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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sunnyvale City Council Campaign - 2018 - John Cordes

Online Interview with John Cordes 

10/30/2018

John Cordes and wife Diane
Grassroots Candidate for Sunnyvale Council Seat 3
(Full disclosure:  I endorse Josh Grossman, Henry Alexander III and John Cordes for City Council and have contributed to their campaigns. - Michael Goldman)

Link to this blog posthttps://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018_31.html

Interview with candidate Josh Grossman
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018.html

Interview with candidate Henry Alexander III, https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018_25.html

Link to original doc: https://tinyurl.com/askJohn2018


On Oct. 30 2018, Save My Sunny Sky group (http://savemysunnysky.org) , together with a group of 340 Sunnyvale residents, interviewed (online) one of the Sunnyvale city council grassroots candidates, John Cordes. He is running for city council seat 3, and his campaign site is here: http://www.john4sunnyvale.org.

Please feel free to post these links (https://tinyurl.com/askJohn2018 and https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018_31.html) into any social media (FB, Twitter, Instagram, NextDoor) or email it to your friends, to spread the words. And we will update this doc with any new materials available, so please do come back and revisit this doc!

Host: First of all, I would ask for your permission, that everything we talk tonight, would be uploaded to internet. NextDoor, Facebook, Twitter.  So it's going to be part of permanent history for John Cordes, would you like to approve it?

John  Cordes:  Yes.  I approve. I want to be transparent with Sunnyvale residents.


Host:  Thank you very much! Now we are good to go for the first question!


Question 1:  Why are you running for Sunnyvale City Council?

John  Cordes:  I am running for city council because I believe I have the skills, experience, and knowledge to help us achieve a better future than the one we are currently heading for with the uncontrolled growth and the problems it is causing.


Question 2:  What have you done for the community before? 

John  Cordes:  I have been active in Sunnyvale for a long time. I volunteer at the Sunnyvale homeless shelter. I am serving my 5th year on the Bicycle and pedestrian commission. I am on Sunnyvale Climate committee.  For 2 years I have been a co-leader of Sunnyvale’s Safe Routes to school coalition. I was the SNAIL neighborhood association chair for 201-15 and I currently its treasurer. I serve on the executive board for two environmental non-profits. I lead nature trips for disadvantaged youth.I am an active member of Livable Sunnyvale.


Question 3:  Could you compare our quality of life in Sunnyvale now and 5 years ago?  What will you do if you are elected for protecting our quality of life and creating a sustainable future in Sunnyvale?

John  Cordes:  Life has not gotten better in Sunnyvale in the past 5 years. I have been here since 1981. I was here during the dot-com boom of 2000. So it would take a long time to completely answer what I will do if elected. Here is a short version. Let me know if anyone wants more details


Question 4:  What are the differences between you and your opponent?  

John  Cordes: The key differentiator between me and my opponent is about growth. I want to slow down the office growth so Sunnyvale has time to make improvements in housing and transportation instead of these problems continuing to get worse.We need to increase the fees we charge developers to better offset to the impacts

I think my plans will improve the quality of life in Sunnyvale whereas my opponents' will continue to worsen.

Question 5:  Why do we need to vote for you?

John  Cordes:  My plans will improve our quality of life better than those proposed by my opponent. I have deep and vast amount of knowledge about Sunnyvale and what we need to change.  I have demonstrated my commitment to Sunnyvale with years of service in various ways.


Question 6:  If a pot store (marijuana store) ever shows up on the Sunnyvale council meeting, what would be your vote? Yes or No?

John  Cordes:  I would oppose any marijuana stores or manufacturing businesses in Sunnyvale.

Seven Seas Park, Sunnyvale
Question 7:  (A long question about Sunnyvale's PARCS - a list of public owned properties such as parks, golf courses, the Civic Center, etc.  Currently a 6-1 vote of the city council is required to remove a property from that list for possible sale or lease to a private commercial interest.  Only a 4-3 vote is required to repeal the ordinance.  John Cordes was asked if he favors making it such that only a vote of the public can change the law or remove a property from that list for possible sale or lease to private parties for commercial development. mg)

John  Cordes:  Yes, for removing any properties from the PARCS list we need a vote of the people. I think council should be allowed to add new ones without a public vote.  I think that makes more sense than requiring a public vote to add new parks to the PARCs list.  We want it to be easy to add new properties to this protected list, but require a vote of the residents to remove them.  (Edited for clarity and to remove duplication- mg)  

This is also covered on John's web site as question 7 in his "Q and A" page at http://www.john4sunnyvale.org/q--a.html
"Yes, I support a ballot initiative for the addition of voter approval provisions to Sunnyvale’s municipal code for removal of properties from the PARCS list or changes to the ordinance itself.Question 1 - What have you done in the past for Sunnyvale residents?"


