2018 Cupertino City Council Candidate Questionnaire

2018 Cupertino City Council Candidate Questionnaire

 

 

 

 

As a public service, the Cupertino Library Foundation asked the eight candidates running for one of three seats on the Cupertino City Council this year to comment on various current issues regarding our Library. We asked questions that we hope will help the community evaluate candidate positions on the Cupertino Library.  The answers from the candidates are listed below; the candidates are listed in the order that they appear on the ballot.

As a council member, what would you do to continue the success of the Library in Cupertino?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

I would leverage the wonderful community volunteers we have in Library Foundation, Library Commission and Friends of the Library and other community groups to help improving the Library experience in Cupertino.

Darcy Paul

Our library is one of the most utilized per capita in the nation.

I strongly support library expansion and have advocated for library hours to be extended for each of the 7 days of the week. I have also served on the Library Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors representing Cupertino.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

Continue the relationship with the City for support of facility and increased hours to maximize services and programs to our residents

Hung Wei

Library is an important service to people of all ages, especially teens that need a place to meet with friends outside of home and classrooms. I will ensure that funding for Library is adequate to maintain the proven successes of the current Library programs. In addition, I will look into City fiscal health and budget allocations, and if feasible, allow more resources to enhance Library services.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

Continue support for additional hours as needed. I always voted for extra hours while on the Council and was the Cupertino JPA alternate for several years

Tara Sreekrishnan

  • Alleviate competing schedule demands for Community Hall, possibly by creating more community spaces in Cupertino
  • Support library program room expansion at the Main Library site
  • Address library parking issues (see solutions below)
  • Ensure that the Cupertino Library Commission thrives and is not dissolved
  • Work in conjunction with the Library Commission and SCCLD to ensure that programs at the library fit residents’ needs and interests

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

All other libraries have a multi-purpose room in the Santa Clara county.  Cupertino Library does not.  What are your thoughts on how to address this issue in Cupertino?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

The Library needs more activity rooms. Our story room is too small. Other libraries also have more free meeting rooms for the community use and more study areas. A city like Palo Alto with about the same population as Cupertino has 3 library branches and 3 community centers. Many schools have multi-purpose room and most equipped with advanced projectors for meetings. The high schools also have auditoriums. We need to look into getting more library branches, which would relieve the parking problem too. In Taiwan, I have seen unmanned library branches the size of a portable classroom with automatic entry & exit. We have limited city-owned land unfortunately. The City should look into partnering with schools to share meeting and activity rooms.

Darcy Paul

We need to build a multi-purpose room, which I have supported in the past and consistently advocate to approve and build.  With majority support, I will seek approval and funding in the next term to support the perch addition.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

Tier 2 vote on Vallco will help rebuild the city hall and parking structure. Having that infrastructure in place will help with the decision to build the perch addition or an alternate addition for use as a multi-purpose room

Hung Wei

A good-size multi-purpose room with flexible space configuration is important in order to provide programs for youth of all age groups. In collaboration with Library staff, Cupertino City staff, the Library Foundation, Friends of Cupertino Library, and a wide range of Library supporters in the community, we can establish an Advisory Committee to do feasibility study on how Cupertino Library can expand to include a multi-purpose room with flexible programming space.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

Community Hall has served this purpose in the interim for Cupertino. We need a multi-purpose room, but the approach needs to be integrated into the latest thinking on the location of the new City Hall.

Tara Sreekrishnan

I support adding a new 130-seat Program Room to create a larger space in our library that will have flexible uses. This room could host programs, events, classes etc. The Cupertino Library has always been too small, even after the library was completely rebuilt in 2004.

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

How do you see the parking issues at Community Hall and the Library being addressed in the next years?  Are you in favor of a ride share program or other alternatives to be made available for Library patrons?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

Most of the parking spaces around the Library are taken by permit parking for city employees it seems. We should give priority to visitors to the library and the City Hall. The employees who will be onsite for many hours should use alternative transportation modes and Traffic Manage System, which the city has promoted for development projects.

There are more parking spaces along Pacific Dr (South of the grass field.) The employees should use that location and nearby streets for parking.

Ride sharing programs won’t work since most visitors are families with children. Ride sharing program would be costly for a family.

The City should put customers first.

Darcy Paul

Yes, the City of Cupertino has passed a free ride share service for seniors to visit the library from home.  We should identify a longer-term parking fix.  I expect emerging technologies to play a role as well in the upcoming years.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

If the City Hall is not rebuilt, the parking issue needs to be addressed by encouraging more ride share, use of bikes and/or shuttles. Pilot program of POGO for students at CHS can be extended to the Library, especially for after school hours.

Hung Wei

It would be ideal for the City Hall to be rebuilt to include an underground parking garage for City staff, thus free up many parking spaces around the Library. A ridesharing program such as the PogoRides Program piloted at Cupertino high School is a good option for people to car share to Library. The current Vallco Specific Plan approved by the City Council includes a community shuttle that can be utilized to shuttle people from different locations in town to and from the Library. A combination the above alternatives can serve to address Library parking issues.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

While a ride sharing program may be useful in the short term, we really need more parking. In the past I have advocated for an integrated approach with a new City Hall at the current location, vs a stand-alone parking structure. As noted above, we now need to see what happens with the location of City Hall.

Tara Sreekrishnan

I would have to look into the specifics of the ride share program before formulating an opinion, but ride share, car share, and carpooling apps are all options.

Here are other steps we can take to alleviate parking issues:

  • Construct an additional parking garage (potentially underground) to increase parking spots even though it will be costly
  • Study creating an offsite parking location for City Employees and a shuttle from that location to City Hall and the Library; this would open up more spaces for visitors
  • Study reducing the patron parking time limit
  • Create additional secure bike parking

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

The city of Cupertino has selected option “4”, which is  the “Perch Addition” involving the  new construction of a two story building that would be built above the Children’s Reading area and provide room for 130 additional seats for events at a project cost estimated at $10 million.  Do you support their decision and why?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

The project cost seems reasonable. I wonder what other options have been considered.

I do hope we do long-term analysis of the facilities need of the library so that we have a plan for expansion to serve our growing population.

Other cities do a Nexus study of all community facilities to identify a list of capital projects. Then, they could justify development fees to pay for these community infrastructures. Cupertino should look into such a study.

Darcy Paul

Yes, as mentioned above, all libraries in Santa Clara County have a multi-purpose room and the Cupertino library should have one as well, in order to have a usable meeting space within its structure.  This is more than justified given the popularity of the library and the value provided to our residents and the general public.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

Perch Addition is a good option but not without investing in infrastructure for parking. Built independent of the parking structure, the perch addition will only aggravate the parking situation.

Hung Wei

While I have not reviewed Option 4, or any other options, a $10 million investment into the Library will serve people from near and far, and for years to come. I will support it if this is the only feasible plan available to expand Cupertino Library. Vallco Specific Plan includes a brand new 2-story City Hall. This may relieve City usage of Cupertino Community Hall, thus giving the Library more program space in the Community Hall.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

I do not know enough about the details to comment on this. Again, we need to review the possible impacts of a City Hall move

Tara Sreekrishnan

Yes, I support Option 4 because it has the most minimal impact on the current Library, the surrounding nature, and the surrounding area. This option does not require relocation of the Library during construction and is an ideal room shape and height to serve Library programming.

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

What role do you believe the Library Commission should serve?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

The current role of the Library Commission is advisory towards the City Council. However, there seems to be little communication between the Council and the Commission.

I have attended a few Library Commission meetings and found the meetings very informative. Commissioners all work well together and support each other. The Commission allows more interactive participation from the audience. That’s refreshing. CUSD also adapts sometimes to invite the audience to join us in a study session and such two-way communication works out well for some items.

CUSD is able to record and livestream the meetings with a stationary camera, which costs about $2000. The technology is there and affordable. The City could install such camera in small conference rooms so that commission meetings could be recorded. The informative presentation from the Librarian is worth recording and livestream.

The Library Commission should serve in a role that’s similar to the advisory board of Cupertino Library, not just as an advisory body for the City Council. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be any board working with the Library to oversee the operation of Cupertino Library.

Darcy Paul

The Library Commission serves in an advisory role to the City Council and as a liaison to the Library Foundation, as well to the Friends of the Cupertino Library.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

Per the handbook, the Library Commission, like all other Commissions, assist the City Council “in addressing specific issues in detail, lending professional expertise, and facilitating community decision-making.” There needs to be a work plan approved by the City Council and agenda be set accordingly.

Hung Wei

The Library Commission serves to evaluate current Library programs as well as recommend innovative programs that will inspire youth as well as adults to live to learn, and learn to live. Library Commissioners should be passionate about the mission of public library in providing learning opportunities and equitable services to all. In addition, the Library Commission should ensure the fiscal health of the joint JPA so that Cupertino Library service continues to be among the best in Santa Clara County.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

I am comfortable with the current role as outlined on the City website. “The commission advises the Council on the adequacy of library service within the community and such other matters relating to library service as specified by the City Council; and serves as liaison between the City and the Santa Clara County library system.”

Tara Sreekrishnan

The Library Commission is a body of appointed volunteers that advises the Council on the functions and status of the City’s only library. They play a critical function in ensuring our Library’s success.

I adamantly opposed Council’s recent consideration of dissolving the Cupertino Library Commission. Read my Letter, “Save the Cupertino Library Commission!”, that was printed in the Cupertino Courier: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/20/letters-reader-worries-for-the-end-to-the-cupertino-library-commission/

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

What do you believe is the role of the Library in Cupertino?

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

Library provides essential services to Cupertino families, who value education. It is not just a place to access books or videos. It is the eyes and ears of the community. The library offers many programs for the community. One can say that the Library is the heart and soul of Cupertino. The Library is also one important information channel that connect Cupertino area residents together. Many people first learned about import issues affecting our community at the library.

Darcy Paul

The library is a community hub for people of all ages, including young children and seniors, to read, do homework, do work, and meet friends in a safe and welcoming space that promotes the life of the mind through literature, artistic pursuits, and learning.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

The Library plays a significant role in our diverse community by giving a great outlet to people of all ages and ethnicities to explore and learn more

Hung Wei

I believe that the Library plays an important role in our community by providing a variety of programs for children of all ages, and a place for students to do project together or just to hang out after school. It also serves as a welcoming place for all community members.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

Aside from its classic role of providing free books and other media for the public, the library acts as our second community center complementing the activities and services provided at Quinlan and the Senior Center. It is a critical part of the Cupertino scene.

Tara Sreekrishnan

The Cupertino Library is a centerpiece of the city and by far the busiest library in the county by any metric. Our library gives folks in our community tools to achieve education, understanding, and success.

In the interest of preserving our high achieving public schools, community college and avenues for life-long learning, we must prioritize our library.

To this end, Cupertino’s recent extension of Library service to 72 hours a week (in conjunction with the Santa Clara Library District) was a major victory.

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

Closing Comments:

Liang-Fang “Liang” Chao

I am looking forward to work with different groups to make library services more accessible to residents.

Darcy Paul

Did not respond.

Savita Vaidhyanathan

To quote R. David Lankes, “Bad libraries only build collections. Good libraries build services (and a collection is only one of many). Great libraries build communities.”
Cupertino is a great community – our Library helps make it wonderful, relevant and forward looking.

Hung Wei

Cupertino Library provides essential and important services to community members of all ages, and it will always have my support.

Jon Robert Willey

Did not respond.

Orrin Mahoney

My history of supporting the Cupertino Library and the Library Commission is well documented, including support for the CLF zone at the Silicon Valley Fall Festival

Tara Sreekrishnan

My mother was a Cupertino Public School Librarian. Libraries were always like my second home. Thank you to the Cupertino Library Foundation, The Library Commission, Cupertino Library Staff, and the Friends of the Cupertino Library for going above and beyond to support the Cupertino Library.

Read about my life in Cupertino and my Civic experience: https://www.tara4cupertino.com/aboutme/

Read my detailed policy proposals around Traffic, Environmental Leadership, Responsible City Planning, Transparent Government, and more: https://www.tara4cupertino.com/priorities1/

Tim Gorsulowsky

Did not respond.

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