Cupertino Matters

March has come roaring in with more rain and cold weather. Instead of a drought, Tahoe ski resorts are closed due to too much snow. Water conservation is still important, but the reservoirs are finally filling up.

The council meeting Tuesday night will be contentious, with an agenda item to remove R “Ray” Wang from the Planning Commission. He was appointed by the previous council three years ago, but that council (including Councilmembers Kitty Moore and Liang Chao) failed to act on numerous complaints about his behavior. He has a history of repeatedly berating city employees and harassing residents in public meetings as reported in this March 4, 2023 article:

Though the City Municipal Code clearly states that commissioners “serve at the pleasure of the City Council” and may be removed by a majority vote of the council, and without acknowledging any of Commissioner Wang’s past behavior–including his relevant criminal record–Better Cupertino supporters have claimed that the removal is “political.”  Replacement of appointees for ideological reasons is routine at the national, state and local level. That’s especially relevant here, where Council, on March 1 prioritized two projects for addressing homelessness: 1) continuation of the homeless jobs project and transitional housing, and (2) support the unhoused–matters that garnered the support even of the councilmembers who previously appointed Commissioner Wang. Commissioner Wang is not aligned with the city council’s priorities as he has publicly stated: “Just to correct the record, we don’t have a homeless problem. We had a manufactured homeless crisis sponsored by some individuals.”

If you agree that Commissioner Wang should be removed, local advocacy organization Cupertino for All has made it easy for you to voice your view by signing up to speak or to quickly submit an email to council: here.

On a much happier note, readers can mark their calendars for the Regnart Creek Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, March 18 at 10 a.m. at Wilson Park, 10294 S. Portal Avenue, near the new pedestrian bridge. (Note the change from previous announcements.) There were many long nights at city council meetings to get this trail approved, so the opening is well worth celebrating.

This trail is one of the segments that would make up “The Loop,” providing cyclists and pedestrians a safe, off-street path that connects Cupertino Civic Center–including City Hall, Community Hall, Cupertino Library, and Library Field–with Wilson Park’s sports fields, ceramic studio, future community garden and basketball court, as well as Creekside Park’s sports fields and play areas. Schools near the trail include Cupertino High School and Eaton Elementary School.

UPCOMING  –  CITY COUNCIL – Tues. March 7, 2023, 5:00 Special Meeting, 6:45 p.m. Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations (Note the new order for the agenda)

The 5:00 Special Meeting has two items: (1) Consideration of a resolution amending the established City Council meeting calendar through January 2, 2024 and (2) Consider the Mid-Year Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2022-23, amending the Unrepresented Employees’ Compensation Program, and approving a new job classification. This is a routine mid-year financial report. No budget adjustments are being requested at FY 2022-23 mid-year. There have been no substantive changes in the city’s financial picture.

The Regular Meeting will start with a single Ceremonial Matters and Presentations item to consider a proclamation declaring March as Youth Arts Month. Then any  Postponements and Orders of the Day will be considered. Oral Communications will follow. Note changes have been made in the procedures. There will ordinarily be a 30 minute limit, with a limit of 3 minutes per speaker, though the mayor may reduce the time allocated per speaker or reschedule additional speakers to the end of the meeting.

The Consent Calendar has 9 routine items, which includes a contract to Placeworks, a consultant to complete the Housing Element. Members of the public may speak on any or all consent calendar items when the mayor asks for public comment on the Consent Calendar. If a member of the council pulls an item from the Consent Calendar, it will be addressed after all action items and members of the public may comment on that item when it is considered.

Item #11: Removal of Planning Commissioner R Wang This was placed on the agenda at the last council meeting. According to the staff report, “Under Cupertino Municipal Code (“CMC”) Section 2.32.020(A), Planning Commissioners ‘serve at the pleasure of the City Council.’ A Planning Commissioner may be removed by a majority vote of the City Council. (CMC § 2.32.030.) ‘If a vacancy occurs other than by expiration of a term,it shall be filled by the Mayor’s appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.’” Public comment is likely to be extensive. (See above.)

Item #12: Consider the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-24 five-year plan for Capital Improvement Program (CIP). On March 1, the council developed the City Work Program for the upcoming fiscal year. The next step is to consider plans for Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). A capital improvement is a project that enhances a property, restores, or prolongs the useful life of a property, or adapts a property to a new or different use. The projects in the plan are those  which require an outside professional design service and which cost over $60,000. This is a multi-year process which feeds into development of the budget.

Ten projects were completed this year, with several under budget. Currently, the CIP includes 37 funded existing projects, ten of which are in queue for initiation. Based on the projects currently funded and those in the draft Proposed FY 2023-24 CIP, staff anticipates the need for four additional positions in the upcoming budget.

Informational Items include the following:

Item #13 Consider the Monthly Treasurer’s Report for January 2023
Item #14 Consider the Monthly Treasurer’s Investment Report for January 2023
Item #15 Response to Councilmember questions regarding Cupertino Chamber of Commerce. This fulfills the requested agenda item for more information on the history of the city’s membership (now defunct) in the Chamber of Commerce


The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled Closing “The Loop”: City hosts ribbon-cutting ceremony for award-winning Regnart Creek Trail. Note, the date has been changed to March 18. Community briefs on page 5 are (1) Monta Vista graduate named state justice, and (2) Energy efficiency awards. Legal notices include (1) Renewal of a use permit for an existing monopole wireless communication facility at Rancho Deep Cliff to be heard at the Planning Commission on March 14, (2) Review of the 2023-24 Capital Improvements Program for consistency with the General Plan, at the Planning Commission on March 14, (3) Solicitation of bids for the 2023 Concrete Reconstruction Project, and (4) Solicitation of bids for the Service Center Security Gate Project.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor