*Don't miss all the updates in District 10 February Newsletter! Be sure to check the sidebar for important upcoming events and other announcements!
I am sad to share with you that long-time San Jose City Hall volunteer and District 10 resident, Harriet Roy, recently passed away after a brief struggle with cancer. Over the past decade since the City moved into its new City Hall home in downtown San Jose, Harriet, with her husband Dan, served the City and our community with remarkable grace, dedication, and enthusiasm to greet visitors at Council meetings and lead tours for countless school groups. They provided a friendly face to help make City Hall a much more welcoming place for thousands of people attending official meetings or just needing to find their way around.
Harriet and Dan worked with virtually every department in the City over the years to lead special tours for employees, residents, and visiting international groups. They became genuine experts in all aspects of City Hall and its design and construction, our civic processes, and our community as they delighted in sharing their knowledge to help our community members feel real ownership of their City Hall. As reliable volunteers for so many years, Harriet exemplified the true commitment to public service that is an inspiration for us all.
Please take a moment to read Dan’sheart-felt blog entry to his beloved Harriet.
Our Last Adventure :
Attacking or Attracting Businesses?
Over the past three years, San Jose has been successful in making the City more business friendly than many of the cities to our north and east. This was thanks to an improving economy and the work of previous and current City Councilmembers, Mayor Sam Liccardo, former Mayor Chuck Reed, and the City’s fantastic Economic Development team. We have seen buildings rise downtown, five new international non-stop routes added at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), and many businesses locating here. Moreover, while you’ve been stuck in traffic, we have been working to bring jobs here to San Jose - where people live – and to fix the jobs-housing imbalance.
This new growth was accomplished by: decreasing fees for developers of high-rise housing, cutting fees for large employers like Samsung, improving customer service in the planning and building departments, and providing incentives for airlines to land at SJC. The City decreased fees and improved service because the Council and staff recognized that jobs bring in a lot more tax revenue than does single-family housing. This concept is clearly understood by the neighboring cities that have attracted some of the biggest businesses in the world.
Now, as our tax revenues are beginning to grow from these efforts, a veritable war on business has begun. It is a war being waged on many fronts. A Council majority has already imposed a $17 per square foot fee on all new rental housing developments, the minimum wage has been raised from $8 to $10.30, and a County-wide effort is under way to study taking the minimum wage to $15 per hour. We are looking at imposing further restrictions on the business viability of apartments that already fall under rent control.
On top of these attacks on business comes two initiatives and several new tax proposals that could have companies fleeing for friendlier places. The first of these initiatives would place a San Jose gross receipts tax on all business with revenues over $1 million. The City would become a mini-IRS, requiring that most business owners turn over their sales figures to the City and pay taxes not on the profits of their businesses, but on TOTAL sales – a company would have to pay the tax even if they made $0 in profit! This effort is being sold as a way to help the City pave streets, but what it will really do is drive up the cost of your groceries, the cost of selling a home, the price of a night out for a dinner and a movie, just to name a few examples.
Our airport is struggling to recover from the great recession and pay for $1 billion in improvements. The gross receipts tax would be imposed on the service providers at the airport - car rental companies, food vendors, gift shops - some of which operate on very small margins, not to mention the newly-opened private aviation facility operated by Signature Air. Raising costs on airport vendors could put them, and, in turn, the airport’s viability at risk. If the Airport Authority were to default on its debts, it would tarnish the City’s reputation of strong fiscal management and could endanger the City’s own credit rating.
A second initiative would place restrictions on businesses with over 35 employees from using part time or 1099 (contract) labor, micromanaging the hours a business must offer to its employees.
If these actions were not enough, the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, and the VTA are all proposing increases to our sales tax. While I support letting the voters decide on a dedicated sales tax to support police services and the paving of our dilapidated streets, I have a real problem with all of the general sales tax ideas. With a general sales tax, there is no guarantee that the money will go to a single police officer or a single mile of street repairs. In fact, the County’s 2012 Measure A sales taxes generated more revenue than expected, yet very little has gone to Expressway repairs or to many of the other service improvements promised in the ballot statement.
What can you do to help? First, come to the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd at 1:30 PM in the City Council Chambers, fill out a yellow comment card for agenda item 3.5, and let the City Council know how you feel about a new ¼-cent or ½-cent general sales tax proposal or a targeted alternative. Second, if you cannot attend the meeting, please email your thoughts on agenda item 3.5 to the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also want to send a copy of your email to our office – email@example.com.
