Friday, August 5, 2016

Staycation!

Summer is in full swing in Foster City and there is still plenty to do in and around Foster City to enjoy the summer weather.

Whether you are a long-time resident or new to the community, there’s always something great to discover (or revisit) in Foster City. I encourage you to try something from the list!
  1. Enjoy the blue lagoons – right here in Foster City.
    Foster City is well known for its unique water ways, but they are more than a beautiful view! Everyone is welcome to boat, fish, swim, paddle, or windsurf the water. Three of Foster City’s parks also offer sand beach areas. Check the link below for more information.

  2. Have a picnic, play a game, and enjoy the parks.
    Foster City has 160 acres of park and open space to walk, bike, and enjoy. Use the link below to find which park suits your needs  may it be a playground, picnic area, basketball court, barbeque, dog park or more. 

  3. Enjoy a summer treat.
    When you need to beat the heat, what better way to do so than by treating your taste buds? Use the City of Foster City’s restaurant guide to find your next bite; and if you’ve tried it all, come to Off the Grid, a food truck festival hosted every Wednesday night at 5:00 PM at the Senior Center. 

  4. Read a book.
    Summer is a great time to catch up on some reading. Books are perfect to take to the beach, on a road trip, or even right in your backyard. The Foster City Library is hosting events all summer, and there is still time to join in on the Summer Learning Challenge where participants are reading, playing, doing, and finding lots of chances to win prizes!

  5. Attend a summer concert (or all 6!).
    The Summer Concert Series returns to Leo J. Ryan Park Friday, July 15. Enjoy live music from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM every Friday through August 19. Be sure to bring a something to sit on and a picnic dinner! See the lineup at the link below. 

  6. While you’re at it, see what else the Parks and Recreation Department has scheduled!
    Along with the Summer Concert Series, the Parks and Recreation Department has tons of activities planned to keep your summer busy. Check the City Calendar for information, and mark your calendar for Neighbor Nights, the Family Overnighter (8/20), and the Community Bike Ride (9/18)!

  7. Go for a safe drive.
    If you finish this list, then you can consider taking a drive. Foster City has the convenience of being located in the center if the Bay Area. A short drive can get you to Palo Alto, Oakland, or the beach. A short drive north will take you to San Francisco, where there is more than plenty to explore. 
There’s always something to do in Foster City to soak up the summertime, whether on this list or other, I hope everyone has a safe and fun summer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

City Manager's Message from the Community Annual Report

I am pleased to provide this information as part of our Annual Report for Fiscal Year 15/16. It continues to be an honor and a privilege to serve this great community as your City Manager.


The City of Foster City Annual Report for Fiscal Year 15/16 chronicles a year of hard work and success of a municipal corporation of city employees who provide the highest quality of service to the citizens of Foster City and excellence in all we do.

In FY 15/16, we have maintained a financially strong municipality, while providing top quality public service to the community. The City Council received and authorized a balanced budget with healthy reserves in all operating funds.

The City continues to invest and improve its infrastructure and park system through a robust Capital Improvement Project Program. Our Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments are managing over 20 CIP projects that will assure a continued quality of life that our residents expect. We have started the process of two of the most important Capital Projects in the history of the City, with the Levee Improvement Project and the joint Wastewater Treatment Plant Project.

Our City Council has adopted a focused mission and vision statement with clear policy priorities that will position our community for a successful economic development strategy, open discussions on land use, addressing regional traffic and transportation issues, continuing to upgrade and maintain aging infrastructure, ongoing dialogue with the school district on quality schools, and encouraging citizen engagement on a daily basis.

Public safety is always a top priority in Foster City. We highly respect and appreciate the work of our police officers and firefighters. Maintaining a healthy balance among public safety services and all other important City services is a responsibility that is reflected in a well-balanced operational city budget.

The City was also pleased to host its first Business Roundtable to discuss economic development goals with the business community. The meeting marked the initiation of an ongoing conversation about the strategies, policies, and programs we need to put in place for our future economic health. We will be working with the City Council Ad Hoc Subcommittee and the community to develop a comprehensive Economic Development Plan over the next several months.

Lastly, I am also pleased to share that our Executive Team of Department Heads refined and refreshed our team's guiding principles that represent who we are as a City organization: professional, ethical, and the driving force behind our success as a public service team. As stated in the guiding principles, "The employees of the City of Foster City are dedicated to providing excellent service to our community in a positive and caring manner."

We have had a "Championship Season" and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Mayor and Members of the City Council, City Staff and the community for your leadership and support. Thank you for your commitment to creating a dynamic, diverse, and beautiful community in Foster City.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Summer Concert Series / Dance to the Music!

It's that time of year again! On Friday, July 15th, we will be kicking off our signature summer event -- the Summer Concert Series! Presented by the Foster City Parks & Recreation, along with title sponsor Gold Medal Martial Arts, this six week series will feature a number of local bands, ranging from pop/rock to soul and blues/funk. 

The concerts will take place on Friday nights, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at Leo J. Ryan Park Amphitheatre. Gather your family and friends, put on your dancing shoes, and join us for a memorable summer out with the picturesque Foster City lagoon as a backdrop.

A schedule of performances can be seen below:

2016 Summer Concert Series Line-Up
  • July 15th - Pure Ecstasy - Soul/Top 40/R&B
  • July 22nd - Stealing Nicks - Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks Tribute
  • July 29th - Total Recall - 90s Alternative
  • August 5th - Clean Slate - R&B/Funk/Old School
  • August 12th - Houserockers - Pop/Rock
  • August 19th - OTR - Classic Rock & Roll/Blues/Funk

Bringing you this free and live music event, a special thank you is also due to our other sponsors, including T.M. Tobin Co., Loral Landscaping Inc., Rotary International, Mariners Point, Edgewater Marine, Julie Flouty Homes, Joyce Cave Financial Advisors, and AAAAA Rent-a-Space.

For more information, please visit the Foster City Parks and Recreation website at: www.fostercity.org/parksandrecreation/generalinformation/2016-summer-concert-series.cfm

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FY16/17 Budget Adopted

On Monday, June 20, 2016, the City Council adopted the City’s Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017. Below are highlights from my Budget Message for Fiscal Year 2016-2017:

On behalf of the entire Executive Management Team and the employees of the City of Foster City, it is my pleasure to submit a balanced Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 (Budget) and the Five-Year Financial Plan.

The Budget and Five-Year Financial Plan reflect vision, innovation, regional partnerships, and dedicated employees which are the foundation of the City’s endeavors to ensure and deliver on a successful future for the community. This outlook is the result of our City Council’s continued focus on enhancing long-term strength and sustainability for the community...

As we prepare to embark on excellent service delivery for the citizens of Foster City in Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the City will continue to monitor and evaluate revenues and expenditures to ensure we maintain our targets as established and approved by the City Council. We will continue providing Quarterly Reports to the City Council on the performance of all City Funds. These reports will be delivered to keep you apprised and up to date on revenues and expenditures as approved in the Budget. In adopting the Annual Budget, the City Council will approve one of the most important policy documents considered by the City Council each year...

The City of Foster City/Estero Municipal Improvement District have been well managed and are in sound financial condition. I want to take the opportunity to thank all of our City employees for their active participation in, and valuable contributions to, the development of the Budget. As a City team focused on providing exceptional services to the community, our employees remain the City’s most critical resource. I believe the Budget will provide us the resources necessary to maintain vital City services and move forward with a strategy to ensure a positive sustainable future for the community of Foster City. I continue to be confident that the City Council’s vision will ensure an outstanding quality of life for the residents of this great city.

A copy of the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 can be found here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy 4th of July

You're a grand old flag, you're a high flying flag. And forever in peace may you wave. You're the emblem of the land I love. The home of the free and the brave ...

Enjoy a happy and safe 4th of July celebration in Foster City with food, parades, dog shows, music, and of course the spectacular fireworks show! Enjoy and Happy 4th!

Photo by Gordon Mak

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Year of Communications

In July 2015, the Communications Division was established in the City of Foster City. The vision of this division is to create a team of knowledgeable staff to enhance public engagement efforts, motivate and support Council, staff, and the public to engage, and to transform our community relations through genuine dialogue.

