State of the City 2020

By: Terry O’Connell, City of Brisbane Mayor,

This year’s Virtual State of the City was held on November 10th, 2020 and was a great way to update the residents and business’s about what 2020 had in its way of challenges, and how the City was able to respond to them and find our way forward.
The evening started with an update on the City’s finances from Financial Director Stuart Schillinger, who gave an overview on how Covid 19 has affected the budget projections. His report let us know that while revenue from hotels had decreased, sales tax was up due to increased business to business transactions, exceptional increases in building material sales, and that the cannabis tax was more than budgeted.
Stuart also updated us on the cost savings measures that the City has implemented due to Covid-19, and some extra expenses from the same. All in all, Brisbane will end the year able to meet all of our obligations, and still have some extra to put toward some of our long term pension obligations.
Chief Lisa Macias gave an update on how the Police department has come together to work with our community and how thankful that she was on the amount of respect that everyone has shown for each other. She appreciates all the positive relationships that her officers have been able to build with our residents and business community–Well done Chief Macias and team!
While many things have been disrupted during Covid 19, the City has moved forward on projects including the Water Main Replacement project and completion of the new Brisbane Library. As a community, there have been partnerships formed between the Lions, Village Helping Hands, the Chamber and the City, to create the Brisbane Community Response Coalition. Their mission is to assist residents with food shopping, visits to doctor’s appointments, as well as thanking essential workers with restaurant gift certificates donated by residents.
The City helped to keep our residents informed by holding Virtual Town Halls, aimed to bring information on how to stay safe, and where additional resources could be found to help with food and shelter assistance. We also partnered with Samaritan House and the Lions to make Senior Lunches available twice a week so that our seniors would be well fed and connected.
The farmers market has had a major increase in participation during the summer, and now we have more vendors wanting to join the market Thursdays from 3-6PM.
While we work with the County of San Mateo Health Department to assure safety, we are opening (and closing) our parks and recreational facilities as needed to stay safe. City Hall is open to the public on a limited basis, but always available online or by phone as the City continues to work from home.
We were also able to honor Volunteers of the year Joe Sulley and Vicki Smith for their many hours of community service this year in response to the pandemic.
A roaring success was this year’s 2nd annual Luna Fest, raising over $24000.00 for the Lions Scholarship program, to benefit Women pursuing degrees in male-dominated fields. A big thank you for all who donated and especially Councilmember Madison Davis for another great event.
My personal moment of pride was the raising of the Black Lives Matter flag in the community park. It raises awareness and launch tough conversations about bias that we may not even know that we have. I am proud that the community was able to come together in a peaceful and calm manner to address this defining moment in racial awareness.
Thank you to all of our Police, Fire, Public Works, City staff, and the Chamber of Commerce, for the great job they have done during the year. I have appreciated the personal support and hard work of our City Council over this year, and all of the support that the community has given to each other. I would also like to thank our sponsor of the virtual State of the City, South San Francisco Scavenger for their continued involvement in our City.