The Sunnyvale Public Lands Act
September 23, 206 – Sunnyvale Sun
When I ran for city council in 2013, my opponent Gustav Larsson and I each ran a perfectly clean campaign. There was no effort to spread misinformation, mislead the voters or rely on cheap scare tactics. After the election, we could both look back and know we ran a fair race that we could each be proud of.
By comparison, the Sunnyvale general election in November is beginning to look like something out of a Third World dictatorship.
In November the voters will be asked to vote on Measure M, If approved, it will require voter approval any time the city council tries to sell, swap or lease or trade public land used as either a park or community service amenity. It could have prevented the multiple reckless actions of past and current city councils to dispose of public land that should have been used to expand public park land. It will not allow voters to micromanage the council, but it will give voters the ability to approve the future disposal of public lands.
Many residents support this measure because they fear the city council might try to sell or lease away the main golf course and the civic center property at El Camino Real and Mathilda Avenue.
The committee that easily collected 7,400 signatures to qualify this measure for the ballot has gone to incredible lengths to keep our claims honest and factually accurate. From day one we fully expected to be attacked by pro-development enthusiasts and to see numerous mailers funded by the financial backing of Sunnyvale’s big developers and pro-development political action committees. But we were not prepared for the level of misinformation and cheap scare tactics that are being spread by Measure M’s opposition.
We are shocked by this outpouring of developer and pro-developer angst. After all, Measure M is only about “public lands,” not private property.
Please look at the letters in the Sept. 16 Sunnyvale Sun from the three organizers of the opposition to Measure M. They have been falsely claiming that Measure M would trigger many special elections each year, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are also trying to scare voters by falsely claiming it will force the city to lay off fire and police personnel. It seems whenever anyone questions any action by the city council, you will be falsely labeled as being “anti-public safety.”
The pro-development people who oppose Measure M should ask themselves how they will be able to look back on this election next year. I beg each of them to take some advice from one candidate who ran a clean campaign three years ago. Even if you don’t win the election, if you run a clean campaign the next morning you will wake up and know you never tried to deceive anyone, and you will have the right to feel proud of your efforts.