Taller Buildings Equal Bigger Parks in North San Jose

City Hall Diary

San Jose has opportunities to build tall buildings in North San Jose and create large parks at the same time.  I am hopeful that we will take advantage of these opportunities so that we can create great places and huge parks.

Currently in North San Jose, we are in the midst of a “build up” for commercial office and transit village housing. I support this for many reasons: jobs, tax base, light rail, and the Guadalupe River Park Trail, among others.  Industry leads housing development; thus, I believe we should move forward with land use incrementally. 

At the past two San Jose City Council meetings, the council voted to allow two large parcels to be developed into housing off of North First Street in North San Jose.  Locating housing next to jobs makes sense. Now an area that is usually abandoned on the weekends will come alive with people, in addition to providing short work commutes.

Coincidentally, Polycom, the world leader in voice and video conferencing, is moving from Milpitas to North San Jose, right next to one of the housing developments.  This is great news for San Jose. Polycom designs a physical object which produces sales tax; therefore, Polycom will generate revenue for our neighborhood services. 

As a rule, I drive to each land use site that will be heard before the council meetings. I believe that to make a good decision, I must physically go to the site.  After visiting the two parcels in North San Jose, I envisioned TALL residential buildings with retail at the bottom and an abundance of park space. Not your regular “tot lot” parks, but extraordinary parks with lots of trees.

North San Jose is the perfect place for TALL residential buildings outside of downtown San Jose. We could have towers encircled by large parks, similar to when you’re at the Children’s Discovery Museum and you look across the meadow to West San Carlos Street and you see the tall buildings.

With each development there is land designated for park space. Currently most of the proposed buildings in North San Jose are three to four stories over podium parking. This type of building takes a lot of land.  If we built higher, we would have more land available for parks. Therefore, we can create large meadows, soccer and cricket fields, and the list goes on.

As we continue with infill housing, we must keep our historic and established neighborhoods intact. A high-rise does not belong in older established neighborhoods. However, in places like North San Jose, I believe that it is okay to build very tall so that we can receive more land dedicated to parks. San Jose needs to make wise decisions regarding our last open space parcels by incorporating retail and great parks.

36 Comments

  1. PO,

    Nice post.  you also forgot to mention North San Jose already has light rail and is close to the airport.  Which both go well with business and condo residents.

  2. Pierluigi, between you and Sam I am hoping your enthusiasm and strong interest in the path forward for San Jose and its citizens will spread across the council as the stale rubber stamping members continue to be termed out.  I am seeing the wisdom of getting fresh new ideas and approaches on the council and am pleased to have you representing D6. 

    Great post.  I wish every council member realized that they shouldn’t limit themselves to the divisive practice of focusing only on issues that are exclusive to their own district.

  3. Le Corbusier first proposed this concept in his 1929 “The City of To-morrow and its Planning”, followed later by Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Living City’. Looked good in print, but the implementations – Stalin’s worker housing in the Soviet Union and Robert Moses’ 1950s residential towers in New York.

    Fortunately, many of the New York towers have been blown up.

    There is obviously those amongus that like to be cooped up in little boxes in the sky, but the large-scale marketability of these places is still not tested in a California culture that values the artful pastime of the private outdoor barbecue.

  4. Large-scale marketability?  SOMA in San Francisco isn’t large-scale?

    I agree that “towers-in-a-park” is a bad idea.  But towers fronting the street, with light-rail in front, are a great idea.  The parks should be next to the towers, not encircling.  Surrounding towers with parks creates a “drive-in, drive-out” atmosphere and discourages walking and using said light-rail.

  5. A weekly communique from a councilmember—what a concept!

    #3—the acceptance level to the many mediums rises being built dowtown may provide some guage of the acceptance level in NSJ

  6. How about dealing with another issue that plagues San Jose.  Homeless People. 

    Everything is always build up this residential area or change this zoning or develop Coyote Valley or other real estate developer, money driven issues. There are other issues that are burning problems but are just not sexy enough to get the attention of the elected politicians (probably because the homeless do not vote). 

    A homeless man was just murdered at the corner of Santa Clara and Market in downtown San Jose.  Yes, just now, in broad daylight on a Monday morning. Just a few blocks from City Hall. It really got me thinking.  The sad part is that it was one apparently homeless man that killed another.  What makes it sadder is that Cornelius was known to many of us that work in buildings around this corner and now he is gone. 

