High cost of living prompts San Carlos mayor to quit, leave

The Associated Press
Tuesday November 14, 2000

SAN CARLOS — Frustrated with the high cost of living in Silicon Valley, the mayor of San Carlos is quitting the City Council and moving to the Sacramento area. 

David Buckmaster, 28, said Monday that he and his wife, Kim, a first-grade teacher, cannot afford to buy a house in San Carlos, where the median home price is $780,000. They have been renting a condominium for $1,200 a month. 

Buckmaster’s main job is as manager of strategic partnerships at InsWeb Corp., an Internet insurance services company that is opening a new office near Sacramento because of the lower costs there. 

The mayor and his wife are looking at a four-bedroom home on a half-acre in suburban El Dorado Hills for around $300,000. Buckmaster estimates the same home in San Carlos would cost more than $1.2 million. 

“Even if we had over $100,000 incomes there’s no way we could afford to live here,” he said. 

Like other Silicon Valley communities, this city of 30,000 halfway between San Francisco and San Jose also is having trouble finding teachers, police officers and firefighters. Buckmaster said many have to live more than an hour away to find affordable housing. 

The Republican mayor said the state should give local municipalities a bigger chunk of property taxes. That would lower the cities’ reliance on sales taxes and large chain stores, he said, and give them an incentive to build more homes. 

Buckmaster first joined the City Council in 1995 and was scheduled to serve through 2003, though his term as mayor ends this year. 


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City home page: http://www.ci.san-carlos.ca.us