Monday night was the second in a three-part study session for the City Council to review the budget. It is a huge responsibility.
Last year I was like a doe in headlights as I stumbled through the pages of numbers, staff reports and requests for monies. Each department is focused on providing services to the community and looking for ways to be more efficient. New technology that makes it quicker for all departments to collect data needed to do their job does cost money.
Deciding how important their requests are and how they affect the efficiency with which our City is run is the hard part.
Sitting across from the managers, the true leaders of our City, was an experience. I could now understand their reasoning and the effort they put into preparing this extraordinary document.
This last year I have watched as they have delivered their message and stated their intentions for each of their departments. It took every bit of last year to begin to comprehend all that it takes to run a City.
I respect my fellow colleagues on the Council. Especially Councilmember Rick Wykoff who asks the hard questions of staff because he sat where they do and he knows the right questions to ask. Rick is one of the predominant reasons that our City is in the fiscal shape it is in.
There have been many other council members and staff members that have kept us on the conservative road these last 35 years and that is precisely the reason we can even look at capital improvement projects. It is always exciting to dream of what IS possible in the future. To dream of new improved soccer fields, new technology or improvements to our City that enhances all of our lives makes life fun and hopeful.
The most important expense is infrastructure and if you ever question why we spend so much money for this…..call me and I’ll give you a lesson on keeping lagoons clean and streets maintained. Our waterways are extremely costly but of course they are what make this City so beautiful.
New issues like being ecologically responsible is a new issue and one we need to address as well. Everyone wants to be responsible until it affects them directly…..that is why it is called the inconvenient truth about our world. If it were convenient it wouldn’t be so hard for folks to change their habits.
There are many projects to be decided on in the next few years and with the leadership at City Hall and the leadership now and in the future of this Council I am assured we will continue to prosper and be as proud as ever to call Foster City…..home.