Question 8:  
  • How would you make sure that the over-development in the city can be corrected?  By trusting the council members all the time? 
  • Has the city proven that it's doing just fine in the past?
  • Can you say something about the Horizon 2035 and LUTE (Land Use and Transportation Elements) adopted last year? 
  • What is the impact for Sunnyvale's future?
John  Cordes:  I have paid attention to land use policy for a years and spoke many times during the creation of the Horizon 2035  which is the same as thing as the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE) of Sunnyvale's general plan.

I was very disappointed in what the staff proposed and the Council approved. It was clear to me that it will probably make traffic, affordable housing and other problems in Sunnyvale worse.

The LUTE allows up to 14,000 more homes and 42,000 more jobs in Sunnyvale by 2035.  It allows way too many jobs given the status of our transportation infrastructure and does not charge developers enough to pay for needed improvements.

As approved, the LUTE  will allow and predicts that traffic congestion will get much worse.


Question 8:  What is your opinion about rent control in Sunnyvale?

John  Cordes:  Rent control is one among many method that cities can use to help ensure that a people with diverse incomes can afford to live in a city.  For example it takes about 5 low wage jobs for ever 100K high-tech worker who works here.

Host:  One follow up: In San Francisco, a lot of landlords lost their property because of the harsh rent control, and also due to the rent control, landlords tend to charge a much higher rent in the fear that they would never have the chance to raise up the rent.

John  Cordes:  There are lots of downsides to using rent control too broadly. The most important is that it would discourage housing developers from building needed housing
Economics of Rent Control
Host:  The end result is: all renters end up paying way more than market price, and there are way less properties out there for rent.  How would you tackle this dilemma for Sunnyvale, if rent control is implemented the same way as San Francisco?

John  Cordes:  Sunnyvale is not San Francisco.  I don’t support that Sunnyvale would ever try to implement rent control the way it was done in San Francisco.  I am currently only supporting and advocating for rent stabilization for the mobile home parks. Those are different than apartments.

XY:  John, about rent control. Some people want rent control so they can stay in Sunnyvale. Some believe rent control is a government interference in private business that robs property owners. Are you on one side or do you plan to balance the two sides? If latter, how?

John  Cordes:  I am not a support of Costa-Hawkins. I think the state went too far in preventing any new housing since 1995 from every coming under rent control.  I think it would be useful for the state to set some more flexible rules. Like ‘no rent control on detached home’ or No rent control on apartments less than 20 years old


Question 9:  What will you do to decrease our airplane noises dumping from other cities?

John  Cordes:  This is a major problem and I am very concerned about how is it expected to get worse with increasing air traffic.  Sunnyvale need to pursue many courses of action. Form a citizens advisory committee. Hire or with the county group hire our own consultant. Continue to put pressure on the federal gov’t to change the noise standards.  NASA is working with Airlines to develop quieter plans,but they are still years away.  We need the Fed gov’t to invest more there.

Ellen ZhaoN:  I would like to get a bit more sense of what would be your immediate action plan to help decrease airplane noise. 

John  Cordes:  I don’t know if any changes that can be implemented quickly. We want the FAA to designate multiple parallel routes to spread the noise back out, but that will take time.


Question 10:  What will you do to increase public safety?

John Cordes:  We need to increase the business license tax so we can afford to hire more public safety officers. I also think Sunnyvale should evaluate getting license plate scanner to help identify when stolen cars or the cars of known criminals come into town.  We also need to consider storing for a short time (4 hrs?), the video data we get from all of our traffic cameras to help solve crimes. Today, nothing from the traffic cameras is recorded.

Dallas TX recycles food waste through composting
https://dallascityhall.com/departments/sanitation/Pages/foodwaste_recycle.aspx
Question 11:  What is your opinion about our food scrap program? How can we adjust it if you are elected?

John  Cordes:  It is unfortunate how badly this effort to reduce organic waste from landfills has gone. There is little we can do until we begin negotiations in around 2020 for the new garbage contract starting in 2022 without a major cost.  We need to keep the organics out of the landfill, but many cities did this by mixing yard waste with green kitchen waste. They bury bones, dairy, etc in the landfill which produces methane. Methane is 70x worse than CO2 for warming the planet.  Sunnyvale has a goal of recycling 90% of our waste by 2030 so it is clear we need a long term solution to avoid burying organic waste in the landfill.

For garbage, we need to increase the amount that is recycled instead of dumped in the landfill. This means there are more people and more expensive sorting equipment being used which increases the cost.  Yes, I agree the split ‘food cycle’ cans are more costly and harder to use because of the narrow shape.

Traffic Congestion
Question 12:  What will you do to improve current traffic congestion?

Sunnyvale needs a transportation commission for one thing. We need to stop relying on what VTA provides and start and manage our own shuttle system.  Both Mtn View and Palo Alto have local shuttle systems.  We need to increase the business license tax and use those funds to develop effective local systems focused on getting more people to CalTrain, Light Rail.


Question 13:  Please tell us what Sunnyvale Climate action plan is, how much it costs and what the benefit  is for our residents?

John  Cordes:  Sunnyvale needs to reduce the Greenhouse gas generated by burning oil and gas by 80% by 2040.  The Climate action plan is the 100+ changes needed to make that happen. 60% of our greenhouse gases come from driving. That is the toughest area to reduce emission and a key reason why we need better transportation systems.

The benefits are that we don’t overheat the planet causing untold misery for billions. The costs are mostly behavior changes like using public transportation.

Mr. Sun:  Can Sunnyvale control the green house gas when people from other cities can pass through Sunnyvale?

John  Cordes:  WRT to GHG emission from cut-through traffic... Whether we like it or not, that is the state law. That is why it is so important to build more local housing so far fewer people are driving long distances to get to work.


Question 14:  Could you tell us more about the office growth is Sunnyvale? What is the problem for residents if we have escalating office growth?

John  Cordes:  The rapid expansion of office space has multiple problems. It causes congestion, it makes the affordable housing crisis worse, it increase time wasted in traffic and miles driven and more greenhouse gases for starters.


XY:  It seems our utility bills are increasing every year. People say type money are used to pay for employees salary raises. What is your take in this?

John  Cordes:  Sunnyvale pays the same amount for water as every other city. The city only charges what it costs to buy and provide the water. It is called an ‘enterprise fund’. It is revenue neutral. It does not make or lose money.  The same goes for the sewer and garbage. These are both enterprise funds.  All three will be going up for a long time. Water cost will probably double in the next 10 years. Same for sewer and garbage.  The water and sewer rate are going up because we are replacing old infrastructure that is worn out.
Please email me other questions at: john@johnsunnyvale.org

John  Cordes: (closing statement.) .  I hope I have demonstrated my deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing Sunnyvale and that I have clear proposals to improve our quality of life, make Sunnyvale more sustainable, just and enjoyable for everyone

Remember if you want more uncontrolled growth, vote for the candidates who are getting $100,000+ of support from the developers. If you want to control our growth, you need to vote for candidates who are not taking money from the developers.

Host: Thank you @John  Cordes ! Independence is what we all cherish. Kudos to your bravery to stand up for residents!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Santa Clara County: City-Town Revenues 2018

Summary:
There are 13 Cities and 2 Towns in Santa Clara County, California.  These are their 2018 revenues per person, their populations, land areas, population densities, and the change in populations from 2000 to 2017.

PermaLink to this post: https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/santa-clara-county-city-town-revenues.html

The grand sum of the "general fund" city budgets for every city in Santa Clara County is $2.5B.  That works out to $1,378/per resident.

Excluding unincorporated areas, the total area of all these cities is 348 sq. mi. (about the size of Dallas - 341 sq. mi.).  Total population is 1.8M, between Phoenix (1.6M) and Houston (2.3M).  The average population density of all the Santa Clara cities combined is 5,320 residents per sq. mile, greater than San Diego's (4,325/sq.mi.) and less than LA's (8,484).

Data for other cities from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_population


Tax Revenue per Resident:
The "General Fund" is the major part of every city's budget.  It is the part that it has the most discretion with.  There are other funds which must be spent on certain items such as water purification, etc.

The "General Fund" pays for police, libraries, streets and sidewalks.  Cities can decide what they want to do with general fund money - more for police and less for libraries or vice-versa.  To use any of the money collected in fees (for water electricity, etc.) for that general stuff would violate the law - the fee would essentially be a tax.

