Cupertino Matters

It’s November and readers are adjusting to the switch back to standard time. As darkness comes earlier, exercise extra caution and stay safe.

The impact to the city of Cupertino of the state audit of sales taxes by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), which reexamined an agreement between the city and a major sales taxpayer, continues to unfold as outlined in this article. California targets Apple, but Cupertino loses big

A revised “Code of Ethics and Conduct for Elected and Appointed Officials” is on the agenda for the city council. Late last year, the City’s Ethics Policy was identified as an area of concern by the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury’s December 2022 Report, “A House Divided: Cupertino City Council and Staff”. The follow-on May 2023 Fact Finding Report prepared by independent counsel, Linda Daube, Esq., corroborated the Grand Jury’s findings, as did the July 2023 Enterprise Leadership Assessment prepared by the City’s internal auditor, Moss Adams LLP.  Ms. Daube recommended a revision of the current bare-bones Ethics Policy adopted in 2020, using the November 2018 Ethics Code as “the recommended starting point.” The Council committed to making that change in its official response to the Civil Grand Jury report. At the Sept. 19, 2023 meeting, Council gave direction to the City Attorney to modify the 2018 Ethics Policy, including disciplinary action and consistency with the 2023 City Council Procedures Manual. (Note the current 2020 Ethics Policy lacks the  enforcement contained in the 2018 version.)

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, Nov 7, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting; Special meeting 5:30 p.m. 

Agenda and Presentations 

Special Meeting

Item No. 1: Approve the Tentative Agreement revising the salary and benefits terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Cupertino City Employees’ Association (CEA)/IFPTE Local 21 for the term of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025. The formal approval includes a 3.5% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for year 2 of the agreement, with no additional COLA for year 3. Health premiums were set at Kaiser Family health premium cost.  

Item No. 2: Approve the Tentative Agreement revising salary and benefits terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Operating Engineers Local No. 3 Union, AFL-CIO (OE3) for the term of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025. These terms are identical to those in Item No. 1

Item No. 3: Approve and update the health benefits for Elected Officials’ Compensation Program. Councilmembers’ health premiums are set at the same level as the union benefits.

Regular Meeting

Ceremonial Items include (1) a Proclamation recognizing November 12-18, 2023 as United Against Hate Week, and (2) Recognition of November as National Native American Heritage Month

The Consent Calendar contains nine routine items. Note that Item No. 10: Hungry Jacks Corporation (Blue Pheasant) lease agreement, 22100 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014 is for a two year lease with three one year lease extensions for this restaurant at the edge of the Blackberry Farm Golf Course. It has been on a month-to-month lease until the fate of the golf course was decided. 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. Members of the public may comment on that item when it is considered.

Item No.12: Minor Amendments to Cupertino Municipal Code Chapter 1.18 (Claims Against the City), Chapter 9.15 (Prohibition of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Food Service Ware), 9.18 (Stormwater Pollution Prevention and Watershed Protection), Chapter 15.04 (Waterworks System-Rates and Charges), and Chapter 16.72 (Recycling and Diversion of Construction and Demolition Waste). These items are intended to clean up language in the Municipal Code and should be non-controversial.

Item No. 13: Adoption of Code of Ethics and Conduct for Elected and Appointed Officials. The council will be asked to approve the modified Ethics Policy which includes revisions to (1) Covered Officials, (2) FPPC Reporting, (3) Conflicts of Interest, (4) Enforcement, and (5) Consistency with the adopted City Council Procedures Manual and First Amendment rights. This Item responds to prior commitments made by the Council in its response to the December 2002 Civil Grand Jury Report and is based off the more stringent 2018 policy.

Item No. 14: To Be Determined list (“TBD List”) of agenda items requested by City Councilmembers. Items on the TBD list have to be requested by two councilmembers, and approved by the council as a whole. Six items were requested by Councilmembers Moore and Chao, with one request by Moore and Wei.

Item No. 15 Council Reports. (now submitted in written form) were provided by Mayor Wei, Vice-Mayor Mohan, and Councilmembers Fruen and Moore. There is no report from Councilmember Chao.

Informational Items: (1) Stevens Creek Boulevard/Calabazas Creek Storm Drain Repair Emergency Work status report, (2) Update on activities of the Cupertino Sanitary District, (3) Update and Status regarding Lehigh Cement Plant and Quarry, and (4) : Information regarding hybrid options for commission meetings.

CUPERTINO COURIER: November 3, 2023

The front page photo and article on page 5 is entitled No place like ‘Home’: Fall exhibit explores personal connection to lost loved one: Cupertino museum exhibits artwork that feel like ‘Home’: Installations help create sense of place for lost loved ones at the Euphrat Museum of Art at De Anza College. Community briefs are (1) Vet’s Day event, (2) Fruit fly quarantine, and (2) Burrowing owls webinar. Page 5 is a previously published Mercury News article Push made to rename De Anza College: Faculty, students circulating petition asking school to disassociate from the 18th century Spanish explorer. Legal notices for hearings on Nov. 14 for the Planning Commission meeting agenda and Dec. 5 for the city council meeting agenda include (1) Municipal Code Amendments for Tessellations occupying the Regnart school site, and (2) Municipal Code Amendment to Title 19: Zoning. There is an additional hearing on the Nov. 14 meeting for a modification of a use permit for Main Street to add a second interior floor in the TD Ameritrade building.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor