Foster City Parks and Recreation Department
Works to Make Our City Great
As residents of Foster City, we all enjoy the many parks and recreation opportunities that exist in our community. Most of us rarely stop to think about the people who maintain our parks and keep them in such great condition. Nor do we consider who organizes and runs the many recreation programs in our city. The employees in the Parks and Recreation Department perform these important tasks, usually in such a transparent way that you are not even aware that they are doing them. How does this happen, you might ask?
Every year the Parks and Recreation Department holds an offsite retreat. As many staff members as possible attend this event, from administrative staff to the people who drive the trucks and repair the turf in our parks. The members of the Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Committee are invited as well, and many take the opportunity to attend this event and to meet the people who make our parks great. What has struck me the two times I attended is how well all the staff work together and respect each other’s comments and opinions without regard to their position in the department or what kind of jobs they do – whether blue collar, white collar, manager or worker. Long time Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Miller conducts the retreat in an inspirational way. The attendees all are asked to talk about their experiences in the department and what they like and don’t like. Mr. Miller inspires loyalty in his staff partially by being loyal to them. When budget cuts threatened to make layoffs necessary, with City Council and City Manager support, he worked with the affected staff members to find jobs within the department. As a result, staff members were able to keep their jobs even when department headcount was reduced.
Many of the staff have been working for the department for many years and take pride in their jobs and the contributions they make to our community. This longevity and the ability of the staff to work together well is an asset to our city and keeps the department’s costs lower than they would be otherwise. It also is one of the factors that make Foster City a world-class community, and a place we are all proud to call home.
The Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Committee is made up of eleven volunteers who work with the Parks and Recreation Department to make our parks the best they can be, and advise the city council on matters related to parks and recreation. We support the department’s theme of “Parks Make Life Better” by conducting the annual Levee Safety Day, working at the Summer Concert series, and generally, being ambassadors of the parks and recreation programs to the people of our city. We want to make sure that our parks continue to be the best in the region for many years to come. (Submitted by Charlie Tomberg, member of the Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Committee since 2010)