This week’s Council Corner again goes over the housing element and again misstates my position in order to criticize it. Let me say it as simply as I can:
The vote to increase the zoning denisity for existing apartment projects puts the right to build to that density in the hands of the owners of those projects with little discretion by the City to stop the building. Rezoning the golf course leaves the discretion of if, when and how to build anything entirely in the hands of the City and the City Council because the City owns the land. The plan I proposed does NOT contemplate building housing on the golf course!
My plan simply uses the golf course as a placeholder to satisfy State requirements while we do a long term study of housing, economics and impacts for Foster City. Statements by other Council Members to the contrary are incorrect and I am willing to debate and discuss the issue with any of them in a public forum.
Turning to the Council Corner’s coverage of schools, other than telling us things that we already know, for example that the schools are overcrowded, that we share a district with San Mateo, that the governing board is the school district and that they are working on the issue, the Council Corner offers no insight or suggestions on how the City can help.
When the Council met during my year as mayor, I proposed that the City treat the school distict as a partner and look into ways that we can help with the overcrowding problem. I suggested that if we as a City were serious about the issue, the City could acquire land and lease it to the school district as a way to help reduce the financial burden of additional classrooms. I stand by that suggestion and continue to be willing to do what I can to help.
I have been working on school overcrowding for about six years, actively involved in Measure P and I continue to attend some of the Next Steps meetings to offer assistance as requested. I have met with Council Members from San Mateo, other community leaders and other community members trying to address this important issue and to find a solution that works for our entire District. I only wish that other leaders could also say that they have been as proactive in trying to find a solution.
Foster City is at a crossroads and we need active leaders that think out of the box, not ones that simply report on issues and follow recommendations blindly. Once again, this is an election year and you can bring in leaders if you get involved. So please, get involved.