In January, our Foster City Council held our Annual Policy meeting. As Mayor, along with our City Manager and the Council, we crafted a streamlined agenda with laser-focused outcomes. This was a departure from past practices and was welcomed by the Council, Staff and community. We created a short-list of priorities for the coming year and handed these off to Council-Staff subcommittees to develop action items for implementation. The Council has adopted a business-like approach to our daily policy considerations and is focused on deliverables that are impactful to our residents and businesses.
We have decided to engage the various stakeholders in our community in a series of Round Table dialogues rather than from the dais in a one way conversation. In this way we continue to foster open communication between our residents and businesses directly with our staff and Council.
As part of this new policy, Foster City held its first ever Business Roundtable earlier this year and is now being followed by a small business coffee session taking place this week. This came to fruition in response to what has been perceived as a historic disconnect between our local businesses and our City’s staff and processes. We created a format that was engaging, responsive and conversational. We wanted to hear the unfiltered voices of business and absorb their perceptions of our City and more importantly, what they thought about doing business in our fair city.
I am fortunate to live in our City and serve as Mayor; however I also own and operate a business here and in five surrounding communities. This provides me with a unique and perhaps biased point of view; however, I can state with some certainty that doing business here in our City is far better than in many others.
As Mayor and a member of our Council, it has been my personal policy that we need to be pro-active in our efforts to address the issues that concern our community in real-time. I am proud to say that our staff is diligent and responsive in creating solutions that get us to YES. This is a sharp departure from bureaucratic machines that read an Ordinance or Codebook and start with NO. It is important to remember that behind each business, big or small, are real people who have chosen to invest in our community. Their employees live, work and play in our City and contribute to the intangible amorphous quality of life we value.
Our new Policy sub-committees have hard at work creating impactful solutions to bring forward for our consideration. In my humble opinion this has been a tremendous success. My colleagues have been working overtime in their various areas of passion to create policies to address our residents’ concerns.
These past months have been an example of Policy into Action. I am proud to serve as a member of a Council that is both professional and compassionate. Our end-product has been productive, impactful, and dynamic.
Over the next coming months we will tackle a Visioning process for our Recreation Center process, as well as Economic Development and Traffic Studies. Please join us as we bring to fruition the work of our Council and Staff into action-items that will continue to enhance our City and our residents’ quality of life.
Finally, in August we will gather as a group to check in and report out on the work-product of the past seven months. We have asked the past Council-members and City Manager(s) to join us and share their thoughts about our City. This is the second in a new and continuing effort to keep our brain-trust engaged in our mutual success for together we are better than any one part of the whole. Join us on August 8th to share in the vision of where we are headed.