strategize on jail overcrowding
The county should temporarily reopen the North County jail for female inmates and ready the La Honda men’s facility in case the population pushes past 1,050, the Board of Supervisors agreed the week of Feb. 8, 2008 although it stopped short of asking Sheriff Greg Munks to pursue state funding to build a new re-entry facility.
Although the millions of dollars offered by the state through the Public Safety and Offender Rehabilitation Services Act was an alluring carrot, County Manager John Maltbie cautioned the Board of Supervisors to "guard against the illusion of state money.” In the long run, the cost of operating such a facility will outweigh the initial construction funds and the act allows the state to retain ownership of the building — giving San Mateo County nothing tangible and risking the state snatching back the building in the case of a future prison crisis, Maltbie said.
At a special study session that week, the Board of Supervisors made no concrete decisions on ways to fix its current jail overcrowding problem but indicated a desire to open up La Honda temporarily and convert North County into a women’s jail with gender-specific programming.
Voters pass ‘no cost’ school bond
Voters approved a $175 million bond measure in the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District the week of Feb. 8, 2008 to fix leaky roofs, add classrooms and fix plumbing, among other improvements.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the "no-cost” bond measure slated to address facility needs. Measure L will continue the tax previously approved by voters in 1997. More than 70 percent of the votes, 7,391 votes, were in favor of measure, according to results reported by the San Mateo County Elections Office. The measure required 55 percent approval to pass. Property owners will pay the 2008 tax level of $33 per $100,000 of the assessed property value.
Election complaints build
The increase in voters using electronic systems led to the minimal amount of paper ballots being available at polling places on Election Day — a situation the San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee argued the week of Feb. 8, 2008 illustrates a definite poll worker preference and deprives those who want to use that option.
A little less than 10,000 paper ballots — about 20 per precinct — were cast on Election Day, elections officials said — a minimal amount when final vote turnout is estimated at 60 to 65 percent.
The presidential primary required paper ballots for each political party, a proposition that could be costly if the office printed out as many as there were voters. Instead, the office only printed and delivered those needed, assuming that a majority of people will opt for absentee ballots or electronic voting machines.
The Democratic Central Committee called for further investigation into the ballot shortage and encouraged anyone declined the option to file a Voter Complaint Form with the Secretary of State’s Office.
Prison time for attempted
murder of love interest
A Redwood City man whose first jury hung on allegations he shot a woman several times after she reportedly rebuffed his romantic advances was sentenced the week of Feb. 8, 2008 to 34 years to life in prison on the attempted murder and assault conviction returned after a second trial.
Pablo Ramirez, 41, was also convicted of kidnapping and forcible rape in addition to premeditated attempted murder and felony assault with a firearm.
Ramirez received nine years plus an extra 25-years-to-life sentence for using a firearm, according to court records clerks.
He also received six years for assault but the sentence was stayed.
From the archives highlights stories originally printed five years ago this week. It appears in the Friday edition of the Daily Journal.