Hello and Happy Holidays to all! I hope this holiday season brings each of you and your loved ones cherished memories of time spent together in celebration. It is also a wonderful time to reach out into your community and offer help to those less fortunate. Make this holiday season the time when you commit to helping others and you will reap rewards year round.
I want to talk to you in this article about becoming Mayor. I am now on my fifth year on the City Council and it will be my first and perhaps only term as your mayor. I find this to be an incredible honor and an awesome responsibility. What I hope to do during my term is to make the office of the Mayor accessible and accountable to our residents, businesses and employees. In my last article I wrote about outreach for the new Economic Development Plan, Sustainable Foster City. I now want to expand on that and invite you to communicate with me on issues relevant to Foster City and to hold me accountable for decisions we make as we govern.
Foster City is changing. We can see it in the new development going on around the Pilgrim Triton area. The Foster Square senior facility will be at the center of town and will forever change the face of Foster City. Foster City businesses are growing and becoming more visible. New buildings are going up at the Gilead campus it seems almost daily and the new signs on the Visa buildings show the whole world that Foster City is Visa's home. These are changes that I believe to be very positive ones for the future of our City, but they are not without controversy nor impact.
Foster City is changing from the sleepy bedroom community that many long-term residents have known for many years. While such change is inevitable given our location, we still need to grow responsibly, maintaining the features of Foster City that make it the great place to live, work and play that we know it to be. If you have ideas on that, I want to hear them. I want to better understand the cultures and experiences of those who live, work and play in Foster City so that when we make decisions on that growth we do so with your interests in mind.
There will be impacts from this growth. Traffic will be a big one, but we also have limited infrastructure – our City is only 4 square miles – and limited resources – our water, for example, comes from Hetch Hetchy and we are limited in how much we are allocated. Thus, our growth must also take these impacts into consideration and we must manage our growth not with the short term goal of increasing City revenue, but with the goal of building a long term sustainable City that can provide the amenities we have come to expect without exhausting our resources or overburdening our population.
As I have said before, Foster City is on the crossroads of change. Our City is just over 40 years old which puts it at early adolescence. We have lived through the initial growth period where expansion was the key to success but now we must grow in different ways. The key to such growth is understanding and providing for the needs and interests of our various populations, the residents, the businesses and those who work in our City during the day.
I am pleased to be the one to have taken on the challenge of being your Mayor as we embark on this next phase of our City's life. I am hoping that we will start by listening to you, and then as we act, getting feedback on how we are doing, what it is we are doing well and what it is that we could be doing better. I hope that you will see this not only from the office of the Mayor and the City Council but from every department in the City and from every one on our staff.
Foster City is a great place to live, work and play and we intend to keep it that way. We can make it better with your help and your feedback. Take me up on my challenge to be accessible and accountable and let's together grow our City into an even better place than it is today.
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.
©2014 City of Foster City
City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404