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City Council Neutral On Water Tax Measure, Tables 'Citizens United' Item

Officials back to work enjoying new A/V equipment after July recess.

The Milpitas City Council at their Tuesday, August 7, meeting debuted their new updated audio/visual system in the Council Chambers with better microphones, computer screens, timers, cameras, and controls offering improved sound for the audience. It took a little getting used to by councilmembers, however, turning their microphones on and off.

The Council heard Santa Clara Valley Water District's Deputy Operating Officer Liang Lee's presentation on the Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Plan seeking support for the Water District’s placement of the 15 year Plan and Special Tax on November 6, 2012 Ballot.

After asking questions the Mayor and Councilmembers decided to Note, Receipt, and File the report without taking a position to support or oppose the water tax extension although Mayor Esteves said he could "boldly oppose it." Lee said the plan and tax expiring in 2016 received over 2/3 voter approval required 12 years ago.

Responding to questions about extending it this early, Lee added that the Board felt the needed 2/3 vote was more likely now. He added the Water District is authorized to increase the tax annually based on the cost of living or 3%. In 2000 the yearly tax was $39. Today it is estimated at $54.

The Mayor and Councilmembers decided to table to a future date a request for Council consideration of support for a Constitutional Amendment to
repeal the US Supreme Court's 'Citizens United' decision. The issue could be agendized in a month with more comprehensive information sought. Vice Mayor Pete McHugh suggested the Resolution from the United States Conference of Mayors.

The South Bay Tech Center located at 1603-1787 South Main Street
received approval to allow some retail/commercial uses in the industrial park as recommended by the Planning Commission. Property Manager Susan Causey said there is interest in tutoring classes, yoga studios, and other similar uses locating there. She added there are no major renovations planned and that the center will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

Supported a request from Councilmember Giordano to Mayor Esteves to form an Ad Hoc Task Force to review the city's Sign Ordinance. The matter was referred to the Planning Commission to form a subcommittee that would begin the process to update the city's Sign Ordinance. The ACLU lawsuit against the city over Rob Means' yard sign was mentioned in Vice Mayor Pete McHugh's comments as one of the reasons for taking a look at the ordinance.

An update report on the Request for Proposals (RFP's) process for
outsourcing was presented by Chief Brian Sturdivant for the Fire Department and by Commander Steve Pangelinan for the Police Department. Zero proposals were received with the extended deadline for the fire RFP according to Sturdivant. Pangelinan said the Police Department draft RFP will be ready for Council review at their August 21st meeting. City Manager Tom Williams said the process could extend into October while contract negotiations with the MPOA (Milpitas Police Officers Association) would begin August 28.

Approved acceptance of a $5,000 donation from David Hufton to the Milpitas Public Library and approved the spending plan for upholstery expenses from the Library Advisory Commission.

Sifu Paddler August 08, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Other than the issue of free speech in regards to the sign ordinance, there should be a practical review as well to address the many abondoned, neglected, dubious signage that is all over town. These signs in their many forms are creating an environment of blight and further encourages carelessness in how people treat their community.
Frank De Smidt August 08, 2012 at 11:07 PM
You and other interested parties could attend future Planning Commission meetings, when the Sign Ordinance review is agendized to share your comments. Planning Commission agendas are posted on the city's website; http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov
Rajeev Madnawat August 09, 2012 at 01:31 AM
As Frank said, please come to Planning Commission meetings when this items is tabled and let your opinion and suggestions heard. Those who cannot attend can write to planning commission members and/or to the city staff. Comments on topics on PC agenda received by the city planning staff are presented to planning commission.

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