On June 22, 2023, Milpitas Mayor Carmen Montano delivered a State of the City address in the Council Chambers, which was packed with community members, residents, and supporters. Below is Mayor Montano’s speech.
Welcome everyone to your City Hall Chambers! It is a blessing to live here in Milpitas – the land of little cornfields!
Our City’s strength lies in our Diversity. Our city is a diverse woven fabric of cultures and backgrounds, which contributes to the enrichment of Milpitas’s collective identity. It is home to many people who come together from all walks of life and embrace the values of respect. We celebrate our differences by bringing community together.
As we forge a path forward, I want to share with you just a few of the many remarkable accomplishments of our city. These accomplishments are the building blocks of our city’s success.
During the start of the new year, we were faced with storms that challenged us! We are reminded of the importance of emergency preparedness and planning. I want to say thank you to our Milpitas residents who not only cooperated, but were quick to volunteer. Your willingness to lend a helping hand and contribute your time and efforts is invaluable during times of crisis. I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to all the amazing Public Works staff who were busy all around Milpitas 24/7, removing downed trees, distributing sandbags, managing road closures, cleaning clogged storm drains, disseminating weather updates to our community, and keeping our residents safe.
I am also very proud to say that we are the first in many things: We were the first city to implement a mask ordinance during Covid in Santa Clara County; also One of the first to have our very own city emergency ambulance fire truck, and most recently, the first to have completed a Certified housing element from the State Dept. of Housing. Every eight years all cities across the state must commit to providing a certain amount of housing as mandated by the state. This certification demonstrates our commitment to making housing a priority here in Milpitas.
One of our city’s signatures are, our parks. We love our Parks! Milpitas has always been committed to creating open space in our neighborhoods. One of most recent parks is the newly named Delano Manongs Park located near Great mall Parkway and Mabel Mattos Elementary school. We designated the park to memorialize the Filipino farmworkers led by Larry Itliong who worked alongside the UFW-United farmworkers with Cesar Chavez. Their comradery and leadership initiated The Delano Grape strikes of the 1960’s and brought about farm worker rights. I am excited that this green space will enhance the lives of the surrounding community for many, many years to come.
The city Council unanimously adopted the “Milpitas Metro Specific Plan” early this year. This planned area includes the Milpitas BART and VTA light rail stations and Bus transfer station, the Great Mall, and will encompass new developments along Great Mall Parkway,
Montague and parts of Main Street. The plan provides a vision for an emerging transit oriented neighborhood, as connections grow stronger in our city near the transit hubs.
Our local economy continues to steadily flourish, with new business attraction into our city, such as BD- Biosciences, Corsair Gaming, Fusion Systems, Tarana Wireless, SMTC Manufacturing, and the Milpitas Technology Center, creating job opportunities in Milpitas.
Additionally, several long standing companies such as KLA Tencor, TDK Headway Technologies, Apple, Advanced Energy Industries, Amazon, and others have retained and expanded their presence. These businesses help with stimulating job growth and increasing tax revenues into our city.
As a VTA board member I am excited to share that the Milpitas “SMART” shuttle services is a New “on demand” ride share service, that now has grown from one shuttle to a fleet of 7 shuttles. We were able to implement this service with VTA’s 2016 County measure B sales tax revenues that you paid for. This pilot program conveniently offers rides throughout all of Milpitas making it accessible to seniors, students, and anyone who needs a quick ride in Milpitas!
I am also excited that our “in-person” community events are back and in full swing. From movie nights, family campouts, cultural celebrations and festivals all managed by our Recreation and Community Services Dept. and even today’s State of the City event.
These gatherings have provided an opportunity to bring us together and instill a true sense of pride and community spirit.
Our city remains a responsible steward of the community’s financial resources entrusted to us with the recent council adoption of the fiscal 2023-24 budget. The budget includes enhanced service levels in public safety, public works, economic development, and
The adopted budget also utilizes funding from the American Rescue Plan Act known as ARPA, used to support impacted low-income residents, small businesses, and infrastructure projects impacted by Covid. When the Federal Govt. allocated millions of ARPA monies to cities, many cities put it in their general fund. I am pleased to share the We the Milpitas city council felt it was important to invest the majority of dollars directly into our community needs.
