A look at a couple of issues in the San Mateo City Council race

Seven candidates are vying for three spots on the San Mateo City Council on Tuesday (Nov. 7), including two incumbents.

Those running are Deputy Mayor Rick Bonilla, Councilman Joe Goethals, Planning Commissioners Eric Rodriguez and Charlie Drechsler, San Mateo-Foster City School District board President Chelsea Bonini, transit manager Rob Newsom Jr. and retiree Mark DePaula.

Candidates update campaign contribution totals

With just over a week to go until Election Day, another round of updated campaign contribution forms were submitted in the competitive San Mateo City Council race where seven are seeking three seats.

Nearly $123,216 has gone toward supporting current Planning Commissioner Eric Rodriguez. He has raised $52,748 toward his own campaign, including a $5,000 loan, and spent about $45,327. The California Apartment Association independently spent $20,649.39 to see him elected while the National Association of Realtors spent $49,819, according to forms filed with the city.

The Candidates’ Answers [UPDATED]

At our October 1st candidates’ forum (which you can read more about here), on top of asking the candidates 5 of our own prepared questions and 1 question selected from a stack of audience submissions, we pulled out a final audience question to be answered by the candidates electronically. Here is that question (thank you to the question asker, Luis A.!)

It Was a Forum for All

On October 1st, One San Mateo held its candidates’ forum. For us being new as an organization to the San Mateo scene, and for it being, therefore, our first candidates’ forum, we couldn’t be happier with how it went. Attendance was great. The crowd was the most diverse of any you will see at the San Mateo candidates’ forums.

City gives up affordable housing fees

San Mateo will forgo millions of dollars in developer-paid fees to address the affordable housing crisis in a move the city’s mayor called shocking and hypocritical.

Just months after approving linkage fees commercial developers would pay to help offset the impacts to the regional housing crisis, the city was asked to make concessions and provide a discount for five projects. Staff and the majority of the council described amendment to the city’s ordinance as a clarification and in fairness to developers that already had projects in the pipeline when the new fees were approved.

But Mayor David Lim said he was shocked and opposed to “spot legislation” that would cater to just a handful of developers.

“I know this is strong language, but it’s basically kowtowing to developers. We’re going to lose $2.9 million to $3.9 million that we could use for affordable housing,” Lim said. “I think this is one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen the council make.”