Your man around town! 02/10/16
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Your man around town! 02/10/16
For the times they are a-changin'
Bob Dylan

By now, many of you will have read articles from my colleagues about our Vision Meeting that took place on January 25th. Each year, City Council members and City Executive staff sit down to discuss priorities for our city. We just completed my 5th such meeting. Upon conclusion of this meeting of the minds, we were asked to share how we felt the discussion went. I was honest (as always) and said, "I feel inspired and energized; let's get to work!" This is not to say other such meetings did not grab me, but the tone and collaboration between the entire Council was something nice to experience. We agree to deal in the present, near future and further out to be sure whatever plans we deal with now, have a positive outlook on the future. Keep an eye out for further details from us all.

LET'S TALK SOCIAL MEDIA. From Facebook to Twitter, each of us finds some value in sharing information about anything and everything. As one of your representatives who spends some time with social media, it astounds me how much misinformation is floating around out there – even about our city. One topic we all agree on at council level, and staff is onboard with us, is the notion that social media is just that – social. If anyone reading this really wants to find out what is going on and how can they ask questions or get more insight, visit the official Foster City website – www.fostercity.org. We even have phones! You can call City Hall at 650-286-3200. But wait, it gets better…Foster City now has an app that you can use on your phone! Look for FOSTER CITY ACCESS and download it for free! The app will allow you to access many of our city departments and report issues within our community, as well as stay current on upcoming events taking place in Foster City, and much, much more!

TRAFFIC, HOUSING & SCHOOLS, OH MY! This year begins my second term as one of two representatives from the League of California Cities Peninsula Division – serving on the policy committee dealing with transportation, public works and communication. Last month I was in Sacramento attending the first of three annual meetings and sitting with elected officials and city staff from all over our state. More and more I hear from other cities up and down our state concerning the same issues we are all experiencing: traffic, housing, schools and aging infrastructure. An excerpt from Governor Brown's 2016/17 Transportation Funding Proposal Summary: "The Governor's 2016-17 transportation funding proposal is nearly identical to the proposal released in early September 2015. The budget proposes an additional $36 billion over the next 10 years, or an additional $3.6 billion in annual funding with the emphasis being placed on repairing and maintaining the existing infrastructure, with some of this funding set aside for investments in public transit." Stay tuned for updates on this and other issues affecting all of us!

VOLUNTEER & MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Last week, our Parks & Recreation Director, Jennifer Liu, hosted a dinner at the Recreation Center for what has become an annual celebration thanking our numerous volunteers. Are you one? Want to be one? There are plenty of opportunities to get involved! Each year, as we recognize residents, we see new members of our community step-up. Thank you! I began my journey with Foster City as a resident and volunteer, and now I am a proud member of our City Council. Join me and help make a difference in our community!

CLEAN ENERGY. At our most recent City Council meeting, we received a report from staff and San Mateo County Supervisor Carol Groom about the Peninsula Clean Energy program. Peninsula Clean Energy is a Community Choice Energy (CCE) program (also known sometimes as community choice aggregation). CCE programs allow local governments to pool the electricity demands of their communities, purchase power with higher renewable content, and reinvest in local infrastructure. Foster City voted 5-0 to become a member with other cities in San Mateo County. We believe this will be a good opportunity for residents and businesses in our area. If you wish to know more – visit http://www.peninsulacleanenergy.com/. There will be a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) formed so that each city who participates will have equal opportunities to design and manage a program that has long lasting effects for generations to come! I was elected by my colleagues to be our representative to the JPA, and I couldn't be more excited. I will coordinate with staff to provide updates at council meetings and through my Council Corner.

We are off to a fast and furious start. There is renewed energy and excitement as we continue to create a bright and prosperous future for Foster City.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Police Chief Matt Martell on his upcoming retirement. When I was first considering a run for City Council I met with several Department Heads including Chief Martell. During our meeting, Matt spoke as a true member of the Community and not as Chief of Police, and I will always remember that! He has served not only as a mentor to his staff, but as an asset to those of us on Council as well. Matt will be missed greatly, but I am confident that he leaves the department and the City in a position to continue the great work accomplished during his tenure as Chief.

If you wish to comment or share your thoughts, please contact me at gpollard@fostercity.org or 650-286-3505. 

Council Corner

February 10, 2016
Your Man Around Town!

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