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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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2020 Election Series Robert Marini, candidate for City Council, aims criticisms at current Milpitas leadership

Robert Marini, candidate for City Council, aims criticisms at current Milpitas leadership

This article is part of a series on figures who have declared their candidacy for Milpitas City Council or Mayor of Milpitas for November’s general election. Two City Council seats and the Mayor’s seat are up for grabs. The entire series can be found here.

 

Robert Marini has lived in Milpitas for over 30 years. 

In 2018, he ran for Milpitas City Council. And in 2016, he took a shot at running for Mayor. Though he wasn’t elected either time, that’s done nothing to deter him. Marini is running again for City Council this year. When asked what’s motivating his run, he said there are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with. 

“The current councilmembers aren’t doing enough for the voters in Milpitas,” said Marini. “There’s more housing being developed, more traffic, and more parking problems…” 

He also mentioned that he felt the City and current council weren’t being transparent with the public.  

“They issued $55 million in bonds, and didn’t disclose it to the public,” Marini told The Beat in an interview. He went on to say that the bonds were allocated for water and sewage without the City granting the public written notice.

Marini was also on the City’s Citizens Task Force on Water Rates, which formed in 2016. He said that after meeting for over half a year, the committee put together a set of recommendations for the City to follow. He claims the City didn’t follow any of them, and that all the work and energy the committee members put in was wasted. 

“We were spending our time talking over all these issues to decide what we wanted to recommend to the City and they just ignored the whole thing,” said Marini. 

He also added: 

“There’s a water issue…where $2.7 million was transferred out of the water fund to the general fund. Prop 218, by law, you’re supposed to use the money you get for utilities on the utilities…these people [the City]…they’re charging accounting fees, management fees…the city manager and city attorney are all charging fees to the water fund. So basically, residents are paying for services from other departments, but when it comes to the water fund basically they get charged again. That’s not fair.” 

In response to all of Marini’s claims, the City of Milpitas prepared a write-up, refuting his statements.

Marini was an electrical engineer for 25 years and has been retired for the past 17. He spends his spare time on personal electronic kit projects, reading, and playing guitar. 

As far as being an asset to the council, Marini believes that his technical prowess is the key.

“I would bring technical strengths,” said Marini. “I analyzed the water bills [on the Task Force]. I did spreadsheets on it, and PowerPoints…” 

When asked what he feels the City is actually doing right, he hesitated for a moment, then said: 

“I think that everyday stuff like maintaining the road, they’re doing an okay job with that. But on the sidewalks, there are trees pushing up the sidewalks all over the place.” 

 

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Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro 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 with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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