Please Visit Supervisor Horsley's Facebook Page
Welcome to San Mateo County
Supervisor Don Horsley's 

Third District Newsletter: January 2017

View this email in your browser

Supervisor Don Horsley's Jan. 3, 2017 Speech upon being elected President by his fellow Board Supervisors

 Good morning! First, I would like to thank my esteemed colleagues for honoring me by selecting me to be your Board President for 2017.
Let me begin by congratulating our newest member of the Board of Supervisors – David Canepa. Your impressive election shows that you have the support of your constituency - those people we answer to and serve when we take on this challenging, important job of helping to manage San Mateo County. All of us are willing and eager to help you in any way we can.
We said good-bye to former three-term Supervisor Adrienne Tissier last month and I want to say one more time how much her service to this county has meant and how she will have a lasting legacy for her successful work on developing our new correctional facility, guiding regional transportation efforts and countless other topics. We will all miss her.
I am also proud of the work being done by my other colleagues. Outgoing President Warren Slocum has championed the community of North Fair Oaks in remarkable ways, creating infrastructure projects, handling difficult planning dilemmas and nurturing a welcoming, supportive climate for diverse neighborhoods throughout District 4. His interest in the latest technology and social media inspires everyone think of ways to use technology & Social Media more effectively. For me, our friendship continues to be one of the great joys of serving on this Board.
Supervisor Carole Groom, who not only represents the people in District 2, but also has the responsibility of representing all of California on the California Coastal Commission, is a remarkable, caring and hard-working colleague for whom I have the utmost respect. Her leadership on the Big Lift project will enhance the lives of generations of County children for years to come. Her involvement with regional boards, from air quality to transportation, continues to be crucial to the successful representation of our county in the Bay Area. I am honored to work with her on this board.
Supervisor Dave Pine, who represents District 1, brings a thoughtful, well-researched approach to the increasingly complex and important topic of Sea Level Rise & Climate Change to the Board. I appreciate and respect the fact that he is our “policy expert” on these topics, and in fact he has achieved international recognition having been invited by the Government of the Netherlands in recognition of his leadership on sea level rise. His expertise and deep analysis helps us guide future policy in many ways. I am pleased to have Dave as our Board Vice-President this year.
With that, Happy New Year! Again, I am honored to be your Board President for 2017.  Thank you. This is the second time I have had the privilege to serve as the Board President.
I sincerely hope that in 2017 we will build on some of the successes of 2016 as well as some of the challenges. Specifically, I think about the challenges in public safety. We have seen the tragic shootings of African Americans and heard the call for justice from Black Lives Matter. This past year also brought a 56% rise in the killing of police officers. Some time back I spoke about the need for all of us to not only talk to each other, but to hear each other. To that end, this year I would like us to focus our celebration of Black History month more on helping us to understand how very similar we all are and less on our differences. We all want the same things – a place to live, good education for our children, quality healthcare, and strong communities. (Oh, and less traffic!)  We have much more in common and are much more the same than we are different.
Next, we all know that we have just gone through a difficult National Election that has caused some of our residents to be fearful of what may lie ahead for those who are undocumented. I want to reassure folks that in San Mateo County, we will continue to provide all services to all of our residents regardless of immigration status. I have talked with our Sheriff, the Chief Law Enforcement Office of the County, Carlos Bolanos, about the California Truth Act which requires law enforcement to advise all persons in custody of their rights concerning immigration hearings. I am working with Sheriff Bolanos to insure that all of our residents, whether documented or not, are aware of the services that are available to them and of their rights in any immigration procedure.
Last year, the voters that we all serve agreed to extend Measure K, giving this county a unique opportunity to make some long-term planning decisions to enhance the quality of life for our residents for many years to come. I cannot over-emphasize how much we appreciate the trust given to us by the voters and also how hard we will work to thoughtfully and carefully guard and respect that trust.
