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Council Corner: Needed: A Woman

This week's opinion letter from the City Council comes from councilmember Pam Frisella.

I knew I would get your attention with that title…….

A few years ago I picked up a book in the airport entitled “Pitch Like A Girl”. Having been married to a major league pitcher, and a life-long baseball fan it caught my attention. The book confirmed my beliefs that girls have a way to “pitch” an idea or thought in a completely different way than boys do. The book is mostly about business but I related it somewhat to politics.

Bottom line was you can succeed with some softness and still get your point across!!

I truly believe if there were more women on higher levels of government we may not have gone to war so often. The answer to many arguments or power struggles are because of men’s egos and their need to “win”. Most times no matter what the issue men want to “duke” it out, hence guns, aggression and violence.

I’ve been told my strength is I would talk them to death and they would just give up!!! But seriously we bring a far different strategy to the table, we want to problem solve and talk through it but if men can’t find that solution they turn to power. Women want to rehash ad nauseum because if we go over it enough times we might find the solution. We bring an entirely different perspective. As most folks know…..men want the topic discussed one time and we want to revisit it over and over until a solution presents itself. I know some guys are at this moment firing up their computers to send me their thoughts. Remember this is an opinion piece and I will remember also when I respond to your emails.

Now for my real point here……..I term out of my position on our City Council in December 2013 and as the only woman currently serving, I’m starting now to recruit a woman to run for my seat. I feel it is very important to have a balance when voting on issues in our City. I have nothing against the four men I work with and even agree with them sometimes!! However my goal is to keep at least one strong and outspoken female on this policy making group who thinks like a woman.

We had a wonderful woman, Jennifer Selvitella, who ran a great race and came close to winning the last election, however, after careful consideration she has decided not to run again….just yet! I was asked to run 25 years ago but my children were also young and I felt it wasn’t my time. As I told Jennifer….in ten years the City Council will still be meeting and by then her car-pooling, coaching and mentoring days will be shorter. She made a wise decision and I’m supportive and am proud of her dedication to the campaign she and her committee ran. I look forward to her future campaigns.

This position is primarily of community service to the betterment and well-being of Foster City. It is a difficult position to hold because of the commitment to meetings and events on top of our first priority which is the health, safety and welfare of our residents. To enjoy the full experience of representing Foster City I feel you need to attend county events, state events and local events in order to understand, network and learn to collaborate with other cities. Interaction with residents is imperative since we work for the residents not the staff. If you have any questions regarding the job description, please feel free to contact me.

I’m asking now since candidates need to start examining the possibility a year from now. It is a big decision and I’m hoping a woman will step up. Folks still ask about term limits and I must say I have mixed emotions. This is my 7th year on the council and I’m finally feeling comfortable. I probably would have liked another four years to see some projects completed, however, without that 2 term limit (8 years) I would have never been afforded the chance to be part of the amazing world of……local politics!!! When Deborah Wilder suggested I run when she was terming out I was honored. She would have been the incumbent so I would have never entered that race. I hope that a woman in Foster City will see this as a challenge and an experience like no other.

In the 36 years since I moved to Foster City when my boys were 3 and still in the womb, I have coached little league, AYSO, been on city committees, advocated for the building of Sea Cloud Park and yes attended city council meetings to complain about stuff!! This City embraced my family and I so giving back through community service was always my dream. The single community accomplishment I am most proud of is representing Foster City. However I have always known it is a temporary position as council members come and go. I will move forward when my term expires next year to hopefully address restorative justice in our county. I’m hoping I can instill the passion I have to another female that can weave her strengths into the fabric of our beloved and beautiful Foster City. Anyone???

Contact me a pfrisella@fostercity.org with your comments or with your name or someone who might be interested. We can start a dialogue now!!! Also I hope I can mentor someone through the next year with them getting a glimpse of what this job entails.

 

About this column: Council Corner features weekly opinion letters from rotating members of the City Council.

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TGD May 17, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I read the article and was surprised to find so much stereotyping. All men are not aggressive and violent ego maniacs in the same as all women are not "sugar and spice and everything nice" rational and compassionate. Gender is not a gauge for anything but reproductive capacities. Intelligence doesn't have pubic hair. There are already to many gender related issues being maligned in politics and religion these days. I think it would be good if issues could be approached with an open mind and not influenced by hormones.

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