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Is Mayor Suggesting Suppressing Voter Rights?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

The San Mateo Daily Journal ran an article today (4/20/2020) ( in response to last week's city council meeting, wherein Mayor Goethals suggested "Pressing Pause" on Measure P. You read that right - the very grassroots measure with over 7000 signatures that has been in the works for over two years now, and to which the same Joe Goethals stated in mid-2018 "I do very much want to honor the signatures on the initiative. People should leave here tonight understanding at a minimum that the initiative as it is written will be placed on the ballot in 2020" - is now possibly in jeopardy. He is further suggesting that a competing measure sponsored by real estate interests somehow carries the same standing. Let's be clear - it does not. Suggesting that our measure requires further comment and vetting is bordering on ludicrous at this point, as it has been hashed out practically ad nauseum since 2018. The council's only responsible action at this point is to put it on the ballot - period. Full Stop. No excuses, No if, ands or buts.

Read on for the full SMRG response:

San Mateans for Responsive Government is astonished by Joe Goethals' comments that this is not the time for the voters to decide about the important issues of height and density.  As SMRG spokesman Michael Weinhauer said, "The Council has a legal duty to place this measure on the Nov 2020 ballot."  At what point are we to witness the city condoning voter suppression? 

In early 2018, over 7000 San Mateo voters submitted signatures which the County verified and the City certified. The next step should have been the ballot. Yet at every turn, the Council, often with Joe the most vocal, found a reason to put this measure off & delay it until the November 2020 ballot.  Now Joe has another reason this should not happen?  

The grapevine says that the developer proponents of the new initiative want the CC to place their measure on the ballot, despite not doing what SMRG accomplished with untold hours of volunteer effort. This would be unjust, since the CC refused to put the citizens' initiative on the 2018 ballot and delayed it until 2020.  If their measure is to be voted on this November, let the developers do what's legally required.  Otherwise, we await their attempt for the Nov 2022 election.


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