    Cornelius was not the usual homeless man in that he did not smell, he did not hit up everyone that passed by for money, he did not harass or bother people.  The only thing Cornelius wanted to do was hang around downtown, preferably at this corner, and say hello to people and have conversations with people.  He and his dog BooBoo have been hanging around here peacefully for years.  There are now hundreds of people downtown that will miss Cornelius. 

    Now BooBoo did not take well to other homeless people and gave them a good barking at whenever they came too close.  Apparently today, that homeless person did not like being barked at and basically beat Cornelius to death because of it.

    Now, I do not know the circumstances first hand.  That is just what I picked up standing around for a few minutes downstairs from my office.  Perhaps we will learn more in the paper in the next few days.  The question I have for the politicians though is why can’t they do something about the homeless.  Millions spent a a grand prix that lasts a few days but the homeless are here year round.  Take one million out of the car race and use it for dealing with the homeless.  Take one million out of the car race and use it for the local swimming pools.  Take all 4 million out of the car race and let them fend for themselves.  A car race is not important to San Jose.  There are other burning issues that need to be dealt with.  Homeless and swimming pools are just two examples. 

    It is unfortunate it took the daylight murder,  in downtown San Jose, of a man I have known in passing for probably more than 5 years for me to ask a politician to really examine his priorities and start thinking about what really should be done with the money San Jose collects from its citizens.  How many millions going to upgrade the sound and video system in the arena?  There have to be better priorities than keeping up with the Jones’ sound and video system.

    Priorities in City Hall.  What a novel concept.  Think of the people, all of the people as a whole,  rather, than just those whose pocket will be lined by the next zoning change.  And spend the money wisely, on things that benefit the city over the long term and that make living in this city better.  Priorities with a focus on the people.  My wish for the city council today, after looking at the body of a dead man on the street of downtown San Jose.

  7. Let’s not forget where we live.  The terms “high rise” and “tower” don’t mean here what they mean in a place like Chicago.

    I agree with JMO.  There are some projects both underway and already completed downtown that are going after a demographic that has little or no interest in outdoor living.  Things are not the same as they were during the baby boom when everybody wanted a house and a yard and bar-b-que kitsch was in its heyday.  There are plenty of home buyers who have no time or interest in maintaining a yard and would prefer a situation where they didn’t have to get behind the lawn mower every weekend.  This town already offers more of that scenario to the average house hunter than anything else.

    I think it’s likely that there is a market right here in the Valley of Heart’s Delight for a type of housing that doesn’t presume everyone needs outdoor living space.  Some people are just too busy to keep up a yard, and the American dream has changed over the years from the one with Dad sporting an apron and chef’s hat standing at the back yard grill with spatula in one hand and a higball in the other.

  8. PO,

    On the whole I concur… as long as those open spaces become permanent parks and are not gradually filled in. Once upon a time there used to be open space in D5. Not anymore. And now, in lieu of open fields where kids could play, we have only more houses (usually medium-density condos, in fact.) But we have two Target stores! This is what passes for economic development in my neighborhood, sadly.

    Another thought, albeit a little sarcastic—instead of driving out to the site, how about trying to get there on transit? I’d say the overwhelming problem with transit and planning in this town is that the transit isn’t designed to allow riders to get anywhere efficiently. I’ve been to many other cities where I could visit tourist sites as well as residential and business districts and never once need to rent a car or hail a taxi. You could get up, ride to this meeting over here or lunch over there, and no trip (walking and riding) was more than 30 minutes. Try that on VTA!

  9. 6. – Thank you for the post, I have smiled and waved at Cornelius and his dog over the many years I have gone to school and worked in downtown San Jose. I am saddened to hear this news.  This does exemplify the need for emergency, transistional and affordable housing in the Bay Area.  There needs to be a more concerted effort focusing on the hidden individuals living in the corners of our society. Housing is not a privledge, it’s a right.  Although people are homeless, this does make them less human. I hope that our city councilmembers, county supervisors, and local representatives take this story to heart.

  10. I like the way you’re thinking Mr. Oliverio.  At first thought, your proposal conjured up images of the infamous Robert Taylor Homes housing project in Chicago.  But as other have mentioned here, a believe our mid to high-rise towers will front our city streets/light-rail line, with beautiful outdoor courtyards and pools for residents to enjoy and parks near by.  As for the future, your concept for NSJ (and DSJ for that matter) should one day find its way south down the Monterey corridor to near Capitol Expwy.  I’ll take a high density, mid-rise “European city” of San Jose any day over building in bucolic Coyote.

