We ARE Family
I want to make sure that the residents of Foster City know that we are sensitive to your fears and are trying very hard to make at least “where you live” as uncomplicated and comfortable as possible.
This also applies to the employees who not only work for Foster City but also live in our City. I ran into a Parks and Recreation employee the other day at Boothbay Park and stopped near his truck to say Hi. In leaving I mentioned to stay warm and enjoy his day.....he commented back that his co-workers were like family and he always enjoys his days. I couldn't agree more.
Obviously our residents’ safety and welfare is our number one concern. However, when you are experiencing the pain of losing a job, cut backs, frustrations over the economy you need to know we are trying to address these concerns as well. To be honest we feel it in your voices.
When we get calls or meet people on the street they are angry....unfortunately they take it out on our employees and our Council because where else can you vent??? We are taking that into consideration and trying to have more patience.
When we begin our study sessions regarding the budget there are areas that we must consider in different ways than we did a year ago when the economy was steady. We are certainly aware that you may be going on fewer vacations and therefore we would like our parks to be pristine for you and your family to use for recreation and family time.
The same goes with our lagoons and recreation programs. While some cities are cutting back on services, I feel we need to maintain them so we can accommodate your needs. You know as well as we do that we have reserve funds but that does not mean we will deplete them and not look at the years ahead and our commitment to stay fiscally responsible.
We all need to look within ourselves as well.
Franklin Roosevelt said “out of every crisis, every tribulation, every disaster, mankind rises with some share of greater knowledge of higher decency, or purer purpose.”
Regardless of your personal economic situation, I hope we put into practice the message that Martin Luther King tried to instill in us which was one of purpose, one of service to our fellow human beings. That was what the day set aside named after him was suppose to represent but unfortunately it never “caught on.”
We need to make EVERY day have some purpose. I read an editorial in the Chronicle that captured what I'm trying to say....”Doing something for someone less fortunate isn't Democratic, or Republican or even American......it's human”...
Only when we look within can we find the answers to how we are going to survive this crisis. Look deep....Be the change you wish to see in this world. Before you hurry into the house or close your garage door, and before you turn the car off, look around and see where you might be able to make someone else's life a bit easier.
Seems to me that growing up in the Midwest we had bigger front porches and they were inviting to neighbors walking by. Now it seems our focus is on having a bigger back porch or patio which keeps us from being as inclusive with our neighbors.
I live by Boothbay Park and I see the kids and parents at soccer games, baseball games, etc. enjoying each other through their children........I'm happy Foster City can make those experiences possible and I smile when I see them as I remember the memories and friends I made on those fields 25 years ago.
We, as the community of Foster City, will look deep and continue to make tough decisions in the best interests of our residents AND our employees.
Post Script....I wrote this column before Obama's inauguration speech and I'm sure most know that his call for service was clear. I heard him say that we are all going to have to make sacrifices and that his life has been around community organizing and getting people working together for the common good.
The poem and the benediction were extremely powerful to me as it confirmed that we must choose hope over fear and that we, as a country and a people, are willing to shake hands with our neighbors with the hope that the other hand is open.......not clenched in anger. The other message was love.......enough said!!!
I would welcome your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 28, 2009
We ARE Family
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Foster City, CA 94404