A Quick Take on Santa Clara County’s 32 Ballot Measures

Thirty-two measures grace the Santa Clara County ballot this election season, and while some readers might not care about Milpitas trash hauling or building heights in Cupertino, many of these issues will affect daily life in Silicon Valley. We offer our best take from “yes” and “no” to admitted coin flips. —Editor

VOTE YES

Measure A. People with million-dollar homes will pay an extra $126 a year in property taxes so that first-time homebuyers and the homeless will have greater access to affordable housing.

Measure B. There is no other alternative on the table to finish the BART extension and fix Santa Clara County roads in the near future.

Measure F. Don't buy into the hysteria—San Jose is still one of the safest big cities in the nation. But perception can quickly become reality, and SJPD needs help to recruit new officers to fill backlogs.

Measure G. Local governments have upped the sales tax four times since 2000. San Jose hasn’t revised its business tax for three decades. It’s about time.

Measure H. An urban growth boundary for Gilroy would control sprawl that would stretch city services, reduce open space and potentially double the number of peak hour commutes on 101.

Measure N. Sunnyvale has a good idea—it’s time to apply traditional taxes and fees to cellphone and internet-based communications.

Measure P. This term-limit proposal would get rid of the revolving door that has allowed Santa Clara to create its own political ruling class.

Measure R. A much better-worded version of Sunnyvale’s Measure M, this proposal requires voter approval ONLY for the sale of public parks and open space.

Measure S. Morgan Hill's annual cap on housing units is a paced method of metering growth that should continue to 2035, with council discretion to ratchet downwards.

Measure T. This proposal adds a 2 percent tax to short-term rentals and AirBnB stays to benefit public spaces in Los Gatos.

Measure V. A city charter update to tie rent control to inflation in Mountain View.

VOTE NO

Measures C & D. Cupertino's elected officials should be the ones to figure out building height restrictions and growth proposals, not voters. As they say in football: do your job.

Measures I & J. Milpitas should focus building denser, mixed-use development within existing city limits. Keep our hillsides out of it.

Measure K. Make Milpitas elected officials do their jobs and vote on land-use decisions instead of passing the buck to voters.

Measure M. No. It’s an attempt by disgruntled residents to do a job that should be handled by Sunnyvale’s democratically elected City Council.

Measure O. With the 49ers and massive billion-dollar development projects underway, Santa Clara elected officials are in over their heads. This won’t change by giving them a part-time raise; they need to change the charter to go full-time.

Measure Q. A simple majority vote to fill Santa Clara council vacancies is fine. What a waste of time.

Measure W. The landlord lobby in Mountain View loves this one because it allows the council to chip away at tenant protections in the future.

COIN FLIP

Measure E. Companies with 35 employees or more in San Jose would need to give part-time workers more hours before adding additional staff. Workers struggling to make ends meet—we feel ya—love it. Companies trying to stay in business in an expensive area—hey we just lost Mel Cotton’s and Keeble & Shuchat—are rightly nervous. The proposal is the first of its kind, as places like Seattle and San Francisco only applied similar laws to the retail sector. And who knows how competent the city is to serve as the HR police? City staff has already admitted it has little clue. Good luck!

Measure L. Milpitas can make up its own mind on what to do with its trash.

Measure X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC, EE, GG & HH. These has less to do with how much you support education than how much you trust your local school district to spend the money on what they promised.

This article is one part of our election guide issue. To read our list of candidate endorsements, click here. For our take on the 17 statewide measures, click here.

16 Comments

  1. Measure F. Don’t buy into the hysteria—San Jose is still one of the safest big cities in the nation. But perception can quickly become reality, and SJPD needs help to recruit new officers to fill backlogs.

    And why am I not surprised that these hacks wrote this. Perhaps ill start posting all the details of the violent crime that doesnt make the news

    • Please also post the identical details for other cities of the same size for an accurate comparison.

      • 10/22 two males armed with a long rifle robbed the liquor race/park av
        10/23 suspects fired multiple rounds into a house and vehicle on Camperdown Ln
        10/24 a male was shot in a vehicle at Dove Hill park he died at the hospital
        10/25 car theft suspects attempted to run over 2 police officers on Wooster Officers fired at vehicle
        10/26 the victim was stabbed and robbed of a bike at 5th and santa clara
        10/27 home invasion robber on Roundtable man entered apt and pistol whipped resident
        10/27 two people were pistol whipped at 476 S 7th street
        10/28 two people were stabbed by a man at valley fair mall
        10/28 officers stopped a vehicle where a driver (felon) was in possession of a stolen handgun
        10/29 a male robbed grocery outlet on santa clara st at gunpoint
        10/29 a male was shot multiple times on the street at Payne/Boynton
        10/29 a man was shot multiple times in the chest at 1400 Koll Circle
        10/30 males robbed a store on Piedmont Rd with a handgun pistol whipping a clerk
        10/30 males fired several shots into the apt building at 500 Avalani Av
        10/30 a male was brought to VMC with a single gunshot wound
        10/31 Carjacking kidnapping Florence Av 3 men stole a car at gunpoint and took one occupant
        11/1 male shot by gang member while walking on Gridley St
        11/1 drive by shooting into an occupied home Kettemenn Rd
        11/2 3 people shot in the carport area in the 800 block of Jeanne Ave
        11/3 2 people shot at Capitol Park one dead on scene
        This is just a snippet (as you can see by the dates) of some of the crime that you do not hear about on your local news. Why is that? Perhaps the same reason we dont hear about homicides occuring by the dozens in major cities like Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit. It doesnt fit the crime is dropping agenda. This has been a campaign pushed by the left for sometime now. Charly in SJ we dont want to hear your liberal babble about “give me identical details” Violent crime is violent crime people die and people suffer. It is happening everyday, people are becoming tired of comments like yours and those of SJI. Now did you want me to post all the shootings that occurred in Chicago last weekend? Is that the comparison you are looking for? I dont think the average SJ resident cares but I will bet that they are concerned when it takes hours for cops to respond to basic calls and meanwhile gang activity and drug crime along with prostitution are skyrocketing. Please continue on with your psycho babble…..

