San Carlos is a city in San Mateo County, California, USA on the San Francisco Peninsula, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. It is an affluent small residential suburb located between Belmont to the north and Redwood City to the south. San Carlos' ZIP code is 94070, and it is within the 650 area code. The population was 28,406 at the 2010 census.
San Carlos, "The City of Good Living", aims for a "small town" feel. Its main downtown area is composed mostly of small shops and restaurants. San Carlos was the first city in California to open a charter school (San Carlos Charter Learning Center), and its schools rank consistently well in state-wide lists.
San Carlos is home to San Carlos Airport and two museums. Located downtown, the San Carlos History Museum is dedicated to the display of the history of the town from early native American history to the space age. This museum is open every Saturday from 1pm to 4pm. The Hiller Air Museum, a museum specializing in helicopter and aviation history, which contains a replica of the first aircraft to fly, the aircraft with the longest recorded wingspan, and the nose section of a Boeing 747.
San Carlos has been plagued with financial problems for roughly a decade. In order to remedy the situation, the city has taken the unusual step of outsourcing a number of functions, including its police services.
In 2009, a half-cent sales tax Measure U failed, forcing the city to cut costs to balance its budget. One of the initial changes was the outsourcing of San Carlos' parks services to save money. Its 85-year-old police department was then dissolved November 1, 2010. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office absorbed all officers and department employees; thus turning the old department building into a sub-station. City officials said the shift would save the city roughly $2 million per year.
In the state legislature San Carlos is located in the 11th Senate district, represented by Democrat Joe Simitian, and in the 21st Assembly district, represented by Democrat Rich Gordon. Federally, San Carlos is located in California's 12th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +22 and is represented by Democrat Jackie Speier, who won a special election after the death of Democrat Tom Lantos.
The public schools in San Carlos are run by the San Carlos School District, although the school district boundaries do not cover the entire city of San Carlos. There are several elementary schools (K-4) and a few middle schools (5-8), but the nearest public high school (Carlmont High School) is in the neighboring city of Belmont. In 1996, Vice President Al Gore came to speak at Arundel Elementary School in regards to Net Day '96, and former President Bill Clinton came to Charter Learning Center in 1997.