Since its inception, City communication has increased in size and in efforts, and has provided both improvements and innovation to how the City communicates. By creating a Public Engagement Team with members from every City department, the Communications Division is able to work collaboratively with all departments on projects and events, and collect insight from a range of voices.

I would like to share the many avenues through which the City shares information and engage in dialogue with the Foster City community.

This blog itself was launched in collaboration with the Communications Division on July 1, 2015. 

In October 2015, the Foster City Forum, an online place where citizens can get informed, offer feedback, and stay engaged was launched. This tool offers a variety of survey options so that the public can offer their responses to a broad range of City topics.

In February 2016, the first issue of the Foster City Current was released. With the many projects, events, and press releases, we wanted to create an easy and fun way to see the information that matters most to community members. This monthly e-newsletter includes highlights of what is happening in the City in the upcoming month.  The newsletter reaches nearly 9,000 subscribers each month.

Also in February, the City launched its official app, Foster City Access. With marketing assistance from the Communications Division, the app has nearly 600 downloads so far.

In April 2016, another monthly e-newsletter was launched, the Economic Development Business E-Newsletter. This publication is full of City news and tailors information for our business community in Foster City.

The City’s official YouTube account has been revived, and the Communications Division is dedicated to creating original video content, to help tell the story of the City of Foster City.

The Communications Division has also expanded and re-strategized the use of social media. More frequent and engaging content is being introduced on Facebook and Twitter, and the City is now on Instagram.

In the past month, the Communications Division created an account on Nextdoor, a social network for neighbors. As a Nextdoor agency the City can post information, and we soon hope to host a Q&A for residents.

This is quite a lot to accomplish in a year. I am very proud of what the Communications Division has accomplished, and the direction they are steering City Communications. I encourage you to find the best tool or channel for you, and know that we are always ready to listen and engage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Fiscally Responsible Approach to Maintaining Park Infrastructure

Foster City boasts 24 parks and over 200 acres of park and open space, which has a value of approximately $93 million.  Foster City has the luxury of being situated on San Francisco Bay Trail, a planned 500-mile walking and cycling path around the entire San Francisco Bay running through all nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities, and across the region’s seven toll bridges.  Foster City has invested in its parks infrastructure which has brought increased property values, enhanced quality of life, and social connection to our community.

The Parks and Recreation Department maintains a schedule of regular infrastructure maintenance related projects.  For example, play structures are scheduled for replacement every 15 years and courts are scheduled for resurfacing approximately every eight years.  This scheduling ensures the infrastructure in which the City has invested is properly maintained to provide for the excellent space the Parks and Recreation Department is committed to providing to this community.

In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, the Parks and Recreation Department also works to evolve the Park System to reflect the social landscape.  Our parks provide the space where residents create community, finding opportunities to connect.  The Parks and Recreation Department will bring new park elements to the community over the years as landscape is converted to drought tolerant alternatives (as recently completed at Boat Park), play structures are replaced (as recently completed at Catamaran Park), and new recreational trends emerge (as the City plans for tennis courts resurfacing projects to include pickleball). 

Capital Improvement Projects come in many forms, most of which require multiple levels of City Council authorization.  As an example, the City was fortunate to receive community input on a recent project to convert lawn to drought tolerant alternatives and add picnic areas and bocce ball courts in Leo Ryan Park (CIP 655).  The City is excited to have achieved a conceptual design that meets the interests of park users that participate in activities located in this area of the park.

In the midst of the design stages of CIP 655, a new project, located on the same site emerged; the study to build a new Recreation Center will take place in the coming months.  And while the study to build a new Recreation Center and the associated delay in CIP 655, understandably brings disappointment to this invested segment of the community, the City is very excited to undergo a process to possibly add to our legacy and tradition of excellence to build a new Recreation Center which will take our community through the next 50 years.  There will be many opportunities for the public to provide input into the study to build a new Recreation Center.  The Recreation Center belongs to the residents of Foster City, so get ready and plan to participate in this dynamic moment of City history.