For example, San Jose's budget letter notes: "For the City’s many other dedicated funds (e.g., Airport Funds, Housing Funds, Sanitary Sewer Funds, Water Utility Funds), recommended budget actions address various service delivery and infrastructure needs balanced within the available resources for each fund."

San Jose's dedicated "enterprise funds" were $1.8B while capital funds budget was $776M, their general fund was $1.2B, and their capital fund was $777M as seen below (click on image to enlarge to readable size):
General Fund = 37% of the total budget
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/68436
Here is the General Fund Revenue per person for each city and town in Santa Clara County.  References to documentation sources at the end.  This is for 2018 except for Los Gatos and Monte Sereno for which it is for 2017.  The red bar at the bottom is the total revenue from all the cities divided by the total population of all the cities.  Click image to enlarge.

The highest is Palo Alto at well over $3,000 per resident - no surprise there.  We saw when we looked at Palo Alto in detail that they had a very high jobs-to-resident level.  The employers pay a lot of taxes and don't require many services so lots more money in palo Alto's budget.  More here:
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/01/palo-alto-work-live-commute.html

Like San Jose, Palo Alto also has several budget sub-divisions.  The total budget was $711M and their "general fund" budget was only 30% of that at $211M.  The other funds representing $500M were covered very well in the budget letter as follows:

"Beyond the General Fund, the City’s Enterprise and Other Funds ... maintain and invest in the City’s many service areas including Utilities, the Airport, and parking initiatives. ... The Airport Fund continues to see significant investment in capital improvements through grant funding awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration. ... As noticed previously, a focus on parking operations is anticipated in FY 2019."
From page 12 of the budget transmittal letter found here:
https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/66641

A bit surprising is that Sunnyvale is number two at well over $2,000 per person.  Everyone thinks of the big employers like Google )Mountain View) or Apple (Cupertino), but Sunnyvale has a lot of lesser known companies.  Santa Clara is close at almost $2,000/resident and Mountain View is above average at almost $1700/resident.

Other than those 4 cities, all other cities are below the average - sometimes well below.


Population of each City or Town:

Here are the total populations of all 15 cities and towns in Santa Clara County:

San Jose is far and away the biggest, with Sunnyvale and Santa Clara a distant second.

Population Density:

Here is the density in people per square mile (land area only) for all the cities and towns in Santa Clara County.  "Total" means the total population of all the cities and towns divided by the total area of all those cities.  I must point out that about half of the land area of Palo Alto is reserved for tidal marshland or "unbuildable" hill areas reserved for recreation.  With that land area subtracted, Palo Alto's density would be about 5600 or roughly double that shown.
C.f., https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/01/palo-alto-work-live-commute.html

Campbell and Sunnyvale are essentially tied for first place in density with Santa Clara and Mountain View very similar.  San Jose is fourth which is a function of it being so geographically spread out.  Since the revenue per resident is well below average, San Jose is straining to provide services for such a large spread out population.  They are actually forced to borrow to make their general fund obligations.



Data Table:

Here are the actual numbers for the charts above.  Land  areas were taken from the Wikipedia article on each city.  Populations were from https://www.citypopulation.de/php/usa-california.php?adm2id=06085

The 2018 budget refers only to the general fund for each city.

Click on image to enlarge

General Revenue Fund Document Sources:


San Jose:
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/68436

Sunnyvale - page 20 of:
https://sunnyvale.ca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=25605

Santa Clara - page 3 of:
http://santaclaraca.gov/home/showdocument?id=61024

Mountain View - page 1-6 of:
https://www.mountainview.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=26500

Milpitas - page 8 of:
http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/_pdfs/CityofmilpitasFy2018_2019_AdoptedBudget.pdf

Palo Alto - page 14 of:
https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/66641

Cupertino: https://www.cupertino.org/our-city/departments/finance/budget-at-a-glance

Gilroy: https://www.cityofgilroy.org/DocumentCenter/View/7032/Budget-Transmittal-Letter

Morgan Hill: https://www.morgan-hill.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/23216/Budget-in-Brief-2018-2020

Campbell - page 4 of:
https://www.ci.campbell.ca.us/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/1122

Sartatoga - page 15 of:
https://www.saratoga.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/1569/FY-201819-Proposed-Operating--Capital-Summary-Budget-PDF?bidId=

