The past two weeks started off with a very active Mocha with the Mayor in the Monta Loma neighborhood.
Almost a dozen people showed up and we had a large group discussion on a number of topics. This was followed by some one-on-one meetings to discuss items of less general interest. FYI—Tuesday May 1 is the next Mocha with the Mayor between 10:30 a.m. and Noon. I will be at the on Charleston Road across from Costco.
The week was filled with a number of administrative meetings. No surprise here, but these are not quite as interesting as ribbon cuttings, constituent meetings and corporate visits, but they are an essential part of the job.
The first was the Council Procedures Committee which oversees the Council Policy Manuals and prepares the Council budget, which was a main focus of this meeting. We are proposing more cuts in the budget as we struggle to keep the City Wide budget balanced.
I also sat in on the Oversight Committee which is overseeing the wind-down of the Downtown Revitalization Authority. The irony of the elimination of redevelopment authorities is that under the State imposed process as quickly as they would have a year ago.
On Friday, several members of the Council, staff and I had the honor of attending the ribbon cutting of the "" at NASA. The new administration building incorporates many NASA technologies and is a LEED Platinum building. Despite all the new technology, it was relatively inexpensive to build. There might even be a technology or two that the City could use as we struggle to upgrade buildings like the Community Center in the next few years.
The Council and staff spent much of Saturday in a workshop to discuss and give direction on the General Plan update. While there have been many meetings, this was a key opportunity for the Council to provide direction on the final direction of the plan. The big ticket items were the decision not to include housing in the North Bayshore area and to provide flexibility in development standards around town. Most notably, there was a desire to provide incentive based zoning so that the City and it residents begin to see more improvements in the community with new, more intensive development in the designated "change areas." The General Plan update now goes to the Planning Commission and there will be a Community-wide Town Hall meeting later this spring.
After what turned out to be a short weekend, Council grappled with two new developments at the Tuesday Council Meeting. One is a mixed use commercial/residential project at the corner of Mariposa and El Camino, the site of the old Austins BBQ (by the way, we need a good BBQ place in town since Franks left). The other project was a five unit condo project on California Avenue in the downtown area.
As many of you know, the week was capped off with the . There was a great turnout of parade watchers and participants. It was a terrific weekend weather wise and everyone involved in organizing this tradition did a fantastic job.
Well that about wraps up another two weeks. I hope you will be able to make it Mocha with the Mayor on May 1. Following that, the next "Mocha" will be May 15 in the Whisman area of town. Until then...