Copper wire theft and other problems leave hundreds of streetlights dark, creating a public safety problem in several neighborhoods. But what if the city leases these poles to telecom companies as cell stations to expand their 4G network? Councilmembers Rose Herrera and Sam Liccardo proposed the idea, saying the lights get fixed, courtesy of Philips, and San Jose receives better cell phone service while residents aren’t left in the dark.
The pair’s memo goes before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday.
In San Jose, 241 wire thefts left 941 lights dark for months on end. The backlog continues to grow, Herrera and Liccardo say.
“Often, when we’re up to our ears in alligators, the last thing we consider is draining the swamp,” they write. “Although we need to devote resources to repairing streetlights, we might more easily simply replace the existing poles with more secure streetlights in some neighborhoods.”
The idea is to let Philips foot the bill.
“Through a public-private partnership, they ultimately seek a long-term lease concession for street lighting poles that that allows the companies to generate revenue through cellular site rental services to telecom providers,” the memo reads.
• Mayoral candidate and ex-city employee David Wall believes the city should adopt all recommendations handed down from its internal auditor.
“The fact that city department heads can either defer implementation or even refuse to implement the recommendations of the auditor is disturbing and initiates the wasting of taxpayer monies on several levels,” Wall writes.
• An Alviso resident expresses her disapproval of the Trammel Crow Co. project, a plan to erect a 250,000-square-foot manufacturing building on 57 acres of bare land. The Biz Journal covered the issue a couple months ago.
• The St. James Park Neighborhood Association wants the city to go ahead and place a music pavilion in the blight-afflicted park. Live music will drive out the riffraff, they say.
“We who live near the park believe that now is the time for a disruptive change to occur,” the group wrote. “St. James … is a historic jewel that has too long been overlooked.”
Downtown Councilman Sam Liccardo launched a Change.org petition a couple months ago to try to drum up support for the Levitt Pavilion.
Real estate agent Virginia Thomas, however, believes that a music stage would do nothing to displace the drug use, homelessness and trash. Until those problems are addressed, the city should hold off on the pavilion idea, she said.
• Councilman Ash Kalra wants to extend term limits for Housing Advisory Commission board member Jacquie Heffner, to appoint her to a fourth term.
• The city spells out its legislative guiding principles for 2014: protect local control, ensure region’s competitiveness, keep the city safe and promote livability and sustainable development.
WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260