Cupertino Matters

Election materials from the Registrar of Voters and candidate campaigns are hitting our mailboxes, with mail-in ballots dropping about Oct. 8 – 10. Look for two pamphlets :(1) a State General Election Official Voter Information Guide (thick) with statewide candidates and measures, and (2) a County Voter Information Guide (thinner) with local candidate statements. Additional information on candidates is available on the League of Women Voters Voters Edge by entering your voting address. Note that redistricting may have changed the candidates for whom you are voting.

This election is critical for our city. On Oct. 2, the Mercury News stated the issues and its endorsements of JR Fruen, Sheila Mohan and Claudio Bono in this article Editorial: Cupertino needs overhaul. Elect Fruen, Mohan and Bono: Voters should end Better Cupertino’s devastating, NIMBY hold on the City Council

Cupertino has become the Silicon Valley poster child for city mismanagement since the election of a majority of Better Cupertino members to the City Council in 2018.

“Unchecked Nimbyism. Ongoing fights with the state over housing projects. Constant turnover of city staff at the highest levels. And the fiasco that is Vallco, the 50-acre wasteland in the heart of the city that has stood for years as a symbol of the council’s incompetence.

Against that scathing indictment of the performance of the current council–exemplified in the candidacies of Vice-Mayor Liang Chao, former Councilmember Steve Scharf, and their Housing Commission appointee, Govind Tatachari–the Mercury News Editorial Board emphatically encourages a vote for change, noting that “Fruen and Mohan are the standout candidates in the race.”

Candidate fora provide an excellent opportunity to hear candidates speak and understand their views. There are two recordings of the city council candidates, with different questions.

  • Sept. 28, 2022, Cupertino City Council – a Zoom forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Cupertino-Sunnyvale Chapter.

School board members are also up for election, with the following fora to learn more about the candidates and their viewpoints.

  • Oct. 12, 11:45 a.m., Wed., Cupertino Union School District and Fremont Union High School District Candidates Forum – This in-person forum is co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cupertino and the Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. It will be held at the Quinlan Community Center on Stelling Road in Cupertino. Registration is required to order and pay for a box lunch and/or pose possible questions for the candidates. Individuals may attend in-person without buying lunch. A registration link is here.
  • Oct. 13, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m., Cupertino Union School District candidates.  This is via Zoom and will be recorded. The registration link is here There are 3 seats and 4 candidates:

The Los Altos Town Crier (one of the six cities included in CUSD) interviewed all candidates and published its recommendations: Editorial: Chiao, Liu, Madhathil for CUSD board  The full interviews are Cupertino Union School District race: 4 candidates vie for 3 seats.

  • October 17, 7-8 p.m. Fremont Union High School District candidates.
    This is via Zoom and will be recorded. Registration link is here. There are 3 seats and 5 candidates:

The Marina Plaza Development Project, with a mix of housing and retail, to replace Marina Foods on Stevens Creek, is holding two community outreach meetings:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 5, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 8, 9:30 to 11:30

Both meetings will be at the Aloft Hotel across the street from the project. Light refreshments will be served.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues., Oct. 4, 2022, 6:45 p.m. Regular

Ceremonial Matters and Presentations are to (1) consider acceptance of grant funds presented by Assemblymember Evan Low for Jollyman All-Inclusive Playground and McClellan Road Bridge and a certificate of appreciation for the grant funds, to (2) consider a proclamation recognizing October as Hindu Heritage and Awareness Month, and to (3) consider a proclamation recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Oral Communications then follow. Reports should be routine. There is an additional Economic Development Committee Update. The Consent Calendar has 5 items and appears to be routine, though some items may be pulled for more discussion.

Item #14: Consider authorizing execution of an Agreement between the City of Cupertino and Cupertino Historical Society. City funding for  the Cupertino Historical Society has been in flux. This item clarifies the relationship between the Society, which was established in 1992, and the city, which provides space for the museum. The recommended agreement is for $40,000 a year for three years, followed by two additional years if performance is satisfactory.

Item #15: Progress update on the Climate Victory Gardens pilot program. At the direction of council, staff created a “Lawn Buster Drought Tolerant Planting Pilot”

as part of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 City Work Program and allocated a project budget of $175,000. The project’s objective was to create a program to enable residents to easily elect water-wise turf conversion, including pre-set landscape plans, pre-approved contractors,and fixed prices. This is an update on project milestones and findings.

Item #16: Consider an ordinance to comply with AB 1236 to establish an expedited permit process for electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. This will be a technical discussion of staff recommendations to modify existing ordinances to expedite the  permit process for EV charging systems to comply with state law.

YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers may speak at council meetings, either at Oral Communications on any topic, or on specific agenda items. Speakers typically 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 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 are available at

CUPERTINO COURIER, September 30, 2022

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Preserving South Bay wetlands: National Wildlife Refuge celebrates 50th anniversary. Community briefs include (1) Jollyman playground meeting, (2) Homework help, and (3) Fire prevention. There is a legal notice for the Planning Commission, Oct. 11 meeting, regarding a sign exception at 20565 Valley Green Drive.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor