Monthly Archives

October 2016

Halloween Safety.

Follow these Halloween Safety Tips for a Fun Holiday!

Stay alert and keep our trick-or-treaters safe with these Halloween safety tips

Halloween is just days away, and the San Mateo Police Department (SMPD) is partnering with the community to encourage our trick-or-treaters to follow these Halloween safety tips. Let’s do all that we can to keep our neighborhoods safe! SMPD will have plenty of officers out that night, watching out for you and your family in your neighborhoods. Halloween safety is our #1 goal this Halloween. Here are a few tips to remember to keep all our trick-or-treaters safe.

Trick-or-treatHalloween Safety Tips

  • Be visible, stay visible. Use flashlights and reflective clothing, walk on the sidewalks rather than cutting through yards and cross streets only at intersections using caution.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up.
  • Avoid running. Walk, and be aware of your surroundings
  • Trick or Treat in groups and have an adult with you
  • Keep identification on your person that is easy to read and keep a cell phone with yourself or your group for any emergencies
  • Don’t approach unfamiliar pets or animals
  • Have an adult inspect all candy before consumption. Beware of loose wrappers, unwrapped, or homemade candy.

Drivers should be especially cautious and aware on Halloween, especially during prime trick-or-treating time between 4 and 8 pm, and especially in our residential neighborhoods

If you must drive this Halloween, PLEASE SLOW DOWN and keep your full attention on the roadway ahead. Be alert for excited youngsters, whose vision may be obscured by masks, darting out into traffic. You may see them, but they might not see you.

Halloween Block Parties

As a reminder, San Mateo’s police department is not able to provide dedicated traffic control to either permitted or non-permitted block parties in our community. However, by acquiring the necessary permit, SMPD is made aware of your block party, and we can incorporate directed passing checks of the area into our operations plan for Halloween night. For the future, block party permits can be acquired through Public Works as early as 90 days and as late as 45 days before the event.

Not sure what to do on Halloween? Check out our San Mateo City Insider blog for Halloween events taking place throughout our city.

Helpful Websites for a Safe and Fun Halloween Weekend

Do you part to keep San Mateo’s neighborhoods safe

San Mateo police count on community members to “extra eyes and ears.” Please report suspicious activity to SMPD right away via 911, or 650-522-7700. For information related to any ongoing SMPD investigation, call the Detective Bureau at 650-522-7650. You may also contact us anonymously by voicemail at 650-522-7676.

Follow SMPD Twitter!

San Mateo Halloween Fun
Community Events

Time for Halloween Fun in San Mateo!

Who’s ready for Halloween Fun! The spookiest night of the year is quickly approaching and San Mateo has a great round-up of Halloween events for the entire community to enjoy. From the San Mateo Main Library, to Downtown San Mateo, and Hillsdale Shopping Center, this is just a sampling of the frightfully fun events taking place around town. Visit our event calendar for more Halloween events.

Tween Halloween Fun San Mateo Main LibraryHalloween Tween Evenings: Zombie Edition

Tweens (5th-8th grade) are invited to our Zombie themed Halloween Tween Evening taking place Friday, October 28th from 5:00-7:30 pm. Join us for zombie games, prizes, and more! Registration is required and limited to 40 participants. Sign-up by calling the Children’s Desk at 650-522-7838. Please note that due to the nature of the program we can not accommodate late arrivals or early pick-ups. The doors close at 5:15 pm. Adults are asked to drop their children off and return promptly at 7:30 pm for pick-up. Because the library will be closed during the program, adults are not permitted to stay in the library.

Haunted House Halloween FunDraper University Haunted House

Draper University’s Haunted House screams Halloween fun, and it may be your one and only chance to explore Draper University! The downtown university is creaking open its doors for a spooky haunted house.  Stop by Saturday,  October 29th, from 11am-5pm to see what type of Halloween revelry these entrepreneurs and innovators can create. Tickets $5.

