Vulnerability
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Vulnerability

Vulnerability has always been something I have tried to avoid for fear it would make me look weak. I now look at it like this…….vulnerability is to be brave enough to show up and be seen!!

Being an elected official and having your life open to everyone to pick at takes guts which I think is why a lot of really good people do not accept that challenge. People told me early on to "toughen up", get a "thicker skin". I chose not to because I wanted to "feel" what people were saying so I could react accordingly. I think I have done just that.

As my career in public service ends next month I will return to my career in serving my community at the level I began……..Samaritan House, Police Activities League, Service League and continue to stay on the board of H.E.A.R.T. where affordable housing has emerged as one of my strong commitments to San Mateo County.

I have been called altruistic and a bit of a Pollyanna……..those are compliments to me. I call it the way I see it which is most times through the lens that abides in my heart. However when I am conducting business as your mayor I become more of a pragmatist and I work hard at listening to staff and my colleagues to guide me into areas that I am not an expert.

As your mayor and councilwoman for eight years my role was to listen to what you and the business community had concerns or ideas about. With that information my colleagues and I directed staff as to the direction we needed to head. The council's vision has included development of the 15 acres (now named Foster Square), the Pilgrim/Triton project (which thus far has exceeded our dreams), Chess/Hatch offices (now well on its way to being a beautiful addition to our business community) and of course Gilead Sciences who has exceeded all of our visions with their world headquarters and eventual 72 acre campus. All these projects have been your vision which turned into our vision as we listened to what you wanted Foster City to look like in the years to come.

The most important part of this equation is the professionals who made all of this happen which is our staff. My colleagues and I give the direction and set the policy……..then it is in the hands of the City Manager and his department heads to move heaven and earth to give us what we have asked for. Yes they come back to us periodically to give us updates and business plans to approve and the progress and financial choices. We are elected for our common sense……..we must be able to look at their staff reports and decide if they are in the best interest of the majority of the residents of Foster City. As of this date we have never……ever……pleased everybody!!

I will be eternally grateful for all of those who voted for me and allowed me the opportunity to represent you in our City, our County and at all State events I attend.

I am probably more comfortable at all of your block parties, Lions Club and Rotary events where I am among friends but have no doubt I stood strong when I represented you at the many joint power authorities I was the liaison to. I attend dinners twice a month so I can network with other council members and learn how they do business. Trust me when I say after those discussions I am totally convinced we have the best staff and best run city in the county if not the state. Our staff is all professionals in their area of expertise. I totally trust their advice. I choose to celebrate all the success this city has had over these last 40 years.

The cool part of this city is you can honk your horn at the Parks and Rec folks and they wave, Public Works has as fast a response time as Fire, our Police is second to none…..does anyone not feel safe here??? We all honestly know how lucky we are to live here.

City staff knows I'll still be around town (they call me scout) because I call often with reports of an uneven sidewalk, shopping cart on the corner, graffiti on the levy, welfare checks on houses, and just about everything I see that doesn't seem right…….they love me!!

My thanksgiving is perpetual……it is surprising how content one can be with nothing definite…….only a sense of existence.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity of a lifetime to serve you…….I am now looking forward to my son Daniel and his wife Julie making another dream come true with the birth of my third grandson in January, and my son Jason's wedding in May to a beautiful girl also named Julie!!! Of course many more games of golf and more time to go to movies and dinner with friends……….

It was eight years well spent because from the business community, the developers I've had the privilege of work with, the elected officials in this county and you the residents, I have met and bonded with some fantastic and enlightening human beings. I thank you all for that opportunity.

The relationships I've established, both professional and personal, I will cherish forever.

My email address is p.frisella@comcast.net

Council Corner

November 27, 2013
Vulnerability
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