Author Archives: Vinnie

Fremont’s Human Relations Commission at Pride Parade in SF

prideThanks to Congressman Eric Swalwell for joining Fremont’s contingent in the SF Pride parade yesterday. We had quite a good turnout once again.

Thanks also to Fremont’s very fine Human Relations Commission and Human Services Department for organizing this. We go above and beyond what most cities do in this regard.

Watching the TV re-broadcast of the parade last night the commentators had some very nice things to say about Fremont, noting that this is our fifth straight year of participating. I’m very proud to be part of a city that says loud and clear that bigotry and homophobia are NOT welcome in our city.

Superintendent Morris Joins Protest at Patterson Ranch

 

pattersonHow many school superintendents would come out on a Saturday to speak out against a development that isn’t paying it’s fair share of school fees? I don’t know, but Fremont’s Superintendent did.

I heard that after the recent increase in impact fees adopted by the School Board, the Patterson Ranch developers rushed to the City to get their final building permits to avoid paying these new fees.

Patterson Ranch was the issue that got me involved in Fremont politics over 10 years ago. The impact of this development and others on our schools, roads, etc. is only getting worse.

Kimber Park Finally Becomes Private Open Space

At the June 7 council meeting, one of the issues was whether the Council should designate the park land at the center of the Kimber Park neighborhood as ‘private open space’. A private open space designation limits what the owners can develop on the land. For example, housing cannot be developed on private open space.

kimber_smCouncil had actually already designated this parcel as private open space in 2012. But the property owner sued, arguing that the process wasn’t done correctly. They won which meant the parcel reverted to a status of a ‘study area’, which meant that the Council had to decide again how the parcel should be zoned. Staff began again the process of re-designating the parcel. The Planning Commission heard the matter last month and unanimously supported staff’s recommendation which was to once again zone the parcel private open space (making sure to do it correctly this time). (more…)

Green Summit Hosted by Fierce

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Was very happy to speak last weekend at the Green Summit put on by FIERCE. FIERCE is the group of high school students from throughout Fremont that is fighting for environmental causes. They did a remarkable job organizing this with over 150 students coming out to attend.

I am so proud to see Fremont’s youth taking on the issue of the environment. Of course, their generation is going to feel the effects of climate change and pollution much more than my generation.

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It was a love of the environment, specifically the area around Coyote Hills Regional Park, that got me most interested in local politics. I used to be an avid bird photographer and loved going to Coyote Hills. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to get out there like I used to.

Congrats again to FIERCE on a very successful event.

Read more about FIERCE at http://wearefierce.weebly.com/.

My Referrals on Prop 13 Reform and Measure AA Passed

My Referrals on Prop 13 Reform and Measure AA Passed (5/10)

I had two referrals on the agenda. The first was a proposal from a group called Evolve to reform the commercial exemption from Proposition 13. Proposition 13 was designed to protect elderly people on a fixed income whose property values were increasing radically. While that’s nice, it does mean that your property taxes also raise radically. For people on a fixed income, this is quite a burden. Of course, I think Propostion 13 was a good measure as it does cap the amount that ones property tax can rise.

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But there was no reason for this measure to cover commercial property as well. Commercial changes ownership less rarely than residential property, especially when owners see that changing owners could greatly increase their taxes. The application of Proposition 13 to commercial property should have never been done and needs to be reversed.

 

The second referral was to have our City Council formally endorse Measure AA. This is a $12 parcel tax that will raise money for San Francisco Bay restoration. This measure has been endorsed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, environmental groups, and many others. As a member of the SF Bay Restoration Authority is overseeing this measure, I will undoubtedbly be promoting this more before the June election.