need that rain, but some of us don’t need all of it pooling in our yard. If you’re a resident or property owner who need sandbags, know that our Public Works Department maintains two, 24/7, self-serve sandbag stations throughout the winter. Our Corp Yard at 1949 Pacific Blvd. is one perennial location to always find sand and bags, and now we’ve got a second new location at 2037 E. Third Ave. (E. Third Avenue & Anchor Road.) You’ll need to bring your own shovel, and we ask you to please limit to 10 bags per car. Check out our Flood Preparation web page for more tips on how to stay safe and prepared! 

Ray Iverson

New Fire Chief Chosen

The San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department has announced Ray Iverson has been chosen as the next Fire Chief. Ray is the current Deputy Fire Chief, and will take over for retiring Fire Chief John Healy at the end of the year. Iverson will be charged with continuing to lead the new fire department, which commenced operations earlier this year and is a standalone joint powers authority serving San Mateo, Belmont, and Foster City. The new department – comprised of nine stations and 154 full-time employees – has over 260 years of combined history providing emergency services in the three communities. Iverson joined the San Mateo Fire Department in 2015, and has years of experience in fire service. He is a Bay Area native and a San Mateo resident. Read a news release for more information about the department and Iverson. 

Anonymous gun buyback flyer

County Sheriff Hosts Gun Buyback in San Carlos

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Belmont and Redwood City police departments, is hosting a gun buyback on Dec. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1000 Skyway Road, San Carlos. Any individual can surrender firearms and receive up to $100 cash for a hand gun, shotgun or rifle, and up to $200 cash for an assault rifle. There are no questions asked, the Sheriff’s Office does not run ballistics, and you can remain completely anonymous. Participants should transport unloaded firearms in the trunk of their vehicles. Visit their website for more information.

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.

Map of highway 101

Upcoming Meeting on Caltrans' 101 Express Lanes Construction

Curious about the 101 Express Lanes project status? Don’t forget to join us on Monday, Dec. 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club for the last update on Caltrain’s 101 Express Lanes before construction work starts in San Mateo.

The meeting begins with a short 10-minute 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 U.S. Highway 101, as well as related construction activities within our city limits. For questions about this meeting or to request language interpretation, 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 web page to find out more. The informational meeting is Monday, Dec. 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Mid-Peninsula Boys & Girls Club, 200 N. Quebec St., San Mateo.

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