Los Altos - page ii of:
https://www.losaltosca.gov/sites/default/files/fileattachments/finance_and_technology/page/41701/adopted_budget_fy18_and_fy19_final_to_print1.pdf

Los Altos Hills - page 30 of:
https://www.losaltoshills.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1929/2017-18-Adopted-Budget-2218?bidId=

Los Gatos - page c-6 of
https://www.losgatosca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/21571/Financial-Summaries?bidId=

Monte Sereno - page 2 of:
http://www.montesereno.org/DocumentCenter/View/1545/Budget-2017-2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sunnyvale City Council Campaign - 2018 - Henry Alexander III

(Transcript of interview with Henry Alexander III.  The other post in this series on Josh Grossman is here:
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018.html

Henry Alexander III's Website https://henryforsunnyvale.com/

(Full disclosure:  I endorse Josh Grossman, Henry Alexander III and John Cordes for City Council and have contributed to their campaigns. - Michael Goldman)

Link to this post:  https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018_25.html

Link to interview with candidate Josh Grossman:
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018.html

Link to interview with candidate John Cordes:
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2018/10/sunnyvale-city-council-campaign-2018_31.html

<HOST>: Hi @Henry Alexander III  thank you for spending time with us tonight [the question list is here: https://tinyurl.com/askSunnyvale.  Background on Henry:
 https://tinyurl.com/askHenry2018, and our final conversation will be put there as well]

Introduction:

Henry Alexander III :Hi Everyone!  My name is Henry Alexander and I am running on behalf of the citizens and families of Sunnyvale.

As a Bay Area native and 13 year resident in Sunnyvale, my wife of 21 years and I have raised our family, educated our 3 children in the public school system and have volunteered for countless community centered causes and events.

My 6 year parks commission and multi-year Ray-Nor Park neighborhood association leadership has equipped me to know how important connection to community truly is.

I’ve committed to a lean campaign financed 100% by individuals committing to 50% of the average Sunnyvale City Council campaign council spending.

<HOST>: Before we ask any questions, I would like to get an official approval from you, that everything we talk here, will be made public, without any material edition. Would you like to approve it?

Henry Alexander III: Yes I approve
<HOST>: Great, thanks Henry, we are off to the first question:

Sunnyvale City Council Chambers
Question 1: Why are you running for Sunnyvale City Council?

Henry Alexander III: I have a goal which is to make Sunnyvale its best.  My goals of reducing traffic, calming office development approvals, improving a flawed infrastructure and open space are my highest priorities.  What also very important to me is to provide a "resident-first" approach.  One that is not questioned by who has financed my campaign.  I'd like to bring Sunnyvale into a more "resident-first" city and that includes the many concerns that the council has frankly failed to adequately address.

<HOST>: Great, I like your "resident-first" approach and hope it one day becomes true.  And the independence is invaluable, this is the only thing that cannot be bought by money.


Question 2: What have you done for the community before?

Henry Alexander III: I have served on the Parks & Recreation commission for 6 years.  3 of the years of which I was voted unanimously as chair and twice voted unanimously as Vice Chair.  In addition I am heavily involved in the Raynor Park Neighborhood association where we lead many community events and outreach such as a trash cleanup day, Easter Egg Hunts which bring out about 200 kids and other community building activities as well.

I have also led an initiative to save Raynor park against the city when open space was being sold.


Additionally I was heavily involved in Measure M

<HOST>: For folks who do not understand what is Measure M, can you please briefly describe it a bit?

Henry Alexander III : Sure.  Measure M was an initiative that was intended to give residents of Sunnyvale the ability to vote to determine who has the final say on public land transactions.  We passionately tried to get the measure passed and were even able to gather over 1200 petition signatures in the midst of the El Nino rain that happened that year.  It really allowed me to be an outspoken leader in an effort to give control to residents.

2012 Plan to Chop up Civic Center and 99-Year Lease To Developers
While it narrowly was defeated, the message that Sunnyvale residents want to slow development was made very clear as two incumbents who were 100% growth were voted out of office.  My opponent and Mayor Hendricks were the last two who are on council who can be voted out.  It's my hope we can finish the job!

My apologies but I was extremely passionate about this cause.

(for a short video of City Council debating leasing away 65% of the Civic Center, see: 
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2016/10/civic-center-99-year-lease.html - Michael Goldman )

<HOST>: Thanks Henry, it's always good to be passionate.  Appreciate your explanations, let's quickly move to the 3# question

How Dense is Too Dense?
Question 3: What is your view on the housing and development in Sunnyvale? What is your view about sensible development? What is the difference between you and your opponent?

