In Recognition of Art Kieselby Representative Jackie Speier
Posted on 2015-12-08
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Art Kiesel for his eight
years of service on the Foster City City Council, twice as Mayor and
twice as Vice Mayor. Foster City is losing an outstanding public
servant and advocate for well-reasoned public policy, as well as a man
widely known for his kindness and sense of humor.
During his tenure, Art supported many city initiatives that were instrumental in shaping Foster City for the better for many years to come. The parks system was built out as Werder Park and Destination Park were completed this year. In 2014, the city's smoking ordinance was implemented. In recent years, the city entered into a fire management shared services model with San Mateo and Belmont, delivering operational efficiencies for residents while strengthening department performance. The city established a gatekeeper ordinance for development projects to create an early vetting process for large developments. It also added a synthetic softball/soccer field at Edgewater Park and a 15-acre site was sold and developed into the new Foster Square. Phase II of the Levee Pedway Repair project was completed in 2009 and in 2013 Phase III was finished. The city also installed a synthetic soccer/baseball field at Sea Cloud Park and a synthetic soccer field/walking track at Port Royal Park, all during Art's tenure on the council. The construction of the VIBE Teen Center, a favorite hangout for 6th-12th graders after school and on weekends, was also completed during Art's time on the council.
The city is embarking on a multi-year effort to increase the height of the levee that protects Foster City, an urgent improvement in an era of rising seas. Art Kiesel has been a strong proponent of this project and of protecting his community for decades to come.
Foster City has a reputation for outstanding financial management. Art and his colleagues on the council have delivered strong financial performance through times that were both good and bad. This stewardship earned the trust of residents, as was demonstrated when the voters approved Business License Tax Measure U and a 10% transient occupancy tax.
It is important to note that serving on a city council is essentially a volunteer job. You would not recognize it as such when reviewing Art Kiesel's additional duties as a councilmember. He served on the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Legislative Committee of C/ CAG, the Airport Community Roundtable, the Council of Cities, the League of California Cities, the city's Audit Committee and Arts and Culture Committee, was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and served as the council's liaison to the San Mateo Union High School District. Art Kiesel is basically the Eveready Energizer Bunny of city councilmembers.
Art and his wife Janis have lived in Foster City for 24 years. They have two sons, Scott and John, and two granddaughters. Art is a third generation San Franciscan and was raised in the city until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1965.
While Art has been a successful financial consultant for almost 30 years with some of the largest businesses in the Bay Area as his clients, he has always made it a priority to serve the community. His civic engagement began in 2000 when he served on the Information Technology Advisory Committee for four years. He continued on the Traffic Review Committee and the Planning Commission. He graduated from the Foster City Citizens Police Academy in 2002 and the Community Emergency Response Team in 2007. His community involvement has been just as extensive as he has been involved with the Lions Club, Canine Companions for Independence and San Mateo 4-H Clubs for decades.
Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise with me to honor a great man, public servant and good friend. Art Kiesel stands for integrity, commitment and perseverance. He will be missed in Foster City's public life, but his contributions will make Foster City a stronger and more vibrant community for decades to come.