But tell me, where do the children play?
Thursday September 08th 2011, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Politics

I came home from Knit Night to an email that was a huge surprise. Much cause for cautious, tempered joy–we’re not done yet.

But to me it is one more example of why every vote counts.

They’ve been back. City Hall fight, round three.

The San Jose Merc printed my letter to the editor recently asking why on earth, with so much housing having gone up in the last two years here with no thought to the impact on schools and no place to put the children, didn’t our school district buy the almost three acre daycare site that was up for sale? It abutted school property. It was a logical fit. There was no other parcel around with an undeveloped field like that to be had anywhere else; why sell it to a developer and increase that very problem? My children had had room to run around on the playground during recess, but now they were adding multi-story classroom space there. Just where is my grandson’s generation supposed to play?

Now the developer is saying they want to put in ten houses and comply with zoning this time, having said previously they would walk away from it all if they didn’t get their twenty-three. (And they threatened to sue, too, but that was all bluster, no court would have upheld them.)

But. The law says they have to provide low-income housing with any new development. Can’t they just please buy their way out of that one, they want to know? (Rules? What rules? Since when did rules apply to them? They’ve already shown what they’re made of.)

I like to think that by speaking up in a way that was visible to all, I in my very small way helped give the school district the certainty they needed that the public was behind them: because now, at long last, they have announced they do indeed want to buy the place for future school space. In the expense and the race for it, they have asked not to be required to submit an environmental impact report, in that they do not plan to change the field nor the structures for now but simply to have it to bank towards future needs.

A neighbor saw an article in the town’s small paper and made sure everybody else around here did too.

Yo school district dudes. You are so late to the party. But finally, finally you came.

Now, newspaper, take it further and tell us what time that planning commission meeting is going to be held–I want to be there. The Brown Act gives me the right to be there. This is the same planning commission of whom Greg Scharff, one of the City Council members, asked in May, when Council was to vote on the 23-home proposal, “You’ve spent a lot of time on this. Haven’t you?”

The fellow he was looking at in the Commission’s seats, the same one that had talked to our neighborhood group earlier as if the proposal were all a done deal all along and he was just trying to ease us into it, looked back at him and nodded yes.

“May I ask: WHY?”

I wanted to jump out of my seat and exclaim, Yes! Yes! THIS is why I voted for you, Mr. Scharff! THANK YOU!!

Now we need another round of the Council’s support.

6 Comments so far
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Hooray! It definitely takes a village to raise a child…

Comment by Channon 09.09.11 @ 6:57 am

I say hooray for you! I get really angry with folks who no longer have children in the public schools that will vote no on school tax issues because it doesn’t apply to them — HELLO!? the children are the future for ALL OF US (and certainly other people’s taxes help pay for their children’s education!)

Comment by Bev 09.09.11 @ 8:19 am

Oh, good. Standing up for what is right makes us all cheer.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 09.09.11 @ 8:29 am

Great job, Alison!

Comment by Joansie 09.09.11 @ 9:47 am

Good for you! I would say that if only 10 houses can be built, well, I guess they’ll all have to be low-income, because you know, there are rules. 😉 That would help them give up the property in no time.

Comment by Renee 09.09.11 @ 12:33 pm

So you CAN TO fight city hall!

Hey, cute kid.

Comment by Don Meyer 09.09.11 @ 4:44 pm

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