State of the City Address by Mayor Richard Garbarino

South San Francisco, CA  May 27, 2015   Submitted by Steve Carey, Interim President APBHOA

Mayor Richard Garbarino

Mayor Richard Garbarino

Today Mayor Garbarino gave the State of our City address at the South San Francisco Conference Center. We thank Steve Carey, Interim President Avalon Park Brentwood Homeowners Association, for sharing his notes of today’s important event. They are as follows:

Mayor Garbarino thanked the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring this event. He stated that it was an honor to serve with Vice Mayor Addiego, Council Member Pradeep Gupta, Council Member Karyl Matsumoto, and Council Member Liza Normandy.

SSF Remains Industrious

The mayor noted that exactly 100 years ago, The Panama Pacific World Exposition opened in San Francisco. It celebrated the recovery of the 1906 earthquake which had destroyed much of the region. 100 years later our city celebrates a recovery from a recession which crippled the economy. South San Francisco is strong and secure. 100 years ago, South San Francisco the home of a growing steel industry, which built a great nation, won two world wars, and created the cable supporting the Golden Gate Bridge. 100 years ago, steel industrial giants started in South San Francisco. They embodied cutting edge technology.

Today, our creativity is as strong as ever. South San Francisco remains “The Industrial City”. We honor the past while building the future. Our new economy is anchored by a thriving biotech community. Today, South San Francisco is home to the largest biotech cluster in the world with over 150 biotech companies and 11 million square feet of biotech space.

We have the nation’s premiere life sciences workforce drawing from UCSF, Stanford University, and many other world-class academic institutions. South San Francisco has another 5 million square feet of new research and development space approved; much of it already under construction. Genentech has begun construction on a new 7 story R& D building and plans to construct a new 4 story employee center. Genentech employs 11,000 people on 250 acres in South San Francisco. Johnson and Johnson opened J-Labs in South San Francisco. Calico is an RD biotech company here in South San Francisco which could forever positively impact humankind. More than a quarter billion dollars has been invested in South San Francisco in the past 12 months alone.

A 55 million dollar Caltrain Station is funded and will go into construction next year. Bravo to Council Member Matsumoto and staff. Projects east of 101 include The Britannia Cove Development. Biomed Realty is another biotech developer that is very active in South San Francisco. 14 new restaurants have recently opened in the downtown area. Armstrong Brewery opens later this year at 415 Grand Avenue. New residences will be located on Airport Blvd, Grand Ave, Linden Ave, and Miller Ave. 300 units are being built outside of the downtown area. 285 units will be built at Centennial Village along with a new retail center. 37 new units will be built on Mission Road. Over 1,000 units will be built in South San Francisco in the next 5 years. A free shuttle service across town augments Samtrans.  Ferry service is increasing in ridership. 15% of city streets have been re-surfaced including updated traffic and pedestrian features.


City Departments Update

Public safety is a top priority. The city is very safe. SSF compares very well with other communities. Our outdated police headquarters remains a challenge. A debt of gratitude is extended to Police Chief Jeff Azzopardi. He has done a commendable job. Welcome to the new Fire Chief Gerry Kohlmann. SSF has one of the best fire departments in the bay area. Public Works Director Brian McMinn has completed a great number of projects this year. Engage SSF free app has benefited public works and it is available for residents to contact the city. An active and robust parks system is led by Sharon Ranals who was recognized by the State of California. Three new pieces of public art were acquired this year. Updates are needed to our parks and facilities. In the past 6 months, more than 50 thousand residents have enjoyed public parks. Nearly half a million visits per year are received by city libraries. The libraries have hosted 1500 special events and programs this year. The Grand Avenue Library renovation is on track. Water conservation efforts were exceeded last year. Kudos to the citizens of South San Francisco. But we can always do more. June 1st our water conservation program starts. Every Drop Counts.

Please offer applause for: Vice-Mayor Addiego, Council Members Pradeep Gupta, KarylMatsumoto, and Liza Normandy. Thank you to City Manager Mike Futrell, and his staff. To quote FDR: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” As your mayor, I’m here to tell you that we will assuredly attain meaningful and sustainable progress while remaining proudly the “Industrial City”. We will embrace our heritage, remembering our past, but looking to the future!

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