Cops Care Foundation Fantasy Flight – On December 12, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) joined a number of other Bay Area law enforcement agencies in the Cops Care Cancer Foundation's Christmas Fantasy Flight. For a number of years now, DPS has played a lead role in this large event which brings some holiday joy to many underprivileged families who unfortunately have children tragically stricken with cancer. The event began at the Juniper Networks Aspiration Dome before being led by police escort to the San Jose Police Air 2 hanger at the San Jose Airport. The children were given a heroes' welcome before enjoying some fun, food and games. The highlight of the event was when Santa arrived by CHP helicopter and all of the children received presents from their wish lists. Other participating police agencies included San Jose, Fremont, Redwood City, San Francisco, and the California Highway Patrol. For more information, contact Captain Jeffrey Plecque or call 408-730-7188. Also please visit Cops Care Cancer Foundation .
Public Safety Officers Assist a Mother in Childbirth – On December 3 at 9:11 a.m., PSO Dave Meinhardt and PSO Sean Soura responded in Engine 243 to the parking lot of Smart & Final on S. Mary Avenue on the report of a female patient in active labor. Upon their arrival they found the patient in the back of an SUV. While waiting for County paramedics, the baby's head presented. PSO Meinhardt cradled the baby's head and assisted the mother in the delivery of the child. At 9:23 a.m. baby boy, James, was born. James and mom are doing great. This was PSO Meinhardt's second baby delivery and PSO Soura's first. For more information, email Captain Shawn Ahearn or phone 408-730-7228.
New Recruits Graduate from the Fire Academy – On Friday, December 4, the City of Palo Alto Fire Department and the City of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety graduated 15 new Firefighters from the Fire Academy – two from Palo Alto Fire and 13 from Sunnyvale DPS. The 16-week training program was hosted by Sunnyvale and resources from both agencies where utilized to facilitate the training. The recruits received hands-on experience and entry-level instruction to all aspects of basic firefighting operations. They underwent intense physical and mental challenges in order to obtain their State Firefighting Certification. The graduation was held at the Juniper Networks Aspiration Dome. For more information, contact Captain Vince Chetcuti at 408-730-7220.
NOVA Workforce Board Officers for 2016 – At the December 2 Board meeting, the Board voted to elect Board officers for 2016:
- Steve Van Dorn, Corporate Affairs Manager, California Chamber of Commerce
- Christopher Galy, Vice President of Talent, Auction.com
Board Vice Chairs:
- Jennifer Morrill, Director of Commercial Legal (North America), LinkedIn
- Poncho Guevara, Executive Director, Sacred Heart Community Service
As per NOVA Workforce Board bylaws, Board officers serve for one year, but may run again. NOVA looks forward to their leadership and vision in the coming year as the organization enters a new phase under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, with a newly expanded NOVA consortium.
Success in the Volleyball Adult Sports Program – While neighboring cities have cancelled adult volleyball programs over the last few years, Sunnyvale is experiencing an increase in participation. In 2015, 14 additional teams registered for the adult volleyball league, which is a 21 percent increase from 2014. The Tuesday evening adult volleyball drop-in program increased participation 28 percent in the last year; previously averaging 25 participants per night growing to 32 on a regular basis. The Monday evening skill-based volleyball class frequently fills to a capacity with 42 participants. Serving over 2,500 participants annually, the three volleyball programs offered by Community Services are generating approximately $70,000 in revenue. For more information about adult sports programs, call 408-730-7334 or visit Recreation.inSunnyvale.com.
Reading is Fundamental Partners with Macy's and the Library – During the summer, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) organized a Be Book Smart Campaign which paired libraries with local Macy's stores to donate a portion of sales to support literacy. Sunnyvale Library contacted the Sunnyvale Macy's and through this partnership will now receive over 500 books to add to the Library's collections or use as prizes in reading programs. RIF also added another set of 40 multi-cultural books. Thanks RIF and Macy's from the children of Sunnyvale!
Traffic Signal Modifications at Mathilda Avenue at Maude Avenue and Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road at Fremont Avenue – Construction is nearing completion on these two signal modification projects. The contractor, Pacific Electric, is completing the installation of cables to power new changeable message signs at these locations. The signs will provide motorists with real-time feedback on the speed limit and their vehicle's speed via radar speed detection. The projects also include the installation of new signal backplates with yellow reflective striping to enhance visibility, replacement of safety lighting with new LED fixtures, and replacement of ADA pedestrian push buttons to improve accessibility. The projects are partially grant funded through the California Highway Improvement Safety Program. Construction work is expected to be completed by the end of December and then a 90-day test period will begin. For more information, contact Public Works Transportation and Traffic Division at 408-730-7415 or email Public Works.
