There have been instances, as many of my friends and colleagues might agree when I make an error. AND those that are truly my friends point it out….. in my last council corner I attempted to explain the purpose of HEART of San Mateo County at which time I mentioned that Hillsborough could not meet the mandate of the number of affordable housing units they needed so they paid another city to build where there was more land available.
Tom Kasten, councilmember from Hillsborough and also my colleague on the HEART Board of Directors emailed me a correction. I will quote Tom Kasten “("Some cities, like Hillsborough, because of their demographics and land limits, pay other cities to absorb their percentage".), Hillsborough has not and does not pay other cities to absorb their housing percentage. In fact, Hillsborough was the first City in San Mateo County to submit and have its Housing Element certified by the State of California in the current Housing Element cycle. Moreover, Hillsborough's Housing Element has been certified by the State of California for the last 3 cycles. Our housing element addresses market rate and affordable housing and shows how we were able to exceed our ABAG allocations for affordable housing in the previous Housing Element.
Moreover, Hillsborough was an active participant in the formation of the RHNA sub region. I personally went to Sacramento together with Duane Bay (council member from East Palo Alto at the time) to argue for the ability to form sub regions to determine allocations for market rate and affordable housing, rather than having ABAG determine the appropriate targets for each city. As a result, legislation was passed to allow the formation of a sub region.
I chaired the first Policy Advisory Committee for the new sub region, and San Mateo County was the first county in the State of California to form a sub region for the purpose of determining appropriate housing allocations. Through a very collaborative process with C/CAG and the County Department of Housing, affordable housing targets were established for all 20 cities plus the county.
It is unfortunate that a well-intended op-ed includes such a major factual error about a neighboring community. It is too bad that the public record misrepresented one of the cities that was successful in achieving certification of its Housing Element. It would be nice if a correction could be issued to avoid public mis-perception about Hillsborough.”
Tom thanked me for writing about HEART in my column to draw attention to what we do but I felt I needed to publicly correct myself and set the record straight.
Another subject I am passionate about is the respect I have for my fellow council members from our county. I have gone to countless dinners and functions where all 20 cities are invited to eat dinner together, compare notes about the issues in our city and to learn more about shared services and ideas that benefit all of us. Believe me the council members from these cities are truly interested in the well being of their residents. Yes, there a few with their own agendas who tend to stand out and are weeded out pretty quickly from those that care. You can always tell when folks are more interested in hearing themselves talk and simply don’t listen to others. We have a pretty cohesive group on the Peninsula.
Last Friday night in Atherton we had a speaker about Pension Reform…….He is a PhD from Stanford and all of our eyes were wide open and rather teary at the end of that hour. Change is imperative and the time is now to consider some of our options. He was quite blunt that it is not sustainable and of course we all know that……anyone have any ideas how to implement change????
I am proud to be the Vice Mayor of Foster City and I truly hope when I conclude my term at the end of 2013 that there will be another passionate and well-meaning person to sit in my chair to advocate for our fellow residents. That definition is you must advocate for school children, businesses, seniors, teens, folks that live in apartments, parents with school age children, baby boomers, HOA’s and basically everyone that resides in Foster City……sometimes a difficult and challenging job.