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San Mateo County • November 2014
 

ISSUES:


Education

As a former teacher, one of the most important legacies for our children is our commitment to providing a quality education for all children.

Accomplishments:  When I served as the Sheriff for the County of San Mateo, I focused our crime prevention strategies on the schools. I established school liaison deputies to work with and on school campuses to not only provide security but also to provide role models for youth.  Then, I started a Sheriff’s Activities League to provide enrichment activities after school. The SAL had cultural activities as well as sports activities. Our basic principle was that there needed to be something for every child to participate in, whether it was an art class, dance or soccer program, the SAL provided an activity for everyone.

As a Director on the Sequoia Healthcare District, I have made funding school nurses a priority and in fact the District under my leadership has made grants to the Redwood City Elementary School District and the Sequoia High School District to pay for school nurses.

Homework Centers:  The Board of Supervisors has for a number of years contributed only a $500,000 to fund after school homework centers. The money is given to the County Office of Education to administer. I support the program and would like to expand the program through cost savings in other areas and private donations. Making kids successful in school makes good sense. Besides the educational value, it keeps kids out of gangs.

School Nurses:  The County can do more to work with School Districts to make sure those kids are healthy and ready to learn. Like the example of the Sequoia Healthcare District in funding school nurses, I will work to ensure that all school districts have adequate health services. I would propose that the County seek out private medical service providers who are willing to volunteer their time in a new County Volunteer program to address a variety ofthese needs.



Transportation:


Green Transportation:  One of San Mateo County’s top priorities is to reduce the carbon footprint of all county agencies.

•Retire aging SAMTRANS buses with hybrid or clean-bio-diesel vehicles. 

•Timelier shuttle service to high employment areas.

•Encourage bike transportation throughout the county, including bike share programs and safe bike routes.

•Retire aging county vehicles with hybrid, electric or clean bio-diesel

San Mateo County must work closely with the cities throughout the county to make every government vehicle in the county a “green vehicle”.



High Speed Rail:  A potentially contentious issue we must address is the construction of the California High Speed Rail project . The project is currently planned to run along the Cal Train right of way through San Mateo County. This may mean expanding from the current two tracks to four tracks. The California High Speed Rail Authority is studying various options and soliciting input from residents and the Cities along the right of way.


Why do we need the High Speed Trains in the first place? The population of the State is predicted to increase to 50 million from our current 34 million residents. That means that our roads, freeways and airports will be more crowded than ever. The High Speed Rail train network is an affordable and environmental friendly way of reducing our reliance on on airports and freeways and airports to link regions of the State.


For San Mateo County, in addition to the High Speed Rail trains, the project will also electrify the current Cal Train system which will reduce the noise and emissions pollution from the old diesel engines of todayyesterday. 


That being said, we need the High Speed Rail Authority to address the concerns of residents of the cities located in close proximity to the Cal Train right of way. The California High Speed Rail Authority is currently studying various options and soliciting input from residents and the Cities along the right of way.  Will the right of way expand to four tracks from the current two; how will the current grade separations be addressed and will new grade separations be needed or will portions of the HSR tracks be undergrounded?

There are many issues, but

San Mateo County residents have legitimate concerns that must be addressed by the HSR Authority. If elected to the Board of Supervisors I will fights to make sure that our voices are heard and that our communities are not adversely affected.






Law Enforcement

Accomplishments:  When I served as the Sheriff for the County of San Mateo I worked with a variety of law enforcement agencies from the local, State and Federal level. When I was first elected, I aided the City of East Palo Alto to help that City with a violent crime epidemic that claimed 42 lives in one year. I assigned 18 deputy sheriffs and, with the aid of 12 traffic officers from the California Highway Patrol, helped turned that City’s crime problem around – without increasing County costs..

When a series of gang involved killings occurred in our County, I put worked together with the Board of Supervisors and City police departments to create a Gang Intelligence Unit and worked with the Cities on a Gang Enforcement Unit that involved every law enforcement agency in the County. Thanks to that effort, according to the District Attorney’s Office, our County has the lowest homicide rate in the State of California.

Commitment to Future Law Enforcement:  All of our City and County’s budgets have been severely impacted by both the State and the declining economy but we must never lose sight of the need for effective law enforcement. Public safety is a priority and to accomplish that, I would work with the Sheriff and local law enforcement to make sure that the resources that they need to keep our communities safe are there.



With Dr. Julie O’Callahan talking about increasing access to quality healthcare at Sequoia Hospital.



Healthcare


Accomplishments:  As a Director and current President of the Board for the Sequoia Healthcare District, our Board has contributed over $4.1 million to the County for clinics and for the Healthy Kids program and funds a nurse training program at Canada College to deal with the shortage of trained nurses. Under my leadership, the Sequoia Healthcare District is moving to create a major new grant program to help our local schools to provide school nurses and fund other activities that promote health for our children to ensure that our children are ready and able to learn and excel.

The Sequoia Healthcare District Board under my leadership has made grants in excess of $3.5 million to Sequoia Hospital and to community based organizations to improve access to quality healthcare as well as various wellness programs for district residents.

