Cupertino is slowly coming back to life with numerous springtime fundraisers and festivals, as well as the reopening of the De Anza Flea Market.
This week, ballots should be arriving in the mail for the June 7 Primary Election. The League of Women Voters are holding candidate forums including:
Wednesday, May 11, 7 pm: New Assembly District 26, Candidate Forum. Readers may register for this forum at http://my.lwv.org/california/cupertino-sunnyvale Note that this also links to recorded videos of candidate forums for other races on the ballot.
In addition to candidates, there is also a bond measure (Measure G) that would allow the Fremont Union High School District to renovate and modernize the aging school facilities for our highly rated high schools.
Council set a new record in dysfunction at its last council meeting. Council spent nearly its entire session on ceremonial matters and (ordinarily non-controversial) consent calendar items before continuing the meeting to its May 17 session. The lone scheduled discussion item it reached was to decide which meetings to cancel over the summer. Similarly, council failed to reach consensus on direction to staff during its study session on Capital Improvements Program (CIP) projects for next year. The matter was continued into the regular session, and then continued out to the next meeting as well. Revisions to the fee schedule have been postponed twice. The budget deadline looms closer every week: June 30, 2022. This narrowing of the time for action further strains the city’s ability to timely react, especially in the Finance Department, which is short of staff since the March resignation of Finance Manager Zach Korach. The city has been unable to replace this key post as council’s reputation for creating a hostile work environment spreads.
On a different front, progress on the state-required Housing Element remains sluggish. There is a community meeting scheduled for Monday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m.
CANCELED – PLANNING COMMISSION: Tues., May 10, 2022, 6:45 p.m. Regular session
RECAP – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., May 3, 2022, 6 :45 p.m.; Study session 5:30 (in-person/Zoom)
The Study Session was to consider the Capital Improvements Program (CIP,) including review of the five-year CIP (Fiscal Year (FY) 22-27) and new proposed projects for FY 22-23. Council struggled with the complexity of CIP projects, and ran out of time during the one hour study session. As a result, council continued the discussion to the regular meeting. Council resumed its discussion only at 10:25 after considering a number of consent calendar and ceremonial items. This discussion ended at 11:40 p.m. leaving no time to consider scheduled public hearings on the agenda.
Despite public input and staff reports on the importance of commencing planning for a new city hall and associated parking structure, council delayed action on this item. Instead they focused on small, more clearly understandable projects. The meeting ended with no clear guidance for the budget process. This item is to be brought back at the May 17 meeting, along with the other deferred items.
Presentations, Oral Communications and routine Reports consumed over an hour of dais time. Then council proceeded to spend additional time on 16 (ordinarily noncontroversial) items on the Consent Calendar. Councilmember Kitty Moore once again pulled the 10 Accounts Payable items, complaining that finance was not providing reports in a suitable format, creating more work for a stretched department struggling to meet budget deadlines.
Item #8, allowing for the continuation of remote teleconferencing generated public comments. These favored expansion of hybrid teleconferencing, but such action requires additional video resources. Fully remote or fully in-person is easier to manage. The extension was approved unanimously. Council then spent 45 minutes hashing over Item #9, a donation of a memorial plaque at Memorial Park. This item was sent back to staff to develop more policies and procedures.
Item 10, to consider proposed resolutions for submission to the United States Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting held from June 3-6, 2022 was unusual. Typically, the authorization of such items would occur through a pro forma approval. Instead Mayor Paul pulled the item and chose to read the resolutions, which he had written, verbatim into the public record, then passionately expounded on why he felt them important. His commentary on lobbying activities diverged from the text of the resolutions, and went so far as to include an attack on local journalists. Other councilmembers had an opportunity to comment, which prompted Vice-Mayor Liang Chao to ask “how do we get at any organization that is trying to influence public opinion?” The item ultimately consumed 45 minutes of valuable dais time, ending at 10:25 in the evening.
Item #23: Consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 Fee Schedule Update (Continued from April 19, 2022). Continued to the May 17 meeting.
Item# 24: Consider conducting the first reading of an Ordinance related to regulation of single-use plastic foodware and single-use carryout bags (continued from April 19, 2022). Continued to the May 17 meeting.
Item #25: Consideration of Municipal Code amendments to the Cupertino Municipal Code, Title 2 to add Chapter 2.96 and codify the Economic Development Committee (continued from April 19, 2022). Continued to the May 17 meeting.
Item #26: Consider accepting Accounts Payable for the period ending December 20, 2021. Continued to the May 17 meeting.
Item #27 Consideration of a City Council summer recess and cancellation of meeting(s) This was the sole discussion item on the agenda to be considered and reach a conclusion. Council opted to cancel the July 5 and August 2 meetings, and to set a Special Meeting for July 7 to avoid the 4th of July weekend.
YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers may 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 council members 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 CupertinoMatters.org/express-your-opinion.
CUPERTINO COURIER, May 6, 2022
There is a front page photo, plus an additional photo on page 5 entitled Local postal connection: New program helps businesses sort mail delivery, regarding expanded USPS services. Community briefs on page 5 include (1) ‘Romeo’ at Lynbrook, and (2) Crisis team expanding. There are no legal notices.
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