Wednesday, July 31, 2013

San Mateo city manager announces retirement: Susan Loftus to leave in November after 25-year career with the city

San Mateo Daily Journal

San Mateo City Manager Susan Loftus announced her retirement in an email distributed to city staff last night.

A press release from her office was sent out at about 7:30 p.m. detailing the reasons for her retirement and listing her accomplishments over a more than 25-year career with the city.

“Serving as San Mateo’s city manager during the last five years has been both an honor and a challenge,” Loftus wrote in a statement.

She replaced Arne Croce as the city’s top boss when he retired in 2008 just as the economy started to tank, forcing the city to cut staff and drastically trim its budget.

Two temporary tax measures Loftus spearheaded, however, have helped reduce the city’s deficit and spared the need for additional layoffs the past couple of budget cycles.“

After accepting the city manager position in the summer of 2008, no one could have imagined the economic downturn which occurred. I am proud of the accomplishments of the City Council, executive team and organization during this time. With resident support of a temporary sales tax measure and combined with substantial budget restructuring, we have made significant progress in meeting our financial sustainability goals. I feel the timing is right to retire. I believe I am leaving the city in a good place to move forward,” Loftus wrote in the statement.

She was hired as San Mateo’s economic development manager in 1987 after working in the policy department of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.

She transferred to the City Manager’s Office in 1990.

In 1998, she pushed for the passage of Measure C, a hotel tax increase, that funded the construction of the city’s new police headquarters and the reconstruction of the city’s fire stations.

She is also a big proponent of shared services, entering into agreements with neighboring cities to consolidate some fire services.

She oversees a nearly $160 million budget and about 520 employees.

Loftus could not be reached for comment last night.

The announcement of Loftus’ retirement follows news that the city’s current Community Development Director Lisa Grote will retire in September.

The Planning Division also had two high-ranking employees, Lisa Ring and Stephen Scott, resign earlier this year. The city has hired some contract workers in the meantime to fill those positions.

The City Council recently approved an audit of the Community Development Department following the controversial 7-Eleven approval that has landed the city in court and for other issues as well.

Mayor David Lim pushed for the audit earlier this year after what he said were several “gaffes” made by the city even beyond the 7-Eleven issue.

He praised Loftus, however, as did councilmen Brandt Grotte and Jack Matthews in last night’s press release.

“The legacy of Susan Loftus is that she has left the city of San Mateo well poised for great things as we head into the 21st century. The City Council and residents of San Mateo are forever grateful for her service and wish her well in all future endeavors,” Lim wrote in a statement.

Her last day with the city will be Nov. 1.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 106

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

San Mateo Firefighters' Association Chili Cook Off - August 24

I am thrilled to have been invited to be a Judge at the San Mateo Firefighters' Association's annual Chili Cook Off on August 24, 2013 from 11 am to 5 pm in San Mateo's Central Park.

Besides raising money to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), I have a great excuse to sample some awesome chili!

In addition to the chili, there will be great family events, live music, and cold beer! So please mark your calendar and join me on August 24 at Downtown Central Park!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Celebrating 35 Years of Chinese Culture in America!

The Association of Northern California Chinese Schools was founded in 1978. Now celebrating it's 35th year, the ANCCS serves over 20,000 students in all nine Bay Area counties.

By offering Chinese language schools, as well as Chinese cultural classes, ANCCS ensures that future generations of Chinese Americans will honor and retain the traditions of the past, even as they look forward to the future of our great country. ANCCS also offers all Americans the opportunity to learn about the rich heritage of Chinese culture.

Tonight I had the honor of helping celebrate 35 years of ANCCS at the San Mateo Marriott. Congratulations!

Here I am with Ms. Myra Wu, the Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office:

Sister City Ambassadors in Toyonaka, Japan

Our San Mateo Sister City Ambassadors Sharon Borden and Cameron Hill returned home to San Mateo on Friday after a fun-filled trip representing our City as good will ambassadors.

Here are a few highlights from their trip to Toyonaka:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Update Website for "Lim for City Council 2013" Up and Running!

My updated campaign site is up and running at:

Going to the old site,, will automatically redirect you to the new site, as well!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lim for City Council 2013 - Off and Running!

As the filing period for the November 2013 San Mateo City Council race officially opens this week, San Mateo Mayor David Lim announced a strong start to his re-election bid for San Mateo City Council, with just under $7,000 raised in the most recent reporting period ending June 30.

David’s campaign also announced endorsements from a broad cross-section of the community, including State Senators Jerry Hill and Leland Yee, California State Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, San Mateo County Supervisors Don Horsley, Carole Groom, and Dave Pine, San Mateo City Councilmembers Robert Ross and Maureen Freschet, and San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School Board Members Lory Lawson, Audrey Ng, and Ellen Ulrich.

At a campaign kick-off event held July 7 at El Sinaloense Restaurant in San Mateo, over 50 enthusiastic supporters showed up to show their support for David’s run for re-election. Touting increased accessibility and accountability, David pledged to continue his work to make local government accessible to all members of the community, while continuing to keep public safety and sustainability issues at the top of his priority list.

“I am honored to have the support of so many wonderful neighbors and community leaders from throughout San Mateo,” said David. “I will continue to work with all members of our community to improve the quality of life for all San Mateo residents.”

In his first four years in office, David worked to maintain crucial city services in the face of the worse recession endured by our country in over 80 years. David helped maintain crucial staffing for police, fire, and parks and recreation services for seniors and children, while also increasing the city’s emergency reserve funds.

David helped set policies to pass sustainability initiatives to ensure a better future for our children by passing laws to increase recycling and composting within the City, allowing grey water recycling, and implementing bans on single-use bags and polystyrene containers.

David also worked with the community to create more affordable housing for young families and local workers. Transit-oriented development projects passed in the past four years will increase the City’s housing stock and make it easier for young families and retired couples to buy homes and maintain roots in San Mateo.

Heading into the summer and fall campaign season, David has $8,320 cash on hand.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Congratulations to Mi Rancho Market

Had one of my most enjoyable City Council meetings last night, helping two great downtown organizations work together for the greater community good.

Congratulations to Mi Rancho Market on your new store. The new larger complex will be able to better serve our community, and replaces an old vacant site in downtown that has sat empty for far too long.

And thank you to the Peninsula Italian American Social Club for working with your new neighbor to make it happen.

San Mateo has a rich cultural history that will only be enhanced with these two new neighbors!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Campaign Kick-Off: Lim for City Council 2013!

Thanks to everyone who attended my campaign kick-off last Sunday at El Sinaloense at 1622 Palm Ave.

Hosted by owner Mario Perez and a great campaign committee including Planning Commissioner Josh Hugg, Community Relations Commissioner Randy Torrijos, and Heather Stewart, the event was attended by over 50 guests.

I was honored to have California State Senator Jerry Hill give some introductory remarks before I laid out my vision for the next four years.

As the nomination period officially opens up this Monday, I look forward to sharing our accomplishments over the past four years and discuss plans for the next four years and beyond!

To find out more about my re-election campaign, go to my website at

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sister City Ambassadors off to Toyonaka, Japan!

Tonight we held a "farewell" pizza party at City Hall for our San Mateo Sister City Ambassadors Sharon Borden and Cameron Hill.

On Saturday they are off to our sister city Toyonaka, Japan for two weeks on a cultural exchange program! Join me in wishing them a safe and fun trip as they represent San Mateo!