In the blink of an eye, 2017 has come to a close. And with every holiday season, this time of the year is a thoughtful reminder to me to share my gratitude, as well as to reflect on all we have accomplished together – as an organization and a community as a whole.
As a cornerstone of good governance, City Council had reconfirmed its six (6) priority focus areas in 2017. This, in combination with clear policy direction over the course of the year, served as guiding principles for City staff to carry out key initiatives and programs.
I have been fortunate to have an Executive Team whose leadership within their own departments and cross-functionally has led to many successes throughout the organization. Every day, staff members practiced good stewardship, bringing exceptional services and skills in their respective roles.
2017 brought forth its fair share of challenges; however, there were many more exciting projects and endeavors to celebrate. As a City Manager, I can confidently say that these efforts have and will have a positive impact on our community. To name a few:
- Community Dialogue Series – Surely a highlight of the year, Foster City kicked off the first-ever of its kind. This series of community meetings focused on critical topics affecting our City today. Hundreds of community members joined in on the conversation and we look forward to continuing this in 2018!
- Levee Project – Strides were made in 2017 with the Levee Project. Most notably, the City Council held an All-Hands Environmental Agency meeting, certified the Environmental Impact Report, decided to proceed with a 2050 Sea Level Rise and Future Adaptation Strategy, and to further explore a potential bond measure in 2018.
- Recreation Center Master Plan – After extensive public outreach to better understand the community’s needs and interests in this facility, City Council directed staff to move forward with issuing a Request for Proposals on Conceptual Design Services. We will see this come to fruition later this year.
- Fire JPA – Foster City entered a Fire Joint Powers Authority with the City of San Mateo and Belmont Fire Protection District for service level improvements and cost savings through the Shared Fire Services Contract.
- CalOpps Website – The new and improved CalOpps site was launched, providing over 2 million job seekers with access to government jobs in over 250 cities, districts, and county agencies.
- New City Website – Currently underway is the New Website Project, where City staff has worked diligently to design, refine, and revamp the City’s website. Stay tuned, as this will be launched in early 2018!
- Public Safety – As public safety remains of the utmost priority, the Police Department designated an Exchange Zone for Private Property Transactions, as well as launched a Neighborhood Video Imaging Program. In 2017, Foster City was named the 8th Safest City in California and the 63rd in America.
- Innovative Technology – Robots came to Foster City! The City partnered with Starship Technologies to allow the use of autonomous robots as Personal Delivery Devices for goods from our local businesses & restaurants.
- Transportation & Mobility – After much popularity, the Scoop partnership was extended to continue to provide a subsidized carpool-matching program. The 92 Corridor Alliance was also established, which is a public-private group working towards strategies to improve commuter traffic along Highway 92.
- Employee Rental Assistance Program – City Council authorized $60,000 towards an Employee Rental Assistance Program, as part of the City’s effort to recruit and retain quality employees, allowing employees to become a member of the community they serve, eliminating environmental, physical, and emotional impacts of long commutes, as well as having employees in close proximities to respond to after-hour emergencies.
- Environmental Sustainability – Foster was one of two cities in San Mateo County awarded the Silver Beacon Award and Platinum Sustainability for Best Practices Award. This was earned from a culmination of activities the City has undertaken to promote and achieve environmental sustainability.
- Infrastructure – The City began its annual Street Rehabilitation Project, which included the installation of curb ramps, asphalt paving, and amongst other improvements, sharrows. This type of project is just one example of the continued investment in the City’s infrastructure, improving the safety and mobility of our citizens.
Finally, I would also like to express my appreciation for the “unsung heroes” of our community. These are the many liaisons and proactive constituents who we have had the pleasure to work with in 2017 in accomplishing these goals.
As we begin 2018, I hope we all come in high spirits and with a renewed vigor! I look forward to the New Year and the opportunities that lie ahead. Thank you all for your continued support and commitment to this beautiful community.