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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
City CouncilGet to know the candidates: City beautification

Get to know the candidates: City beautification

This is part of a series of Q&As for Mayoral and City Council candidates for the November 2020 election. Questions were submitted by Milpitas residents. 

How would you support city beautification here in Milpitas? 


Mayoral Candidates


Voltaire Montemayor: It is an imperative part of my proposition for the need of aerial photos and satellite images at a lower level. Fire prevention also. Beautification in the sense of being me as an environmentalist in principle. The very beautiful Milpitas is a shining honor.



Rich Tran: Continue to reinvest tax dollars into our Public Works Department along with volunteer efforts to clean our streets.




City Council Candidates 


Evelyn Chua: I would introduce a Garbage Service Pilot program for homeless areas. This will provide for garbage and recycling services in homeless areas. I would also rehire the Parks Maintenance Staff. When park maintenance was handled by city employees, they had a sense of pride and attachment to our parks. They cared about the community and it showed in their work because our parks were beautifully maintained. We need to bring our parks team in house and get our parks back to the level of cleanliness that you deserve. Also, we need better street sweeping service. The goal is to make sure Milpitas Sanitation is accountable to a high quality of service. As a Council Member, I’ll make sure that the contractor performs the job you pay them to do by closely monitoring programs and making sure our contractor is held accountable for sloppy service. Currently, there is an item on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for a Pilot Street Sweeping program. I’ll keep an eye on this one. Investing in our roads is also important. The maintenance of roads is a critical and important service that the City provides. We need to continue to invest in our roads and infrastructure. It’s much cheaper to invest in preventive maintenance than to build a crumbling roadway due to neglect. Not to mention the damage these roadways do to your vehicles and the hazard they are to bicyclists.



Julian Nool Hilario Jr.: To address Milpitas’s beautification, we would need to work hand in hand with our community to make Milpitas a beautiful home for everyone. It would be encouraging to ask Milpitians to participate in the Beautification process, whether it be school or park cleanup events, creating community gardens, or asking local artists to paint murals around the city.  



Robert Marini: Paved the roads that are not paved. Repair broken sidewalks and sweep the sidewalks from leaves falling on them and other harmful materials once every two months.



Demetress Morris: With the current state of our economy, keeping a beautification program is a challenge. The other thing that is problematic with Milpitas is that the beautification teams have been out of commission since Mayor Estevez’s term in office. Therefore, we will need to have a new stream of revenue to turn things around in this department. There are many grants that cities can receive for beautification purposes; one of them is called Keep America Beautiful Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund. I would seek out grants such as these to improve and maintain the beauty of Milpitas.



Bob Nuñez: Milpitas should be proud with regard to the number of beautiful parks we have within the city. We need to maintain our city parks if we want them to be preserved for future generations. During these difficult times, we will have fewer dollars available over the next two plus years. We will need to prioritize all city programs. City beautification will continue to receive funding but will need additional support. Our service clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions, as well as our Scouting programs can be asked for their help in adopting parks. Milpitas Executive Lions Club has for a number of years adopted the Alviso Adobe Park.

With this, there will be sufficient funds to maintain the parks in their current condition. The upkeep of the landscaping for the rest of the city can be maintained with the current budget.



Anthony Phan: My priority is currently primarily directed towards ensuring the public health and safety of our community and economic recovery for our businesses and workers. However, when things eventually return to normal, as we are able to flatten the curb and the City is able to overcome our projected $11 million dollar deficit, I would return to prioritizing community cleanups, emphasizing weed abatement, and supporting local artists to incorporate their talents into public art that residents can be proud of. 



Suraj Viswanathan: Yes, as part of an overall infrastructure program that seeks to provide long-term funding to support parks and other recreational facilities, many of which are still closed.



Tiffany Vuong: My vision for beautification is greenery throughout our city, clean streets, and public art. First, I would like to replace the weeds that are currently growing in median strips and on the sides of the road with drought-tolerant California native plants that will benefit our local ecosystem. In addition, I would like to create more community gardens with hands-on programs that teach children and adults how to grow food for ourselves and for pollinators. We could provide people with the knowledge to do the same with their yards, which would be much more beneficial than grass. Such initiatives would encourage people to take care of their yard and yield visual as well as food security and health benefits. Related to this topic is preserving our hills. It is not fire-safe to build in the hills nor is it a pleasant sight, so I am against any development there. 


Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.


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