Welcome to 2018!
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Welcome to 2018!
Welcome to 2018! This will be a year of exciting opportunities and challenges for our City, and I look forward to tackling all of them. I want to address some of the opportunities we have to make our City an even greater place to be.

First, let’s talk about the potential Levee Project bond measure. We all recognize that there are two sides to every issue. By the time this article is published, the City Council will have voted on whether to use some of the City’s General Reserve Fund to lower the amount of the levee bond. My personal opinion is that we should spend $10,000,000 from the fund to lower the levee bond. I feel that we should help the residents of our City by allaying some of the cost of building the levee. The numbers show that the $10,000,000 pay-down would save the City approximately $18,000,000 over 30 years and that it would save each resident approximately $1,300. Now, that is based on an average property value of $680,000. I realize that some newer homeowners will pay much more because of the amount they paid in the recent market for their homes. I just believe that it is time to give our residents a break.  

Of course, the other side of the issue is that $1,300 over 30 years is not really that much money. (But keep in mind that our newer residents will realize a much larger savings.) Also, the interest rate on bonds is currently very low, which is good for the City. It is also argued that we need to have a healthy reserve level for emergencies, which is true in this turbulent time. (Keep in mind that the $10,000,000 we would take from the reserves would take time to build up again.) It is always good to have a “savings” account.  

We must also keep in mind that we have a PERS obligation that would wipe out all of our reserves. This is an important fact, as well, which is why there is such a discussion about the phrase “Excess Reserves.” We really do not have any excess if we had to pay our PERS obligations tomorrow.

Now, let’s talk about the new Recreation Center we want to build. The funding for that venture comes out of a separate Capital Expenditure Fund to be used for capital projects. It is a one-time fund that would not be replenished, meaning once the money in that fund is spent, it is gone. Our Recreation Center has multiple issues, including the fact that it is not up to standards to be used as an emergency shelter. It has a leaking roof and electrical issues that would cost many millions of dollars to fix, and we would have to look at re-building the Recreation Center in five years or so anyway (at which time the construction costs would have increased by about 5% each year). So, it only makes sense to bite the bullet and re-build and re-vitalize that area now. This is our chance to make Foster City a destination instead of simply a pass-through city.

On January 29th, the City Council is scheduled to have our Vision and Policy Summit to discuss our priorities for 2018. On the agenda will be discussions related to revenue enhancement evaluation and analysis, land use, workforce housing, and transportation issues. We will also participate in a joint meeting with the Planning Commission in the near future. It promises to be a robust conversation on our programs and priorities for the year.  

I am committed, as you are, to keeping Foster City’s reputation as the Jewel of the Bay intact, and to making our City a vibrant place to live and visit. As always, any comments may be addressed to me at cmahanpour@fostercity.org.

 

Council Corner

January 17, 2018
Welcome to 2018!

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