Health Plan of San Mateo County:  The County is the safety net for those residents who are without private health insurance. For direct medical and mental health services, the County operates General Hospital in the City of San Mateo and health clinics located in various regions of the County. Additionally, the County created the Health Plan of San Mateo County; a managed care health plan that provides health care benefits to the County’s underserved residents. The current membership is approximately 59,000. This is a unique County organized health system. Members of the HPSM receive benefits through a variety of County and State programs Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids. 

Horsley Coastal Health Clinic Initiative:  See press release for the details of the study to annex the Coastside to the Healthcare District.

As a Director and current President of the Board for the Sequoia Healthcare District, our Board has contributed over $4.1 million to the County for clinics and for the Healthy Kids program.

Our Board under my leadership has made grants in excess of $3.5 million to Sequoia Hospital and to community based organizations to improve access to quality healthcare as well as various wellness programs for district residents.

If elected, I will continue to work with our members of Congress, private hospitals, community based organization and the two healthcare districts to find ways to improve access to quality healthcare for those residents who are either without private health insurance or are underinsured without increasing the County’s budget.

As a Director and current President of the Board for the Sequoia Healthcare District, our Board has contributed over $4.1 million to the County for clinics and for the Healthy Kids program.

Our Board under my leadership has made grants in excess of $3.5 million to Sequoia Hospital and to community based organizations to improve access to quality healthcare as well as various wellness programs for district residents.


Parks

San Mateo County’s parks are a vital part of what makes this County unique. In fact, the parks provide a low cost venue for a variety of educational as well as leisure activities from day picnics to overnight camping.



Over the years I have had the opportunity to visit and camp in many of our parks. I recently went on hikes in several of our County’s parks with a Professor from Humboldt State University, Steve Stillett. What many of our residents don’t realize is that our redwood forests are unique in the State of California.  We have old growth redwoods and our second generation trees are in most cases 100 to 150 years old.

But, our parks also lack the necessary resources to properly maintain our parks. While our County Parks staff do an excellent job and are dedicated to the mission of the parks, lack of maintenance, the buildup of combustible material put our parks in danger of catastrophic forest fires.


Hiking in Pescadero Creek Park with County Park

Staff and Steve Sillett, a Redwood Forest expert,

for advise on a potential local project of forest

restoration in San Mateo County Parks


Protecting Our Future:  We need to find a stable, locally accountable revenue enhancements source to protect our park lands and  and to pay for maintenance so that our every generation of County residents can enjoy our park lands County parks.

Economy

San Mateo County is home to a number of major industries ranging from biotech giant Genentech to technology leader Oracle. We have an international airport, San Francisco International Airport, a port in Redwood City and Sand Hill Road, the center for venture capital for Silicon Valley and beyond.

If we are to keep our leadership in the economy and especially the knowledge-based economy, there a several issues that need to be addressed:

•. First, we need to be sure that our schools are preparing our children for the economy of the future.

•Second, the Bay Area, and that includes San Mateo County, is one of the five most congested urban areas in the Nation. Public transportation alone won’t solve that problem. We need to build work force housing closer to job centers so that workers don’t have to commute over crowded freeway.

• Third, by creating walkable and bikeable communities, residents can more easily take advantage of clean public transportation or even bicycle transportation.

•Fourth, I will encourage smart business development of technologies compatible with the new economy. The County can become the “incubator” for green technology so green technologies can flourish and provide new opportunities for our residents.



Environment

Accomplishments:  While serving as the Sheriff, I oversaw the construction of a new energy efficient, technologically advanced Crime Laboratory.  The crime lab was constructed partially of recycled material and we I insisted that we installed solar panels on the roof top to provide electric energy. The crime lab received a LEEDS award as recognition for use of recycled materials and energy efficiency.

I worked with Supervisor Adrienne Tissier on a project to place collection boxes at various locations in the County for the disposal of unused medications. That project continues to be a successful project for safe disposal of medications.

Recycling:  The County has instituted a Green Building Ordinance the purpose of which is to encourage the conservation of natural resources, to increase energy efficiency and to reduce waste in landfills from construction projects. One part of the Building Ordinance that I would strengthen is the recycling of construction waste. I see too many construction sites where construction materials that should be recycled or remanufactured are left to be hauled to landfills. Lastly, we need to encourage more recycling of throw a ways from computers to wood products – and make it easier for residents to do..

Carbon Reduction:  I think that we can build on the successes of the past and do more to protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. We can do more by educating our residents about the resources that are available to them such as the medication disposal collection boxes. We can hold community fairs to demonstrate how they can install rain barrels to harvest rain water. We can supply containers to enable residents to compost and we can offer incentives to home owners to install solar panels. And, I would encourage our State and Federal legislators to adopt energy policies that encourage the installation of home solar systems.

Coastal Protection:  The San Mateo County Coast is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  I will fight to protect the natural vistas and beauty.  The coastal trail system needs to be extended south beyond Half Moon Bay, so more people can walk and bike through this area without damaging the nature beauty.  We also must continue to hold the line on development in the unincorporated areas of the South Coast.

 
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