2018 State of the City Recap

BY: Mayor W. Clarke Conway, City of Brisbane, cconway@ci.brisbane.ca.us

This year’s State of the City Address took place at City Hall on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 for the community to hear what’s taken place over the course of the year and see what the finances of the City look like. Among the attendees were County Supervisor David Canepa and Elmer Martinez of Senator Jerry Hill’s office. I started my presentation talking about Community Building, highlighting the 2018 Volunteer of the Year, Nancy Colman, where Brisbane Village Helping Hands would not exist without Nancy’s vision and leadership. These are the people who do things for the love of Brisbane, not for accolades. Along that same vein, the recipients of the 2018 Mayoral Commendation for the Arts – Kevin Fryer, Camille Olivier-Salmon, and Beth Grossman – were recognized for bringing the community together by way of the “Live at Mission Blue” Chamber Concert Series, Brisbane Dance Workshop, and the Artists’ Evening of Sharing. Live at Mission Blue will celebrate its 15th and final year in 2019; Brisbane Dance Workshop is in its 37th year of providing dance and voice lessons to Brisbane’s youth, teens, and adults; and the 17th Annual Artists’ Evening of Sharing will be taking place in February 2019.
At the heart of each community are its schools, so next I highlighted the secondary BES modular that was installed at the beginning of this school year, to meet increased demand in Parks and Rec’s programming and allows elementary-aged children a safe place to go after school lets out. This secondary childcare modular is temporary, with a larger, permanent one planned for 2020 with the help of Supervisor Canepa’s office. The City continues to support Lipman’s afterschool program, Club Lipman, in the amount of $50,000 annually. Club Lipman is free of charge, and also offers after-school homework support, in addition a variety of rotating clubs, such as Art and Ceramics, Hiking, Chess, even Construction & Engineering. Thanks to the hard work and persistence of a Brisbane parents group, working with the Mayor and representatives from SamTrans to secure transportation to and from school for Brisbane high schoolers, two routes were implemented as part of 1-year pilot program, which Supervisor Canepa also assisted us in securing. These routes were put in place in time for the current school year and will later be evaluated for continued inclusion in the SamTrans service plan.
Several Capital Improvement Projects were touched on next, notably the Water Main Replacement Project, which is currently in its first phase. Its purpose is to increase the fire flow pressure to the homes along Sierra Point, Humboldt, Annis, and Thomas. This project will also adds new hydrant locations to improve coverage and replaces aging infrastructure.
The New Brisbane Library is slowing starting to take shape! The Friends of the Brisbane Library kicked off their fundraising campaign, with donor tiles being the material this time. We have stars at the playground, bricks at the Skatepark, and now we’ll have tiles at the Library. Go to www.fobl.info to donate. It’s going to be exciting to see the facility take shape in the coming year, and having the ribbon-cutting sometime in Fall of 2019.
I followed with Statewide issues, touching on Caltrain Electrification, Cannabis, and of course, the Baylands and Measure JJ. At the time of this writing on Nov. 19th, the unofficial election results were: 870 (55.8%) Yes on JJ, 690 (44.2%) No on JJ; the County has until December 6th to certify the election results. Regardless of how Measure JJ turns out, we need to come back together as a community and work together.
Administrative Services Director Stuart Schillinger spoke about how the City Council budgets rather conservatively and credited the current and past Councils for growing the City’s General Fund balance from $9.6M in 2004/05 to $11.6M in 2016/17 (even during a recession), never spending more than what was taken in. We worked very hard to ensure the services people received in the community were the same – the Pool’s hours didn’t change, Police were still able to maintain a proper response time, the Fire Dept. was still there. The City has consciously reduced its fund balance, but for necessary items such as Capital Improvement Projects, an employee benefit trust fund, a motor vehicle replacement fund, and a facility maintenance fund. Performing these types of actions now affords future Brisbane City Councils the ability to make decisions in the best interests of the community they’re serving, and allows for our current City Council to continue offering the types of services widely enjoyed by community members today.
A recording of the State of the City can be played back on the City’s website, or on the City’s YouTube channel, BrisbaneCA: http://bit.ly/2Qa86It.
I’ve been honored to serve as your Mayor this past year. My fellow Councilmembers and I have accomplished a lot together and I’ve enjoyed serving with each of them. Please join me in swearing in the new Mayor at the City Council’s Reorganization Meeting on December 6, 2018.