Maureen Freschet

Maureen Freschet

After serving for eight years on the San Mateo City Council, Deputy Mayor Maureen Freschet announced Monday she will leave the council in November after completing her second four-year term.

Freschet acknowledged the decision was not made easily, but felt after 10 years of public service it was time for her to change roles, honor family obligations and serve the community in other ways. Elected to the council in 2011, Freschet was re-elected in 2015 and served as mayor the same year. Her second term was extended from four years to five years after voters in 2017 approved a charter amendment to extend council terms by a year to comply with a new state law requiring even-year elections.

Per the city’s charter, the council has 30 days after Freschet leaves her post to appoint a replacement for the term’s new fifth year, and City Manager Drew Corbett said the remaining four councilmembers will discuss how to fill the seat at an upcoming council meeting. Both her seat and that of Mayor Diane Papan’s are up for re-election in 2020.

Freschet also served as a commissioner and chair of the Planning Commission before being elected to the council, and was elected to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority board in 2016 as well as the joint powers authority charged with managing the Highway 101 Express Lanes project. She said in a prepared statement that she was gratified to see the goals she set in 2011 largely come to fruition and expressed confidence that the city is in good hands while resolving to stay active in the community.

“My years on City Council have been incredibly rewarding, demanding and most of all a great honor,” she said at a City Council meeting Monday night. “San Mateo is blessed with a highly informed and engaged electorate and a broad base of talented and capable individuals that I would strongly encourage to seek public office.”

A third generation San Mateo native who attended local schools, Freschet retired in 2015 from a government relations and development post at Notre Dame de Namur University, where she earned an undergraduate degree in human services and a master’s degree in public administration. She has also raised two daughters in San Mateo as a single mother and has served on several local and regional boards and commissions. Among the priorities she was known for were a determination to achieve fiscal stability, the initiation of major infrastructure and road repairs, promotion of local businesses and preserving the quality of life in San Mateo neighborhoods, according to a city press release.

A longtime advocate for public safety and youth services, Freschet served on the San Mateo County Juvenile Justice Commission and is a member of the San Mateo Police Activities League board of directors. Police Chief Susan Manheimer credited Freschet for being a consistent champion for the needs of the police department and its members in keeping the city safe, according to the release.

Papan noted in the release Freschet’s departure will leave a leadership void on the council, especially given her role as the consummate public servant guided by the principle of “doing what is best for San Mateo.”

“Our city is greatly enriched by her dedication and contributions,” said Papan. “It has been an absolute honor and a privilege to have served alongside her.”

For his part, Corbett acknowledged in the release that serving on the City Council is a big commitment and said Freschet’s contributions have been immeasurable.

“I know this wasn’t an easy decision for her and I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work with her for the benefit of the community,” he said.

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