San Mateo. In the Age of the City.
Mayor Joe Goethals presented San Mateo’s State of City Address: San Mateo In the Age of the City, on January 22nd during the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning San Mateo breakfast. The Mayor began his presentation by posing the following question: “Why is there now such a focus on cities?”
Cities are where people want to live.
It’s where jobs, schools, services, and day-to-day activities are concentrated. Approximately 50% of the U.S. population resides in cities or major metropolitan areas such as the Bay Area, Manhattan, Seattle, Miami, and Chicago. Additionally, half of the GDP (gross domestic product) for our country is generated in these concentrated metropolitan areas. Residents of these cities and San Mateo look to local government to provide the needed services, infrastructure, recreation activities, public safety, and policy decisions to ensure that local needs are being met. Cities are where we can make a difference.
The Billion Dollar Corridor
The Bay Area and San Mateo is experiencing significant growth since the recovery from the recession. The fifty mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose, which some refer to as the “billion dollar corridor,” has a concentration of companies which provide jobs and generate a great deal of revenue. We are fortunate to be surrounded by these companies, but the overall strength of our economy also puts a great deal of stress on our infrastructure and makes it extremely expensive to live here.
This additional growth and the influx of wealth created in our region is placing growing demand for city services. The issues we must address are more complex than ever before. San Mateo is taking strides to develop recommendations, policies, and programs to support the need for affordable housing, infrastructure improvements; strategies to address traffic, and programs that will create a more sustainable community. San Mateo is fortunate to have a highly engaged community, talented city staff, and relationships that extend throughout the region and state. Collaboration and looking to the community to find solutions is one of the attributes that makes San Mateo a great community, and we consistently use this approach when solving our most demanding challenges.
2016 City Priorities
In 2016, a Housing Taskforce is focused on developing recommendations to address affordable housing. The former redevelopment properties are part of this equation and are being considered as possible opportunities for additional housing opportunities as well. In addition, the Public Works Department has initiated Neighborhood Traffic Forums that are generating discussions to address traffic concerns, one neighborhood at a time, throughout our community. The forums launched in January and will continue until the end of May.
Measure S has given the city a “shot in the arm” to make significant investments in our services and infrastructure. A citizens oversight committee will form to provide oversight on how Measure S funds can be spent. Paved streets, flood improvements, improvements to parks and recreation facilities, and increased public safety are some of the ways Measure S funds can be used to strengthen our community for future generations.
As highlighted in the Mayor’s State of the City address, the City is tackling a number of initiatives that will continue to make San Mateo a great community. Please visit the City’s YouTube Channel to view the Mayor’s State of the City Address and hear his ideas.