Business 101
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Business 101
This coming week, the Council will consider what policy initiatives we will move forward this coming year. We will consider many factors and rely upon our staff to provide us with accurate information and diligent analysis of that information so that we can formulate a plan of action. This will manifest itself in a variety of short, medium, and long-term goals for our community's benefit. The City is a business and as such relies upon the best practices of well-run business as a starting point.

Successful businesses can vary in the methodology they employ however; they will most likely share several primary and fundamental principles and practices. They will develop a series of goals and objectives. This will occur after due consideration of all available information and input. This will be followed by an analysis of the importance or veracity of the information or assumptions. Finally they will develop a strategy to achieve a predetermined goal or series of goals and meet the expectations of their stakeholders.

Our City is no different. We have a strong history of operating a successful business, in fact one of the most successful of its type. Our Councils have been prudent, diligent and conservative with regard to our financial wherewithal. We continue to have a strong reserve while maintaining staff levels that create our exemplary quality of life.

Consistent with best practices the City Manager and I, along with my fellow Council members have created an agenda to address the future of our City. We will focus on key issues that can potentially affect our future. These issues include economic development and action plans, land use, a new master plan for our community, maintenance of the infrastructure, and traffic and school overcrowding.

Consistent with best practices, we will review our mission statement and goals for our city. We will then consider input from the Council as well as staff's analysis of all available information regarding each topic.

Together we will consider and analyze all of the information and hopefully create a series of goals and desired outcomes. This will be manifested in a series of policy initiatives that we as a Council will task our staff to address in form of an action plan.

Each Council member brings a wealth of experience, common knowledge and skill sets to this process. Each of us brings our own empirical data from our experiences in the community, service groups, business, and as a resident of our city. We add your voices and input as part of the process. However, we do so with a discerning eye that attempts to separate fact from fiction, perception from reality and emotion contextualization from actuality.

This is important because we as elected officials must protect and enhance our residents' experience while balancing any one individual's preference against the greater good of the whole community.

By way of example, I offer the social commentary in various public forums and websites. From time to time, residents will write and share their experiences, common desires, preferences or views about virtually every aspect of the resident's experience. And used as such, these forums can be a powerful tool for philosophical discourse and as well a means to gauge public sentiment about any given topic. However, just as often these social interactions denigrate into a rumor mill that is fueled by innuendo and supposition with virtually no basis in fact, other than the commentator feels it or thinks it to be true.

On the whole, the good outweighs the bad and most readers can discern fact from fiction. But perhaps most importantly when it comes to the City, its staff and its elected officials it would be better to obtain information directly from those sources. Get your facts from sources that are first-person and verifiable rather than emotive and anonymous.

The City has plans to expand its communications and public engagement strategies and tools to allow the public access to accurate and up to date information. The City Council is committed to enhancing positive and genuine dialogue. Stay tuned as the city staff will continue to share with the public existing communication methods and public engagement techniques as well as upcoming new efforts encouraged and supported by your City Council.

Our City, its staff and Council have historically maintained an open door policy. We answer every question directly and provide all available information regarding any public matter.

We value your voices, each equally; with no one voice being more important or less important than another. Join us in the coming months as we consider as we set the policies that will create a new and better future for our children. We are in the first steps of creating the action plans that will enhance, grow and maintain a new and brighter future for our community. Join us and share your thoughts over the next few months and be part of the team that is facing forward while understanding the present and not lamenting the past. 

Council Corner

January 20, 2016
Business 101

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200