Taking a look around the City of San Carlos, it can be difficult to see where outgoing Assistant City Manager Brian Moura hasn’t had an impact.
Over the past 26 years, Moura’s penchant for innovation and keen eye for strategic collaboration have helped him cultivate an indelible list of accomplishments for the city that will live on long after Moura steps down from his post in July.
In a recent interview with Patch, Moura said that his decision to take a break from the world of city management came largely as a matter of timing.
“I just looked at things in terms of what’s wrapped up recently and what’s coming up and I thought this is probably as good a time as any…to take a pause,” Moura said.
Over the years, Moura has worked as San Carlos’ Finance Director, Human Resources Director, Interim Parks and Recreation Director, Interim Economic Development Director and Interim City Manager. He’s also credited with overseeing the development of a first-of-its kind municipal web site in 1994, and for working to generate a number of new, long-term revenue sources for the city, including a deal with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation which is expected to bring in $90 million over the next 50 years.
But some of Moura’s most significant contributions have come from his development of bold environmental initiatives, green programs and climate protection strategies.
Under Moura’s tutelage, San Carlos has become a national example for what can be achieved when the public and private sectors collaborate effectively towards goals of increased sustainability, but he’s quick to credit the city’s progressive, environmentally-conscious citizens for the impetus that’s made San Carlos a pioneering city in the arena of green policy.
“San Carlos is a smaller community,” Moura said, “and yet we live in a place where the citizens want to have a big impact in a lot of areas.”
In addition to being one of the first cities in California to link climate and environmental goals to its general plan (an effort that led to multiple awards for innovation in community and green planning), San Carlos has been widely praised for what it’s been able to accomplish environmentally on what Moura describes as a “shoestring budget.”
When he was first tasked with overseeing the city’s sustainability programs, Moura said he concluded early on that partnering with a variety of different private and public entities, including the San Carlos business community, would be essential to making real progress with limited resources.
Thanks in large part to Moura’s dedication to collaboration, many businesses in San Carlos have been able to go green while increasing their profitability.
“By working with our businesses and chamber (of commerce) and some of the folks I know in the business community here, we were able to certify more green businesses in San Carlos than in any city in the county,” Moura said.
In 2009, San Carlos became one of the first cities to begin collecting food and other organic waste for composting. And more recently, Moura worked last year with San Mateo County officials and local business leaders on ordinances banning polystyrene foodware in San Carlos restaurants, as well as single-use plastic shopping bags. The city was also a founding agency in the Silicon Valley Climate Protection Task Force.
“One of the things I’m proud of as I look back on my career is looking at ways that not only benefit the city in the short –term but in the long term,” Moura said.
Looking ahead to the next phase of his career, Moura said he’ll be contemplating a number of different options and opportunities open to him following his departure from San Carlos city administration, some of which are related to sustainability and climate protection projects.
Reflecting on his 26-year tenure with the city, Moura said he looks to former San Carlos Mayor Don Eaton for a little inspiration.
“I think he had a great way of looking at this. He said ‘the question I ask myself was, 'have I made things better?’ And I thought, that’s the way to look at it.”
Read more about Brian Moura on San Carlos Patch:
City's Shared Services Program Earns Award
San Carlos Assistant City Manager Set to Step Down in July
Brian Moura Named Public Technology Institute Fellow
City Approves Reusable Bag Ordinance
City to Share Firefighters and Paramedics With RWC
SFSU Bestows Outstanding Public Service Award Upon Brian Moura
Brian Moura Writes About San Carlos Cost Cutting For Magazine