Henry Alexander III :I believe that we start solving our housing issues by scaling back on office developments.  Sensible development to me means making sure that there is a real plan when developments are approved.  How developments affect school overcrowding and public safety should always be priority.

The difference between me and my opponent is that he has proven that he is pro-development by his voting record.  While development is not a bad thing in all cases, it's difficult to trust a vote that is a project that has financed his campaign.  That is how we differ since I am 100% individually financed.



Question 4: What should we do to alleviate traffic? Gustav Larsson mentioned city implements state of the art intelligent traffic lights to improve traffic. Does it work?

Question 5: I am concerned about the urban sprawl in Sunnyvale, with no additional capacity added to the roads or other transit infrastructure, which is causing significant traffic congestion. How do you address the issue?

Henry Alexander III :I think intelligent traffic signals are a great start but I have seen recently that we still are having traffic light issues.  We will need to go further in the process and look at 5G technology to better control traffic flow.  My opponent speaks of different percentages of improvements but I don't think that residents are feeling any less congestion.

Working with transit to create free shuttles, incentivizing carpooling, and more demands for business to increase ride sharing are a good start in my opinion.  I intend to work on this issue since it is now a public safety concern.


Emergency Vehicles - stuck in traffic like any other vehicle
Question 6: Please explain your concerns about emergency vehicles?

Henry Alexander III :I have seen so many vehicles who are fighting through traffic to get to their intended destination.  When minutes and seconds mean life or death, something needs to change.

I think that the improvements will come when we better educate drivers as to proper road rules.  We have to calm the traffic first.  That's not an answer that any one person can solve.  It will take a lot of work to clean up the mess that poor decisions have created.  What is clear, if we expect something different from my opponent, it will not happen.  Continued growth + additional mass = more traffic.



Question 7: What is your action plan on reducing airplane noise in Sunnyvale?

Henry Alexander III: I want to be clear that this is a personal issue for me.  I have neighbors who suffer from PTSD and the flight path causes episodes.  I have learned a lot about the airplane noise issue from Save Sunny Sky.  I'm fully in favor of Josh Grossman's 5 point plan.  We really do need citizen input and most important, revisiting the City's current round-table.  When we are elected, please know that you will have two strong advocates that will work hard to correct the issue of airplane noise.

Raynor Park in red box with building sold to Stratford School in yellow box
https://www.mercurynews.com/2013/12/11/sunnyvale-leaders-ok-sale-of-raynor-activity-center-but-neighbors-arent-too-happy/
Question 9: We heard you are the chair of Raynor Park Neighborhood Association and held many activities for neighbors . Could you tell us more regarding the stories of saving Raynor Park & Measure M?

Henry Alexander III: Saving Ray-Nor Park allowed me to see how important community, family and open space is to residents.  Seeing people so passionate to only be let down by their elected officials was heartbreaking.  But these are the same individuals who have helped my campaign. I'm excited that they remember and are willing to support the same way I served and supported them.
(see also: https://sunnyvalepublicparksact.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/they-dont-always-sell-the-land-sometimes-they-give-it-away-for-free/ )




Question 10: California Apartment Association sent mailers to promote Gustav Larsson. The mailer mentioned Gustav champions "smart housing" solutions while protecting existing neighborhoods and preserving the small town community feel the residents of Sunnyvale value. What does smart housing mean ? Is it possible to have "smart housing" and preserve the small town feeling together?

Henry Alexander III: I think that high density housing is a flawed solution.  These are small spaces and when more families are created as time passes, where do these children go to school?  How does it affect traffic?  The term "smart" only applies when every aspect is considered.  Sunnyvale does not want to become San Francisco.  It will lose what makes it special.


Public Housing in FL
http://seattlemedium.com/thousands-of-rich-americans-live-in-taxpayer-subsidized-public-housing/
Question 11: Both of you mentioned affordable housing will be your goals. What is the difference between you and your opponent regarding affordable housing? What is the definition of affordable housing?

Henry Alexander III : No offense to my friend in SF!  Affordable housing to my opponent means creating more supply as the assumption is that it will decrease demand.  Again, this is not the answer.  I am in favor of affordable housing options but not at the expense of taxpayers.  There should also be limits in some cases so that there is a time limit for those able to improve their financial means.  Too many take advantage and this is why there is such a divide.


