The Sunnyvale Measure M’s Yes on Sunnyvale Public Lands for Public Use Act committee was formed to protect the future of public lands from sale or other forms of conversion to private businesses.
We are ordinary people, Sunnyvale residents who have an earnest desire to see no more of our public parks and community service amenities get disposed of without the consent of voters.
Over the last two years our group has grown to 80 members from all areas of the city, successfully created Measure M and placed it on the ballot. Measure M’s sole purpose is to prevent public lands from being converted to possible private and non-public use without the consent of Sunnyvale’s citizens. We urge everyone to vote “yes” on Measure M. Without it, we have no such protection.
Our opposition consists of developers, lobbyists and insiders who have conjured up numerous situations in which they claim Measure M will block normal operations of the city of Sunnyvale, interfere with private property or development, and raise a storm of lawsuits that will disrupt management of city services. They go on and on to a really titanic number of problems that do not exist and most likely never will exist.
The opposition’s deceitful tactics and attempts bordering on influence peddling outside of public view are deplorable. Our opponents are incorrectly reclassifying every transaction a “lease” or “transfer,” even when the transaction is as simple as permitting the use of an unused Baylands parking lot for the proposed Animal Assisted Happiness project. Those can easily be converted to other types of agreements in the future.
But our opponents want to list every possible future transaction as something that would require a special election. They also rely on an independent analysis riddled with errors, inconsistencies and incorrect conclusions with no legal analysis whatsoever for their coverage and cost claims. You can be sure that cost is chicken feed compared to the value of any piece of public land lost forever.
There are many forms of agreements without a formal lease. It reminds us of the saying that if your only tool is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. There is nothing in Measure M that calls for an election or large expense for simple things like the barnyard animal project. As for the many leases already in existence, Measure M will not affect any existing agreements or leases as stated below.
Measure M is simple and straightforward. It requires public approval for the sale, lease, swap or transfer of public parks and community service amenities for private use. (Residents can still reserve the community center or a park for a private event, which is a use permit not a lease.)
Measure M also provides a new tool for Sunnyvale’s City Council and residents to reduce the extraordinary pressure to reallocate or re-purpose our public lands for non-public uses. It also allows Sunnyvale voters to have a say about the disposition and use of these valuable public parks and community service amenities.
There is nothing else in Measure M. It does not affect private property development, or the Fremont swimming pool or the Charles Street Garden agreements. It does NOT trigger a flurry of expensive special elections or general election measures; it does NOT raise taxes or affect the City budget or services.
Please learn the facts and Vote YES on Measure M, keep our public use lands public.