HANCSM Winter 2018 General Meeting Minutes

HANCSM Winter 2018 General Meeting Minutes & Agenda

Thursday, February 22, 2018
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Martin Luther King, Jr. Center
725 Monte Diablo Avenue

  • Police Report — Lt. Todd Mefford, San Mateo Police Department (SMPD)
  • King Field Turf Project Steering Committee Update — Amourence Lee
  • Flood Control Ballot — Steven Machida, Deputy Director of Public Works, & Staff


Police Report, Lt. Todd Mefford

IMG_7434As noted last quarter, crime trends included:

  • theft/burglary of vehicles (especially Toyota Camry models, construction trucks and plumbing vans) and items inside them
  • package theft

Lt. Mefford attributed the rise in this nonviolent crime to recent changes to California laws that reduced sentencing and severity of some crimes, allowing veteran criminals to return to the streets and commit such crimes repeatedly.

Lt. Mefford noted that many incidents reported on NextDoor (neighborhood social media app) are not reported to SMPD. He asked attendees to please report all such incidents to help police look for trends, allocate resources to the right areas, etc.

Suggestions from Lt. Mefford to help mitigate/prevent crime included:

  • installing a car alarm
  • be vigilant
  • meet your neighbors (to help know when suspicious activity may be happening inside/outside a neighbor’s home)
  • join the Neighborhood Watch program
  • keep the SMPD main phone number (650-522-7700) with you in mobile phones and wherever you are (this is the non-emergency line, but it does connect to local dispatch);
  • “Don’t be afraid to call us,” said Lt. Mefford. “You’re not bothering us.”
  • install video cameras outside your home

QUESTION: What is SMPD doing to protect schools, especially in the wake of recent active shooter incidents in American schools?

Lt. Mefford shared details of a program called “The Big Five,” a group effort managed in partnership with schools and San Mateo County. It establishes uniform conditions and procedures for schools and teachers/administration to follow in active shooter situations (e.g. covering windows, locking doors, etc.). He also noted that each school has a School Resource Officer, part of faculty, who communicates with SMPD. He also asked attendees who “see something” to “say something,” and relayed a recent experience in which the “Big Five” program was exercised at a local school after receiving actionable communication from a private resident. It ended up being a “spoofing incident,” but SMPD was prepared to protect the students if it had been legitimate.

QUESTION: LimeBikes (a new bikeshare company in San Mateo with dockless bikes now on North Central streets) before the meeting. Are people were really allowed to just put them anywhere, and/or whether the neighborhood could work out some common sense regulations/guidelines to keep them from blocking pedestrians becoming a nuisance, etc.? Lt. Mefford said he will have to get back to us on issues and related questions.

King Field Turf Project Steering Committee Update, Amourence Lee

Amourence gave a brief update on the King Field Turf Project —introduced and discussed in more detail at last quarter’s general meeting—as a member of the project’s steering committee.

She started by reminding attendees that this project is essentially the next phase of a 2012 citywide assessment of athletic fields, which concluded that King Field was a top candidate for conversion to artificial turf to increase its number of available hours for recreation (as the current grass field closes during the winter months to recover and grow new grass seed).

The steering committee had its first meeting on January 18 (more details on this available on the HANCSM website), and there will be a Community Meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in the King Center, Teen Room. This meeting is open to the public. Amourence asked attendees and anyone interested in this issue to attend this community meeting.

Flood Control Ballot, Steven Machida, Deputy Director of Public Works and Contractors/Staff affiliated with the project (John Bliss, SCI Consulting; Chris Passarelli; Jimmy H. Vo)

IMG_7441Steven Machida began by introducing John Bliss, a consultant with the project, to explain the ballot’s purpose and process.

Mr. Bliss explained that this ballot is for an assessment to raise levee heights and rehabilitate pump stations to better protect North Central and North Shoreview neighborhoods from flooding conditions. “The risk is real and very, very dangerous,” he said.

Those residences in the assessment zone were mailed a “yes or no” ballot that included the estimated amount that household would be assessed to help pay for the improvement project.

Ballots must arrive back at City Hall by Monday, March 5 to be counted.

If the majority of counted ballots—weighted by the aggregated dollar amounts on those ballots—vote “yes,” then the ballot will pass. A public hearing will follow, and the City Council will have the authority to collect the assessments from the residents in the assessment zone for the project. The project could begin by September 2018 and take about two years to complete.

If the ballot does not pass, the project will be “negatively affected,” Bliss said, but the next steps will be at the City Council’s discretion. The project may be canceled or delayed, or it may go ahead as planned.

Part of the idea and intention behind assessing only those in the chosen zones, Bliss said, is that those in these zones could stand to benefit most from the improvements the project would provide, potentially quantified in similar reductions in required flood insurance premiums that would no longer need to be paid once the improvements reduce risk of flooding. That said, this cannot be guaranteed 100 percent, said Bliss, and he did not want to discourage anyone from buying and keeping flood insurance.

The proportion of the aggregated assessment related to the total cost of the project amounts to about 10 percent of the $23.5 million project, said Bliss.

The pump stations to be rehabilitated are near the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA (12 Airport Blvd, San Mateo) and near where Monte Diablo Ave meets the San Francisco Bay Trail. This will result in a portion of the Bay Trail closing temporarily, for about four to five months, at a date still to be determined.

When asked by the public what proportion of residents in the assessment zone were from North Central, a staff member replied roughly 20 percent. The other 80 percent are in the North Shoreview neighborhood.

For more information, please visit: https://www.cityofsanmateo.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/4871


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