Saturday, February 23, 2013

Safe Routes to School for The Other Santa Clara School District (TOSCSD)

What's it like being part of The Other Santa Clara school districts (TOSCSD) -- i.e. Campbell and Cupertino? Well, here's an example. VTA, Santa Clara Unified School District and the City are sponsoring a "Safe Routes to School" poster contest.

For SCUSD students. I'm sure that no one meant to exclude anyone. And if you brought it up, I'm sure that someone would try to include TOSCSD. It's that it looks like nobody designing this program even thought about TOSCSD.

Children from the West Pruneridge neighborhood have to negotiate very unsafe routes to school. How many SCUSD children have to cross San Tomas Expressway, Stevens Creek Blvd, the Saratoga Ave. I-280 interchange, and I-880 all on every to school?

It's not SCUSD's fault that TOSCD isn't included. On a macro level, it's the state of California's fault for shirking the politically unpopular job of rationalizing school district boundaries.

County Board of Education Trustee Leon Beauchman is taking on this project for the county in the coming year and some of the boundaries that's going to be looked are Campbell's. (One of my readers called it "Campbell's Peculiar Institution." If you think about it, Campbell is certainly peculiar: Four-fifths of it is in other cities that have their own school districts.)

But, let's face it, we're not going to see district boundaries change in the short term.

So how about a City Council goal of pro-actively including all Santa Clara's students in city activities and programs. How? Well, how about a mailer for starters? After all, the city knows the addresses that are in those districts

What do you think?

Here's the info on the poster contest:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to Santa Clara County Cities: Tough Luck

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Ken Yeager is a busy man. He's got too many bicycle photo opps to get to.

Judging from his response, it seems he doesn't have have a lot of time for the whiners and complainers in the Santa Clara County Cities Association who think they're getting a raw deal from the county in the unwinding of redevelopment. In fact, he's such a busy man he doesn't have time, it seems, to find the answers to questions that county cities are raising.

Yeager's answer to the Santa Clara County Cities Association's letter about the county's aggressive asset grabs is simple: Tough luck. Any more questions? Call Deputy County Executive James Williams at (408) 299-5128.

Williams was at the last meeting of the Santa Clara RDA Successor Agency Oversight Board  explaining the county's position that Santa Clara simply needed to 'un-pay' money that had already been spent. The same meeting that Jamie Matthews called "a lot of brain damage" for  "little benefit."

Here's the county's reply to Cities Association:

Santa Clara Cities Association Tells County: RDA Actions Aggressive, Partisan and Costly

A couple of weeks ago the Santa Clara County Cities Association sent a letter to the County Bpard of Supervisors about what amounts to their dereliction of duty in the unfolding RDA dissolution debacle. To what the cities say, we would only add that it seems reasonable to ask that the Board of Supervisors give at least as much attention to hundreds of millions in public investments as they do to George Shirakawa's now-notorious expense reports.

Here's the letter in its entirety (five pages):