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San Mateo County, California

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Budget P
Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public records N
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Local taxes Y
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County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

San Mateo County is one of 58 counties in California.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of California county websites

The good

  • The names and contact information for all board of supervisor members is available.[1]
  • Board of supervisor meeting agendas and video logs are published.[2]
  • The names and contact information of all administrative officials are published.[3]
  • Audit reports are published.[4]
  • Tax information is published.[5]
  • Information on zoning and building permits is available.[6]
  • Information on contracts is provided.[7]
  • Budget summary information is published.[8]

The bad

  • The complete budget is not published.
  • There is no information on lobbying.

Public Pensions

To meet new public pension financing rules, San Mateo County, along with five others, would have to dedicate all of their existing property taxes to pay for pensions or pursue municipal bankruptcy through the courts, according to a report by Moody’s municipal credit rating agency. Moody’s proposed changes in evaluating pension funds are:[9]

  • The assumed rate of return on pension fund investments will be lowered from 7.75 percent to 5.5 percent. The lower the interest rate on pension fund investments, the larger the cash contribution required by employees or counties. Public pension funds have assumed unrealistically high investment return rates based on inflation during the Mortgage Bubble.
  • Municipalities will be required to catch up on its unfunded pension liabilities in 17-years, not the 20 to 30 year period now used.
  • Full payment of borrowed principal and interest – called full amortization — will be required in making pension payments. This means that level payments will be required, not graduated payments that start low and rise over time.

Public employee salaries

San Mateo County Transit District CEO received a total compensation of $439,818, including $17,150 for his retirement account and $22,000 in deferred compensation.[10]


Main article: California government sector lobbying

For 2007 and 2008, San Mateo County spent $306,403 on lobbying the California legislature.[11]

External links