  11. Council Member Pierluigi Oliverio says, “After visiting the two parcels in North San Jose, I envisioned TALL residential buildings with retail at the bottom and an abundance of park space. Not your regular “tot lot” parks, but extraordinary parks with lots of trees.”

    Please remember this and let us know in one year whether or not the “larger park for taller buildings” theory is reflected in reality.

    The planning department and the planning commission are dead set against this kind of trade-off that you reasonably imagine.

    We tried to sell this concept here and there in North San Jose from 2003 onward, and somehow the larger park disappears, or is revealed to be riparian protected land anyway, or suffers inordinate delays.

    [In my North San Jose neighborhood, we were promised a two acre park at North Jackson and Commodore when a large subdivision was built there three Council Members ago. It’s still bare land, and it’s not even a large area.]

    The city policies laid down by a fairly unified city council during the first half of 2005 make it almost impossible to realize your wish. You will find out that the “larger parks” concept will be always defeated by some arrangement with the developer, some conflict with an overlay here, or a specific plan there.

    The forces of San Jose are dead set against the tradeoff of tall buildings sited among large parks. They want tall buildings and tot lots.

    But you are in the catbird seat, so please let us know if even the slightest movement to realize this concept can be made.

    The best application of your concept is almost realized at the Irvine Company’s twelve-year-old rental development on North First, but even there the five-acre park surrounded by four stories of rental units is undeveloped. The council has changed since that development was finished, and has never approved such a massive development coupled with such a park since.

  12. PO- You need to check some facts with the SJ Planning Department and the FAA before you start dreaming of putting a downpayment on your future Howard Hughes inspired high-rise penthouse apartment on Brokaw and N. First.

    Ever hear of San Jose “International” Airport?  The FAA has some building height/glide slope safety limits—Just ask Barry Swenson and the Adobe staffers.

  13. #8 – Bravo, Bravo, and Bravo again!

    One of the consistent pitfalls of modern “light rail” is that it all too often is routed to get (very few) people between where they do not live and where they do not want to go. 

    Perhaps the new developments in NSJ will help ameliorate this problem, but as it stands right now, VTA light rail doesn’t directly serve any major mall (Eastridge is in VTA’s plans in the not-so-fuzzy future), there’s no direct VTA Light Rail service to either HP Pavilion, Spartan Stadium/Muni Stadium/Kelley Park, SJC, etc., etc.  I have to admit that the Vasona line was a terrific way to get from Campbell to Downtown – I only wish it existed when I was going to SJSU and was driving that same route.

    It looks like there is a bit of a “hub and spoke” system s-s-s-l-l-o-o-o-w-l-y being constructed, but the ability to quickly traverse distances on Light Rail is still largely dependent upon the Transit Mall bottleneck.

    It’s to be hoped that VTA’s future developments will pay a bit more attention about where people want to go and why, rather than just stretching rails from one side of the valley to the other and praying that folks will jump on board.

  14. JD #12 writes “VTA light rail doesn’t directly serve any major mall.”

    Hello, hello? Ever hear of the Great Mall in Milpitas? LRT also serves the Shark Tank via the San Fernando station. But you’re right about the transit mall bottleneck and VTA should be looking at ways to raise the speed of trains on 1st/2nd. VTA also needs to restore the bus stops for routes 23, 82, 85 and 304 to the south of Santa Clara Street, adjacent to the light rail platform.

    And #3 is correct about the flawed “towers in the park” style of urban planning. See Jane Jacobs “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” to start.

  15. PO—Another great post. When will they give you a featured place on SJI? Remarkable when a Council Member is so outfront and enthusiastic—and thoughtful. Not too long ago before your election, the “insiders” were bitching about the unqualified teenager looking to be prom king, captive of the unions, unwilling to be sworn in to office because it was “too scary” or whatever. Nice charge out of the blocks, representing your constituents, and the constituents of others as well, in bitching about the shitty parks and wrecks that get paid hugely, but not ever enough to get the job done. You may lose the battle with the unions over using contractor labor in the parks to get them looking like parks instead of vacant lots, but then maybe it’s time to look at the non-supervision of city workforce, a very long tradition in San Jose. In Santa Clara the other day in the complex, beautifully landscaped center divider where the overpass tangles near Costco on Coleman/DelaCruz—not a dead leaf and ONE Santa Clara gardener furiously removing a weed or two. More motion there than observable in a San Jose park in a year. And great idea about high rises leaving room for real parks. Again, the need to tangle with long entrenched incompetence on the policy level. I hope you have a little help from the “more” experienced members of city govt.
    George Green

  16. #12 JD,
    Respectfully, you can get to HP Pavilion rather quickly via the San Fernando light-rail station on the Vasona line (near the future SJ Water Co. development on W. SC Street).