Comprehensive Transportation Study for North County – Staff from cities in the North and West Valley areas of Santa Clara County have met a number of times over the last few months to discuss North County transportation priorities, including the 85 Corridor Study, and a possible comprehensive transportation master plan for North County and West Valley. The Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) met with the Technical Advisory Committee members from the participating cities to discuss and clarify these two studies; the 85 Corridor Study and a Comprehensive Transportation Systems Study. This meeting occurred on December 10, and included representatives from the cities of Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Saratoga, Sunnyvale, and Palo Alto. Staff discussed the SR 85 Corridor Policy Advisory Board agenda, and the potential scope of the “comprehensive study.” VTA staff confirmed that until they received the most recent letters from the group, they felt that their efforts to begin the SR 85 Corridor Study were responsive to the request for a comprehensive study. At this time they have verbally communicated that they understand these are two different efforts. VTA has stated that the SR 85 Corridor Study will continue, and concurrently they will initiate a comprehensive mobility study. VTA will be sending a letter acknowledging their understanding, and staff will forward the letter to the City Council. For more information, contact Public Works Transportation and Traffic Division at 408-730-7415 or email Public Works.
Food Scraps Pilot End and Cart Exchanges – The residential food scraps collection pilot program ends the week of December 14. During this last week, on their normal service days, all pilot households will have their garbage and food scraps split cart exchanged for the regular black garbage cart. Customers will receive the same sized garbage cart they had prior to the pilot and may keep the countertop buckets that were issued at the start. The pilot lasted nine months and included approximately 500 homes in five different neighborhoods throughout Sunnyvale. City staff audited carts regularly during the pilot and results showed an impressive 74 percent participation rate overall. The average national participation rate for food scraps collection programs is only 30 percent. And as a result of resident efforts to separate food scraps, 30 percent of the garbage (by weight) was separated out to be composted. Solid Waste staff will evaluate the data from this and other food scraps programs and make a recommendation for a citywide program to City Council in 2016. For more information, visit Food Scraps Recycling Pilot Program or contact Robert Harvie, Solid Waste Specialist.
California Consumer Price Index Adjustment Under 2 Percent for Property Tax – Since the passage of Proposition 13, annual adjustments of assessed values for the property tax roll are limited to the increase in the California Consumer Price Index (CCPI) or 2 percent, whichever is less. The CCPI measures activity from October to October, and includes all items. For Fiscal Year 2016-17, the State Board of Equalization has determined the CCPI to be 1.525 percent. This is the ninth year that the CCPI has been less than 2 percent since the passage of Proposition 13. The property tax revenue forecast in the budget assumes the 2 percent. While the CCPI result is below projection, the impact it will have on total property tax revenue growth will be modest, given the substantial growth in the tax roll from change of ownership and new construction. For more information, contact Nick Kurns, Budget Analyst.
FY 2015-16 First Quarter Financial Report – Below is a financial update of actual revenues and expenditures for the City's major funds through the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2015-16.
Change in Consultant Staffing for Peery Park Specific Plan – The Principal Planner from the consultant firm of Freedman, Tung & Sasaki (FTS) that has been working on the Peery Park Specific Plan alerted staff this week that he will be leaving the firm at the end of December to pursue other interests. Erik Calloway has been the project lead at FTS and has presented at the community workshops. Greg Tung, who is a Principal and Partner at FTS will take over Erik's role as the project lead. He has been closely involved in the project and has attended one of the community workshops. Staff is currently reviewing an administrative draft of the Specific Plan and EIR, and will meet with the consultant this week to discuss the transition and the possible effect on the project schedule. We will inform Council once further details are known.
City and VTA Receives Metropolitan Transportation Commission Grant for Peery Park Rides Program – We are very pleased to inform the Council that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has approved a grant of $1,129,000 to the City of Sunnyvale and Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to implement the Peery Park Rides Program. In addition to the unique partnership between VTA and the City, Peery Park Rides is an innovative two-year pilot project to establish a flexible VTA shuttle bus program to serve Peery Park employees and surrounding residents. Additionally, Peery Park businesses have expressed interest in participating and supporting the program through creation of a transportation management association. The three-way public/private partnership aspect of the proposal was a strong selling point for the grant. City staff will meet with VTA staff in January to begin the planning process. The grant source is MTC's OneBayAreaGrant 1 Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program, which provided $6 million to expand TDM and parking strategies as part of the Climate Initiatives Program. The Climate Initiatives Program is a multi-faceted program aimed at reducing transportation-related emissions and vehicle miles traveled and is a critical strategy for implementing Plan Bay Area. Only six Bay Area cities were recommended for funding, and the Peery Park Rides Program was the only proposal approved for Santa Clara County.
