News digest

Publication Date: Wednesday Dec 13, 2000

News digest

Jellins is elected mayor

Nicholas Jellins was elected Menlo Park's next mayor last week, but on a slim, 3-2 vote of his colleagues.

Outgoing Mayor Mary Jo Borak and Councilman Steve Schmidt dissented, while Jellins won the support of councilmen Paul Collacchi and Chuck Kinney.

Jellins, 43, was elected to the City Council in 1998 in a close election, and often dissents from the council majority.

Grand Jury weighs in on rail bridge

The cost of building a commuter rail bridge over the bay should be shared more by Santa Clara County and Alameda County, the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury has concluded.

The plan to rebuild the old Dumbarton railroad bridge, which was partially destroyed in a 1998 fire, will cost an estimated $130 million. As it stands now, San Mateo County is scheduled to pay $60 million, or almost half the cost of the 11-mile span.

Santa Clara County's voters passed a transportation tax Nov. 7 to bring BART to San Jose. But that measure also includes funds to help pay for the Dumbarton rail project.

--Don Kazak

Health insurance plan is approved

A plan to ensure that every child in the county has health insurance was approved last week by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

The plan is expected to cost $14 million a year. The county has already earmarked $2 million a year from the funds it gets from Proposition 10, the tobacco tax passed statewide in 1998. With another $3 million to come from an expected tobacco lawsuit settlement agreement, the county will need to raise an additional $9 million a year from corporations, foundations and individuals.

There are an estimated 71,000 children in the county without health insurance.

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