  17. Dale,

    Why did your neighborhood not get parks or improvements when many others did in last 8 years even with budget shortages?

    Political reality – Why would anyone give you anything or political successes to be used against them?

    Everyone especially politicians and community volunteers have choices and prefer to work with those who are positive and helpful – not the few who are continously negative, attack them and can’t work well with others

    Could your attacks on Chuck, who had city allocated money and influence on what neighborhoods got money for parks, traffic,  or other improvements, resulted in your North San Jose neighborhood not getting parks or improvements?

  18. #17 – George-

    You said “insiders” when I think you actually meant outsiders.  They came to this blog only to throw a few stones.

    And indeed, they said all the things you mentioned about PLO –  that he was a secret unions hack, etc.

    I was hoping Bridget, Jean, and Richard Zappelli would come and speak up and support PLO’s parks proposal.  It’s a good proposal.  They should come to the council meeting and speak and participate in our government.  They seem to be articulate when they want to be.

    But the silence is deafening.

  19. It would be nice if we could just close SJC – and locate a new (and larger) South Bay airport at Moffett Field.

    Imagine, being able to build a real downtown, where not all of the buildings are the same height, and turning the old airport into a massive urban village with incredibly large parks and excellent transit.  We could truly have a vibrant, growing, friendly, urban, transit-rich, and sustainable downtown.  That land (that Mineta International now sits on) is incredibly valuable and convenient to almost all of the high-tech jobs in the Valley.

    Let’s get started today with the process of taking over Moffett!

  20. #12

    VTA light rail doesn’t directly serve any major mall

    Really?  It has stations right next to The Great Mall in Milpitas. 

    The only thing more “major” than “Great” would be “Greatest”, but no one has yet built “The Greatest Mall”.

  21. Moving airport to Moffett or as another dummy suggested Coyote Valley is another SJI dumb comment

    San Jose has $4 billion in bond debt, $3 billion in deferred maintenance and unpaid health, pension, street costs, will be in budget deficit for least 10 years, Council wants to waste more billions on BART financial disaster, has very low tax revenues and job numbers, poor city services while Chamber and developers want more profitable job land conversions to add to San Jose’s debt and even worst services

    Isn’t that enought bad financial news.  So now Airport demolisher ( or better named dumbass )  wants to waste more billions in legal fees and settlements which we would probably lose in court again since every local NIMBY city and every California envirnomental group would object and even if we won we would spend $10 -20 billion to move airport to Mountain View who would get our airport taxes

    Priceless dummy comments – must be downtown property owner wanting San Jose to waste more billions –  when we can not afford to pay for what we have or need

  22. Sure, #20, I guess that all of the Mountain View and Sunnyvale NIMBYs will just roll over and accept a commercial operation at Moffett. Oh, wait, wasn’t there a proposal for an air cargo operation at Moffett that just got shot down by those same NIMBYs? Yes, there was. So quit dreaming about moving the airport because it’s not going to happen.

  23. #20 has the right idea, but the wrong location.  Move SJI to Hollister and connect it to San Jose via a high speed maglev train.  This gives us the benefits of an airport without the lost economic activity that results from poor land use by having an airport in a populated area.

    In regard to Moffett Field, it needs to be used for general aviation.  The local residents will not even be aware Moffett is in use with these aircraft.

  24. If the county’s involved, what can Mountain View or Sunnyvale really do about unincorporated land (Moffett)? Build a bigger case against them and they can’t knock it down, right? Does someone have any details on this? Any precedent?

  25. #24 Nam-  Moffett Field is in the General Planning Area Sphere of Influence of both MV and SV.  Their city limit lines split the facilitiy.  Additionally, the 1970’s LAFCO urban development policy agreement between the County and the other 15 cities leaves development of land in urbanized areas to the local cities while only rural lands are left to the County.  That’s why you’re seeing urban County pockets currently being annexed from County control to that of the adjacent cities.  If Moffett is ever surplused by the Fed’s and sold to a private entity planning/entitlement approval authority goes to SV and MV for any proposed replacement uses.  Lastly, Santa Clara County has an Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) that is suppose to provide oversight over operations/land use planning in and around the general vicinity of SJC and the 3 reliever general aviation airports (i.e. Reid-Hillview, San Martin, and Palo Alto).  The current ALUC plan does not include Moffett Field. In order to use it for general aviation or as a replacement for SJC the ALUC plan would have to be amended which is an uphill fight without the support of SV, MV or the County Supervisor who represent the North County Cities.

