We need to Give to Get
I have learned many lessons in my life…….however never as many in a year’s time as I have in 2008. I have learned that in government you must learn to compromise. I have learned you cannot have it your way all the time. I have learned that if you “take” from one group you may have to “give” away something you do not want to part with. I have learned that you need to “give” to “get.”
No lesson has been lost on me and the development and redevelopment of so many areas of our City are perfect examples of learning how to compromise. When I talk with folks and they love the idea of maybe a yogurt shop and restaurants on those 11 acres and how soon can I make that happen, the next comment is but we don’t want more cars!!! We must learn to give a little and adjust to more cars and try not to be so exclusively stuck with the way it has “always” been in our City. We want things but we don’t want to give up anything. Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
The revenue we receive for the next 99 years from that development will keep our City safe, vital, beautiful and most importantly updated. Our redevelopment projects will utilize land that is so behind the curve of the future. Businesses want modern, convenient space to work in not the dull single story building built in 1962. Yes, there will be more cars, but that is the compromise. We need to think about not making a doctor’s appointment at 9:00 am so we don’t add to the congestion and have another cup of coffee and go at 10:00 am.
The recent controversy regarding our garbage hauler and construction of new facility in San Carlos has turned downright ugly!!! We must learn to compromise.
All parties agreed to the proposal process and we ALL agreed on the people we handpicked to comprise the SBWMA (the group that represents all 12 cities and agencies involved). The most experienced city managers and experts on garbage hauling were picked forming two committees. One was a Programs and Facilities Committee and one was a Process and Contracts Committee to oversee the request for proposal.
The companies even had input on what their companies needed to show us to convince us of their worth as the next hauler. So where the questions come from I’m not sure. We all trusted the process and now we don’t trust or honor the outcome.
A FYI……Evan Boyd, GM of Allied Waste phoned me to apologize for the letter sent to our residents. In my opinion, it was out of character for the Evan I’ve grown to know, but unfortunately he signed it.
Here’s the thing……I don’t don a wetsuit and dive into our lagoon to check on when the valves or pumps need to be replaced or when the eroded pipes need replacement. I trust that the Manager and his staff have done their due diligence and I try not to micromanage their job. They are the experts and that is why we hired them and we make policy decision by their recommendation and staff report. If there is a red flag then you look further, but I have seen no red flags with SBWMA.
The word is TRUST……I must trust the process and honor the result…….it is that simple and it is the right thing to do.
I give up some of my control to get the best from another human being who is an expert in their field because otherwise when would it end. You don’t like the outcome of the report or the recommendation so you want to tweak it a little and do it again…….then, when that result comes in there will be someone else who found something in the process to ask for another “do over”. There is no Mulligan in government.
We must trust the process and honor the result……………..we are giving everyone a chance to do what they are good at and getting the best our City deserves. It is the right thing to do.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
October 15, 2008
We need to Give to Get
©2015 City of Foster City
City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404