Cupertino Matters

The major news this week is that our very capable city manager, Deb Feng, resigned with 30 days notice. The sentiments of the city were well expressed by this posting by Cupertino For All expressing regrets that she is leaving, especially since she had just been recognized City Manager Deborah Feng Named One of Silicon Valley’s “Women of Influence” by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. She had significant accomplishments during her two year tenure, not the least of which was guiding the city through the disruptions of COVID-19.

Strikingly, there was no acknowledgement of her resignation by Mayor Darcy Paul at the city council meeting on Thursday. The public, however, weighed in during Public Comment. Her leadership will be missed.

Though the agenda has not yet been posted, an additional city council meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 4, to consider the city budget. This should have been finalized mid-May, so staff is crunched to submit a final budget by the end of the fiscal year.

UPCOMING – CUSD Board meeting Thurs., June 3, 2021, 6:00, Regular meeting

This is the regular meeting for the board as the district is faced with the need to balance their 3-year budget without revenue from a parcel tax in year 3. The virtual link and comment form will be posted 15 minutes before the meeting starts. The financial situation has improved in the short term with one-time dollars, but looks grim longer term. Enrollment continues to decline, not just at CUSD, but also county- and statewide. Lack of development in Cupertino limits increases in property tax revenue as the district moves just barely into community funding (Basic Aid) rather than LCFF. The school closure alternatives developed by the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) will have to be considered as well as other board financial levers, such as closing school libraries. School board members will have hard decisions to make about the future of the district, and school closure opponents have been very vocal. 

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, June 1, Regular meeting, 6:45 p.m; Study Session, 6:00; Closed Session, 5:15 p.m.

The closed session agenda is Conference with Real Property Negotiators (Government Code Section 54956.8). Property: Cupertino Municipal Water System. Agency Negotiator: Roger Lee. Negotiating Parties: City of Cupertino and San Jose Water Company. Under Negotiation: Terms for City Leased Asset. The current lease expires in October, 2022 so either the lease needs to be renegotiated or the asset needs to be sold.

The study session is Recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Commission to approve funds in the amount of $92,900 for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 Community Funding Grant Program; annual funding for the Cupertino Historical Society in the amount of $20,000; and approval of final funding amounts for the Community Funding Program, to be included in the Recommended Budget for FY 2021-22. (Continued from May 18). Council was unable to reach this item due to time during the last regular meeting. The agenda diverges from the recommendations of council’s appointed commissions.

There should be a report out on potential litigation considered at the May 24 Closed Session. That closed session saw discussion of this letter from Californians for Homeownership threatening suit over Council’s enactment of its AB 2345 workaround Density Bonus ordinance. Unusual for this mayor, there are also three Ceremonial Matters and Presentations (1) Proclamation recognizing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month, (2) Proclamation recognizing June as Men’s Health Month, and (3) Presentation from Women of Silicon Valley (WomenSV). Oral Communications should then occur, followed by Item #4,  councilmembers’ activities and brief announcements to allow councilmembers to respond to comments made in Oral Communications; Item #5 is the city manager’s update on emergency response efforts, and Item #6 is a report on committee assignments. Item #7 is The 2021 Annual Pavement Report. Cupertino is very proud of the excellent condition of city streets, a 138 mile network of approximately 26 million square feet (8% of total area of the city). The Consent Calendar appears to be routine, with the exception of Item #12  Consider for Approval Mayor’s requested changes to Council Agenda-Review schedule, a highly unusual item likely to be pulled for council discussion.

Item #15 Consider and act on Ordinance No. 21-2227: “An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Cupertino amending City Code Chapter 10.90 of Title 10 (Public Peace, Safety, and Morals) to prohibit smoking in multi-unit housing and certain outdoor areas,” with multi-unit housing/residence defined for the purposes of this Ordinance to include attached single family homes and other property containing two or more attached units. This is the second reading of this ordinance which was modified on May 18 to exclude single family homes with ADUs from the multi-unit definition, which was approved on a 3-2 vote with Paul and Moore voting nay. It should pass to finally conclude many months of back-and-forth trying to approve the ordinance.

