Long-time Sunnyvale Resident voices hope for a city that pays heed to voices of entire community

An Open Letter to Sunnyvale Mayor Anthony Spitaleri

Dear Mr. Mayor:

Yesterday’s mail brought a letter from you promoting your selection of candidates in the upcoming election.  In it you relate how you and your family first settled in Sunnyvale some 47 years ago, at a time when you “couldn’t have asked for a better place to raise a family than in a city which cares about its citizens…”  You then describe how during your service to the city you have “emphasized the importance of collaboration and partnership between Community, Business, and Government…”  You add: “Sunnyvale must continue… with a collaborative and solution-oriented mind set.”  (The italics are mine.)

Mr. Mayor, I remember those days of long ago… and even not so long ago.  As a 54-year resident, I agree that Sunnyvale was a very special place.  The sun shone on a city of hope and optimism: a center of new technology where anything might be possible; a friendly town where the streets were named for flowers and fruits and birds and there was an active, ongoing campaign to add even more park space and trees; and especially, I agree, a town which cared for its citizens and actually listened to them.

Alas, Mr. Mayor, over the past decade the sun has dimmed.  What you extol as a record of “collaboration and partnership between Community, Business, and Government” has too often been reduced to collaboration between Business and Government only:  How else, for example, to explain:

  • the catastrophe of the LinkedIn construction which towers oppressively over a long-established single-family-home neighborhood?
  • the readiness of the Council to repeatedly ignore the guidelines of the City’s General Plan, but instead to extend serious anti-code dispensations to developers, with little regard for deleterious effects on local traffic, neighborhood schools, and air quality?
  • the unwillingness of many on the Council to recuse themselves from decisions involving business and political groups from whom they have received large donations (or at minimum, to simply state — before voting — that such contributions were made and taken)?
  • and, above all, Council’s censure of  Councilmember Patrick Meyering, who had the courage to question such actions as those described above?

My hope is that Sunnyvale will return to being a city which pays heed to the voices of the entire community, including the people who live here — not just the people who commute through it or those who want to build, build, build until we can no longer see the sky.  With that in mind, Mr. Mayor, I beg to differ from you.  Because we need to return to genuine collaboration, I am supporting Frazer, Hoffman, and Merrick for City Council. 

Respectfully yours,

Jean Lee

8 responses to “Long-time Sunnyvale Resident voices hope for a city that pays heed to voices of entire community

  1. Gina Senzatimore

    I also support Frazer, Hoffman and Merrick, in addition to Councilmember Pat Meyering. He should not have been censured. An excellent letter.

  2. Ms. Lee- Thank you for your posting. I agree with you 100%. I to am a long time resident, born and raised in Sunnyvale and I see our city going the way of sewerage. I too know the city to ignore the wishes of the residents, even while their supporters are spending thousands of dollars to get candidates elected that will do their bidding.
    After the “joke_boy” incident six (6) years ago (attributed to Jim Griffith) in where he slandered two candidates while he (Mr. Griffith) was on the Library Commission,…then again this year when he used his opponent’s name to capture domain name to benefit his re-election. At one time, when I first met Mr. Griffith I would have supported him. But after learning of the “joke_boy” thing I could not, in “good conscience” support him. Then the stealing of Tap Merrick’s name to benefit himself, well if that was not illegal, it was way over the top!
    I too will be voting Frazer, Merrick, and Hoffman.
    Thank you again for your post.
    Michael Rose

  3. Thank you for sending this email, Ms. Lee. I have been a life long resident of this area and at the age of 57 have witnessed the same disturbing developments. What was once the Valley of Heart’s delight has turned into the Valley of Developer’s dreams. Our city is facing traffic gridlock in every direction, overcrowded schools and diminishing trees, parks, why, even the squirrles are stressed. Because of this, I am voting for Frazier, Hoffman, and Merrick.

    Karen Reilly

  4. Amen!

  5. Katharine Hopkins

    Well said! Thank you, Ms. Lee, for speaking up on behalf of our city and its residents. You have eloquently stated what so many of us know to be true. I also support Frazier, Hoffman, Merrick, and Meyering–and I may be writing your name in on my ballot during the next mayoral election.

  6. Thank you Ms. Lee for speaking out for the community of Sunnyvale. As a lifetime resident of Sunnyvale, I am appalled at the high density development that is going on in the city. I work near the new LinkedIn buildings and live near Washington Park. A trip that should take 5 minutes, straight down Mathilda, takes 15-20 minutes during commute hours. I just dread the thought of what the commute will be once LinkedIn moves into their new campus. We need a change … I am supporting Frazier, Hoffman and Merrick for city council.

  7. Well said. This is why I am leaving Sunnyvale after nearly 10 years here. I cannot afford even a “junior one bedroom” here anymore, and why should I pay through the nose to see our lovely community become so big business focused, and sit in ridiculous traffic on Wolfe just to get out of the neighborhood.

  8. In a recent Facebook post stating my opposition to the Mayoral and City Council candidates, I was told that it would be best if I moved away from Sunnyvale… It is a real sad state when your only solution is to move away from home to escape the kaos outside..

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