A green reminder... ...

Don't forget: You can line your Kitchen Food Scraps Pail with any type of plastic bag, paper bag, paper towels/napkins or newspaper! Do not place the pail at the curb for collection. Use your Kitchen Food Scraps Pail to store your food scraps until you empty it into the food scraps side of your Garbage/Food Scraps Split Cart. All fresh, frozen, cooked and moldy food scraps and food-soiled paper belong in your Garbage/Food Scraps Split Cart; this includes: peels, pits & rinds, dairy products, bread & pasta, coffee grounds & tea leaves, meats & bones, backyard fruit & vegetables, soiled napkins & paper towels, soiled newspaper & kraft paper bags.

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Love it, hate it -- take note of the benefits of the new garbage service:

1. Separating organics is an added service to meet new California mandate (remove organics from landfills) passed by Sacramento in 2016. Without which Milpitas will be subjected to fines when enforcement starts, which will eventually impact our rates. Majority of Bay Area cities have organics separation in place. It has nothing to do with Measure L or the choice of hauler as some are being misled to believe.

2. Once garbage is properly sorted, everyone can save more by downsizing to a small or extra small garbage bin. Do you know over 90% of San Jose and Palo Alto residents use the small or extra small bins?

3. Although previous garbage service had free dump days, it would still cost money and hassle to rent a truck to deliver the junk to the landfill. As a result, many residents never used the dump day service. Obviously, it’s not hard to realize that the new service with four free curbside pick ups (with some rules) is a heaven to many residents especially for the elderly people.

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While the residents are getting used to the habit of sorting the garbage, many probably did not know that sorting the garbage has nothing to do with Measure L nor with the new garbage service. It is a California mandate imposed by Sacramento, without which Milpitas will have to pay fines - which would then we left for us residents to pay.

For more information on your collection or general service, contact Milpitas Sanitation at 408-988-4500 or online at www.milpitassanitation.com/contact

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Today, as we honor #MartinLutherKing and his legacy, we should not keep silence. We should discover the truth and help people to understand what is really happening in our community. ...

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Merry merry Christmas to all of our friends and volunteers! ...

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Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Tonight, Milpitas city council will finalize the change to an important process and make it undemocratic. Please go to city hall and speak at the public forum to address this issue and protect our democracy. It’ll start at 7:00 pm.

See previous post for more information.

Hope to see you soon.

“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.” — Albert Einstein

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Is Democracy Being Served in Milpitas?

[12-18-2017, Milpitas, CA] While the city council makes most of the city's decisions, they rely heavily on the advice and recommendations of the volunteers serving on our city's 14 commissions. Milpitas commissions have 17 vacancies since last June. In addition, 28 seats expired but are waiting for re-appointment since June 2017.

11 Youth Advisory Commissioner seats were waiting to be appointed as of October, 2017.

Why? Because council members Anthony Phan and Bob Nunez have put all commissioner appointments on hold.

Currently, commission applicants are appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. Phan and Nunez propose to form a subcommittee made up of two members who will review the applicants and recommend whom to select to be council members. On Tuesday, 12-19-2017, the city council is scheduled to appoint two council members to the subcommittee.

Does adding the two-member subcommittee make commissioner appointments a fully democratic process? We think not, as it allows individual council member to prevent an applicant from being presented to the entire council. That said, to engage the entire council to review all qualified applicants is a more responsible procedure .

In fact, all our neighboring cities have the entire council review commission applicants. We believe this is the way it should be done, and no shortcuts should be taken.

The City of Santa Clara (population 125,948) has an exemplary Guide for Board, Commissions and Committee Applicants. On page 3 of this guide, in the “Application Process/Appointments” section, paragraph 2, it says: “The City Council interviews all applicants (except for the Youth Commission) at a certain date. The official appointment of Commissioners is made at a City Council meeting by at least four affirmative votes of the City Council. Applications will be kept confidential until placed on the Council agenda, at which time applications are made public in their entirety. ”

San Jose (population 1.025 million) is the only city that delegates commissioner applicant reviews to the “Council Appointment Advisory Commission”. This commission is made up of 11 members, each with a 4-year term. The Mayor and City Council each appoint one member to the Commission. At less than 10% of San Jose’s population, Milpitas (population 77,528) is too small to warrant a subcommittee for the commissioner appointment process.

Commissioner appointment is too important a process to be trifled with. So, while our councilmembers have other priorities to tend to, we believe that they should make this a priority for their council duties, and be all involved in this process.

Last but not least, we found this Role of council - Good Governance Guide and hope our council meeting will find it useful in leading our growing city down the right path.

P.S. Below is a list of nearby cities’ commissioner appointment processes:

City of Los Altos (population 30,561):
Applications will be reviewed and interviews may be scheduled with the city council.

City of Cupertino (population 60,643):
Applicants are interviewed by city council

City of Sunnyvale (population 152,771):
Qualified applicants are notified for an interview with City Council. Appointments are made at a regular meeting of City Council.

City of Santa Clazra (population 125,948):
City council interviews all qualified applicants. Appointment is made at a council meeting with a majority vote (Guide for Board, Commissions and Committee Applicants, page 3, section titled “Application Process/Appointments”, paragraph 2).

City of Fremont (population 233,136):
Use the term Volunteer not commission.
No interview process.

City of Saratoga (population 30,767):
Candidates are scheduled to be interviewed by the entire city Council

City of San Jose (population 1.025 million):
Due to its large population, the applicants are being interviewed by the 11 member Council Appointment Advisory Commission. The Mayor and City Council each appoint one member to the Commission.

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South Bay Eco Citizens shared Milpitas Sanitation's post. ...

Don't forget -- You may use a plastic bag to line the food scraps side of your Gray Garbage/Food Scraps Split Cart and the Kitchen Food Scraps Pail.

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Great year end party. It is all about community effort on making the South Bay a better place to stay. Happy Holidays and it is going to be another exciting next year! ...

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This site contains information on odor issues in Milpitas.