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July 18, 2013



Sorry to hear this, Cathy. You've always been very thoughtful and clear in your decisions, always putting the essence of Burlingame first.



Nice Thought

A preservationist
July 19, 2013, 05:00 AM By Jon Mays Daily Journal

One of Cathy Baylock’s early campaign posters was black with white lettering with the simple declaration, “A preservationist, not a politician.” It was a bit odd, as most campaign signs are bright and colorful with some kind of non-specific and uplifting message. But then Baylock wasn’t your average candidate. And after 12 years of political service on the Burlingame City Council, Baylock hasn’t really changed all that much.

Baylock announced this week that she will be stepping down from the council, which ensures a contested race for three open seats. In recent years, the jockeying for an election was fast and furious with challengers champing at the bit for the filing period to begin. This year, not so much. Perhaps that’s because, I dare say it, Burlingame has been quiet lately, even with new top administrators and a wide-scoping and intense renovation project on its main retail thoroughfare.

So with that, Baylock took it as a sign to bid adieu. In her time on the council, however, she has been a steadying force though definitely trenched in the very critical idea of keeping the city of Burlingame as it is, thus the term “preservationist.” She joined the council when there was a different mindset, and, at the beginning, was definitely more in the minority opinion than the majority. But over time, new members of the council arrived, and there was a shift. Some contend that the shift was a little too much to one side, with neighborhood opinion and community input given priority over expedience. The “Burlingame Way” is a double-edged sword. The Safeway project took more than a decade and looks pretty big though its original size created the most strife in the city and led to a shift in the council majority. Still, the project finally got done and seems popular.

But take the debate over “Tom the tree.” Never was there a more maddening debate over the fate of a eucalyptus tree that threatened the road and safety of residents near Easton Drive. Some on the council wanted to save the tree by any means necessary, others recognized it was just a tree that no longer belonged in a suburban environment. It was a long and heated battle that should not have been so long and heated. But finally, the council voted to cut the tree down.

Then there was the renovation at the Burlingame Avenue Caltrain station. Caltrain wanted to redo the station to make it safer and nicer. Baylock was amongst those who fought the original plans because it wasn’t quite right for the city. The delay threatened the project, but Baylock persisted. She even went so far as to conduct deep research into colors, plants and more to ensure the new station was a good fit. Looking back, the delay was no big deal really, but the station is nice and its plants just seem nice. Credit Baylock.

And time after time, Baylock was the one who did the research to ensure that whatever decision the council made fit into the history of the city and preserved the unique character of the city. Even if she didn’t get her way, you could count on her to at least bring that perspective to the table.

People run for council for myriad reasons. The attention, the control, the stepping stone or a sense of community service. Sometimes it’s a bit of each. Yet I always had the feeling Baylock ran for council because she wanted to preserve what she thought was a pretty nice city. So maybe that early campaign sign was right after all.

Jon Mays is the editor in chief of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jon@smdailyjournal.com. Follow Jon on Twitter @jonmays.

pat giorni

You've gotta to sign in to FaceBook to see my pick of the litter:

"Accolades no less than deserved by the Honorable Mrs. Baylock seen here with the Townsman to fill her chair in November..........
Pat Giorni's photo."


Elder Baylock will be missed.
She has been proactive regarding all Public issues that have come before the City Coincil before they became reactive.
I hope Elder Baylock goes on to some other Public Service post.
Fading away into the Sunset looks good too.
Thank you very much for all the "hours, sweat and tears" that most of us will never know of.
" We reap what we sow."
You Elder Baylock have a Beautiful Life ahead .


You are more than entitled to step down, Councilwoman Baylock, after serving the City far better than any before or after you, but your wisdom and tenacity will be missed. Thanks for all you have done for Burlingame. You are a gem. Hopefully you can lend some insight, candor and how to do things the right way to those on the Council you leave behind. You are one class act.

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