Sunnyvale Swim Complex at Fremont High School Anticipates Reopening! – On January 11, the City in conjunction with the Fremont Union High School District, anticipates that the Sunnyvale Swim Complex at Fremont High School will be reopening after receiving a complete pool replastering. This comes as good news as upgrades and improvements were also made to the adjoining pool house last year. The pool has been operated through a public-private partnership between the City and the California Sports Center since 2002. In accordance with the current agreement, some pool user fees will be changing effective January 1, 2016. In part, changes are a result of improved facility amenities, increased staffing levels, increased minimum wage and employee benefit costs, and utility costs. While many fees are not changing including drop-in lap swim and monthly passes for lap swim, benchmarking data indicates that pool user fees will be in range of other local municipalities. Open swim fees were last increased in 2011 and new open swim fees will reflect a $1 increase while residents can purchase 10-swim punch passes for only $28 or less than $3 per visit. Operationally, working in dollar increments is more feasible than coins, therefore; increases are in dollar increments. For more information on the Sunnyvale Swim Complex at Fremont High School, visit Swimming.inSunnyvale.com or call the pool at 408-732-2257.
Storm Mapping – To better inform the public of storm conditions, Public Safety is partnering with the cities of Mountain View and Palo Alto to provide a consolidated mapping tool that advises of flooding and other appropriate weather notifications, available via a single-click link to a Google Map display. The agencies are currently coordinating efforts to ensure that like symbols and terminology are built into the display. The design will be tested in upcoming weeks and is expected to be finalized in January 2016. However, should there be a need for immediate implementation resulting from a severe weather situation; the system will be made available for the community. For more information, contact Captain Jeffrey Hunter or call 408-730-7158.
County Monthly Report on Cold Weather Shelter Program (CWSP) – County staff provided a monthly report dated December 9 on the status of various efforts related to the Cold Weather Shelter Program, consistent with the Council's request earlier this year. Highlights: the new temporary shelter facility on Innovation Way opened on December 6. In the first three days of operation, a total of 38 clients utilized the shelter for one or more nights. The City Manager has communicated with the County Executive's Office regarding issues related to starting a new service. Local residents seeking shelter, or residents wishing to refer those in need, may contact Sunnyvale Community Services at 408-738-4321 ext. 216, or Downtown Streets Team at 650-833-8663 to request a referral to the new Sunnyvale shelter. After 5 p.m., those in need may call the shelter directly at 408-313-6626 for assistance. Community members with questions or concerns about shelter operations may call the HomeFirst 24/7 hotline at 408-854-4670 for assistance. For more information, contact the Housing Division at 408-730-7250.
County Proposal to Study Feasibility of Using 999 Hamlin Court Property for Inclement Weather Shelter – On December 15, the County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to direct the County Administration to report to the Board of Supervisors no later than January 31, 2016, with recommended action that would enable the County to use the property at 999 Hamlin Court, Sunnyvale or other appropriate sites, as an emergency shelter during episodes of inclement weather for the 2015 to 2016 cold weather season, subject to compliance with applicable California Environmental Quality Act requirements, and reach out to the City of Sunnyvale to cooperate and collaborate on public outreach efforts related to this site or any other site that may be proposed for this purpose. Supervisor Simitian was the maker of the motion. The County staff report and attachments are available at Santa Clara County LegiFile. City staff sent a letter to the County requesting that the feasibility study include a plan for a comprehensive community engagement process to consider establishing a shelter facility at this location. City staff will continue to communicate with County staff on this proposal. For more information about this proposal, contact Ky Le, Director of the County Office of Supportive Housing, at 408-793-0551.
Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act – In October 2015, Governor Brown signed into law three bills collectively referred to as the Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act (MMRSA). The MMRSA establishes state licensing requirements for cultivation, distribution and transportation of medical marijuana, as well as safety and testing requirements for marijuana products, and regulations for physicians who prescribe the drug. The MMRSA expressly provides for local authority to prohibit or regulate medical marijuana. However, the MMRSA requires that cities wishing to regulate or prohibit marijuana cultivation have an ordinance effective by March 1, 2016, and have an ordinance that expressly prohibits or regulates marijuana delivery.
