Cupertino Matters

Campaigning for the June 7 primary is in full swing.  Readers should have received ballots in the mail. If not, they may check with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. There is a new ballot drop off location at the Quinlan Center as well as at Cupertino City Hall.

At the end of the ballot, readers will also find 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 is scrambling to approve year-end financial matters. The May 17 agenda includes 3 major items: the City Work Program, the Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and the FY 2022-23 Budget. The budget deadline looms closer every week: June 30, 2022. To make matters worse, more resignations are forthcoming at city hall.  Council dysfunction is obvious from the City Work Plan priorities.  Why is RHNA related General Plan updates and rezoning due to the Housing Element ranked #12, but The Cupertino Store (a vanity project) ranked #8?  Even more critical, Analyze Potential Revenue Measures is ranked #18.  When the city refinanced its debt service bonds, this action saved the city $5 million. Shouldn’t increasing revenue, complying with state laws and ensuring staff safety be top priorities?

Progress on the state required Housing Element is unclear. There is a Housing Element community meeting scheduled for Monday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. The Planning Commission and the council will have to review Housing Element sites, but scheduling remains uncertain and new tasks favored by the council’s Strategic Advisory Committee may require expanding the scope of the consultant’s contract. The lack of staffing and the backlog of city council agenda items further complicates scheduling.

>UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., May 17, 2022, 6 :45 p.m.; Study session 5:30 (in-person/Zoom)
UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Thurs, May 19, 2022, 5:30 (in-person/Zoom), Special meeting

There will be two council meetings this week. However, the agenda for the second meeting has yet to be posted, though it appears to consist primarily of postponements from previous meetings.

The 5:30 Study Session is Consider the proposed Fiscal Year 2022-2023 City Work Program. Council was unable to reach closure despite lengthy discussion during the May 3 study session and regular session, even though the first study session on the matter occurred on March 8–over two months ago. After multiple iterations of council prioritization and determination of staff resources, an unmanageable list of 46 items remains.

Ceremonial Matters and Presentations include (1) consider proclamation to Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCEA) to recognize the agency’s Fifth Anniversary and its close connection to Cupertino; and (2) consider a proclamation in honor of Public Works Week, May 15-21, 2022.

The Postponements are extensive. Fifteen Accounts Payable reports, pulled by Councilmember Kitty Moore for reformatting, were postponed to the June 7 meeting.  Eighteen items are postponed to the May 19 special meeting.

Oral Communications then follow. Reports should be routine. No items appear on the Consent Calendar due to postponements.

Item #40 is to consider a Study Session on 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; The list of projects was continued from council’s May 3 meeting and has returned with more explanation and supplemental information. Council commentary rejected the extensive reports that have already been done on the deficiencies of the current city hall, and has postured itself to delay critical upgrades once again.

Item #41: Initial Study Session on Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 Proposed Budget. With only 6 weeks to go before the June 30 deadline for approving the budget, this is council’s first budget session. This 730-page report has a wealth of information regarding the finances of our city. The 28-page Budget Message provides an overview, as well as an impressive list of staff accomplishments despite high employee turnover and COVID-19 restrictions. Sales and property taxes remain healthy, while Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) begin to recover. The budget calls for adding 12 additional positions, including a Purchasing Manager recommended by Moss Adams in the internal audit report, as well as 3 planners. Staffing in general is a major concern with 43 separations in FY21 vs. 20 separations in FY20. Recruitment is taking longer so the level of service to residents is at risk.

YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers may speak at council meetings, either at Oral Communications on any topic, or on specific agenda items. Speakers have three minutes, and coaching is available! Readers may email individual councilmembers, 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


There is a front page photo, plus an article on page 5, entitled A colorful return: Cupertino festival blossoms after two-year hiatus regarding the Cherry Blossom Festival. Community briefs on page 5 include (1) Mayor’s Cup Challenge, (2) Plan to end homelessness, and (3) Museum docents needed. Legal notices on pp. 36-37 are (1) Applications for the Teen Commission, and (2) Two applications to the Environmental Review Committee on May 19, for zoning changes at (1)  21750 Rainbow Drive and (2) 20860 McClellan Road.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor