Council Corner - Your Man Around Town!
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Council Corner - Your Man Around Town!

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. - Albert Camus

As this is my last Council Corner of 2015, I can't help but begin to reflect on all that has transpired over the past year – both the challenges and the many blessings. I am grateful for my family and the incredible community in which we live. We work together with the common goal of making Foster City a better place to Live, Work and Play – and I couldn't be more proud.

This year on December 7th, we will also reflect back on the final council meeting of two very dedicated gentlemen who have served our community with their time, energy and passion for making a difference in our great city! Steve Okamoto and Art Kiesel will be stepping down from the dais as our council members. I have had the pleasure of serving with them over the past two years and have enjoyed seeing how much better our city is with Steve and Art working along side the other council members. You both will be missed.

Rather than my usual tidbits about our neighborhood goings on, allow me to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about each of these fine gentlemen:

Steve Okamoto and I have known each other since my first days of coaching Little League at Sea Cloud Park, over 20 years ago. Steve was a model coach and umpire who had the respect of the players, fellow coaches and parents. We then found ourselves once again working side by side as members of the Park and Recreation Advisory committee. We developed a very good working relationship towards making Foster City's parks second to NONE. Who knew that a few years after that, we would be working together yet again - this time, on the City Council! Steve's passion for the greater good comes out loud and clear in his thinking and the decisions he supports. I will miss his smile and good-natured sense of humor at our council meetings, but I am sure he will be watching them, and from time to time come by and speak to us about continuing doing the "right thing!"

Art Kiesel is a tall man and carries a large stick. Not really, but his appearance and confidence make you see him that way. My first encounter with Art was from a distance at the podium in the City Council chambers where I was presenting the year-end report and goals for the following year of the Park and Recreation Committee. We didn't really know each other then, and it wasn't until years later that I would have the opportunity to find out what an amazing person Art truly is. I was told by my campaign committee during my run for City Council that I needed to meet with Art Kiesel and ask him for his endorsement. These people know what they're doing, so off to dinner we went. What I told my wife, Chris, would be an hour-long dinner, turned into a three-hour discussion (not a three-hour tour, thankfully!) about all things Foster City. It felt like a job interview for something way above my pay grade! Little did I know, however, this was to be the start of a great friendship that would help me learn how to be a better Council member. Today, Art and I talk about many issues in our city, county and state. His wealth of knowledge is so deep and on track that one would be doing a disservice to not pay attention. I will miss our long talks after council meetings that have become our ritual. Art, your years of service to Foster City go well beyond the call of duty and I know we are better off for all you have contributed.

Before I go…

Since the formation of Foster City over 40 years ago, the city staff and elected officials have always tried keeping the feel of a planned community intact. As with the discovery of fire and the wheel, changes occur that only enhance our quality of life for the better. I firmly believe we should plan for the future while always keeping an eye on what we have. So here is my challenge to YOU: Tell me why you Live in Foster City, tell me why you Work in Foster City, and tell me why you Play in Foster City. Your answers and thoughts will help us all understand how to keep Foster City the best place to Live, Work and Play! You can also communicate your ideas by visiting the Foster City Forum. The current question posed on the forum is, "What is your favorite activity to do in Foster City?"

As we celebrate the holiday season with friends and family and give thanks for what we have, let us not forget to offer help to those less fortunate. Get involved where you can. YOU WILL FEEL BETTER FOR IT! May this time of year bring health and happiness to you and yours.

If you wish to comment or share your thoughts, please contact me at gpollard@fostercity.org or 650-286-3505.

Council Corner

December 02, 2015
Council Corner - Your Man Around Town!

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