Cupertino Matters

The Editorial sent out earlier this week received an overwhelmingly positive response.  Many readers have asked how they can help elect a new council with J.R. Fruen and Hung Wei. Here’s what you can do if you want to help:

  • Write a recommendation and forward the Cupertino Matters Editorial email to all of your friends. Please support both candidates so they have support on council.   Your personal recommendations are very powerful.
  • Post the link to the Editorial on all your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Nextdoor) along with your recommendation. The website link is
  • On Facebook, share the post from Cupertino Matters Cupertino Matters – Home on your timeline.
  • If you need a translation, this link to Mailchimp has a Translate button in the upper right hand bar with over 30 languages. It’s Google translate, so it’s not perfect.
  • Feel free to share this PDF copy of the editorial on any internal networks, email lists or any means of spreading the word.
  • Talk with your neighbors and friends
  • Volunteer to help make change on our city council happen:
City Council Candidate Forums

There were three city council candidate forums on Zoom. The questions were different for each forum. If readers weren’t able to watch them live, here are the links, plus summaries of each one by Cupertino Today:

Candidates: Joseph “J.R.” Fruen, Hung Wei, Catherine “Kitty” Moore, Steven Scharf,  Charlene Shulien Lee

Voting involves more than candidates. The League of Women Voters will be doing a webinar to help readers understand the numerous state and local propositions on the ballot.

LWV Cupertino-Sunnyvale 2020 Pro/Con Webinars: Ballot Issues Explained

League of Women Voters representatives will explore the background, pros and cons and financial backing for the ballot issues. Questions will be answered live during these ZOOM virtual events on two dates:

The LWV also provides the Voter’s Edge publication with a personalized ballot for only your districts. Just enter your address on the first page, and see information about the races that affect you. It’s a combination of information provided by candidates themselves as well as endorsements and contributions.

There are quite a few ballot measures, but readers need to be aware of an important one at the bottom of the ballot. It is Measure M, which is the renewal of the $98 parcel tax to fund Fremont Union High School District’s budget. Renewal of this parcel tax is critical to balancing the district’s budget, but it has gotten little attention from the community. It requires a ⅔ vote since it is a tax measure. Readers can find more information at A measure like this, placed so far down the ballot, has to contend with ballot fatigue. If our schools and their funding matter to you, you might help combat that trend by spreading the word about this measure.


The YouTube video for the Rotary/LWVCS League of Women Voters – Cupertino Sunnyvale forum on September 30, 2020 featuring candidates for the Cupertino Union School District (CUSD) Board is now available.

Candidates: Sylvia Leong, Phyllis Vogel, William Fluewelling, Sudha Kasamsetty

Of the four candidates, two are incumbents: Phyllis Vogel, who has a depth of administrative experience and institutional knowledge from many years on the Board and from her prior service in the District’s administration; and Sylvia Leong, who has served on the Board since a vacancy was created with the mid-term departure of Liang Chao.

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL MEETING Tues., Oct. 6, 2020, 6:45 Regular Meeting; 5:00 Closed Session,  5:30 Study Session

YouTube: Part 1: 3 hr. 36 min through Item #9; Part 2: 1 hr. 35 min. 

Item 3: City Manager’s update on emergency response efforts. The county has now moved into the “orange zone,” so restaurants can move to limited indoor dining. Other restrictions have loosened. The city manager report now covers response to the wildfires, heat events, potential PG & E power outages as well as COVID-19 impacts. Progress is being made with the homeless encampments – evidently, the northern one has been abandoned. You can find county updates here.

Item #9: Discussion to adopt a position on Proposition 16, Proposition 19, Proposition 21, Measure RR, and Measure S that are on the November 2020 General Election Ballot. Mayor Scharf represents Cupertino on the Cities Association of Santa Clara County, and requested council input regarding a position on three state propositions, and two regional propositions. Following a report by Townsend Public Affairs–the city’s lobbyist–the council spent an hour and a half listening to public input and engaging in discussion, without consensus, and therefore decided to abstain from taking a position.

Item #10: City Council to consider modification of Cupertino Municipal Code Section 2.18.030 to limit the use of City Attorney time by individual City Councilmembers. This was a very disturbing discussion. At its March 3, 2020 meeting, council had requested  changes to reduce city legal costs. Staff had taken this direction and developed a straightforward modification consistent with other staff guidelines. Councilmembers denied making this request, and took umbrage at the proposal. After an hour of discussion, without acknowledging the problem, a subcommittee consisting of Vice Mayor Darcy and Councilmember Jon Willey was approved on a 4-1 vote, with Councilmember Rod Sinks voting nay.

Item #11 COVID-19 Response: Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Framework and Funding Priorities. This was a report on disbursement of  $1,289,198 in CARES ACT relief funding, with the city asking for guidance should additional funding become available.

With a light agenda, the meeting ended at 11:00. As council moved through setting future agenda items, Councilmember Jon Willey asked to open up the council decision on privacy fences along the Regnart Creek Trail. Many reports have already been supplied on this topic, so the reason for his request remains less clear.

Your voice is important. Information on expressing your opinion via emails and oral communications with the city can be found at

RECAP- PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – Tues., Oct. 13. 22, 2020, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

YouTube: 3 hr. 34 min.

The agenda contained only one significant item. Mobile Vending has been postponed.

Item #3:General Plan Annual Review for the year 2020. State law requires an annual report due by April 1 of each year. The 2019 report was a long, drawn out process that occurred line-by-line over 5 public meetings. Chair Kitty Moore chaired this three and a half hour meeting to review less than 30 pages of the 217 page document. The discussion repeatedly meandered off topic. Given council direction, new state laws and upcoming RHNA allocations, why is the Planning Commission spending so much time on line-by-line review?


The cover photo and article in community briefs on 10 is “COVID-19 ‘Starting the Conversation’ Giving the Chinese American community information about healthcare’,” a community funding grant to the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care, regarding advance health care planning. There is a legal notice on page 20 regarding Regulations for Leaf Blowers to be considered at the Oct. 20 council meeting.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor