June 2018 Newsletter
Newsletter intern: Akshay Manglik

On Mobile/Tablet, View in Landscape Mode


1 A Note From Rishi

2 City Happenings, Info, & News

3 Upcoming Events

4 Q&A with Councilmember Kumar

5 Glimpses - A Pictorial View, Happenings from June

A Note From Rishi

 Dear friends,

Hope to see you at Saratoga’s July 4th celebration “An old fashioned Star Spangled Independence Day”  at Kevin Moran Park. Event starts 9:30AM. For details visit http://www.saratogajuly4.com The patriotic music is phenomenal and so are the historical characters.

Have you checked out our Village that is adorned in Red, White and Blue. Our Village is evoking a fervor of patriotism. Just step into Saratoga Village and experience the magic for yourself.

Gentle reminder - Please stay safe and let us not cause a fire this July 4th. One spark can have disastrous consequences. Find a list of public shows at http://www.sccfd.org/news-events

——-This Fourth of July holiday, Santa Clara County Fire Department and San Jose Fire Department have partnered to remind residents that all fireworks are illegal in Santa Clara County. Fireworks are dangerous and can result in fires and injuries that are easily preventable.

National Fire Protection Association reports that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires cause an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

"All Fireworks are illegal in Santa Clara County," reminds Fire Chief Ken Kehmna. "It is imperative that residents leave the shows to the professionals as Fourth of July celebrations occur at a time of the year when the weather is hot and the grass in the oak woodlands surrounding our communities is very dry. We know from recent experience that one spark can have disastrous consequences."

This year, enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July by attending one of the many community fireworks displays in Santa Clara County. Find a list of public shows at http://www.sccfd.org/news-events

2. City Happenings, Info, & News

Neighborhood Watch Responsible for 47% Decline in Break-Ins

According to a Mercury News article, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Marc Lehmann said that the massive decline from 2016 to 2017 in Saratoga residential burglaries can be in part attributed to the Neighborhood Watch programs. There were 69 residential burglaries in 2017. In contrast, 130 home break-ins were reported in 2016.The city is seeing drops in other types of crimes, as well. For example, three assaults have been reported so far this year, compared to 12 in 2017. Also, eight auto burglaries are included in the 2018 statistics, most of which occurred in the downtown shopping and dining district, Lehmann said. As a result, deputies on bikes will be patrolling downtown this summer. More information available at https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/06/07/neighborhood-watch-credited-with-reducing-crime/.


Time to protest again!

With the filing of GRC A.18.01-004, SJWC is asking for 18.63% rate increase over 3 years 2019, 2020 and 2021

San Jose Water Company’s Advice Letter 523 will lead to a rate increase of 3.75% and $13.7M. SJWC is requesting surcharges to offset increase in purchased water, ground water extraction and recycled water charges. Get ready to file your protest letters. Coming soon protest verbiage at www.RishiKumar.com/water


San Jose Water Company’s recent Advice Letter 523 will lead to a rate increase of 3.75%

How to protest?

Visit www.RishiKumar.com/water, search for “Protest Letter”

Copy and paste the content of the word doc or the google doc from this link and send to CPUC

Councilmember Rishi Kumar speaks at the CPUC hearing in San Jose

Watch the video of his speech here


New Restaurants in Saratoga Village

Three new restaurants are opening in Saratoga Village. Mint and Basil, near the Echo Shop, will open by the end of summer. Sent Sovi is becoming a farm fresh restaurant called Ranch Kitchen. The new tapas restaurant will be in the Vienna Woods location, upper village.

June 2 National Trails Day; Many Explored Saratoga’s Trails

June 2nd was National Trails Day across the US, celebrating nearly 3000 miles of trail across the continental US. Many great hiking trails can be found right here in Saratoga, including Quarry Park - 65 acres of fresh air and open space in Saratoga.

Prospect Road Improvements

There continues to be progress with the Prospect Road Improvements Project. All of the concrete sidewalks curbs and gutters are now complete. Over the next two weeks, the following work will take place:

1) The existing median between Provincetown Drive and Titus Avenue will be reconstructed to add refuge lanes turning left onto Prospect Road.

2) The contractor is scheduled to rehabilitate the existing street pavement within the project limits by removing and repairing failed street sections. Work on the asphalt concrete Repair Failed Street Sections (RFSSs) will tentatively start the second week of July and occur for three days on Prospect Road and Johnson Avenue. On the first day, work will start on Johnson Road between Prospect Road and the City limits. On the second and third days, the RFSSs work will be focused on Prospect Road.

3) Following the RFSS work, the contractor will focus on the median work.

You can expect traffic delays during construction, but one traffic lane in each direction on Prospect Road will always remain open. Future phases following the above work of the project will include the installation of the landscape on both the sidewalk planter strips and medians, a new lighted crosswalk at the intersection of Covina Court, bicycle detector loops, green bike lanes, and micro-surfacing and striping of the road.