Of the 16.7 million dollars of ARPA funding received, These are how we invested most of these one time funds:
• Over 5 million dollars went into infrastructure, such as parks and rehabilitation of public safety facilities.
• Close to 4 million dollars in small business assistance grants, workforce development, Hotel assistance, Accessory Dwelling unit waivers and other economic vitality initiatives
• 2.5 million dollars towards Pubic safety staffing, equipment and programs
• 2.4 million dollars in community services such as rent and mortgage relief fund, weed abatement, homeless outreach and assessment, social services and so much more
• 2.1 million towards technology improvements.
As you know, one of my passions in life is Revitalizing Main Street. As your Mayor, I am incredibly grateful for the privilege of being raised in this community. The values, friendships, and experiences I’ve gained here throughout my life, have played a significant role in shaping who I am today.
For me, Main Street has long been the Heart and Soul of Milpitas and it is time to unleash its full potential. Together, we can create a vibrant, thriving, and welcoming hub that will be a pedestrian friendly area to stroll, shop, eat and be a destination place here in our city.
My love for our city is captured by a phrase I coined: “Beautify Milpitas.” I take full ownership of this powerful expression of care, pride, and commitment to working
toward a visually pleasing and well-maintained urban environment that will enhance the livability in our city. A beautiful and safe city attracts businesses, tourist, and investment. When people visit a city that is visually appealing, they are likely to stay longer, spend more money and return in the future.
As your Mayor, I am also committed to ensuing the safety and security of residents, businesses, and properties in Milpitas. Moving forward We will continue to make strategic investments in the quality of life for our citizens.
Fostering economic growth and vitality in our community is another key priority of mine. I firmly believe in implementing strategic initiatives that fuel economic growth and allow our city to lead innovation and compete on the global stage. This starts with our
educational system. Partnering with our schools is vital to the success of our community.
As most of you know while on the council and now as your Mayor, I have been an ardent supporter of affordable housing and have pledged my support for 100% affordable housing developments, such as the 308 and 355 Sango Court developments.
Our city currently has an affordable housing ordinance requiring 15% below market rate for any new housing developments, and under my leadership I have proposed a 20% BMR ordinance to ensure that more affordable housing is available in Milpitas.
As we celebrate these achievements, I want to recognize your continued willingness to engaged by sharing your thoughts, asking questions, volunteering your time, and connecting with others. Your active presence has made Milpitas stronger and admired by many. By continuing to support and uplift one another, embracing innovation,
and fostering a sense of community, we can build upon our past accomplishments and maintain the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere that makes our community special.
Thank you for putting your trust and confidence in me as your Mayor, the City Council and the City Administration to lead our great city of Milpitas!
Speaking of our city being great, I am excited to share that we recently launched our city website. Our new revised website includes elements that will provide a user-friendly experience for everyone, so please visit MILPITAS.GOV and tell your family and friends about it.
Of course I also want to remind you of another helpful digital tool available to residents. Called “MYMILPITASAPP.” It makes connecting with the city easier than ever. If you see something that needs attention-such as graffiti, abandoned vehicles or potholes, you can submit a service request and even attach a photo. The exact location of the issue can either be pulled automatically or by using GPS.
I want to end my remarks with the unveiling of three city videos that our Public Information Team put together in collaboration with all other departments. These videos showcase:
• Our friendly and welcoming resident and business community
• The beauty of our city’s landmarks and reimagined spaces
• Our Diverse workforce
• The city’s business environment that includes
showing why we are considered a gateway to Silicon
• The dedication and commitment of our Police and Fire departments in ensuring the continued security, safety, and well being of our community
I hope these videos capture the essence of Milpitas for you, our “Home sweet Home.”
Thank you for attending today’s State of the City. We have some light refreshments for you to enjoy at the Rotunda located on the first floor, so please enjoy and have a wonderful evening.
You can listen to Mayor Montano’s State of the City address and watch the videos: