Without a doubt, there are tremendous advantages to living in Foster City. It is, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others who live and work here, one of the jewels of the Peninsula. Great schools, great parks, great recreational opportunities, clean streets, safe neighborhoods, and friendly people are among many of the City's attributes. Before I got involved in City Government, I took much of this for granted and I think many of us still do because that is just the way it should be. People should not have to spend time worrying about the condition of their City and should be able to enjoy its amenities without worrying about them.
Every once in awhile, however, we are called upon and asked to give back to our community. For me, I consider that calling an honor, much as I consider serving on our City Council as an honor. Now, my friends, is one of those times and I am asking you to accept this honor and help our community.
In just a few weeks we will have an election. For many of us, we will vote by mail and that has probably already started by the time you read this. On the ballot are two measures, Measure U and Measure P.
Measure U is a measure to allow an increase in the Foster City business license fee. We have not raised the business licence fee in several decades and it became clear to us that the fees were woefully insufficient to support the level of service that we provide to our local businesses. Rather than unilaterally make changes, however, we began an outreach program and worked collaboratively with the Foster City Chamber of Commerce and Foster City businesses and came up with a solution that was acceptable to us all. In fact, the collaborative effort was such that nobody wrote an opposition to Measure U for the ballot. Now it is your turn to help and vote Yes on Measure U.
Measure P is a bond for the San Mateo Foster City School District. I have written extensively on this and will not repeat myself here. My point here will be that I understand that there will be impact to us from this bond. There will be a charge of about $19 per $100,000 in value to the Foster City property owners and there will be physical impact to those of us that live near Bowditch as it undergoes construction and then becomes a four-year – 5th through 8th grade school. I have met with some of those who will suffer the physical impact and pledged to them that I will work with them and with the School District to ensure that they have a voice and that the impacts are minimized to the extent possible. I am certain, given my relationship with the School District, that this will not present a problem. So now, I call on them, and you, to vote Yes on Measure P.
The nature of community, like the nature of life in any group be it family, work, team sports or the like, calls upon us at times to sacrifice personal gain for the betterment of the group. Sacrificing for our kids is routine, but we also often work overtime to get a project done or help out on someone else's project because we have done something similar before. In sports we are asked, at times, to pass rather than shoot because that is what will help our team to victory. I am now asking you for that sacrifice for your City.
Measure U will provide a modest amount of additional revenue to the City to help balance a budget that was just a few years ago $5 million in the red and is projected to be in the red again in just another two years unless we do something about it. Measure P will help students throughout Foster City and San Mateo by dealing with school overcrowding and providing much needed technology to allow our students to compete in the 21st Century.
Both of these measures are designed to deal with problems that our community is facing. Your Yes vote on these Measures will give us the means to deal with these problems. As hopefully most of you know, I am as far from a tax and spend proponent as there is, so for me to ask for your support for these Measures means I think they are very important. So Foster City, it is now your time to give back to your community. Please Vote Yes on Measure U and Yes on Measure P and help keep Foster City the wonderful place to live, work and play that we all know it to be.
Those are my thoughts. You can always share your ideas with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (650) 286-3504.
©2015 City of Foster City
City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404