O’Mahony’s term begins with vision of century ahead

Sworn in for her fifth term as Burlingame mayor Monday, Rosalie O’Mahony said she will “create a new vision for the century ahead” with projects ranging from adding a new Broadway overpass and increasing development to looking to voters to fund the city’s aging flood control and infrastructure.

One of O’Mahony’s top goals will be to rely on the city’s property owners to fund infrastructure repairs in the beginning of the year. Measure H, which would have given the city $44 million in bonds, narrowly failed last November.

As the city celebrates its centennial birthday next year, O’Mahony said one important aspect of her vision includes a new Safeway, a point of contention in the city for many years. She said she also hopes to expand downtown plans and to work with Caltrans to improve safety and drainage on the state-controlled El Camino Real while preserving its “tree-lined experience.”

The Broadway exit off U.S. Highway 101 is the oldest off-ramp in San Mateo County, she said. She will work to save up a reserve for the city’s contribution to the new roadway and said she expects a report on the exit to be finished soon.

Ann Keighran was bumped up to vice mayor and will become mayor next November, followed by Cathy Baylock in 2009, if she is re-elected, and Terry Nagel, whose mayoral term expired this month, again in 2010.

Keighran, a former planning commissioner, wants to augment the city’s business population, particularly on Broadway, while encouraging more cleanup projects in the area.

“We’re on the right track but I want to see Broadway continue to flourish,” she said.

Nagel said she has been the “deciding vote” between “conservationists” Baylock and outgoing Councilmember Russ Cohen, and development-oriented Keighran and O’Mahony. Newcomer Jerry Deal has been a planning commissioner for 12 years.

Nagel’s term centered on making City Hall as transparent as possible for residents with the philosophy that taking extra time on projects to receive as much input as possible was worthwhile, she said.

Among other things, she helped institute an e-newsletter, an online complaint and suggestion system, and public stakeholder groups for key projects such as the Safeway renovation and downtown’s future preparation, called the

specific plan.

mrosenberg@examier.com  

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