<HOST>: Two questions that are closely related:

Question 12: What is your plan to improve our city's transparency? 

Question 13: Actually, every city council meeting is very important. However most of us are busy.  How can city inform us those important decisions before they make a decision and after a decision?

Henry Alexander III : I have advocated for Data Transparency and have presented low cost options that will allow the City to better communicate to its residents.  I believe that the City is several years behind from even our neighboring cities in this effort.  I'd like to free up resources that are manual by making the data universally available to all residents.  That includes spend and campaign finance.

Here is a link to my thoughts on that: https://henryforsunnyvale.com/2018/06/14/transparent-government-in-sunnyvale-video/



Question 14: If the subject of marijuana stores in Sunnyvale ever shows up on the Sunnyvale council meeting, what would be your vote? Yes or No?

Henry Alexander III: No.  Dispensaries don't belong in Sunnyvale.  The residents have also been very clear that they are against it as well.



Question 15: What is your school safety plan?

Henry Alexander III: Kids should never fear going to school.  My children were affected by lock downs several years back.  I think that we really need to focus on mental health and equipping parents with tools to better control their kids screen time.  The pressure and over stimulation I think have created a larger issue.  I have attended several school board meetings and hope to work along side PTA to look at increasing the education of of kids to make the right decisions.  That's where it really starts.


Question 15: What is your opinion about rent control?

Henry Alexander III: This is close to home.  I have been a renter for 13 years in Sunnyvale.  While this is the case I am not convinced that rent control is the complete answer.  In some cases rent control can hurt supply as an unintended consequence.  I am in favor of rent stabilization for mobile home parks.

A large concern is how do we as a City and community help address the cost of rents while implementing Sensible Growth to maintain and grow our affordable housing options?

Once elected, I will make it a priority to seek additional community input and a solution that will help manage this very real issue.  One in which we can collectively agree upon, for the betterment of all in Sunnyvale.

<HOST>: Again, I would like to point out the rent control on SF has result a disaster for both home owners and tenants.  That is the last city that Sunnyvale would want to model with.

Henry Alexander III : Agreed

<HOST>: Great thank you Henry for all the typing!  Let's get to free chat and new questions.

Question 16: What will be your biggest challenge if you are elected? What is the first thing you want to focus on when you are elected?


Henry Alexander III: The biggest challenge is to solve the division.  We all want the same which is a great city to live and raise our families.  I believe that I can get along well with both sides to work towards better solutions.  I've always been complimented on being approachable and a good communicator.

Question 17: What are your hobbies during casual time?

Henry Alexander III :My hobbies have centered mostly around my family.  My kids run competitive track so my weekend time is with them.  I do enjoy the beach and collected vinyl records.  I have a large collection of Jazz records.


<HOST>:πŸ””πŸ””πŸ””Free Chatting time with Henry Now, wake up!

GCN: How many new parks open recently?
Seven Seas Park, Sunnyvale
Henry Alexander III :In 2013 Swegles Park was opened at 1.0 acres, in 2014 Seven Seas park was open at 5.3 acres and Wiser park opens November 3rd which will be 0.8 acres.  I voted for each of these parks to be approved by Council as a recommendation on the Parks Commission.

lisaN: What can we do to keep our park from being sold?

Henry Alexander III: Parks being sold would be suicide for a council to approve.  The prevention of this would be the residents being vocal and passionate as we were with saving Raynor Park.

Henry Alexander III :The next 20 years are the most crucial.  I was taught by my parents to remember, everything takes time and you have to accept that if you want to do great things with your life.

The good news is that humans are living longer and technology has allowed us to have more jobs and opportunities to make a difference.

The better news is that Sunnyvale can start this November, look back at ourselves in the future, and appreciate all of the work we’ve put in to tell our story.


GCN:  You had a video regarding Butcher's corner.  Could you talk about what you learn about Butcher corner's development?  Were you a Chair of the Park Commission at that time?

Henry Alexander III:  I learned that the City made many exceptions to the code with Butcher's Corner.  I also learned that this council puts developer's interests first instead of residents.
A U-Turn at a busy intersection is necessary to leave towards Wolf Rd.
More here:
https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2016/11/butchers-corner-wolfe-el-camino.html

XLN:“When we are elected, please know that you will have two strong advocates that will work hard to correct the issue of airplane noise.” Henry, with your statement above, you drove me in tears! This is such a stark contrast to the current city council. We’ve been working with them, especially the current mayor, for the last couple of years. Let’s just put it this way - it hasn’t been easy. I sincerely pray that all 3 grassroots candidates will win and bring fresh air to the city council this November. It’s about time!

