Monday, December 7th was the last meeting of the 2015 San Mateo City Council, and it was a bittersweet evening beginning with a moving tribute to Councilmember and former Mayor, Jack Matthews.
Fond Farewell to Councilmember, Jack Matthews
Councilmember Matthews is a long-standing public figure and business owner in San Mateo. He first joined the city’s Planning Commission in 1995 and served for two terms before being elected to the City Council in 2003. After three terms on the City Council, Matthews has left a lasting impression on San Mateo and is “keeping the faith” to see more of his vision realized.
The development of affordable housing is a significant part of Matthews’ legacy to San Mateo and the Bay Area. A constant supporter and advocate for affordable housing – he was at the helm of projects such as the Vendome Hotel, 2000 Delaware, and Penn Station. Matthews also served on the board of HEART where his passion for affordable housing could more broadly serve the Bay Area.
He also influenced the guiding policies of the Rail Corridor Plan, Bay Meadows, and Downtown San Mateo; worked to ensure the completion of the Main Library, the Police Station, and the renovation of several fire stations; and encouraged the installation of public art throughout the community.
Matthews’ fingerprints are on everything in San Mateo, and it is now a more beautiful, livable community; he is leaving San Mateo a better place than when he started.
Councilmember and 2015 Mayor, Maureen Freschet begins second four-year term
Mayor Freschet was sworn in for her next four-year term on the City Council and was recognized for her contributions as Mayor. These include the passing of Measure S, the adoption of the Climate Action Plan, and implementation of several sustainability programs. She held a public forum to address housing, sat on the Oversight Board, which successfully retained San Mateo’s redevelopment properties, and initiated a living memorial at Central Park to recognize San Mateo’s fallen veterans.
Freschet was seemingly everywhere at all once. She stated, “being Mayor was one of the most rewarding, wonderful, and demanding experiences.” She is proud of her accomplishments and looks forward to serving the San Mateo community throughout her second term.
Councilmembers Bonilla and Papan sworn into City Council
Councilmember Bonilla was sworn in for the remainder of his two-year term. Although he ran unopposed, he feels supported by the community and appreciates the level of engagement demonstrated by our residents.
Councilmember Papan was also sworn in for her first term on the City Council. She shared her passion for improving San Mateo’s infrastructure and is excited to work with those we serve to reach the decisions that will preserve San Mateo’s status as a leading community.
Councilmember, Joe Goethals appointed 2016 Mayor
Finally, Councilmember Goethals was appointed as San Mateo’s Mayor. His enthusiasm is contagious, and it will be an exciting year with Goethals at the helm. He is excited to embark upon this journey with the community and believes that San Mateo is at the forefront of a new era.
“Cities are where things get done,” he stated. “We are entering a time where San Mateo is thriving and can accomplish the things that matter.”
Infrastructure, sustainability and the preservation of our community’s health and safety are areas of passion. He sees a great deal of sustainable innovation coming our way – specifically in the use of recycled water produced at the Waste Water Treatment Plant and in the use of renewable energy.
The 2016 San Mateo City Council includes Mayor Goethals, Deputy Mayor, Lim and Councilmembers Bonilla, Freschet, and Papan. The enthusiasm and passion for San Mateo will continue to make our community a premier city along the Peninsula.