Workforce Housing and Infrastructure
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Workforce Housing and Infrastructure
As we endured the much needed recent rain storms, I could not help but notice the difference in the storms’ impact on Foster City compared to our neighbors on the peninsula. In particular, I’m focusing on infrastructure and its ability to withstand the rain storms, avoiding flooding and any road closures. Although we are at sea level, it was great to see that Foster City fared superbly and there were no major issues to mention other than some fallen trees.

We all have our own answers as to what makes a great quality of life. Two common denominators are sound, well-maintained infrastructure and excellent emergency/essential services. The recent storms demonstrated the importance of both. So how did we get to have that success and more importantly what would it take to continue providing you with excellent infrastructure and emergency services?

Our beautiful lagoon system serves more than providing beauty, aesthetic and water activities. It serves as rainstorm drain system and we pump the excess water into the bay. Previous City Councils ensured that our infrastructure is well-maintained by appropriating the necessary funds to Capital Improvements Projects (CIP) to perform preventive maintenance, thus keeping the system functioning as designed. The same applies to our essential services whether by hiring and retaining great leaders, police officers and firefighters. It is our duty as City Council to continue this tradition and ensure that future generations will be left with great infrastructure and excellent emergency services to protect, maintain and enhance their quality of life.

The challenges we face are many, but chief among them is attracting and retaining quality employees who make our quality of life what it is. One of the biggest challenges in the bay area in general, and the peninsula in particular, is the affordability or lack of workforce housing. It is not a secret that neighboring cities compete for quality employees and the trend moving forward will be providing some kind of housing assistance as part of the compensation package. At a personal level, I believe that at a minimum we should consider workforce housing assistance to key personnel and essential service employees, not as a result of the competition but because it is the right and wise thing to do. For this to be happen, it has to come with a balanced budget. So the question is: what are we as a community willing to do to assist those who make our life what it is? As in anything in life there is always a trade off, so how important is it to us to maintain these services and at what price?

One thing for sure, the competition to attract and retain quality employees will only get tougher in the future. A dialogue and discussion should take place as to the importance of this issue and explore possible solutions that will benefit our community, including our City’s workforce.

As always, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and ideas. I can be reached via email at: shindi@fostercity.org. 

Council Corner

February 15, 2017
Workforce Housing and Infrastructure

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