1/31/12 Council Summary

Sorry for the delay, it’s been a busy week.

We started the evening with a closed session regarding the downtown.  Not much I can say about this, unfortunately.  We then got into the meeting proper, which started with special orders of the day for the ceremonial swearings-in of Vice Mayor Whittum and Myor Spitaleri.  We then had public announcements, and there were two – one from me about KSUN being shut down for two weeks, one from a member of the public congratulating the Mayor and Vice Mayor (probably should have been a public comment instead of a public announcement).  Then we got into the meeting.

Three items were pulled from the consent calendar – the minutes, the list of bills, and the proposed relocation of Senior Engineers from the Sunnyvale Employees Union to the Sunnyvale Managers Association.  We then approved the balance of the consent calendar on a 7-0 vote.  A minor wording change was made to the minutes, and we approved them on a 7-0 vote.  Questions were raised about a number of bills, and then we approved the list of bills on a 7-0 vote.  We then discussed the move in classification, and we approved the proposed change on a 6-1 vote (I supported it).  Then it was on to public comments.

There were a couple of public comments, mostly focused on pensions and benefits.  One of the speakers proposed having the city endorse Governor Brown’s 12-point pension reform plan.  That led to a council discussion about whether or not to place an endorsement discussion on a future agenda, but we voted 3-4 not to do so at this time.  I voted against it, not because I oppose endorsement, but because of timing.  We’re having our Strategic Planning Workshop on February 10th, during which we’re going to be discussing revenues and expenditures, and hopefully developing some coherent plans for moving forward on some of the larger issues that we face.  I’m reluctant to do much until we’ve had that session and given some thought to where we need to be moving.  It’s very easy to say “hey, what if we do X?” and toss stuff on an agenda, but that’s not always the best thing to do.  After we’ve had that meeting, I think there are a lot of things we can and should do, and maybe this endorsement will be one of them.  But the first order of business is always “understand the problem and develop a plan”.  And we haven’t done that, and we’re going to in just a couple of weeks.

We then got into it, and item 2 was next, review of the traffic situation surrounding Kaiser.  There was a fair bit of discussion on this issue, but the gist of it is that there don’t seem to be significant negative impacts from permitting left-hand turns out of Kaiser.  There was some discussion about the Apple complex which is being constructed nearby, and that got me a bit nervous.  Had the Apple complex become part of the issue or part of the motion, I would have had to step out.  But instead, we voted 7-0 to accept the report and take no further action.

Next was item 3, discussion of adding five new priority development areas (PDAs) and registering them with ABAG.  This is a bit wonkish, but what it really involves is something of a paperwork issue so that we can be a little more eligible for future regional transit funding that may become available.  My biggest concern with this was whether or not creating these additional designations would in any way commit us or even make certain future developments more or less likely.  Staff was pretty adamant that that couldn’t happen.  So we then voted 6-1 to approve submitting the five new PDAs to ABAG (I supported the action).

Item 4 was then deferred until the next meeting, mostly as a timing thing, on a 4-3 vote (I dissented – I wanted to deal with it right then).  At that point, Mayor Spitaleri stepped out, and Vice Mayor Whittum ran the rest of the meeting.

We then had our non-agenda and IGR comments, which concluded the meeting proper.

We then adjourned to the Onizuka Local Redevelopment Agency, at which point I threw a coup.  We voted back in October to make me the LRA Chair and Councilmember Moylan the Vice Chair, but we then promptly forgot about it, and nobody even remembered it at our December 13th meeting, which Councilmember Lee ran instead of me.  So I pointed out that I was actually Chair until we elected new officer, which caused me to run the meeting.  We then approved the consent calendar (just the minutes) on a 3-0 vote, with the three new councilmembers abstaining, since they weren’t on the LRA for the last meeting).  After that, we dealt with our one agenda item, where we did the obvious on a 7-0 vote – we made Mayor Spitaleri the new Chair and Vice Mayor Whittum the Vice Chair.  Thus ended my coup.

After that, we adjourned to the Redevelopment Agency for its final meeting.  Again, it didn’t occur to us, but I should have run this portion of the meeting as well.  Mayor Hamilton had been the chair and I had been the vice chair as of the last meeting, and we hadn’t elected new officers.  But that got overlooked, yet again, not that it really mattered.  Anyway, the consent calendar was approved on a 6-0 vote, which was followed by a couple of comments (including me venting yet again about how the state hosed us with these RDA votes).

And that’s about it.

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