New Saratoga Fire Chief

The Santa Clara County Fire Department announced that Assistant Chief Tony Bowden will be promoted to Fire Chief effective August 13, 2018. Assistant Chief Bowden has been with County Fire for a number of years and has played a key role in many of the Department’s recent strategic initiatives.

New Computer Science Education Standards

The Computer Science K-12 curriculum rollout in California is ready for implementation. Councilmember Kumar is honored to be involved in the process with California of creating a Computer Science Education for K-12. He was appointed to this panel by the Senate Rules Committee back in 2017

The California Department of Education (CDE) has launched this Computer Science curriculum (K-12) initiative. This was the 3rd meeting after Councilmember Kumar was appointed to serve on this Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan Panel (CSSIPP), comprised of a stellar team with a great track record, from a broad spectrum of California that includes school districts, universities, community colleges and non-profits. CDE will adopt a K-12 computer science standard by July 15, 2019 and by 2022, every California public school K-12 will have this curriculum rolled out, with the fundamental support infrastructure in place.

RRFB Lighted Crosswalks and Cox/Cumberland & Herriman/Lexington

Public Works is currently going out to bid to install Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB)/Lighted Crosswalks at the intersections of Cox/Cumberland and Herriman/Lexington. Staff will select a contractor to complete the lighted crosswalks

in the next two weeks, with the goal of completing the installations by late August. Ideally, the Herriman/Lexington crosswalk will be installed before the start of the school year, and the Cox/Cumberland crosswalk immediately after.

As you may recall, RRFB devices were discontinued in December 2017 because the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) rescinded its approval of the device. FHWA discovered that the RRFB device has been patented by a private company and patented devices are are not allowed in the Manual on Traffic control devices. Thus, all highway agencies were prohibited from installing them.

Recently, the FHWA has confirmed that the patents on the RRFB device have been abandoned, and the concept of the RRFB is now in the public domain. Because of this action, the RRFB can now be used.

Saratoga gets new revenue: Sales Tax Rules Redefined

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. lawsuit overturning the outdated physical presence standard set by the 1992 Quill ruling. This decision clears the way for state and local governments to enforce existing sales and use tax laws on remote sales. For more than 20 years, financial and government organizations have pursued sales and use tax reform to address the ever-growing online retail marketplace. Without the authority to impose current sales and use tax laws on many remote and online purchases, states and local governments have lost billions of vital revenue for public services every year.

With the release of the South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has finally recognized that the changing nature of commerce and the 1992 Quill ruling put brick and mortar retailers at a competitive disadvantage. The City’s sales tax consultant (Avenu) has previously estimated this would favorably impact the City with an additional $100,000 per year in Sales Tax Revenue.

New Saratoga proposed Tobacco Ordinance will ban all tobacco sales

Saratoga city council has proposed banning the sale of all tobacco products in Saratoga. City staff will present an ordinance for city limits that bans sale of all Tobacco products. Please call our city 408 868 1216

Saratoga Firearm Ordinance

Saratoga city council this month unanimously approved a new ordinance that would require firearms to be stored in a locked container or disabled with a safety device listed in the California Department of Justice’s roster of approved firearm safety devices when the firearms are not in the owner’s immediate possession while in a Saratoga residence. Additionally, the ordinance would require lost or stolen firearms to be reported to the Sheriff’s Office within 48 hours of realizing the firearms have been lost or stolen if the owner lives in Saratoga or the loss or theft occurs in Saratoga.

4-Way Stop at Big Basin Way and 4th Street - by Mainini Cabute

On June 7, 2018, the Traffic Safety Commission held a special meeting to present data and hear public comments regarding the 4-way stop at Big Basin Way and 4th Street. The City Council approved the Motor Vehicle Resolution to install the 4-way stop sign on February 21, 2018. On March 15, the City notified residents living near the intersection about the date of installation. They were also informed about the upcoming meeting on June 7. Outreach regarding the installation and upcoming meeting was also conducted Citywide on Nextdoor and Facebook.

At the meeting, the City’s Traffic Engineer, Franziska, presented the following data that she collected. The presentation file is also attached to the newsletter for your review.

• Traffic volume has increased over the past 3 months, possibly due to seasonal shift involving events at the Mountain Winery and scenic drives to the ocean.

• Other issues creating congestion on Big Basin Way involve cars yielding to pedestrians at flashing crosswalk in front of Starbucks, cars turning left into Starbucks parking lot, and cars waiting to parallel park on Big Basin Way.

• Field observations showed that overall, congestion at Big Basin Way represents about 16% of the time, generated mostly by weekend traffic. Specifically, between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. max queues reached 20+ cars. During Mountain Winery events, average & max queues reached 20+ cars.

There were 20 members of the public who attended and spoke at the meeting. Of those 20 who spoke, 14 were in favor of the 4-way stop and 6 were not in favor. Comments in favor and opposed are summarized in the table

Many community members shared ideas about how to improve congestion. The City will explore some of those ideas, such as working with the Mountain Winery to have traffic control during their large events. Additionally, the City will collect more traffic data during the summer and continue to monitor the intersection.

