Government in Foster City circa 1979

Government in Foster City circa 1979

Mayor Peter Gilbert (1979)

This is excerpt from Foster City Chamber of Commerce circa 1979 foreword by Mayor Peter Gilbert:

On behalf of the City Council of Foster City I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the readers of This is Foster City – 1979. This fine Chamber of Commerce publication has been invaluable over the years as a business directory and community guide and especially in promoting our community – locally, nationally and even internationally-as literally one of the best places in the world in which to live. And looking back at 15 years of continued growth, we know that the reasons for this are more than our wonderful climate or our location in the midst of a prosperous region and state.

Planning for growth and learning from experience have been major factors in the successful development of the city. The basic framework for guiding growth continues to be the General Plan, which designates how all land is to be developed, and a financing plan to provide the funds for necessary public improvements and services. Of course this framework, or plan, is only a means to an end and thus must be continuously reviewed and refined as the years pass and conditions change.

One of the first major changes in the destiny of Foster City was the transfer of controlling interest from the Foster organization to the residents, highlighted by incorporation in 1971. A basic restructuring of the method of financing public improvements was accomplished in the 1972 Centex agreement, after that company purchased almost all the undeveloped land in the city from the Fosters. Since that time several changes in the amounts and locations of various land uses shown on the General Plan have been approved, all in light of the need to assure the best possible results for the community – which means both the residents and the developers.

Recently the City Council once again undertook a comprehensive review of the state of the city and its prospects for the future. External circumstances, such as the course of the national economy in recent years and the actions of neighboring communities and developers, have resulted in the need to revise both the method of financing public improvements as set forth in the 1972 Centex agreement and the General Plan of land uses within the city. Of course such important decisions involving millions of dollars in future tax burden and the resulting quality of community life cannot be made without compromise and unfortunately without acrimony, as has been evident in the disputes between this City Council and Centex Corporation.

However, both parties have now agreed in principal as to how the extensive Centex holdings will be developed, and presentation and refinement of the proposed agreement is being made to the public. I anticipate that we shall soon begin to see tangible results of our efforts to assure the continued planned growth of our community.

This proposed agreement will facilitate development of all the remaining commercial and industrial land, more than twice as much acreage as presently exists, meaning significant increases in sales taxes and other revenues for the city. The land needed for the long awaited Foster City marina will be transferred to the city, allowing this project to move forward in the near future. Cash payments will also be made to defray city expenses in meeting our side of the agreement. In all, more than a quarter billion dollars in growth-the development of the last large tracts of land within the community-will be realized from this agreement. It is one more milestone in the Foster City story, one of the most important, and speaking for the entire City Council, we encourage your interest and participation in it.

City Manager: Richard D. Wykoff
City Clerk: Andrea M. Pavone
City Attorney: Kenneth M. Dickerson
Chief of Public Safety: John J. Norton
Public Works Director: Richard K. Hooper
Recreation Superintendent: Brian Tibbetts
Finance Director: Stanley Stephens, Jr.
Planning Director: Robert Stewart
Director of Recreation: Keith K. Bruns

The City Council meets on the first and third Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 600 Foster City Boulevard. Administration offices are at 610 Foster City Boulevard. Telephone: (415) 349-1200.