I have the distinction of being the Supervisor for the Third District, which is a sprawling, multi-city District encompassing almost all of the open space, agricultural and unincorporated areas of San Mateo County. In fact, nearly 70 percent of all the projects that come through the county’s Planning and Building Department are somewhere in the Third District. And I have to say that I really appreciate the people in Planning and DPW. They do important and difficult work that is not adequately acknowledged.
One of my priorities is addressing farm worker housing and support for our agricultural businesses. We also face the new challenge of how to deal with an inevitable boom in commercial marijuana industry in California which is something this entire board is exploring.
Undoubtedly the single biggest issues facing San Mateo County are traffic and housing. That’s because with the incredible economic boom of Silicon Valley and the unparalleled desirability of our area, we have seen a dramatic increase in jobs, commercial and office development. The result is a burgeoning housing crisis for all levels of housing but especially for low-income, medium-income and even most other wage-earners. To that end, the Board at the urging of Supervisor Groom created the Jobs-Housing Gap Task Force which is chaired by Supervisor Slocum and me. The Task Force has developed a multi-faceted plan to help alleviate this challenge, and thanks to the passage of Measure K, this Board will have the opportunity to implement the plan.
In addition to housing in general, transportation within San Mateo County continues to be the topic of discussion for just about everyone. When you have nine million close neighbors - many of whom want to work and play within our county of 745,000 people - you have a problem. I am continually reminded by constituents about how frustrating it is being stuck in traffic on Highway 1 or Highway 101. We know it’s a challenge. The whole region is focusing on improving mobility. Unfortunately, there are no short term answers.
My focus will continue to address mental health issues, ranging from monitoring progress on the implementation of Laura’s Law for Assisted Outpatient Treatment, to the development of a modern, state-of-the-art replacement for the Cordilleras Center. This project is a beacon of hope for families and patients with mental health issues. I appreciate the outstanding work that our mental health professionals do in advocating for improved services for the mentally ill.
We have many youth in need of foster care and it is a priority of mine to continually look for ways to support and improve services for foster youth. We know that taking care of the needs of children and youth will afford the best outcomes as they reach adulthood.
I am happy to report that our superb County Parks have benefited from Measure A (now Measure K) – we built the Devil’s Slide Trail Park, which has become a world-class viewing and hiking area. Our other parks have also benefited from upgrades, enhancements and more support for the Park Rangers themselves. On the coast, we’re working on long-term solutions to connectivity and hiking at Pedro Point Headlands and the Green Valley Trail.
The list of ways that San Mateo County serves its residents is endless, from our hospital to our law-enforcement and social services. It is a remarkable place to live and for me it is a wonderful privilege to be able to represent the people of District 3 and to work for all the residents of San Mateo County.
In conclusion, I want to thank all of the County employees working across this wide spectrum of Departments for your outstanding commitment to the people of San Mateo County. To all of our employees, Department leaders, elected officials, County manager’s office, my own legislative staff and all of the legislative aides who work so well together, I say thank you for all that you do to make San Mateo County the best we can be!

Farewell to Parks Director Marlene Finley

    San Mateo County Parks Director Marlene Finley retired from county service in December and the entire Board of Supervisors praised Finley's exceptional time leading the Parks Department. "She will be missed," said Supervisor Horsley. Finley oversaw a rebuilding and regrowth of the Parks Department, especially with the creation of the new Devil's Slide Trail Park and other successful projects.We look forward to working with new Parks Director Sarah Birkeland.


Parks Director Marlene Finley Retires
Down Payment Assistance from the Heart of SMC
Visit the San Mateo County Official Website
Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities

Coastside Beach Shuttle

Then-Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, Nancy Magee and Supervisor Don Horsley at the Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities event in November. 

Skylonda Fire Station on track

    The new Skylonda Fire Station is being built in La Honda near the popular Alice's Restaurant. It is being funded through San Mateo County Measure K money and is going to be a state-of-the-art rural fire station completed in 2018. A brand-new fire engine is stationed there already. 
Skylonda Fire Station Project
Ask the Supervisor. Have a concern or question about San Mateo County's District 3? Click here to send an email to Don Horsley.
Click here for information about Disaster Preparedness