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The life of a mayor

By Aaron Kinney
Friday, January 25th, 2008 at 11:03 am in Aaron Kinney, City Council, Foster City.


Foster City Mayor Pam Frisella learned firsthand last week that you’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss.

Frisella got a number of emails from aggravated Foster City residents after the foghorn on the San Mateo Bridge malfunctioned once again.

Speaking from Sacramento, where she was attending a League of California Cities conference with City Councilwoman Linda Koelling and City Manager Jim Hardy, Frisella said last week that she’s already learned something about her new position: When you’re mayor, people take their comments directly to you, even when you can’t fix things.

“Apparently I was the only one who was lucky enough to get those emails,” Frisella said, referring to Hardy and Koelling. “That’s the price you pay for being the big mayor.”

Frisella said she even got a call from Millbrae Mayor Gina Papan, who was hearing about the foghorn problems from her friends in Foster City.

The horn was blasting away last weekend even though the weather was crisp, sunny and clear. The signal had the same problem last October. Caltrans officials say the horn’s automatic fog detector is broken and it will be replaced in 30 to 60 days.

Many residents aren’t convinced that the horn has worked at all in recent years. Caltrans and Coast Guard officials suggest residents have noticed the horn blasts only recently because they’ve become “sensitized” to the noise.

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