11/11/2014 Council Preview – BRT

This is definitely going to be one of our longest nights.  We start the evening – at 3:45! – in the community room of the community center with not one but two closed sessions.  The first involves our ongoing labor negotiations with the Sunnyvale Managers Association.  The second is to discuss negotiations to possibly buy four parcels of land on the block at Mathilda and Iowa.

After that (and the reason why we’re not at City Hall), we have a joint study session with the Planning Commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to discuss Bus Rapid Transit on El Camino.  This will obviously be detailed, with a lot of questions.

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Santa Clara County Libraries To Eliminate $80 Non-Resident Library Fee

I was informed that last Thursday, the Santa Clara County Library JPA voted to eliminate the $80/year fee they’ve been charging non-residents for use of the Santa Clara County Library System.  Residents of non-participating cities, including San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Palo Alto, will no longer have to pay this fee before being able to check out materials from the County system.  This change will be effective July 1, 2015 at the start of the new budget year.

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10/28/2014 Council Preview

This one starts out long, but the general session should be pretty typical.

We start the evening with two closed sessions and two study sessions.  The first session regards ongoing litigation involving a charter school that has some permitting issues.  The second is another closed session regarding ongoing labor negotiations with the Sunnyvale Managers Association.  The first study session is another round in our discussions of how to do performance evaluations for the City Manager and City Attorney.

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Palo Alto Holds New Mitchell Library Tour

Last month, the City of Palo Alto hosted a guided tour of its newly rebuilt Mitchell Library.  Residents had the opportunity to check out the new facilities and amenities.  As part of the tour, the City created a Come Together Video, showing off the new facilities.

This is interesting to Sunnyvale because the video show off the best aspects of the new Mitchell Library.  And in doing so, it clearly outlines the serious flaws that our own Sunnyvale Public Library has to deal with.  The Mitchell Library features community rooms and large quantities of open space.  There are physically separated areas for teens and pre-teens, which is important so that “kids can be kids” while studying.  And the teen rooms have additional amenities to attract and retain kids, and to cater to kid-oriented events and programs.  Sunnyvale’s library lacks all of these.

Congrats to Palo Alto for showing us what’s possible, and what we should be aiming for.

Habitat for Humanity Dedicates New Sunnyvale Home

I had the pleasure of attending the dedication ceremony for Habitat for Humanity’s new home in Sunnyvale, the very first Sunnyvale Habitat project.  The home is going to the Proulx family.  Justin Proulx is a math teacher at King’s Academy, and they are understandably thrilled not only to finally have their own home, but to have one just a mile from where Justin works.

  _MG_4616(Photo courtesy of Misuk Park).

I got to help with this home, starting with preparing the front yard, and later helping put up one of the interior walls.  It was great to see the finished property.  Habitat is close to dedicating the second home, and I look forward to seeing that one dedicated and occupied very soon.

It was also very cool to see all of the Habitat volunteers wearing Habitat hats, each of which represents 500 hours of service.  Some were also wearing multiple service pins, each of which also represents 500 hours.  I saw one gentleman wearing a hat that easily had ten or more pins on it.  That level of dedication is truly inspiring, and it’s what makes the difference between living in a city and living in a community.  Thank you to all who made this possible.