See the staff presentation here which has lots of details

Questions on this can be sent to Mainini Cabute <mcabute@saratoga.ca.us>

Many community members shared ideas about how to improve congestion. The City will explore some of those ideas, such as working with the Mountain Winery to have traffic control during their large events. Additionally, the City will collect more traffic data during the summer and continue to monitor the intersection.




Saratoga’s Sign Ordinance

On May 7, the City received a complaint about excessive signage at the Argonaut Shopping Center, including numerous feather flag signs placed at the entrance on Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road and in the parking lot. Code Enforcement staff provided shopping center’s property manager with a courtesy notice and a copy of the City’s sign regulations When additional violations were documented at the site, a Notice of Violation was issued on May 30. A follow up inspection of the property on June 7 shows that most of the signs have been removed. Staff will continue to monitor the property for compliance.

Saratoga’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) has awarded the City of Saratoga the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its Fiscal Year 2016/17 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. The CAFR has been reviewed by an impartial panel to meet the high standard of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate the City’s financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR. This is the 25th time that the City has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement.

Recent Power Failure in Saratoga: PG&E

Recent power failure in Saratoga: PG&E has determined the cause to be a “device” failure to an underground cable. The 1st outage (~8,500 homes) was a repair, and the 2nd (~7,300 homes) was a result of the replacement. All power has been restored and everything is back in order.

Online Tree Permit App a Success

In March of this year, the City launched an online tree permit application to better accommodate Saratoga residents. The application payment is processed through PayPal. The online application process has worked well so far with approximately 25% of tree permits applied for online since the inauguration of this process. The remainder of applications are received on the older version of the application form (also available online) and delivered via email or in person.

General Plan Update

In February 2018, the City of Saratoga began an 18 month process to refresh and make minor updates to three elements of the City’s General Plan (Land Use, Circulation, and Open Space & Conservation). Since February, the Planning Commission has held four study sessions to discuss the proposed updates. The City will hold a Public Scoping Meeting on Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the Senior

Center to share information about the proposed project and receive input on the scope of the environmental issues to be addressed in the Environmental Impact Report. Additional information about the General Plan Update can be found on the City’s website at

City of Saratoga Open Positions

Our City of Saratoga is currently recruiting for the following positions:

1. Finance Manager, Finance Division

2. Building Official (new position), Building Division

3. Communications Intern (new internship), City Manager’s Office

4. Temporary, Part-Time Customer Service Representative Recreation Division

5. Temporary, Part-Time Facility Attendant Facilities Division

Please call 408 868 1216 for details

Net Neutrality Bill in California

California has a unique opportunity to roll out a policy that will create the mother of all Net Neutrality Bill

Well, some don’t think that should happen

Can we please call and push for Net Neutrality in California?

Call anyone who voted against this

Call the staffers of the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection and ask that the bill be restored to what Senator Wiener wrote. Please call (916) 319-2200

3. Upcoming Events

July 4th Celebration at Kevin Moran Park

9th annual Saratoga Classic Car Show on July 22nd 2018

Upcoming Movie Nights

Candidate Seminar - July 14

Public Tea Demonstrations Back at Hakone Gardens

4. Q&A with Councilmember Kumar

Visit www.RishiKumar.com/faq for the complete list.

Cappuccino and Conversation with Councilmember Kumar

Q: What vacation safety tips do you have?

Heading for your vacation?

Please review a few simple safety tips here at https://tinyurl.com/Top25Tips to apply around your home, that will significantly enhance the safety of your home while you are on vacation. For example, you can request "Vacation Patrol" from our sheriff while you are gone.

Please do apply a few deterrents before you head out. And definitely let your immediate neighbors (in all 4 directions) know that you are going to be traveling.

5. Glimpses - A Pictorial View

Rishi fighting water rate increases at a CPUC meeting

Memorial Day Celebration in Saratoga

Neighborhood meetings in the month of June

Certificate of Rishi’s involvement in crafting California state-wide computer science education standards

Rishi with Congressman Ro Khanna at Big Basin Cafe Saratoga

Rishi at a Santa Clara Convention Center event with Assemblymembers Kalra and Chu along with Cupertino Mayor Darcy Paul

4th annual Lego Robotics Team Formation Day: 21 new teams were formed

Councilmember Kumar attending the ABA General Assembly meeting in San Francisco.

Rishi at a Jose Esteves for Milpitas Mayor event

Zakir visits Silicon Valley - At the ICC

Greeting Karthik at the “Karthik and Friends Show” in San Jose

Recognizing the efforts of Tinny Juneja and BDC

Rishi at a Ramadan celebration upon invitation of the West Valley Muslim Association

Rishi supporting the non-profit GIBV

Rishi with the winners of the Silicon Valley Young Coders Club 4th Annual Pitch Fest

Rishi at the Grand Opening of The Yellow Chili Santa Clara

WomenNow TV event in San Jose

Handing out an award certificate at Bihar Divas

Rishi on the Varun Kapur Show

A beautiful Sacramento evening - spending the evening with the Team California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel

A Blast from the Past - Rishi’s swearing-in 4 years ago with State Senator Jim Beall