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The San Jose City Council unanimously voted to approve the Cisco Systems Coyote Valley campus project at 12:15 this morning by a vote of 9 to 0. District 10 Councilmember Pat Dando excused herself from the deliberations and vote, but had previously stated her approval of the project. Distrct 4 Councilmember Margie Matthews had vacated her position this summer for another job, but had supported Cisco in her district. Home District 2 Councilmember Charlotte Powers in her motion to the council to approve the project stated "the unavoidable impacts are acceptable in light of the benefits of the project." She also said, "Cisco is a good project for San Jose and Coyote Valley's time has come."
Mayor Ron Gonzales said "the financial agreement is good for San Jose and that it will ensure a strong financial future for our city." Vice Mayor Frank Fiscalini said "the plan is logical and consistent with our General Plan." Councilmember Linda LeZotte said "this project has come a long way, far enough for me to support it." She would however like to see a goal of only 16,000 parking spaces ultimately for the project to really encourage mass transit use. Councilmember Alice Woody said that she "agrees with Master Plans." She said, "We need a major player to get infrastructure in place." She also said, "Cisco is the right project at the right time." Councilmember Cindy Chavez stated that she likes the union worker commitment. Councilmember George Shirakawa said "This is a battle for the future of our city." Councilmember John Diquisto thanked Cisco and said "I am glad you chose San Jose. I am sure there are better places."
The City Council chambers were jam packed and also included roughly 100 other in the overflow area of the cafeteria where those that couldn't get in could watch the hearing on closed circuit television. At the beginning of the public testimony period, the Mayor asked those in the audience to stand to give him an idea of who was for the project and those opposed. About two thirds stood in support of the project. Public testimony began at 8:39 pm and concluded at 11:17 pm after all seventy speakers each had their two minutes to speak on the project. By my count 41 speakers spoke in opposition, 24 spoke in favor, and 5 spoke taking no position. By the way, those that voted in the SouthSanJose.com Cisco poll, the results by the end of the council vote were: 1063 for the project and 299 against the project for a 78% approval rating in our community.
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