The Majority Position:
I still lean in favor of Cisco. While I feel that development in the Coyote Valley at the present time will cause a general degradation of the quality of life for residents of the Almaden Valley, I also recognize that development in the Coyote Valley is likely inevitable and consider the Cisco campus design to be a relatively positive proposal under the circumstances. I would rather see Cisco go ahead rather than risk a future development (with a possibly inferior design).
However, I also feel that it is appropriate for Cisco to make certain concessions to the residents of the area as an attempt to at least partially offset the negative impacts of additional development. I liked the suggestions about concessions which were made at the meeting.
The best suggestion would be one which dealt with traffic by in some way limiting access to Bernal Rd. over the hill. The only thing I could think of would be to place speed bumps or some other obstacle on Bernal which would slow traffic to the point that it would not be an attractive option to commuters. However, I don't know how practical that would be.
Still, I would vote in favor of Cisco with conditions attached.
Neil Johnson, AVCA Director (in 2000)
The Minority Position:
With regard to Cisco, it may be inevitable, but it is proper to ask for concessions. Remember the concessions that Tennessee was forced to give to get the Japanese companies to come in the form of tax write-offs. Tennessee had a job shortage and badly wanted new industry.
Our situation is just the opposite; there is no job shortage. The addition of up to twenty thousand (20,000) more jobs puts more pressure on those areas already stressed, housing and traffic, by the many new jobs already existing. This stress is all over the Bay area; San Francisco is planning on getting fifty thousand (50,000) more dot com jobs. This influx is forcing people with normal incomes out of the area. Where do the school teachers, including San Jose State professors, and others live?
Salinas is right to ask for $30 million to extend the commuter trains, plus $1 million per year for 20 years to provide low cost housing and to train apprentices to get high tech jobs.
In our case, it has been suggested by someone on the Board, and I agree, that Cisco pay for the extension of Light Rail to their plant.
Even with these company subsidies, our community's standard of living will not be enhanced; there will be more traffic on Almaden Expressway, with no mitigating improvements. Some people may like the fact of increased housing prices, but this is very disruptive to a well-functioning society; not everyone has stock options and can afford to live here. For example, I recently read that the median house price in Santa Clara County is now about $525,000.
There will be tax money coming in, but to whom and for what purpose?
Based on the above, at present I am against Cisco, even with the subsidies.
I am prepared to change my mind if someone comes up with some compelling reasons.
Bob Boydston, AVCA Treasurer (in 2000)