In an extensive and vigorous rebuke to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), the Cupertino City Council decided it could not support Regional Measure 3 (RM3). The Council was moved by the history of promises made to their City and the promises not kept.
They discussed at length extensively the lack of fairness and equity in the design of the measure. The solutions proposed by MTC/SVLG for RM3 were found to be unconvincing. They discussed and criticized the “Back Room Deals” that were made by MTC and SVLG, and the lack of public participation and input. The Council noted that business needed to shoulder some of the burden of regional transportation.
A handful of speakers gave detailed reasons to oppose the measure. There were no speakers in support of RM3. The absence of technology lobbyists SVLG was noted by Council Members. The City Councilmembers’ list of reasons to oppose the measure was surprisingly long and extensive.
Councilmember Scharf had a slideshow with the history of RM3 and how even the story of how it started was different from what MTC said. All of the City Council members expressed how important it was to work with other cities for regional solutions rather than the random collection of projects proposed by MTC.
This was an extensive and lengthy rebuke to the MTC. They also stated repeatedly that Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian’s and Mt. View Mayor Lenny Siegel’s opposition was important and brought up many valid points. It was made crystal clear that they hope their vote will spur other city and county leaders across the SF Bay Area to also speak out and vote against RM3.
At one point there was one motion to have:
1) The City Council to urge voters to vote against RM3
2) Authorize the Mayor to write a letter along with Councilmembers to
to explain why voters should vote No. This was to be sent to SF Bay
Area media as well as to ALL City Councils in the SF Bay Area.
The Mayor became concerned about burning bridges (his or the city’s?) and proposed splitting this motion into two motions. He also was successful in watering down both motions as well. It was clear that he was concerned about the strength of the message. As the Mayor expressed his concerns, Councilmember Vaidhyanathan said she agreed with her fellow Councilmembers but would abstain. (As she is on the VTA Board)
The new two- part motion was:
[the full/specific text is upcoming]
1) The City Council would opposes RM3
(vote was 3-0- 2 with Mayor Darcy Paul and Councilmember Savita
2) The Mayor would work with Councilmembers to express their concerns about RM3 in a letter. This letter would be completed within the week and sent to the SF Bay Area media and to all City Councils in the SF Bay Area.
(vote was unanimous.)
UPDATE FROM THE CUPERTINO CITY CLERK:
The unofficial action of the City Council regarding RM3 is noted below. The action does not become official until the minutes are approved at the next City Council meeting. This is an unofficial action and to also direct your attention to the actual video archive of the meeting for that item. http://cupertino.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&clip_id=2390.
DISCUSSED REGIONAL MEASURE 3 (RM3) AND TOOK A POSITION TO OPPOSE THE MEASURE (VAIDHYANATHAN AND PAUL ABSTAINING).
AUTHORIZED THE MAYOR TO DRAFT AND SIGN A LETTER ARTICULATING COUNCIL’S CONCERNS ABOUT RM3 AND SEND THE LETTER WITHIN A WEEK TO THE OTHER CITIES IN THE COUNTY, AND ENTITIES SUCH AS VTA, SENATOR JIM BEALL, NEWSPAPERS, ETC.