Halloween Hunt Downtown San Mateo

Halloween Fun Downtown San MateoThis FREE, fun family event invites you to discover unique shops and restaurants while trick-or-treating through the downtown. Children will receive a Halloween Hunt game card and a goodie bag for treats. Find the Halloween image in the windows of participating shops, then just go in and say hello to the merchant to get your treat!  Game cards will be available at Scandinavian Designs at 317 S. B Street beginning at 1:00 PM. Participating kids and families can enjoy the hunt at their own pace.  Costumes are encouraged! Don’t miss the fun – NO RSVP needed. For more information, please visit the Downtown San Mateo Association.

Halloween Spooktacular

The Halloween Spook-tacular tradition continues with an evening filled with treats and trickery! Kids under 12 are invited enjoy fun entertainment, crafts and parade the Center in their costumed finery collecting treats along the way. Trick or Treating from 5-6 pm ONLY and entertainment from 5-7pm. Event is free.

Sharona's Chocolates, local San Mateo business that will incorporate the minimum wage in 2017
Local Business

Minimum Wage Increase Effects Local Businesses

Support San Mateo businesses during this transition.

San Mateo's Minimum Wage goes into effect January 2017Throughout 2016, the San Mateo City Council prioritized social equity and established an initiative to increase the city’s local minimum wage. Earlier this year city staff began researching the possibility of increasing the local wage to $15.00 per hour.

On August 15th, the City Council adopted an ordinance which will incrementally increase the minimum wage within San Mateo to $15 per hour by 2019. With the adoption of the ordinance, San Mateo will maintain a minimum wage that is higher than the State’s and the highest in San Mateo County.

When does the new minimum wage go into effect?

On January 1, 2017, employees working within San Mateo boundaries will receive the first increase. The current minimum wage is $10.00 per hour. In January employers are required to pay employees (any employee in San Mateo working at least two hours per calendar year) a rate of $12.00 per hour. In January 2018 the minimum hourly wage will increase to $13.50, and in January 2019 it will reach $15.00 per hour. Each following year, the rate increases by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The city recently sent notices outlining the requirements of the minimum wage ordinance to employers within San Mateo. Employers are required to pay employees the minimum wage and post the official notice in the workplace where employees will see it. The city is partnering with the San Jose Office of Equality Assurance to enforce the wage requirements, and will also supply outreach materials, translated into multiple languages to non-profits that serve low-wage workers and their families.

Which employers pay the new minimum wage?

Starting January 1, 2017 employers in San Mateo are required to pay employees the first step of minimum wage increase.

Starting January 1, 2017 employers in San Mateo are required to pay employees the first step of minimum wage increase.

All companies regardless of size with employees that work within the geographic boundaries of the city are required to pay employees the higher minimum wage as established in San Mateo’s ordinance. 501(c)(3) non-profits must also meet this requirement but at a slower rate. The table below outlines the wage requirements for both for-profit and non-profits with a 501(c)(3) status.

Year Citywide 501(c)(3) Non-profit
Current $10.00 $10.00
January 2017 $12.00 $10.50
January 2018 $13.50 $12.00
January 2019 $15.00 $13.50
January 2020 $15.00+CPI $15.00+CPI
January 2021 CPI CPI

The city of San Mateo like all employers within the community is required to pay any employee, part-time or full-time, an adult or a minor, the increased hourly rate.

 Support Local Businesses

Restaurants employees in San Mateo will earn increased minimum wage beginning January 2017.

Employees living and working in San Mateo will benefit from the minimum wage increase, but it’s an additional expense that business owners must incorporate into daily operations.

San Mateo is a community where many small independent businesses establish and grow successful companies. Restaurants, auto repair shops, hobby stores, groceries, florists, bakeries, and chocolatiers are examples of the local independent businesses that make up the vast majority of our business community. The increase in the minimum wage will benefit those living and working in San Mateo, but it is an additional expense to many local businesses. Continue to support, shop, and dine at your favorite local stores and restaurants as they transition to the new wage. For more information about San Mateo’s minimum wage, please visit

Volunteers at the Senior Center keep weekly BINGO games moving.
Community, Uncategorized

San Mateo Honors Volunteers

San Mateo’s Volunteer Program Continues to Expand

From the Japanese Garden to the Police Station’s front desk, San Mateo volunteers fill a variety of roles and bring tremendous value to the community.