        • > This is just a snippet (as you can see by the dates) of some of the crime that you do not hear about on your local news.

          This is a huge business opportunity (local crime news), and I expect that people interesting in making money will be addressing this opportunity sooner or later.

          I might even be interested in making money, so I don’t need to say much more.

          But just imagine that you would be competing with the Mercury News who is not interested in disseminating news, but in suppressing news to make their favored politicians look good.

        • Just the number of shooting in Chicago is staggering this is a city where the law abiding citizen can’t legally buy a gun ammo or get a permit to carry. You aren’t a citizen in Chicago you’re a victim.
          Pass Prop 63 and we will be too!

  2. Yes on L is right choice and citizens voice
    Big money and corrupt politics and policies of republic services needs to be stopped. They along with outside companies have pumped millions

  3. No way on B. Dump the BART extension. Just say no to VTA due to it’s poor record. BART is a badly run transit agency with poor service, poor cleanliness, and poor maintenance compared to many other heavy rail systems all over the world. A janitor there made $200k with OT, byt I’ve not seen a clean bathroom on the BART system in many years.

  4. > Measure A. People with million-dollar homes will pay an extra $126 a year in property taxes BLAH BLAH BLAH.

    EXTREMELY UNFAIR!

    “People with million-dollar homes” are a TINY TINY percent of county residents. Make EVERYONE PAY for this naked vote buying..

    Pass ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the tax on income properties onto renters, INCLUDING renters of “affordable housing”.

    THAT will put an end to this socialist redistributionist crap in a big hurry.

    • I believe the million-dollar hiome was quoted as merely an example. This tax will be levied against all property owners (including landlords, I presume, who could pass on the extra cost to their renters). Thus the tax is estimated at $12 for every $100K of assessed value. BUT I SUSPECT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT! Oh sorry… Caps Lock issue…

  5. One group can afford it. The other can’t. The former group needs the latter group nearby to maintain the lavish lifestyles of the former. Price out the “takers,” and those hard-working “makers” buzzing around town in their Beemers would have to wipe their own asses. And we know they wouldn’t stand for that.

  6. Measure F. Don’t buy into the hysteria—San Jose is still one of the safest big cities in the nation. But perception can quickly become reality, and SJPD needs help to recruit new officers to fill backlogs.
    BECAUSE THE KILLINGS DON’T EQUAL CHICAGO. I DON’T THINK ITS ONE OF THE SAFEST CITIES. SORRY.

    • Charly in SJ will not agree with you there. Keep moving along, nothing to see here. All is well in Mayberry. Maybe Charly is really from the 18th floor???

  7. Measure A is a tax only on million $ plus homes, no it’s a tax on my limited income in a place whose average housing market has risen to million dollar plus homes. This will drive more limited income people out and home prices even higher.
    No tax is too small for the socialist to grab nor too big for them to not to spend then demand more!

  8. Regarding appreciated homes, “thanks” to Prop 13, most people who could sell for a million won’t be taxed on a million by Prop A.

    • Thanks to prop 13 the next guy gets taxed $15,000 plus add on’s. If we dump prop 13 protection, at 3% that’s $30,000 a year. My 90 year old mother in-law in her 60 year old 1400 sqft house would have to cough some $60,000+ in property taxes for Santa Clara Co tax beast a year.
      We could be the first state with a population of homeless millionaires.

  9. Just a correction on the description for Measure Q:
    It’s more than just changing the appointment vote from simple majority to super majority.

    The most impactful change that this new measure introduces is that an appointed official only fills the seat until the next general election. In other words, let’s say someone gets voted into office, and then 1 week later resigns. The appointee shouldn’t sit in the seat for the rest of the 4 years (minus 1 week of course). They would only serve until the next general election.

    This change ensures that voters always have a say in who governs them. Rather than have the appointed person just represent the vote of a council of their peers.

    The measure also explicitly leaves out the possibility for a costly special election (which is a possibility in the current system) – and that’s so critical as we’ve seen the Sunnyvale special election cost upwards of $250k of taxpayer money.

    Full Disclosure: I’m Hosam and I served on Santa Clara’s Charter Review Committee and helped introduce this new measure and I’m also one of the signatories in the “arguments for” in the ballot booklet. I have nothing personal to gain from this – just I think it is a change that will better reflect a healthy democratic system. I also pushed for the other Santa Clara measures as well (P and R), and also including Measure O, but I’m less concerned if O fails or not – I really dont care so much about that one.