A picture of Representative Jackie Speier
Jackie S.
Democrat CA 14

About Rep. Jackie
  • In Recognition of Jeff Ira

    by Representative Jackie Speier

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    SPEIER of california in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 11, 2013 Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Jeff Ira for his 16 years of outstanding service on the Redwood City City Council, two terms as mayor. To say that Jeff's enthusiasm and expertise will be missed by his colleagues and all residents would be the understatement of the decade. Jeff has demonstrated superb leadership in setting Redwood City on a stable financial path and in making it a better place to live. I am proud to call Jeff a colleague and [[Page E1840]] long time friend. When Jeff became mayor in 2009, he opened his two- year term with a ``Call to Action'' to inspire residents to get engaged in their community and help it recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. He recommended volunteering at schools, libraries and non-profits and youth sports groups because he knew first-hand that all were suffering during the economic downturn. Under his leadership, and despite tough economic challenges, the city completed a new General Plan and the Downtown Precise Plan, attained a garbage collection agreement, accomplished a partnership with the San Carlos Fire Department to share services and save money, and passed a budget under enormous financial constraints. On his own time, Jeff worked hard to get ballot measures passed to bring more revenue to Redwood City. While mayor, he served on the city's Audit, Finance and Revenue, Jail, Economic Development/Downtown and Fox Theatre committees. He was also the council's liaison for Neighborhood Association co-chairs, and chair of the South Bayside System Authority. Jeff's vision and persistence were instrumental in creating the beautiful downtown of Redwood City. Courthouse Square and the Fox Theater would not be the sparkling jewels they are today without his hard and strategic work. Additionally, he made recycled water a reality for the community. Jeff showed the same creativity, integrity and commitment during his entire tenure on the city council. He will always be known for is the 2004 Great Toilet Giveaway when thousands of residents received low-flow toilets. He saved countless trees by having the city council move to a paperless system for staff reports and digital delivery of agenda packets. You can also thank him for the photo gallery on the city website showing off the beauty of Redwood City. His in-depth understanding of finances and fiscal constraints, and his contribution to creating controls over spiraling costs, helped steer the city through the economic downturn and towards financial stability. As a member of the South Bayside Systems Authority for 13 years, Jeff created the blue ribbon task force to analyze the governing structure of SBSA which resulted in a change on the board to include elected officials and a technical advisory committee. He oversaw the restructuring of the board's commission and committees to make them more effective and to meet the needs of the community. Jeff is passionate about public schools. As a parent, he was deeply involved in Clifford Elementary School in the Redwood City School District, and he worked tirelessly to raise funds for the district. He is committed to equal opportunity for all through quality public education. Jeff also serves as Treasurer of the Sequoia Awards which offers college scholarships to outstanding young people in Redwood City. Jeff has been a major fiscal and spiritual steward of this all-volunteer program for many years. In short, no matter what Jeff takes on, the results are always lasting. Jeff was born and raised in Redwood City and attended Saint Pius School and Saint Francis High School. He graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Accounting. Jeff is the proud father of Josh, Julie, Jessica and Joseph. While I am sure that he will enjoy more time hiking, kayaking, gardening and traveling after he retires from the council today, I have no doubt he will find ways to stay engaged and to give back to our community. Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representatives to rise with me to honor Jeff Ira, one of the finest mayors and public servants San Mateo County has seen. His tireless commitment and contributions to the city and residents of Redwood City will be felt for generations to come.


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