Youth volunteers with city of san mateo

Erik Rivera is a youth volunteer extraordinaire! He is one of ten volunteers to be recognized by City Council tonight

San Mateo volunteers take on many unique, meaningful, and sometimes quirky assignments. Consider Bernice Baumgarten (pictured above in the center with friends) who came to our volunteer program 18 years ago through Wednesday Afternoon Bingo at the Senior Center – she is dubbed “Bingo Caller Extraordinaire.”

The breadth of volunteer assignments represents the expansiveness of the San Mateo community, and the Senior Center is only one of the many volunteer opportunities with the city. Erik Rivera is a youth volunteer serving on the Youth Activities Council. Others support programs at the San Mateo Library by sorting books or serving as a tutor for Project Read, while some prefer to work outside and help with minor weeding and the daily feeding of the Koi fish tasks at the Japanese Garden. And there’s no shortage of office work; some volunteers fill more traditional roles by providing administrative support at City Hall or front counter customer service at the Police Station.

Since 2011, the Citywide volunteer program has seen consistent growth. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the average number of quarterly volunteers reached an all-time high of 1,793; collectively, city volunteers provide 86,597 hours of service resulting in a record-breaking in-kind value of $2,040,225 during the past fiscal year.

Many factors contribute to the success and growth of the volunteer engagement program. During the past fiscal year, both

Student tutored by Project Read Volunteers

Steven Cady volunteers at the San Mateo Library. Project Read is a fulfilling volunteer opportunity.

internal and external communication efforts have expanded. Internally, departmental volunteer champions meet quarterly to collaborate on city-wide volunteer opportunities. Externally, social media and direct communication channels such as Nextdoor, email blasts, Twitter and Instagram are used to communicate with existing volunteers and recruit new volunteers.

“It’s incredible to see the growing number of volunteers participating in community events and supporting many city initiatives,” says San Mateo City Manager, Larry Patterson. “Given the success of the volunteer engagement program over the past few years, it’s clear that many residents and businesses want to give back to the San Mateo community.”

To recognize its success, the San Mateo City Council will highlight the program during the October 17th City Council Meeting and recognize select Outstanding Volunteer Honorees. In addition to highlighting ten individuals for their volunteer contributions, the city will also, for the first time, acknowledge a company for outstanding volunteer service.

Visa Volunteers Spruce Up 25th Avenue

Volunteers from Visa participate in the annual 25th Avenue Holiday Spruce Up.

The Visa Volunteer Group is the first corporate group to receive an honor for their participation in volunteer engagement and providing outstanding community service. Visa volunteer groups, including the Visa Asian Employee Network, participate in community events both large and small including the 25th Avenue Holiday Spruce Up, the Autumn Moon Festival, the Generation Walk for Wellness, and the Laurelwood Park Cleanup.

Council will recognize the following ten individuals Bernice Baumgarten, Erik Rivera, Sheila Luttringer, Lee Correy, Mary Lou Dragonryder, Shelby Wright, Steven Cady, Karen Herrel, Marie Brown, and Sherri Bade, as well as the Visa volunteer groups.

Volunteerism throughout the City of San Mateo continues to grow, and it has become a key component for encouraging community engagement while connecting residents and city staff to one another in a meaningful way. For more information about volunteer opportunities with the city, please visit Volunteer Source on the city’s website.

“Community involvement is a large part of what makes San Mateo a great city,” says San Mateo Mayor, Joe Goethals. “Our volunteers provide a variety of services throughout the organization and community. We are grateful for the support and positive energy they provide. Thank you for all you bring to the city of San Mateo.”