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County Supe Mike Wasserman's December '12 Newsletter

Get the latest news on county parks expansion, civil detainers, energy upgrades, helping wineries and more!

My staff and I are honored to serve Santa Clara County’s 1.8 million residents. We wish you and your families warm and happy holidays this season. Please check out my events calendar for a listing of some holiday events happening in District 1 and click here to read how you can help to make the holidays better for local families in need.

Outdoor recreation in Santa Clara County is expanding! Mount Madonna County Park will soon be 260 acres bigger thanks to the recent purchase of private land west of Gilroy by the Peninsula Open Space Trust. The property will ultimately expand Mount Madonna County Park and will be a great addition to our County Park system. County residents will also have new recreational opportunities in the northern part of the County with a new perimeter trail around Stanford as well as new bicycle and pedestrian bridges. The funding comes from a $10.4 million payment Stanford made to the County previously to offset development on their campus.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen recently called for a reevaluation of the County’s civil detainer policy. He cited the same public safety issues that concerned me last year. The problem is that the current policy makes the detention of previously-convicted serious offenders contingent on federal cost reimbursement. Last year, I was the lone vote against the county’s current policy of not cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because I do not believe our current policy adequately protects the public. The DA is asking the Board to reevaluate this policy and I agree that it must be reconsidered. This time, hopefully, with a different outcome.

I am proud to report that Santa Clara County is making huge strides in energy efficiency and cost savings by investing in green technology. In November, we approved a new 20 year contract for fuel cell and solar photovoltaic-generated electricity at county facilities. The County is projected to save $18,630,989 (15.6%) in energy costs over the life of the agreement. This is nearly $1 million annual savings of your tax dollars! The power purchase agreement will result in an additional 5.0 megawatts of on-site power generation with 2.8 megawatts from fuel cells and 2.2 megawatts from solar PV systems, and an additional 553 million kWh of clean power with 490 million kWh from fuel cells and 63 million kWh from solar PV systems. The project also means more temporary and permanent green jobs to install and maintain the new systems. It also supports Bloom Energy, a Santa Clara County-based company that manufactures clean energy technology.

Agri-tourism is a benefit to our entire region. The County spent the last year improving our winery ordinance to assist the winery industry while balancing neighborhood concerns. Last week, the board unanimously approved my recommended ordinance. The improved ordinance streamlines the permitting process, reduces costs to the wineries and continues the County's efforts to promote agri-tourism. I applaud the hard work of the Winery Working Group, County staff, Farm Bureau, Winery Association, and the public for their year-long involvement in this important policy.

As always, you can reach my office at 408-299-5010, or you can email me at mike.wasserman@bos.sccgov.org with your comments and concerns.

P.S. Is there a person, or organization in your community who deserves a public “Kudo?” Email your submissions (including name, why they are being nominated, and link to more information) to Elizabeth.Sanford@bos.sccgov.org

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Sheila Sanchez (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Thank you for blogging on Patch, Supervisor Wasserman. You're newsletter is excellent and contains such great information. Very valuable for our readers. Thank you.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz December 12, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Thanks for the "Heads up" on the info.!

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