10/4/2011 Council Summary

Relatively quick meeting.

We started with a closed session regarding ongoing litigation (Sipple vs. City of Alameda et al. – we’re one of “al”), then we went into a study session regarding Moffett. In short, there is a group which is developing a plan to repurpose Moffett for various civic, business, and educational purposes, they’re getting started on fundraising and gathering support, and they want Sunnyvale behind them before they go too far. Council was generally supportive, and we’re going to see a proposed resolution of support come before us next meeting. Then it was on to the regular meeting.

I read an announcement regarding Boards and Commissions recruiting, and a representative from PG&E provided information about a pressure test that will be happening next week (see the city website for the specifics). The consent calendar passed without any pulls on a 6-0 vote (not surprising, since there was essentially nothing on it). Then we got down to business.

Item 2 involved consideration of city positions on Measures A and B. After no comments or discussions, I moved very quickly to take a “support” position on Measure B, the initiative to reduce annual council raises. It failed on a 3-3 vote – there was concern that since it involved our own benefits, it would be a conflict of interest for us to take a position. Since we’re proposing to cut our benefits, I disagreed, but there wasn’t a majority consensus. So we then voted 5-1 to take no positions on the measures.

Item 3 involved awarding a taxicab franchise, and with basically no discussion, we approved it on a 6-0 vote.

Item 4 involved issuing a Request for Proposals for the leasing of Raynor Center, which seemed to mostly be a pro forma vote. But one of the prospective lessees suggested that a 60-day response period was more appropriate than the proposed 30-day period. Staff agreed that a longer period would pose no problems and may actually help with other scheduling issues, so we approved the issuing of the RFP with a 60-day approval period on a 6-0 vote.

That was it for the council meeting, and we adjourned to the Onizuka Local Redevelopment Agency. Surprisingly, the bulk of the evening’s meeting was spent on item 2, election of LRA officers. I proposed right up front that we needed to shift election timing to coincide with the swearing in of the new council, so that we’d elect officers in January when we also elect the Mayor and Vice Mayor. People agreed it was a good idea, although there was a bit of discussion about whether to elect officers for 3 months or 15 months. I suggested 3 was better, so that the newly-elected councilmembers could have a chance to weigh in. And people seemed to like that. So the motion was to appoint me Chair and Councilmember Moylan Vice Chair for the next three months, and that passed on a 6-0 vote.

Then we got into a discussion about the LRA “executive committee”, which traditionally consists of the Chair, Vice Chair, and one other agency member, basically operating as a subcommittee to smooth through the more complex LRA issues in advance of meetings. A couple of colleagues thought it wasn’t needed, while others thought it might prove useful. There was an initial attempt to eliminate the executive committee, which passed on a 4-2 vote. But one of the people who supported the committee voted the wrong way, so he moved for a re-vote, and the vote to eliminate the executive committee then failed 3-3.

So I moved to appoint Councilmember Spitaleri as the third member of the still-to-exist executive committee, and that passed on a 4-2 or 5-1 vote (don’t remember which). The opposition was strictly one of “we don’t need the executive committee at all”. But in making the motion, I did something stupid. I didn’t think much first, and I just picked Councilmember Spitaleri because I knew he was one of us three “mid-term” councilmembers, guaranteed to be there in January. But Councilmember Whittum is also guaranteed to return since he is running unopposed – and he’s the one who unexpectedly made the motion for me to become Chair. So here Councilmember Whittum made a very nice gesture to me, and I thoughtlessly failed to show him the same courtesy in filling the third spot. Stupid. One of the real challenges with this job is that you’re under a spotlight and required to act correctly at the right moment, without do-overs. I don’t usually kick myself about the votes I lose – I kick myself more about the votes I get wrong at the moment. This was a fairly meaningless vote, and it’s a position that has no significance and will only last three months, but I still managed to do it wrong, mostly by just getting distracted and not thinking.

Anyway. Our next item was one that required no LRA action, a public hearing regarding our amended redevelopment plan for Onizuka. And most of the leadership from Foothill-DeAnza attended to say hi and to support the effort. The Mayor and I attended the previous Foothill-DeAnza board meeting to do the same, so it was a nice bit of reciprocity on their part. Not that I’m an expert on reciprocity, based on the earlier vote, mind you, Anyway, it was a good discussion and a positive step forward to what will hopefully be a good end to the challenge of Onizuka’s reuse.

And that was about it. We’re off for two weeks.

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