Tuesday, December 27, 2016

City Manager’s Perspective: Reflection on Success in Governance and a Bright Future for Foster City

As City Manager, I am one part of a well-tuned engine that drives the City of Foster City forward. The City operates under a Council / Manager form of government, whereby the City Manager serves as the chief executive officer, who is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day city operations. The City Council, who is elected by the citizens, is responsible for providing broad policy direction for the City Manager to address and carry out. This form of government provides cohesiveness throughout the organization that enables the City Council and staff to align the programs, projects, and services that meet the needs and expectations of our citizens.

As City Manager I oversee an excellent Executive Team comprised of Department Heads who manage the respective departments of Foster City:
  • City Manager – provides administrative and legislative policy support to the City Council and provides oversight in the areas of budget, economic development, environmental sustainability, information technology, animal control, transportation and capital projects
  • Communications/City Clerk – maintains the official record of proceedings to ensure the continued operation of the City and also directs public information, media communication and civic engagement activities
  • Community Development – ensures construction code and building compliance and manages the long-term planning regarding growth and development for the City
  • Financial Services – manages the City’s financial resources responsibly
  • Fire – protects lives, property and the environment
  • Human Resources – provides a safe, healthy and positive working environment for Foster City employees
  • Parks & Recreation – manages the City’s parks and recreation activities, City facility maintenance and City vehicle fleet
  • Police – ensures public safety and the protection of property 
  • Public Works – manages infrastructure construction, operations and maintenance programs for streets, drainage, lagoon and levee, water and wastewater

A Year in Review - Daily Governance & Key Accomplishments

Through the continued leadership and dedication from your City Council and City staff, Foster City has achieved many accomplishments this past year. Of these, a few highlights include:
  • Delivered a new City Council agenda management system
  • Expanded the City’s presence on social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Developed and distributed monthly e-newsletters with updates on City events, activities, and projects, as well as local business community news to approximately 9,000 subscribers
  • Implemented Foster City Access/SeeClickFix, a citizen reporting tool that allows for ease of communication with the City; which in 2016, has had over 660 non-emergency issues successfully resolved
  • Hosted an ongoing series of Community Informational Meetings on major projects such as the Levee Project, which has given residents and business owners an opportunity to be involved and give valuable input
  • Worked alongside City Council and residents to begin the initial phase of the Recreation Center Master Plan Study; which through use of Foster City Forum, distribution of surveys, and meetings with different focus groups/City-held public meetings, have received over 200 responses
  • Coordinated Emergency Preparedness and Safety Days with residents and local businesses; including training of 87 additional Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members
  • Maintained fiscal responsibility through strategic financing for major projects such as the Clean Water Program/Wastewater Treatment Plant Project, as well as achieving a balanced budget for fiscal year 2016-2017
  • Responded to over 1,500 calls for service on a monthly basis between Fire and Police
  • Promoted over 20 internal employees in an effort to retain and encourage professional development within staff
  • Adopted the Economic Development Strategic Plan, outlining the first two years of programs and initiatives to help direct long-term economic development in Foster City
  • Hosted a Business Roundtable Meeting with over 60 business leaders to discuss challenges and opportunities facing our business community
  • Conducted over 25 business visitations to grow and enhance outreach efforts
  • Partnered with Scoop Technologies to bring a carpool-matching program to Foster City residents and employees, and have removed over 4,700 cars off the road in its initial 3 months
  • Partnered with Kiva to create a loan-matching supporter account for peer to peer microlending, offering loans to small businesses 

In these shared successes, City staff has delivered in a responsible and diligent manner the quality services that characterize good governance. This stems from a committed City staff who will continue to work closely with the community in an engaging way.

We have a bright future in Foster City and your City staff will continue to work as a team to make Foster City great. We will champion ethical behavior and integrity. We will be relentless in incremental improvements and innovations. The City of Foster City is committed to excellence in the delivery of services and it begins with the City Manager and the City Department Heads.

These values and guiding principles are what inspire City employees to make sound and professional work decisions and provide outstanding customer service to our residents.

I am proud to serve you and all who call Foster City home. Governance happens every day, and every day your Foster City Government is committed to working for you and with you.