Closing Statement:

Henry Alexander III: Sunnyvale I’m one of you.  I have raised my family and in a sense, been raised as well in Sunnyvale.  What matters to you is what matters to me.  In a time in our society in which we are divided in ways that are close to Civil War times, I ask that you consider the candidate who has demonstrated bringing communities together.

I want to bring a diversity.  A diversity of thought in our council that you no longer need to question.  My campaign and my life have been supported by individuals alone.  My debt to repay is serving the residents of Sunnyvale first.
Diversity on City Council - Mustaches, Beard, Clean-shaven.
What more could you ask for?
My opponent has been consistent in his voting record that development takes a priority to the bigger picture.

Please visit my website to read more about my priorities.  I’m confident that you’ll find more alignment with my goals for Sunnyvale.  I ask that you vote for Henry. And vote to "work for a change".

Henry Alexander's web site is here:
https://henryforsunnyvale.com/

<HOST>: Bye and good night!

Henry Alexander III :Thank you all!



Comparisons Between Henry Alexander III & Gustav Larsson

Source: Part 3: Follow The Money / 2018 Sunnyvale Council Races material (video, slides, summary sheet) published on the website http://www.sunnyvalepubliclandsact.com

Out of Control Growth in Sunnyvale - Butcher's Corner https://youtu.be/hzNL6ErApcA

If you want to know the detail and impact of the development of Butchers Corner, please visit Councilman Michael Goldman's blog  http://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2016/11/butchers-corner-wolfe-el-camino.html

I saw a petition from residents surrounding Butcher's Corner regarding the development. Over 600 persons signed. Did our city listen to what residents want or what developers want? If your house is near any potential development site,  Butcher's Corner today is what you will live with tomorrow.

BUTCHER'S CORNER PETITION

We, the local residents of Sunnyvale and surrounding areas, petition our Sunnyvale City Council Members to accept the Planning Commission’s Recommendations for the Butcher's Corner Project as follow:

1.       Do not certify the proposed Environmental Impact Report (EIR) but instead require that it be updated to include an updated traffic study.  their source.

 2.      If a special Development Permit is considered by the City Council, then accept  the Planning Commission’s Recommendations as follows:

3.      Require that the updated EIR as discussed in 1. (above) be updated to include a more accurate student generation rate because the one used likely does not properly reflect the historical student population generation for the Stocklmeir School. A more accurate rate, based on the actual Stocklmeir ATT rate should be utilized. The updated rate should be used to update both a) the attendance figures for Stocklmeir School and b) provide sufficient reason to revise upward the average 2.61 average occupancy figures. The new occupancy figures should be utilized in the update to the traffic study (above).

4.      Accept the Heritage Preservation Commission’s recommendation to designate all 6 oak trees, the one large 300 year old Valley Oak plus the 5 Coast Live Oak trees near the corner of El Camino Real, as Heritage Resource trees.

Source: https://www.change.org/p/sunnyvale-city-council-butcher-s-corner-petition

One of Sunnyvale's Famous Land Owners

The Vidovich family has a variety of properties he wishes to redevelop in Sunnyvale.  This year John and Stephen Vidovich donated both Hendricks & Larsson $2900. As we know, the butchers corner, at the intersection of El Camino, Wolfe Rd.and Fremont is going to redevelop.  Following by 803 W. El Camino Real, it is a mixed-used project.  And the other two properties are neighborhood shopping centers which Gustav Larsson mentioned in his mailer "with Sunnyvale residents' support, he will upgrade neighborhood shopping centers".

The descriptions of the four properties are as follows:

1.Butchers Corner (871 and 895 E. Fremont Ave.):  This development is approved by the City Council on 12/13/16. Redevelopment of a 5.49-acre site with 138 residential units (39 townhomes and 99 apartments) plus 6,934 square feet of retail/office use with surface and underground parking.  It will be 5 story street and 6 story inside buildings. Enclosed the future plan view for your reference.

2. 803 W. El Camino Real: 49 residential units (40 apartments + 9 single-family homes), 5,662 s.f. of commercial, and a 51 room expansion of the Grand Hotel

3. The shopping plaza at Fremont and Mary

4. The plaza at Pastoria and El Camino