It Takes A Team To Be Champions
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It Takes A Team To Be Champions

I am writing this the day after the San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in the past five years. Congratulations to the team! This year's Giants had quite a number of obstacles to overcome, they lost one of their key starting pitchers, they lost their leadoff man and centerfielder, they lost the second baseman that was the star of the 2012 playoffs and replaced him with a rookie, they had a long period of time when they were unable to generate much offense and lost a lot of games. Despite all that, they somehow managed to put it all together at the end of the season and come out as the World Champions. How did they do that? As a team!

Foster City is currently facing a number of challenges. We have school overcrowding, a severe state-wide drought, significant regional and local traffic impacts, we lack funds to provide affordable housing, we have replaced a lot of our retail with housing and are seeing the impact of that on our community and we have other shopping center owners that want to do the same and a population that wants to stop such growth. Compared to other cities, these problems may seem modest, but each of us live with them every day and they impact our lives and the lives of our families, friends and colleagues and so they are significant to us.

So the question is – what do we do? I say we take a lesson from the 2014 Giants and we solve the problem as a team. A few weeks back we held a City Council meeting to provide feedback to the owner of the Edgewater Shopping Center on its plan to redevelop the property and add housing. Many who have lived here a very long time, much longer than I, told me that it was the most heavily attended City Council meeting ever. I do not doubt that because not only did we fill the Council Chambers, the side room and the hallway, there were also hundreds of people spilling out onto the outdoor plaza. I thought it was just incredible. We, as your Council, struggle every year to find ways to have better public outreach and to get better and more productive feedback from you, our constituents. One of the ways we did that this year was to bring projects, such as the Edgewater Shopping Center proposal, to the Council for a public hearing as the first step in the process. That way, we can hear from the residents first, before projects go through the system and before people feel that it's already a "done deal." In this case and in several that preceded it, it could not have worked better. So thank you Foster City, you came together as a team and together we decided how to move forward with that aspect of the future of our City.

Although, for now, the issue of redeveloping that center into housing is behind us, we still have other challenges that we are working on. I mentioned some of them at the beginning of this article. Retail performance and retail opportunity is another big one for our City. When the Edgewater Shopping Center people told us that Lucky's revenue has gone down to a third of what it once was, I said to those that were there and I say to all of you now, whether we allow redevelopment or not, if we want shopping centers to stay shopping centers we have to patronize them. So, Foster City, if you want to champion the cause of retail in Foster City and keep retail strong and vibrant, please eat in Foster City restaurants, shop in Foster City stores, buy products from Foster City merchants, use the services provided by Foster City businesses. As a team, together we can keep our retail and commercial sector strong and vibrant.

Also, if there are other issues that are important to you, get involved. It is wonderful that hundreds came to voice their position on this one shopping center and that others came when we looked at Charter Square and the Marina project, but please, don't stop there. We have citizen advisory committees that address a number of issues, you can see if there are openings. If not, you can come to their meetings and participate in the process. Get involved with the school overcrowding issues – provide feedback to the Next Steps committee or go to one of their meetings. Attend a Planning Commission meeting and see what is going on in your town! Get involved! This is our City, Foster City. If we want it to be a city of champions we can make it that way, despite any challenges. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the 2014 Giants. If they can do it, we can do it.

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

Council Corner

November 05, 2014
It Takes A Team To Be Champions

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