Item #16 Consider Approval of the Renewal with no Increase of the 1992 Storm Drain Fee and the 2019 Clean Water and Storm Protection Fee and an Increase in the Allowable Rebate Amount for Installation of Pervious Pavement Projects at Single-Family Residences and Duplexes. This should be a pro forma action approval since there is no fee increase.

Item #17 Consider adopting a position on Senate Bill 612 (Portantino) Electrical Corporations and Other Load-Serving Entities: Allocation of Legacy Resources, Senate Bill 792 (Glazer) Sales and Use Tax: Retailers: Reporting, and Senate Bill 780 (Cortese) Local Finance: Public Investment Authorities. The Legislative Review Committee (LRC) has spent considerable time in generating letters of support or opposition for legislation in Sacramento in addition to the items on the agenda. These items have been brought before council because they may not squarely fit into its established legislative platform.  There is concern about the impact of SB 792 on the city’s sales tax revenue, hence the recommendation that the council oppose the bill.

Item #18 Consideration of (1) Authorization of Award of Construction Contract for Privacy Fencing; (2) Request to Increase Regnart Creek Trail Privacy Fencing Project Budget Allocation; (3) Request to Increase Budget Allocation for Regnart Creek Trail Project Contingency; (4) Request to Increase Budget Allocation for Regnart Creek Trail and Regnart Creek Fencing Design Services; and (5) Request to Execute a First Amendment to the Master Agreement Between the City and CSG Consultants, Incorporated to Increase Agreement Amount. There have been some complications in constructing the Privacy Fencing Project for  the Regnart Creek Trail: (1) No bids due to the mix of fencing materials, since construction companies usually do only one type of fencing, wooden, metal, etc. and (2) Significant Increase in cost of fencing materials and (3) Impacts of COVID-19.. Hence the need to substantially increase the budget to complete the project.

As usual, listen closely to council reports and future agenda items at the end of the meeting.

EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers are encouraged to speak at council meeting, either at Oral Communications on any topic, or on specific agenda items. Speakers have three minutes, and coaching is available!  Readers are also encouraged to email individual council members, the council as a whole, the city manager, and the city clerk. Note that emails to city council as a whole are forwarded to the city manager, whereas emails to individual councilmembers are not. Clearly include in your subject line the topic or agenda item on which you are commenting:  These become part of the public record. Contacts at

RECAP – CITY COUNCIL, Wed., May 26, 2021, Special session

YouTube:  Part 1, 2 hr. 29 min.; Part 2, 1 hr. 30 min. 

With a single item for this meeting: Consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-2022 City Work Program, this was a long drawn-out discussion, with too much time spent wordsmithing project descriptions, and culminating in a series of confusing motions on different line items. At the end, Mayor Paul withdrew his controversial work projects.   Approved unanimously.

RECAP- PLANNING COMMISSION Tues., May 25, 2021, Regular Session

YouTube:  2 hr. 14 min.

Item #4 Amendment to an existing Use Permit (U-1994-01) to consider allowing a childcare use to operate Monday through Friday, 7:50 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at an existing church facility. (Application No.: M-2021-001; Applicant(s): Archana Naphade (Delight Montessori Preschool); Location: 6191 Bollinger Road APN # 375-41-007). Approved unanimously..

Item #5 Review of the One-Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 Report for Consistency to the City’s General Plan. Discussion was limited, with legal counsel and staff reminding the commission that their role was limited to  review for consistency with the city’s General Plan, not setting the projects and funding priorities. Passed 4-0-1 with Kapil abstaining without stating a reason.


The front page photo and article on page 4 is Two trail blazers: Former mayors honored for moving cycling forward, awards from Walk-Bike Cupertino honoring Rod Sinks and Steven Scharf for their work on trails in Cupertino. Community briefs on page 4  are (1) An ocean of talent and  (2) Get outdoors online, by Santa Clara County Open Space Authority. Minor legal notice appears on page 25.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor