Cupertino Matters

Mark your calendar for a community event  with  Mayor Sheila Mohan delivering the  annual State of the City Address on Thursday, February 15, at the Quinlan Community Center, located at 10185 North Stelling Avenue. The celebration is sponsored by the City of Cupertino, the Chamber of Commerce, and Cupertino Rotary.  There will be a reception prior to the State of the City Address from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The State of the City program will begin immediately following the reception at 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here by Thursday, Feb 8. The State of the City Address will also be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.

There is good news about housing at the Westport/formerly Oaks shopping center on Stevens Creek Boulevard, near the Senior Center. This article in the San Jose Spotlight applications provides details on applying for this 48 unit Below Market Rate (BMR) senior housing with expected occupancy in March: Cupertino seniors jump into affordable housing lottery.

Congratulations to the newly appointed and reappointed city commissioners selected  by city council on Jan. 29 and 30. The votes are public records and available here. Your commitment to city service is appreciated.

Audit Committee

  • Eno Schmidt
  • Louise Fishler
  • Angela Chen (Reappointed)

Housing Commission

  • Ryan Golze (Business Representative)
  • Yuyi He (Community Member)

Parks and Recreation Commission

  • Carol Stanek (Reappointed)
  • Claudio Bono

Public Safety Commission

  • Sidharth Rajaram
  • Neal Evans
  • Nirmalendu Das

Sustainability Commission

  • Alexander Fung (Business Representative)
  • Susan Hansen (Educational Representative)
  • Conny Yang (Community Member)

Technology, Information, Communications Commission (TICC)

  • Balaram Donthi
  • Sudeep Kumar

Sourcewise Advisory Council

  • Jean Bedord

(Note:  This is a COUNTY non-profit, which does NOT report to the council. Sourcewise is the designated area agency on aging for Santa Clara County, providing services to older adults and individuals with disabilities of greatest need in the county. The Advisory Council is a legally mandated body that advises Sourcewise on what services need attention in the community, advocates on behalf of older adults and individuals with disabilities, and distributes information to the community.)

Ballots for the March 5 primary elections will be arriving this week. Two versions of voter information pamphlets arrived last week: (1) state  which is primarily Proposition 1 and (2) county with local partisan candidates. Readers may find they are in different districts than in the past, due to 2022 redistricting based on the 2020 census. There are also some quirks as explained in this Mercury News article Q&A: Eight things you need to know about California’s weird voting rules for the March primary: Ballots will be mailed out Monday, but many voters won’t see Trump or Biden on theirs

The League of Women Voters will be holding a candidate forum for the race for California Assembly District 26 (Evan Low’s seat) on February 15 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Register here. The full list of local candidate forums is available on the League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale website. The site also features additional election information. Videos will be posted on YouTube after the event.

UPCOMING – CITY COUNCIL – Tues, Feb 6, 2024, 6:45 p.m., Regular Meeting

Agenda and Presentations 

Ceremonial Items are (1) Recognition of STEM Winners from the City of Cupertino who participated in the Santa Clara County 2023 Synopsys Championship Science Fair and (2) Recognition of February as Black History Month.

The Consent Calendar contains eight routine items. Agenda Item No. 9, an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) with an affordable housing developer on a City-owned parcel within the Mary Avenue right-of-way (APN: 326-27-053) to develop extremely low-income housing for the intellectually and developmentally disabled populations which has been on the city work plan since FY 2019-20. 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.11: Cessation of Hybrid Commission and Committee Meetings. The staff report is a justification of the city manager’s decision to stop hybrid meetings, citing fiscal responsibility. The result of this decision is that only minutes are available after-the-fact for all commissions other than Planning. Minutes are stale since they aren’t posted until the next meeting date, which makes them difficult for engaging in city governance. The report understates the actual viewing of city meetings, particularly Parks and Recreation videos on YouTube. What other low-cost alternatives to providing video and audio recordings for timely viewing exist?

Item No. 12: Cost Allocation Plan, User Fee Study, and Cost Recovery Policy every seven years, the city does a comprehensive Fee Study to determine fee schedules for the upcoming years. This is extremely detailed, taking into account both direct costs and indirect costs (overhead) for all services provided by the city. The study then suggests adjustments to the fees. Interestingly, the full cost recovery for Appeals to the Planning Commission and the City Council are $18,627 and $18,915 but have not been part of the fee schedule. Parks and Recreation fees are market-driven, but two programs are  the biggest contributors to the city’s structural deficit: Park Facilities with a deficit of  $2,341,668 and the Sports Center Operations with a deficit of $2,319,834. Otherwise, the recommended additional fees are estimated to generate $767,048 of additional revenue.

Item No. 13: Council Reports (now submitted in written form) are provided by Mayor Mohan, Vice-Mayor Fruen, and Councilmember Wei. There are no reports from Councilmembers Chao and Moore.

There are no Informational Items. The meeting will adjourn in memory of former Cupertino Mayor Philipp Johnson.

YOU CAN EXPRESS YOUR OPINION: Readers are encouraged to speak at council meeting, either at Oral Communications on any topic, or on specific agenda items. Speakers have three minutes, and coaching is available!  Readers are also encouraged to 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 councilmembers are not. Clearly include in your subject line the topic or agenda item on which you are commenting.

City Manager Pamela Wu: manager@cupertino.org
City Clerk Kirsten Squarcia: cityclerk@cupertino.org
City Council: citycouncil@cupertino.org
Mayor Sheila Mohan smohan@cupertino.org
Vice-Mayor  J.R. Fruen  jrfruen@cupertino.org
Councilmember Hung Wei  hwei@cupertino.org
Councilmember Liang Chao: liangchao@cupertino.org
Councilmember Kitty Moore kmoore@cupertino.org

CUPERTINO COURIER: February 2, 2024

The front page photo and article on page 3 is entitled Pioneers riding high: After hitting ‘rock bottom’ last year,Cupertino poised for playoff success. Community Briefs on page 4 are (1) Basic needs initiative, (2) Artificial turf vs. grass and (3) Earthquake grants.    Previously published in the Mercury News, an article on page 5 is Arts and music to get $1 billion boost: Some districts embrace funding, while others try to map out plan. The article cites Cupertino Union School District for anticipating and planning for this funding.

Previously published Mercury News editorial on page 6 is Elect Ahrens for Evan Low’s Assembly District 26 seat. There are no legal notices.

Warm regards,
Jean Bedord
Cupertino Matters
Publisher and Editor