Finally, before you sign a petition, put your name to a ballot statement, or vote on new taxes and regulations that promise to fix everything under the sun, consider that you may be attacking the very businesses that are creating jobs and helping our City out of its financial challenges.
San Jose Is Ready for the Super Bowl, Are You?
This past weekend, Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) welcomed the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers for Super Bowl 50. San Jose is an official venue city for Super Bowl 50 and hosted the Official Super Bowl 50 Opening Night event (formerly known as Media Day). Just down the road from San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley, is our neighbor, the City of Santa Clara, which will play host to Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium - one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. We've been given an exciting opportunity to energize our economy and bring our community together for this milestone event!
More than one million visitors are expected to visit the Bay Area over the course of the week, and the City of San Jose is excited for what this means for economic activity for our local businesses and community. Our Office of Economic Development estimates that the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) will generate $1.35 million. The City will retain all TOT and its portion of the sales taxes generated from visitor spending here, as we would for any special event. Sales taxes and parking revenues will also see an increase this week, and SJC expects to experience a similar boost in revenue from parking, concessions, aviation-related charges, and passenger facility charges.
The City of Santa Clara will experience traffic delays throughout the week, but also expect some street closures here in San Jose in the Downtown SoMa area, which affects the Plaza de Cesar Chavez and some surrounding streets. San Pedro Street at San Pedro Square has been transformed into a practice field and will be closed to vehicular traffic. You can view the complete list of street closures in San Jose at http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?nid=4898. For traffic and transportation information for Santa Clara where Levi’s Stadium is located, visit the City of Santa Clara’s SB50 website.
If you are planning to use VTA to get to the Big Game on Sunday, you’ll have to pre-purchase your fares via a special mobile app. All passengers traveling to the Super Bowl using VTA must use the mobile app, EventTIK to purchase a special VTA Super Bowl 50 Day Pass fare AND possess proof of a valid Super Bowl ticket in order to board the special Super Bowl trains. Caltrain and VTA will also be offering a special joint ticket for SB50 attendees. Leave the purses, camera bags, and backpacks at home, since the NFL will have strict rules on what can be carried into Levi’s Stadium.
Game Week Events
Even if you won’t be watching the big game from inside the stadium, there is much going on in San Jose now through game day:
New Community Budget Process
What are your priorities for the 2016-2017 City budget? Is public safety your top priority, like it is mine? Should we continue to operate libraries six days per week? How much should we dedicate to street repairs? Do you want our regional parks, such as Almaden Lake Park, to stay open seven days per week? You will have your first opportunity to make your voice heard at this year's Community Budget Priority Setting event - Building the Budget from Zero, hosted by Mayor Sam Liccardo, on February 20th from 9AM - 12PM at Parkside Hall, 180 Park Avenue in downtown San Jose (near The Tech).
- Super Community Event: SoFA’s South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk + SoFA Winter Mrkt [February 5 & 6, 2016, SoFA District] www.southfirstfridays.com
- Downtown Ice [Now through February 7, 2016, 120 S Market Street] www.downtownicesj.com/.
- Super Guadalupe River Run [February 7, 2016, Guadalupe River Park, 438 Coleman Avenue] https://raceroster.com/events/2016/4822/super-guadalupe-river-run-2016.
- NFL Store [Now through February 7, 2016, 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM with special late night hours on February 6, 2016, 300 S First Street] Official NFL merchandise is for sale at a temporary store located in the SoFA District at the corner of San Carlos St. and First Street across from Original Joe’s restaurant.
- Winter at Plaza de Cesar Chavez [Café & Beer Garden open 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM, now through February 7, 2016, 194 S Market Street] www.sanjose.gov/prns
- Super San Pedro Square [Now through February 7, 2016, 87 N San Pedro Street] www.sanpedrosquare.com
- Super Bowl Weekend on the Row [February 4 through February 7, 2016, Santana Row] http://www.santanarow.com/events/super-bowl-weekend-on-the-row
- San Jose Pavilion in Super Bowl City [Now through February 7, 2016, San Francisco] www.sfbaysuperbowl.com/super-bowl-city#csS9idE8jmSkjFz6.97
This year, the City will be opening up the priority setting session to all residents, not just neighborhood and youth leaders, so it is important that people from throughout our community - the Blossom Valley, the area west of Santa Teresa, the Almaden Valley, and all throughout District 10, register to attend and show up. Let's ensure that we have a strong voice in this year's budget process!
Register to attend here: http://bit.ly/PriorityS
Crime Trends in the District 10
Last year at this time, we had completed four months of coordinating with the San Jose Police Department (SJPD) in response to an alarming increase in burglaries over the winter holidays. Many of you called in and emailed me about your concerns and worked closely with us to help residents to organize Neighborhood Watch groups and receive training from SJPD Crime Prevention. I attended many of those Neighborhood Watch meetings and was pleased to see District 10 step up, as they always do, to meet the threat to public safety.
The challenge of keeping District 10 safe has not ended, and even though we did not experience the spike in burglaries this holiday season we saw last year, we continue to see increases in mail theft, package theft, auto burglaries, and auto theft. These property crimes are staying fairly steady and seem to be very resistant to efforts to bring them down. I am certain that Proposition 47 is making the job of prosecutors and the SJPD that much more difficult, given the changes in State law that turned what were previously felony crimes into misdemeanors. There have been successes, however, in capturing individuals committing these crimes using evidence gathered from surveillance cameras, good police work, and vigilant neighbors. Our Southern Division Captain Ed Schroder and his team have not let up on using their limited resources to keep the Southern Division safe. I meet with him monthly, and he provides updates on the current crime trends occurring in District 10. He is extremely responsive and helpful in addressing your crime concerns.
If you have not participated in, or organized, a Neighborhood Watch group in your area, please contact the SJPD Crime Prevention Unit at http://www.sjpd.org/BFO/Community/Crimeprev/ or call at 408-277-4133. Stay Safe!!!
THANK YOU to all our W.O.W.W Sponsors
If you are over 50, you won’t want to miss our 2016 Westfield Oakridge Winter Walk and Senior Resource Fair (WOWW)! Coming up on Friday, February 26th, from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM, it is a great time of fun, education, and hanging out with friends - and we haven’t forgotten the ever-popular door prize drawing! If you bring a gently used pair of eyeglasses and drop them off at the Lions Club table you will be entered for an extra chance at a door prize!
We are grateful to our generous sponsors who have made this year’s WOWW possible:
Registration begins at 8:30AM in the Macy’s Court of Westfield Oakridge Mall. We look forward to seeing you on the 26th!
San Jose City Planning Department Expands its Permit Center and Hours
The Permit Center has expanded its hours and is now open earlier and during the lunch hour. Service hours at the Permit Counter are now:
M-Tu-Th-F: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Wednesdays: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friends of Almaden Library-Visit them or become a member at Alamdenfriends.com
Meet Local Author Aristea Pettis
Tuesday, Feb. 16th
10:05 AM to 2:00 PM
Book Sale Date:
April 16, 2016 9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Almaden Branch Library, Community Room
Animal Services Reminder to License Your Pet!
The City of San Jose Animal Care Center reminds residents that all domestic cats and dogs need to have a current rabies vaccine and need to be licensed. The licensing fees help off-set the need for General Fund dollars to cover the cost of shelter and field operations. Also, when we find a licensed pet, we can notify the owners more quickly and efficiently, so there is reduced stress on the pet and it can be speedily returned to its proper home. Please go online to www.sanjoseanimals.com and select “licensing”, or come to the shelter at 2750 Monterey Road, between Umbarger and Lewis. If you have licensing questions, please call 408-794-7240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Camp Registration Opened January 31st
San Jose’s Family Camp is located in the heart of the Sierras near Yosemite National Park, just east of Groveland, California. Family Camp is situated on 47 acres of leased land from the U.S. Forest Service. The Stanislaus National Forest and the middle fork of the Tuolumne River serve as the scenic backdrop to this mountain playground.
Family Camp at Yosemite provides an all-inclusive camping experience where guests of all ages can fish, hike, swim, participate in organized programs, or just sit back, relax and take it easy. Reserve your tent today for the 2016 camping season (June 10 - August 7). For questions, please contact staff at (408) 794-6208 or email@example.com.
Free Large-Item Pick-Up Program
Residents living in single-family homes can receive one freelarge-item pickup. Additional pickups are only $27. For more information, visit www.sjenvironment.org/largeitems.
Did you know that Illegal dumping is a serious issue that can affect your safety, your community, and the environment? When people illegally dump in neighborhood streets, parks, and creeks it results in visual blight and pollutes the environment. Report illegal dumping in San Jose by calling the Customer Contact Center at (408) 535-3500. If you witness dumping in progress, immediately call the San Jose Police Department non-emergency line at (408) 277-8900.
For questions, comments or concerns you may reach my office at (408)535-4010 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Don't miss all the updates in District 10 February Newsletter! Be sure to check the sidebar for important upcoming events and other announcements!