A small ceremony was held on Saturday with little fanfare, but it was big on Americana style. An eagle scout was honored for his project that constructed a new sign at the Willow Glen Community Center. A new sign had been planned for awhile, but it was put on the back burner to instead paint over the prior decade-old paint job. The scout and Leigh High school student, Daniel Swanson, chose the project, did the fundraising and built the sign with assistance from other volunteers. There is now a new, large and elegant sign to mark this public facility. The scene on Saturday seemed like a truly American event.
This particular facility is the former Lincoln Glen Elementary School. As the school age population ebbed, many schools in San Jose were closed and the land was put on the market. However, state law allows other government entities to have the first opportunity to buy the property. Fortunately for us, in the 80s, San Jose had put money aside and was able to purchase this property as well as the former Kirk Elementary School on Foxworthy Avenue.
If this same situation happened today, the city of San Jose would be unable to buy a former public school site. Instead, we would have some other type of private development.
This consolidation of schools has meant that the remaining open schools take in a larger number of students. Elementary schools that were built for a few hundred students now are approaching 1,000 students, which creates a larger impact to residential neighborhoods. This is just one reason why lowering speed limits around schools in residential areas is a good idea. It would provide some calm to the residents who live adjacent to schools and have witnessed student population growth.
But back to my main point, which is a big thank you to the many volunteers that produce tangible results. For example: Terry Reilly, Beverly Hopper and Myles Tobin, from the Friends of the San Jose Rose Garden; Mike Cimoli, who organizes the annual Rompacoglioni car show held yesterday to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank; or the many other projects that have been done by service clubs and PTAs. Volunteerism and philanthropy augment a community. They do not replace the basic infrastructure that government provides like sewers and streets, but augments.
And on a final note, the sign donated by the scout, Daniel Swanson, came in under budget, so he donated the balance of $980 to the teen program at the community center.
On Tuesday, the council is poised to get past the first chapter (23 months) of medical cannabis. Inevitably, whatever is passed will be subject to change based on new law or lawsuits. There are many underlying issues and topics in regulating medical cannabis. I hope whatever passes on Tuesday has two minor but significant regulations:
First, each collective should have a licensed physician or registered nurse on their board, as this is medical cannabis and not recreational cannabis. It doesn’t matter that many San Jose council districts, including my own, voted yes to legalizing cannabis for recreational use (Prop 19) in November 2010.
Second, each collective should give the city of San Jose finance department view-only access to their accounting system—not the personal/confidential medical records but the general ledger. The easiest way to do this is for collectives to adopt a cloud-computing accounting system. There are many providers of this service locally, such as Intuit, Intacct and NetSuite.
This would be similar to the suggestion that I made from the dais for Team San Jose, which was implemented last year and is still in place. This method keeps all things honest and does not require time consuming audits.