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Proposition 13 Reform Support Not Considered by Council

Proposition 13 was designed to help retired homeowners on a fixed income whose property taxes were rapidly rising. It limited the amount one’s property tax can increase annually even if their property values go way up. This was a laudable effort.

However, the rules of Proposition 13 apply to commercial and residential property. Of course, applying Proposition 13 to commercial properties does nothing to help homeowners. It’s estimated that this costs California nine billion dollars a year!

California used to be one of the leaders in how much we contributed to our public schools. Now we’re near the bottom of the list. Many have attributed this to Proposition 13. That’s why many school districts including Fremont’s, Hayward’s and Alameda County’s have signed on to a petition developed by Evolve to reform Proposition 13. A number of local cities and over 900 elected officials have signed on to this.

I made a referral to have the Fremont City Council sign on as well. Staff analyzed this and suggested that we simply monitor the situation. Despite this, I made a motion that the Fremont City Council sign on as well. My motion failed for a lack of a second.

Read more about the petition at http://evolve-ca.org.

Proposition 13 Reform Support Not Considered by Council (6/21)

Proposition 13 was designed to help retired homeowners on a fixed income whose property taxes were rapidly rising. It limited the amount one’s property tax can increase annually even if their property values go way up. This was a laudable effort.

However, the rules of Proposition 13 apply to commercial and residential property. Of course, applying Proposition 13 to commercial properties does nothing to help homeowners. It’s estimated that this costs California nine billion dollars a year! (more…)

2016 City of Fremont Community Survey

survey

The City commissioned a community survey to understand the concerns of Fremont residents. Overall, people feel good about living here. While there are lots of data here, I’d like to call out a few points.

The number one concern among residents is the cost of housing here with 71% of the residents surveyed finding it an extremely serious or very serious problem. I’d like to see the City take advantage of new development requests by insisting they provide more affordable units. Unfortunately, they usually ask for only large townhomes that will likely sell in the $800,000-$1,200,000 range. This is arguably the most important issue for local elected officials here in Fremont, and throughout the Bay Area.

Residents’ views on housing and development are changing. 48% of residents surveyed felt that ‘too much growth and development’ is an extremely serious or very serious problem. This is up from 18% in the previous survey from 2013. There is a growing chorus of residents saying that we are growing too fast.

Fremont residents feel safe with only 28% of the residents surveyed finding crime an extremely serious or very serious problem. I’m proud of the work our Police Department does. Our low crime rate is one of Fremont’s best features and we need to ensure that we keep it that way.

Finally, most residents don’t know about the biggest developments planned in Fremont. Only 22% and 17% of the residents surveyed are extremely familiar or very familiar with the Downtown and Warm Springs plans, respectively. I wonder how many of the residents in south Fremont are aware that there have been 4,000 new homes planned near the new BART station.

The complete survey results can be found here – http://www.fremont.gov/DocumentCenter/View/29829.

Warm Springs / Milpitas Residents Complaining about Smell

What’s that smell?

A number of Fremont residents have recently complained about odors coming from the Newby Island facility in San Jose. I talked with City staff about this issue. Unfortunately, it sounds like there might not be much the City itself can do about this. Milpitas, who are even more impacted by this, lost their lawsuit against the expansion of the facility and have filed an appeal.

On the positive side, much of this has to do with the prevailing wind patterns. Normally, the wind is from the northwest which means the odors tend to go south of Fremont. The winter is when we see more southwesterly winds which are the worst in this regard.

landfill

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