    The only way I can ever see Moffett Field ever being used as a commercial aviation facilitiy is if Santa Clara County or the State were to be given the land directly by the Fed’s when it is surplused and either the State or County finding the funds to develop and operate the facility within their own land use authority which would preempt the local land use control by SV or MV.  The chances of the Fed’s wanting to stir up that political hornets nest and not offering the land first to SV and MV is slim to none!

  26. Hey now! Wait a minute! I do agree that since we’ve spent a crapload of money that relocating to Moutain View Moffet Field is just not a viable option at the moment. Alas! #24 talked about one airport in his speech that particularly striked me. The San Martin (unincorporated) South County Airport. The area around the airport is practically barren with some empty fields and a couple of warehouses. I know we don’t have the money but we have a pretty good skeleton of a field down there.

    We can easily extend the runway, extend the roadways, build new buildings/hangars/parking garages. There already is a freeway exit that can be easily reformatted. I’m sure there’s a train line nearby!

    This is all a dream as far as our economic situation is concerned. But for the people who are putting money down for reservations in downtown condo towers and more projects going on the drawing board for Downtown SJ, the airport will continue to remain a big obstacle.

    Lastly, why don’t we just bury the light rail tracks instead of “retrofitting” those stupid platforms that will again have to close and be reformatted in probably 5-10 years. We don’t need BART! Grow up San Jose and make a subway downtown.

    – Rich B.

  27. The San Martin runway is 0.7 miles long. The SJC runway is over 2 miles. To extend it north would cross said freeway exit and to extend it south would cross the freeway itself.

  28. I oppose Moffett Field as a commercial airport because I occasionally play golf at Sunnyvale Municipal GC.  Can you imagine allowing a golf course that close to a live inbound?

  29. i agree that south county airpot is not large enough for commercial aviation. best place would be to move it around gilroy by highway 152 east. TONS of county land there and right in the path of the pacheco pass highspeed rail, if it comes to fruition. there is so much land there, you could buid an airport the size of sfo.

  30. Moveit togilroy,
    I’ve had the same fantasy regarding a new airport in south county, particularly the area you mentioned east of Gilroy or in northern San Benito County (near the proposed 152 freeway bi-pass)….“San Jose-Steinbech International Airport, gateway to Silicon Valley and the Central Coast!”  Maglev rail, with speeds approaching 350 mph, would serve the new airport and the current SJC terminal complex now under construction (so that the current endeavor doesn’t go to waste).  Park at the Mineta Maglev terminal and be at San Jose-Steinbech in 10 minutes!  OK, time to wake up.

  31. #30 Anthony, at least you are thinking outside the box! Thats the kind of thinking we need in this town if we want to be known as a “Global City”. Unfortunately, its hard to express these kind of ideas without getting bashed by the ULTRA NIMBYS on this board.

  32. Hmmm,

    I don’t know where (or who) Bridget is but I’m right here…

    I am not carping…yet!

    I met PLO, gave him some sage advice, he seems to have taken it heart.

    He is a little raw, and still a little wierd…
    But wierd’s OK, just wierd…

    Pier, cut the rhetorical BS, you are little too new to be discussing how you make it a rule… Maybe you’ve made it a rule, but you need more mileage to say “I make it a rule…”

    As to your idea, it is BS

    This one anyway…

    You assume that demand, and greed, are finite. You assume, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that if you let the buildings go higher there will be fewer of them.

    And that the result will not be a forest of high rises, but PARKS? LOL…

    Build some high rises and the political will to tax ourselves to build parks will just appear… Along with the painless funding, I suppose?

    Sir, it is customary, when one is as young and raw as you are, to at least sit back and figure out a bit of the landscape before you open your mouth and insert foot…

    Your rash of wierd proposals could be regarded as the enthusiasim of youth or just plain wierd.

    Remember that you face the voters in less than two years…

    And I’ll be back.

    Dallas112263

  33. I agree and support Councilmember Oliverio.  I think it is high time that someone make the City of San Jose responsible for their actions. Thus making employees accountable for what they should be doing and that starts with City management. As a employee of the City of San Jose as well for many years, I have watched City Management “punish” City citizens by taking away services so they can get more money to waste.  That sort of management needs to be replaced and stopped and made accountable.

