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Speak UP San Mateo!
Community, Public Information

Get engaged with the City of San Mateo!

Speak UP San Mateo! Go online to share your thoughts and ideas. Get engaged in the public process.

Even with community input, the city of San Mateo has made difficult decisions and is having challenging conversations. We’ve increased the minimum wage; businesses are upset. We’re having discussions about the location of underground storage facilities; alarming one neighborhood.

If the public process leaves you scratching your head wondering, does the city listen, you’re not alone? City staff often wonder what other ways are there to get the publics’ attention, so that we can have an authentic dialogue about the new initiatives we are considering.

Fortunately, technology is making it more possible for this conversation to happen. Today the City of San Mateo launches Speak UP San Mateo!, an online engagement platform that provides the community with a way to share thoughts and ideas with the city about a particular program or initiative.

How does it work?

Get engaged San Mateo

Access Speak UP San Mateo! via the city’s website. Start sharing your ideas with project managers and decision-makers.

Speak UP San Mateo! is an easy way to get engaged in the public process. Access the platform online via the city’s website and click on one of the active topics. Review the question or the topic detail and click on the button to add an idea. You can add your idea anonymously or by creating an account and logging in. You can share your idea publicly or privately with the project manager, and if you choose others can respond to your comment. The project manager will track responses and will use this information when considering the next steps of a project.

What can I do besides share ideas?

Speak UP San Mateo! is a comprehensive engagement tool that is more than just a place to exchange ideas. The city can also post surveys and polls as well as topics that provide the community with opportunities to prioritize project goals, initiatives or outcomes; it also possible to invite input into the budget process, and gather feedback at various milestones within a larger project. Some topics encourage community members to share photos and post ideas to an area plan or a map.

The platform simplifies the analysis and reporting process too. Once the topic closes, the project manager will have the ability to run a report that automatically analyzes the information collected. It can be shared online with those who responded as well as with other decision-makers. The reporting helps to keep the community more informed and engaged in the issues that the city is considering.

Why get online?

Speak UP San Mateo!

Public meetings and workshops are a commitment of time. Speak UP San Mateo! meets people online providing another avenue to engage with your community.

Everyone is busy! Who has time (or at times even the interest) to attend a public meeting or workshop? But many of you care about San Mateo and want to get engaged in some of the decisions that impact your neighborhood or community. Online engagement is an effective way to reach a broader audience, share information, and invite input from those who are interested in a specific topic.

An engaged community is a better community. Fortunately, there is more than one way to share ideas and influence the public process. Public meetings and workshops are often held, and the city shares information on Nextdoor, via email, through social media channels, and using other digital sources like this blog.

Speak UP San Mateo! is one additional way for you to share your ideas. Visit this online engagement platform and participate in the active topic. It’s an easy one! Tell us what you like best about living or working in San Mateo. Other topics are coming soon. We look forward to your participation and input.

Please contact Rebecca Zito, Communications and Marketing Program Manager if you have questions about using Speak UP San Mateo!

Public Records Requets
Community, Public Information

Online Portal Available to Submit Public Records Requests

San Mateo Records Center provides a one-stop shop to submit public records requests, search archives, and get answers to frequently asked questions.

Have you ever tried to access public records or submit a request for government information? The old way made it a rather cumbersome process requiring a visit to City Hall and possibly bouncing from one department to the next before finding someone to help. Then the waiting… Waiting for the information originally requested could at times feel like forever.

Technology improves communication and enhances transparency between government agencies and the public. Today, the city of San Mateo took a step to provide easier access to public information by launching an online portal for public records requests. The new portal simplifies the process by putting everything you need to submit a request online.

The online request portal is powered by GovQA, a leader in delivering digital solutions to public sector clients across the nation. More than 700 cities, counties, and state agencies are connecting with citizens using their public records management system. GovQA has over 16-years of experience, powers 40% of the nation’s largest cities and counties, and connects more than 120 million citizens to government records.

How do I access the online portal

San Mateo residents or anyone with questions related to the city of San Mateo can easily access the online portal from the city’s website to submit a new request or search similar requests previously entered. Users can also easily find links to the city charter and municipal codes, staff reports, maps, and learn where to go for questions related to birth certificates, death records, and other vital information maintained by San Mateo County or other agencies.

How do I submit public records requests?

To submit a request, go to the city’s website and click on the records center link available on the homepage or from the City Clerk’s page. Select “submit a request” from the menu on the left.

Public Records Requests

Users may create an account, which is needed to track and receive information related to a request. After creating an account or logging into the system, users can create a request; it is also possible to submit a request anonymously.

Public Records Requests

Fill out the required information on the “submit request” screen, and select a preferred method to receive the records. Once submitted, the city in most cases has ten days to respond, and requesters can log back into the portal to check on the status of a request.

Public Records Requests

How will the city respond to my request?

The city will respond through the online system and provide the citizen with documents related to the topic. Documents, even large data files, are available for a user to download when they are logged into their account. Additionally, the public can access past requests, and may find that the information they are seeking is already available.

“The online portal makes the process for obtaining public records more efficient and improves transparency between the city and the public,” stated Patrice Olds, San Mateo City Clerk. “This is an excellent example of how San Mateo is using technology to provide more responsive service to the community.”