Change... It's Not Easy
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Change... It's Not Easy

No, I do not view my role, or the role of any of us that serve on our City Council as merely to approve or disapprove items brought to us by our staff. I think we have a great staff through whose great efforts our city is a jewel, Paradise on Earth, as I call it. But my role, and in my opinion, the role of each of us that serve on the Council is to take the public trust seriously and be proactive advocates for our City. Go out and build relationships, bring in new programs, look at the past with a critical eye but focus on the future and advocate to the best of our abilities to make Foster City even better than it is today and as far into the future as is realistically possible.

When a City reaches the level that our City has reached, where most of the new development is behind us and further redevelopment is somewhat restricted by myriad resource constraints, the time comes when we need to look at long term sustainability in a way other than growth. Since growth has been our primary source of revenue since before we even became a City, looking to the future requires a change in viewpoint and change, as we all know, is hard.

I have a vision for our City, as do many of those who serve and have served in the past. While all of our visions see the long-term success of our City as the goal, we may, from time to time, disagree on what we need to do to get there. It is at this time of disagreement, arising from the need to change, where people get heated, disagree, and argue, sometimes vehemently at times. The difficulty is that due to the nature of what we do and the restrictions under which the law puts us, we must often do this in public.

Frankly, I do not think this is a bad thing. You do not want your Council Members to be rubber stamps or followers. You want them and need them to be leaders. Leaders are often what we used to call "Type-A" personalities and our Council is no exception. The arguments, although difficult at times and unfair at times, are a necessary consequence of the debate over how to make the changes (and some times whether to make the changes) necessary for the long-term sustainability of the City we know and love. If you disagree, take a look at Detroit. There they simply continued to do what they did in the past and now that once wonderful city is falling into ruin. We cannot allow that to happen here.

So we argue and sometimes offend. That happens. If you have been in any type of relationship for any meaningful time you know that people argue, they resolve issues and they move on. But more importantly, we are doing all that we can to make sure that we are the proactive advocates for this City that we need. We work with our school districts and advocate for our students. We join with leaders of other cities and look at projects and programs we can do together and save on costs. We reach out to our businesses, build relationships and work at helping our businesses thrive. We reach out to HOAs and Multi-family residents in ways never done before. We bring in programs to get public input on new development projects before the owners and developers are even allowed to submit plans. We look at city-wide issues and participate in county and regional agencies to ensure that the every day basics are being provided so most of us never have to think about them. We work to find new ways to raise revenues so that our City is as safe, friendly and beautiful as we can make it. We are proactive advocates for Foster City.

I have the deepest respect for those that I serve with, elected and staff, and those who preceded me. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be the mayor of Foster City and take the responsibility very seriously. I promise you that so long as I serve as mayor or on the Council that I will fight for you and our future with every bit of my ability. Sometimes that may offend some, but I think you would be much more offended if I just sat back holding the wheel because, after all, right now our City is in pretty good shape. Keeping it that way today while planning for tomorrow is the job, and that is the job I intend to do with every ounce of my strength. If in doing that I inadvertently offend you, I apologize in advance because although I may be a politician by definition, I am not one by nature.

Those are my thoughts. You can always share your ideas with me by email at or call me at (650) 286-3504.

Council Corner

October 01, 2014
Change... It's Not Easy

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