D1 L.G. General Business Meeting Minutes 3.4.23 at West Valley Library

 Mar, 07 - 2023   Meetings & Commission Reports
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Steve Ling opened the meeting at 9:05 am. Current officers were introduced. Steve Ling, Chair, Gary Cunningham, Vice-Chair, Jerry Giles, Secretary, Betty Kabanek, Treasurer, & Doris Livezey, Member-at-Large.

Betty Kabanek: Applied for and requested $1,440 for the UNSCC Cycle 5 grant.

Gary Cunningham: Neighborhood Commission is the only one with elected members. The City wants to convert the Neighborhood Commission to a nominated membership. Measure E has been underspent so far.

Steve Ling: Paid tribute to Ken Podgorsek former chair of the UNSCC whose memorial was 2/26/23. It was well attended by City officials. He was very helpful to the Neighborhood Associations.

Steve Ling: D1 LG priorities: crime, affordable housing, development, rebuilding NAs, utilities, and emergency prep. We want volunteers for these efforts.

Rosemary Kamai D1 Council Member: The Lynbrook intersection is getting a redo. Ngan Nguyen (D1 Council Office) does newsletters, J.R. Hewin is Rosemary’s Land Use Director and Omar Lin is her Community Issues Director. Costco issue has not gone to Planning Dept. yet. Winchester Ranch – issue with boundaries. Housing Element being updated. Will submit recommendations in June. J.R. Hewin says the builders solution will take effect for cities that have not completed their Housing Element. Payne Ave. cleanliness issues. Saratoga Trail – we will get together with Water District. Will coordinate w/ S. Ellenberg, County Commissioner regarding the Saratoga Street Park. Currently, in the middle of budget hearings. Mayor will have budget meetings on 3/11 at the West Valley Library. City had 42 priorities…too many. Mayor’s priorities: Homelessness, Crime, and Blight. Will have office hours on 3/24 (virtually). Wants a D1 resident to join the Airport Commission. Amy Cody: Demolition of El Paseo. What is the park commitment for the site? Rosemary K.: Sees increasing the green area with the Park Department. Planning Dept. is behind with El Paseo project. Amy Cody: City has not keep the community informed about the Housing Element.

State Senator Dave Cortese: Sen. Cortese’s community lead is Zach Contini. Has district office on Bascom Ave. Have 6 employees locally and 6 in Sacramento. Focus on constituent services. Trying to attach funding to legislative efforts they are making. Had 12 bills signed into law last year. Let him know if we have any ideas.

Questions for Senator Cortese: Where did surplus go? Gann Limit says that the state can either spend the surplus on infrastructure, transportation, or it can send money back to the taxpayers. State can’t use the money to start new programs. This limitation prohibits putting surplus to enlarge Caltrans. Made $54 billion in climate investments like solar, renewables, wind power etc. Roberta Witte: wants more solar panels on telephone/light poles. Appropriation Committee can stop any bill because it is too expensive. Roy, another staff member, meets with Caltrans weekly. Tell Roy about encampment and graffiti issues. He forwards to Caltrans. Chris Giangrecco: spoke about encampments west of San Tomas and north of 280. We just need more Caltrans personnel. Cortese got $2million for trash/graffiti for San Jose. State allows homeless to pick up trash. Cortese supports Prop 47. Gov. started Care Court to mitigate homelessness. State spent $12 billion on homeless last year. 25% of homeless in county and city are under 25 years of age.

Chris Burton (City Planning Director): Department does 2,800 planning projects per year. Betty Kabanek: Sounds like Costco project is a done deal. C. Burton: Planning doesn’t have the ability to say you cannot build here. Rosemary Kamai says Costco is not an approved project.
C. Burton will make sure communication flows between the community and the Planning Department. Connie Kesee (sp): Country Lane-meeting concluded the site for new Costco was not appropriate. Member: Why can’t city require Costco to build underground parking? C. Burton: City can’t demand that requirement.
Meeting Adjourned at 11:30 am by Steve Ling.

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