The City of Sunnyvale currently maintains an ordinance (SMC Chapter 9.86) prohibiting fixed and mobile medical marijuana dispensaries, and it has interpreted the zoning code, which generally prohibits uses not specifically listed, to prohibit marijuana cultivation, distribution, and other commercial marijuana activities. However, because the City's ordinances do not expressly regulate cultivation or delivery, and considering the significant public health and safety concerns associated with activities such as marijuana cultivation, processing and delivery, staff is recommending amending the existing medical marijuana provisions in the Municipal Code before March 1, 2016 to ensure that the City's existing policies are explicit and comply with the requirements of the MMRSA. To ensure that the City retains local control over this important issue, the Planning Commission will review minor amendments to the Zoning Code associated with medical marijuana in January, and the Council will be asked to approve an urgency ordinance in February expressly prohibiting all cultivation, distribution, delivery and other commercial medical marijuana activity. For more information, contact Assistant City Attorney Melissa Tronquet.
Massage Establishment Ordinance Enforcement – On December 10, the Sunnyvale Municipal Code regulating massage establishments went into effect. The new ordinance provides establishment rules to allow effective regulation by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). On December 14, DPS Special Operations personnel began conducting inspections of the listed 36 establishment permits. Thirteen establishments were inspected with nine businesses having violations of varying nature. Of the nine, six businesses had massage employees working without California Massage Therapy Council certification and three of the establishments had more serious criminal activity which is being further investigated. The remaining inspections are scheduled to be completed through the month of January. For more information related to the massage inspections and ordinance enforcement, contact Captain Jeffrey Hunter or call 408-730-7158.
Sunken Gardens Restaurant Moves Closer to Opening – The City, and the new restaurant operator Gold Rush Eatery, have been making improvements to the restaurant building at Sunken Gardens Golf Course in preparation of the reopening. The work includes improvements to the inside and outside of the building, including bringing part of the restaurant infrastructure up to current Health Department and other standards. As part of the inspection process, one unanticipated item was identified that requires a major overhaul of the kitchen hood/vent system and associated electrical components. Staff is proceeding with hiring a vendor to complete the work as quickly as possible, and expects the restaurant to open in early 2016. For more information, contact Public Works Parks Division at 408-730-7506 or visit Parks.inSunnyvale.com.
New Restaurant Vendor at Sunnyvale Golf Course – Recently the City released a Request for Proposals for an operator to run the food and beverage concessions at Sunnyvale Golf Course. The deadline for submission was December 11, and four proposals were received from prospective vendors. In January staff will evaluate the proposals and make a selection. After a selection has been completed, staff will negotiate terms with a goal of bringing an agreement to Council in an April to May time frame. An opening date will not be known until negotiations have been completed. For more information, contact Public Works Parks Division at 408-730-7506 or visit Parks.inSunnyvale.com.
Human Resources Director Selected to Service on League of California Cities Conference Committee – The City Manager is pleased to announce that Teri Silva, Director of Human Resources, was selected to participate on the 2016 League of California Cities Annual Conference Committee. Ms. Silva will be required to attend a planning meeting, read and score approximately 100 conference proposals and attend the 2016 Annual Conference. Ms. Silva is excited to participate in this League of California Cities committee.
Finance Director Leaving Sunnyvale for Irvine – Finance Director, Grace Leung, will be leaving the City of Sunnyvale to become the Administrative Services Director for the City of Irvine. While we are disappointed she is leaving, this is a wonderful opportunity for Ms. Leung to join another high performing and fiscally well managed city and build on the skills she has developed over her 18 years with Sunnyvale. Over her long tenure with Sunnyvale, Ms. Leung has been a key leader within the organization and has held several positions in the Finance Department promoting to Director of Finance in 2010. She was critical in adapting and evolving the City's long-term financial plan through the Internet boom/bust cycle and global recession and ensuring the City maintained its AAA issuer credit rating. Prior to January 9, the City Manager will announce a transition plan to Council and name an acting Finance Director; Ms. Leung's last day here will be January 8.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS
Evenings of Cultural Arts – Saturday, January 9, at 8 p.m. in the Sunnyvale Theatre, 550 E. Remington Drive. Evenings of Cultural Arts invites folks to celebrate the New Year with the energetic Candelaria. From its humble beginnings as an electric-cumbia Latin dance group, Candelaria has grown to develop a unique sound and is now at the forefront of the cumbia-fusion movement. For more information on the artist or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 408-733-6611 or visit Arts.inSunnyvale.com.