County News: Grand Jury Applications, Disabilities Commission Updates

Do you know what our county's Grand Jury does? And, do you have ideas on how to improve the lives of local disabled persons?


Update: San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury Application Deadline Extended

Correction: This is a Civil grand jury. The members investigate local government, not criminal matters. Corrections to the article have been made below.

Ever wanted to serve on our county's Civil Grand Jury?

The San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury is judicial body composed of 19 citizens. It is impaneled to act as an arm of the court, as authorized by the State Constitution, to be "a voice of the people and conscience of the community." It investigates local government. 

The Honorable Lisa A. Novak of the San Mateo County Superior Court has announced that the application period for service on the 2013-2014 San Mateo County Grand Jury has been extended to April 19.

Judge Novak made the announcement as the appointed Grand Jury Advisor for the next grand jury term, which commences July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014.

Anyone who has been a resident of San Mateo County for more than one year who is a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, is "of ordinary intelligence, sound judgment and good character," and has "sufficient" knowledge of the English language, is eligible for selection by Judge Novak, the County said in a statement last week.

Elected public officials are not eligible.

The Court encourages all interested individuals to apply, the statement read. The Court strives to obtain a cross section of the county population. After the completion of an interview process by Judge Novak, jurors will be selected through a random draw.

Application forms can be obtained by writing Grand Jury Clerk, Court Executive Office, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063, by calling 650-599-1210, or online here.


County Commission on  Disabilities Seeks New Members

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the Commission on Disabilities are currently recruiting new members to serve on the commission.

The Commission advises the Board of Supervisors on disability-related issues and co-sponsors various activities and events to raise disabilities awareness throughout the community. Its mission is "to promote the independence and full participation of people with disabilities in San Mateo County."

Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and generally serve three-year terms. The minimum monthly commitment is 12 hours, which includes meetings, committee work and projects.  

The Commission on Disabilities was founded in 1991 and has 21 members including people with disabilities, family members, agency representatives and the community-at-large.

“The Commission on Disabilities is one of the hardest-working Commissions we have in the County,” Supervisor Carole Groom said.  “The Commissioners are very dedicated and provide the Board with so much invaluable input on how the County can best serve the disability community.”

Interviews for candidates will be held in May. 

The Commission will host an open house on Thursday, April 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. at 255 37th Ave. San Mateo, Room 100, in the offices of the San Mateo County Health System.

The Commission typically meets the fourth Thursday of each month at the Health System.

Persons interested in applying can find an online application at the Commission’s website, or they can contact Craig McCulloh, Staff Liaison to the Commission, at cmcculloh@smcgov.org or 650-573-2480, or via the California Relay (7-1-1) for those who are deaf, or have hearing or speech impairments.

Would you ever consider serving on the county's Grand Jury or Commission on Disabilities? Tell us in the comments below.

Also on Redwood City-Woodside Patch:

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  • BREAKING: Resident Interrupts Teens Burglarizing His Home
  • City Offers Low-Income Residents Cheap Home Improvement Loans
  • Community Upset Police Find Leyla Beban at Fault in Fatal Collision 

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