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Light bulbs, pets, Royce, lobbying and $1,000

By rgordon
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 4:19 pm in Uncategorized.

Time to tie up loose ends on several juicy Insider tidbits we hope you’ve been following.

  • Light bulbs
  • We wrote a couple of posts about San Carlos contending for the top spot in a viral marketing promotion sponsored by Yahoo! to find “America’s Greenest City.”

    Not that there was any independent, scientifically-based judging here, but residents earned points towards “greenest city” status by taking a pledge to “live a greener lifestyle,” signing up for Yahoo! Answers, and downloading Yahoo! oneSearch – a Web interface for mobile phones – to look-up eco-friendly terms.

    The grand prize was $250,000 for environmental projects or a fleet of yellow hybrid taxis emblazoned with the Yahoo! logo. At one point San Carlos was in second place, behind a 0.2-square-mile town with a population of 100 in South Carolina.

    But when all was said and done, San Carlos placed third. Their consolation prize from Yahoo! was 5,000 compact florescent light bulbs, 500 of which were delivered on Monday. Residents of all ages, as we reported and you can see below, clamored for bulbs at the initial giveaway.

    Yahoo light bulbs San Carlos

    Hastings, Neb. took the top spot. And they took the cash.

  • Pets
  • Two weeks ago we previewed a public forum state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, was planning to hold on a proposed bill, called the California Health Pets Act, that would require most dogs and cats over the age of four months to be fixed.

    Simitian’s office had been inundated with phone calls and emails on both sides of the debate. He sits on the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, which is expected to hear the bill sometime soon. It passed the Assembly earlier this month.

    Turns out 300 people had something to say on Saturday, and it took more than four hours to hear them all. Read our coverage of the forum.

  • Royce
  • As in Randy Royce, the chair of the San Carlos Planning Commission, whose name had been thrown around as a potential candidate for the San Carlos City Council. On Thursday, we noted that Mayor Tom Davids, 69, would not seek re-election this November, leaving the field wide open.

    Multiple sources postulated that Royce would likely run as long as Davids, who is his neighbor and friend, did not seek re-election.

    We hadn’t heard back from Royce by the time we posted about likely contenders. Subsequently, Royce’s son, Roger Royce, contacted the Insider to explain that his father is traveling in Asia and won’t be back until July 15.

    “I want to confirm that Randy is planning on running for council as long as Tom Davids does not,” Roger wrote in an email to the Insider. “Randy plans to apply on July 16th.”

  • Lobbying
  • At the beginning of the month, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal for a lobbying ordinance, set to go into effect Jan. 1. The rule would require lobbyists of supervisors or their aides to pay a $100 annual registration fee and file semiannual public reports of their activity, putting the county on par with other Bay Area jurisdictions. Non-profits and the media would be exempt.

    Turns out the Insider spoke too soon. On the second reading of the ordinance at the supervisors’ meeting on June 19 – usually a formality – more questions were raised and the item was postponed.

    The supervisors instead directed the County Manager’s Office to further analyze the experiences of other jurisdictions at the local, state and federal level with similar lobbying ordinances. The vote was 4-0 to postpone, with Supervisor Rich Gordon, who proposed the rule to begin with, absent.

  • $1,000
  • That was the down payment that San Mateo resident David Katz offered to take the heat off of San Mateo County Sheriff Greg Munks after he and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos were swept up in an undercover sting in a brothel off the Las Vegas strip.

    That is, until Katz took it away.

    Munks and Bolanos were in town for the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, and Katz offered to reimburse the county the $9,745 in taxpayers’ dollars the Sheriff’s Office spent on attending the race. Katz told the Insider that his share of a $2.6 million inheritance from his deceased father, Burlingame resident Herman Katz, would help foot the bill.

    He dropped off a $1,000 deposit towards his gift on June 1, which the county held from depositing after receiving a letter of concern from a family attorney.

    Nevertheless, Katz said he hasn’t heard back from the county since his initial gift. Miffed, he revoked the gift on Friday, citing “general discourtesy shown to me as a taxpayer/constituent.” All Katz wanted, according to the letter, was for someone from the county to invite him for coffee to hear about his father, family and grandiose plans for philanthropy.

    Katz, we can tell you from experience, has plenty to say.

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