From: xxxxx []
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:07 PM
To: ''; ''
Cc: (; (; (; (; (; (; ''
Subject: City Council Meeting - July 18, 2006, public request

Importance: High
To Whom It May Concern (please forward appropriately):
On July 18, 2006, a number of people submitted Speaker Cards on Agenda Item 8B, either mentioning the Agenda Item by name or by referencing the Agricultural content to be discussed in Agenda Item 8B.
I am formally requesting the following public information and request answers to the following.  Also, please confirm you have received this message and when you will respond:
1. What were the names of the people on the speaker cards?  They were never read or identified.
2. What law or code gives the Mayor the right to not allow public comment on an agenda item?
3. What law or code gives the Mayor the right to censor words used in public comment (i.e., not allow the use of specific words)?  In this case, she specifically said BAREC was not to be mentioned.
4. Why was public comment not allowed under an agenda item?  Has this ever been done before?  If so, when and why?
5. The public did not get an opportunity to speak to the council on an agenda item and many left after that item.  How do you receive comments from them?
6. Agenda item 11 is for public comment.  Specifically, it states, and I quote:
This portion of the meeting is reserved for persons desiring the address the Council on any matter not on the agenda."
Since Educational Urban Farms was an agenda item, one is not allowed to speak on that matter as a matter of policy/practice.  Yet, when I spoke with Mayor Mahan after the meeting, she said everyone knows they can speak during the public section (Item 11) of the agenda.  She said this is where the public was supposed to speak, yet she did not read any of the speaker cards submitted under item 8B.  Please explain as her comments to me are in direct conflict with the published agenda.  Both the City Attorney and the City Clerk were present in this discussion.
I was very happy to see that the presentation took place, but I was equally unhappy that the Mayor did not let the public speak.  Just because members of SaveBAREC created the presentation does not mean this is a SaveBAREC only effort.  The SJ Mercury News published the meeting in the Government Watch report on Monday, July 17th on the front page of The Valley section.  People from all over knew about the meeting and the presentation.  Most left the council chambers after the Mayor wanted to move to the next agenda item and the recess took place.  The fact that we have over 4,500 signatures on our petitions should show that agricultural preservation in Santa Clara is important to everyone in the area, not just Santa Clarans.  It's a state resource that many weigh-in on.  The petition does not say anything about urban farms, it simply states:
"I support keeping BAREC in Santa Clara (formerly the UC Agricultural Research Extension Center at 90 North Winchester Blvd., Santa Clara, CA) in 100% (one hundred percent) agricultural open space and kept zoned as agriculture, keeping its historical buildings in the same location."
Please help me understand why the City Council is keeping the public from expressing themselves and being heard.  I do not see the public being served and seriously question what took place as being allowed.
Thank you,