Mirabella - Unfortunate Timing
My last article concerned itself with the effect our State government’s financial methodology has on Foster City and its ability to provide the fine services that our citizens have come to appreciate. It is not my intent to continue to harp on the budget issues, however; it is our ability to produce a balanced budget that is the most pressing issue facing our City.
It has been stated in the various media outlets that we are experiencing the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s and only history will tell if this is in fact true or not. It is difficult to say how long this recession will last and how fast we will come out of it. Suffice to say, we and all other cities are facing financial obstacles.
Foster City and local municipalities must live within their means – spend no more than what is received in revenue. Foster City has always taken a fiscally prudent approach to spending – don’t spend it all during good financial times. Maintain a reserve to withstand the economic downturns.
A joint press release on April 1st by Foster City and Pacific Retirement Services, Inc. announced that the exclusive agreement for the development of the 15-acre site has ended. Given the economic climate, financial expectations of the project were unable to be met by the April date. Much time and effort has been expended to date and to quote our Mayor, “This was the right project and the right developer, but the current recession became the wrong time for financing this kind of endeavor.”
The development of the project was to benefit the long term financial stability of the City. This setback unfortunately presents a hurdle for the City to overcome. The projected revenue to the City that was expected from the development will not be realized at least in the short term. But I believe that because Foster City continues to be financially strong it has the ability to withstand this setback. A more prosperous and growing economy will help to alleviate some of the financial obstacles but longer term financial outlooks will bring challenges to the City in future years.
You are probably hearing and reading about other cities reducing services and these actions are expected to continue into future years. It is my belief that you will continue to be reminded of economic woes as the State budget discussion heats up.
Your City leaders want to continue to provide the pristine parks to which we have become accustomed. We have some of the finest roadways in the Bay Area and would like to keep them that way. Foster City as well as other cities will be looking to gain some economic benefits from shared services and partnerships with other cities.
We should not be lulled into a sense of security that Foster City is financially sound. The fact is we are – for the near term. We must continue to be ever vigilant in looking to the economic future of all areas that have a financial impact on our community. The current economic difficulties are much larger than our City and beyond our control. We must do what we must to cope and wade our way through the current economic morass. However, you can be confident that your City leaders and City staff are looking both short and long term to maintain our financial stability.
I would appreciate your comments on this and other issues by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 14, 2010
Mirabella - Unfortunate Timing