    The parks should never have to suffer for lack of budget or staff. 

    We have enough Police Officers, take them out of all the Starbucks and coffee houses in the City and put them back on the streets.  If they don’t want to work, take that money from that budget which they constantly want more of, and put it in the Parks, community services.

    What does the City of San Jose do for their Youth?  Where do the children of this City get to spend their time? 

    All this talk about highrises, historic buildings, etc.  What is the City of San Jose doing really?  Make them all accountable again for what they are spending.

    No more Police – get them out of Starbucks
    Fix our parks, make our environment liveable again, safe and enjoyable. 

    Work with the County of Santa Clara and get the County Sheriff and Police together to put all the inmates that sit in City/County jails, etc put them on the streets and in our parks and make them work out their service.  Our City, freeways and highways would look great if we would just take the time to quit spending and use what sources are available already.

    Enough said from a City employee and a native San Josean.

  34. I am in support also of Pierluigi Oliverio.  It’s about time someone stood up against the Labor Groups and those that “control the councilmembers and City Hall”.

    Phaedra Ellis Lampkins likes to think she owns and controls the City of San Jose.
    I ask the question also?
    Who is she?
    Has she lived in Council District 6?
    What does she know of Budget?
    Or is it all about paying and supporting the Councilmember to their vote’s counted for?
    Is she a lobbyist?
    Should she be registered as a lobbyist since she likes to control Council?
    Pierluigi Oliverio is the voice of the people – not labor.
    He takes that voice to council and they vote.
    It’s not all about him – he’s all about what is right.
    Standing up for the people is right.
    Make the City of San Jose accountable for the money they spend.
    Make management accountable
    Be good stewarts of the money that is provided.
    Quit taking from the poor with the high price Garbage services which doesn’t deliver good service. 
    Enough is enough…..let the people’s voice be known.
    Take all these issues to the voters and let them vote!

  35. Please forgive my suspicious mind but both “Native” and “Concerned” seem a bit canned… And way too loving…

    The syntax would lead someone to believe that the writer was not born to English as a first language…. Maybe Italian…

    Of course that might not be a good thing… Runnin’ around puttin’ up signs on everything that will stay still for more than 10 minutes is one thing… Even accosting the opposition canvassers on your own street corner is OK…

    But outright shilling is quite another…

    I like the kid… I’m gonna give him enough rope to…, er, I mean… give him a chance to prove himself…  And I like the fact that he puts himself out there, and I know for a fact that he reads his press, including our inanities.

    Though I am a progressive and a liberal, I am also a taxpayer, a businessman and a father… There is a Third Way; practicality does not preclude idealism and good works…

    However you do need a bit more going into the process than just the intent to “do good”…

    As my late mother, who should have known if anybody did and for sure does by now, used to say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions…”

    So is most of the Valley of the Heart’s Delight…

    Dallas112263
    A concerned non-Native, resident in this place since 1968, downtown homeowner for 21 years… Oh, and I vote and I write checks to politicians I like, who serve shrimp and cocktail sauce… And the People!

  36. The syntax would lead someone to believe that the writer was not born to English as a first language…. Maybe Italian…

    I am a native Californian, not Italian at all.  I have worked for the City of San Jose, born in it, proud of it and believe in the people in it.

    I do believe right is right and fair is fair.
    Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio has done right by the “Park” issue in trying to get things taken care of and getting it done, I believe.
    I have not seen any other politician stand up and take charge on what they drive by and see on a day to day basis.  We drive by our on/off ramps of the freeway to look at overgrown brush, roadways that are cracked and broken, our children on the streets because all the things that mean anything to them are taken away, their pools in the schools, their parks overgrown, etc.
    I think it was time someone stood up and said something for the Rose Garden neighborhood.  We all pay taxes, we all live here, but what do we do, but drive by and watch it happen.  Councilmember Oliverio you have my respect.  Thank you for standing up and listening to your constiguents.

    And as another remedy and agree with another writer in this column, I believe you need to get the people that are sitting in the jails/prisons out on the street working, cleaning the streets, parks, etc, working on the roads, laying concrete, repaving roads, etc.  There is a huge cost to housing them.  Make them get out and pay to the community with their physical services and not make it so easy on them so they will want to go back for “free housing with food and medical”.  What are we doing anyway?