"Making tough choices does not build character, it reveals it"
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"Making tough choices does not build character, it reveals it"
This is a quote from John Wooden which I find to be true. This column will explain some of the tough choices I am facing and provide some exciting news about what is happening in our city.

I thought I would answer some of the questions our residents have been asking me the last couple of months.

Happy to report that our staff is coming up with some creative ways to cut costs and are almost ready to make those recommendations to your city council. Some of the glaring ways to cut cost like transforming FCTV, charging for transportation, etc. has been discussed by your council members the last few years. What staff will present are deeper cuts that can only be found when you are an employee of our staff and able to know how and where we can save. That is why we try not to micro-manage but have patience until we are informed by our staff.

By now the media has updated everyone on the loss of property tax revenue in a way that you understand why our drop in revenue is affecting the amount of cutbacks we need to make. Not since the depression have we seen our property tax negatively impact the $$ that goes to our libraries, city services, school districts and so much more.

I might add that deciding to share a Fire Chief with San Mateo was a big step toward our goal of sharing services with our neighboring cities.

As I stated in my last council corner, during the five years I have been your councilmember we have thought of our future. We spent two years negotiating for the use of our last 15 acres of city owned land so we could guarantee we wouldn’t have a deficit. I will mention again……had that deal gone through it would have given our city revenue of over 2 million dollars per year for 99 years. Our staff and our council were proud of the work that was done on those negotiations but as everyone knows this economy turned and the deal is off. One of our main objectives is to find another development that would fit on that land and ensure that kind of revenue.

There are council members in other cities that ran huge corporations and hoped after being elected they could solve their cities problems with some creative financing, ideas that worked in corporate America but what everyone finds out eventually is that governments are run entirely different and what works for business does not always work in government. That is why I trust our staff has the most experience and knowledge to lead us.

I am also proud we kept our reserve levels up for just the reason we are facing…..a temporary fix for the lean years. That is why they are called reserves!!!

More answers……The Fourth of July celebration was a success and there were no negative incidents related to the fireworks. As usual the Lions put on a great show working with our Parks and Recreation Department. Breakfast from United Congregational Church kept the tradition alive. Estimates are around 35,000 people saw our fireworks IN our city. Needless to say because no other city provided this patriotic ritual we “inherited” people from all over the area. It is great we provided that pleasure for so many but one of my proposals for next year, if and when we decide to put them on again, would be to ask our neighboring cities to chip in for the cost of our police, fire and park and recreation overtime. I really hope this tradition continues but things like putting a free parking pass in your water bill but charge all other cars to park, finding more sponsors, save Foster City fireworks bracelets, and a possible fund raiser, etc. will be discussed. Any ideas???

Updates……The City of Foster City and our Environmental Sustainability Task Force announce the “Go Green” Speaker Series. The subject for the first seminar focuses on “Water-Wise Ways: Stopping the Drain on your Wallet” on Wednesday, July 21st from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Please attend to find ways to be more to be more efficient on indoor water use, rebates and much more.

Information……Since I am the liaison for our Environmental Sustainability Task Force I am happy to give some information on our Creating Energy Smart Homes Symposium for single family property owners, HOA’s Boards, residents owners and management being held at the Crown Plaza on August 11th. There is a wide array of home improvements that can be made to enhance a home’s energy efficiency and save money on utility bills. How do you decide which ones are right for you? Take this opportunity to learn how to create a more efficient home and determine how practical improvements can be made, compare the costs with the efficiencies and other benefits gained and identify available rebates, credits and incentives. There will be plenty of time to ask questions of the presenters. RSVP by Aug. 6th to gogreen@fostercity.org.

If you have any comments or questions please email me at pfrisella@fostercity.org.

Council Corner

July 21, 2010
"Making tough choices does not build character, it reveals it"

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