Important Taxation Update!

The Sunnyvale City Council proposal for a blank-check Real Property Transfer Tax is back from the dead and Russ Melton is the only politician in town with the brass spine to stand up and oppose it. Click to learn more and join the fight against this unnecessary tax!

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Dear Neighbors and Friends,

I love Sunnyvale. It’s a great place to live, work and do business. My wife and I are raising our family here with two kids attending Sunnyvale public schools.

I also know we have a great many issues facing us in the coming years and our next Mayor needs a broad range of skills, experience and abilities to forge consensus and move Sunnyvale forward. I believe I have those skills.

I have the temperament. I try to listen more than I talk. I genuinely care about your point of view. I empathize. When it’s time for me to speak, I get to the point quickly and don’t waste time. People say I’m ruthlessly pragmatic, and that’s probably right. I’m a friendly guy, but also candid and tell folks where I stand. I make decisions based upon input and facts.

I have the experience. I’ve served on Sunnyvale City Council for the past seven years and four years before that on the planning commission. I know how to work well with people and get things done. I have forged coalitions to get important issues resolved for the people of Sunnyvale.

One of the major issues facing Sunnyvale is a slate of tax increases being proposed on residents. I have strongly held the line on Sunnyvale Council against unnecessary new taxes and fees. I helped defeat a new business tax and a new real estate transfer tax. They were not necessary and put an unfair burden on small businesses still recovering from the Pandemic. We should be tightening our budget belts before asking you to pay more taxes.

Yet there are some fee increases that I believe we must make for the greater good of Sunnyvale. We may need to increase our sewer and water rates to improve our infrastructure. I promise though that I’ll work my tail off to make sure the increases are as small as possible and the money is spent wisely. I will continue to advocate in Sacramento and Washington for federal and state dollars for Sunnyvale to help us finance these necessary improvements.

In Sunnyvale, our city budgets are balanced and our reserves are strong. As your next Mayor, I’ll make sure they stay that way. The economy goes up and down and that impacts our budget. I’m able to make the tough budget choices and you’ll always know where I’m coming from. There is a great reluctance in local Sunnyvale City government to talk about the stress that our $400 million unfunded pension liability is going to put on Sunnyvale’s budget 10-20 years from now. I’m not afraid to have the tough conversations. I have expert knowledge of Sunnyvale’s budget.

Sunnyvale is a remarkably safe city and as your Mayor I’ll do everything I can to keep it that way. I’ve proposed increasing the number of sworn officers in Sunnyvale. I’ll make sure that we have the budget and that we’re recruiting and training the officers we need to replace retiring officers. I’ve supported new fire engines for our Fire Department. We are rebuilding Fire Station #2 and rehabilitating the other stations around town. We also built a new emergency operations center for the Department of Public Safety to increase city services. I’ve proposed to add funding to DPS for short-term rental (Air BNB) compliance with Sunnyvale law, and additional funding for DPS social media to reach our residents. We also need to add funding to DPS for stronger abatement of illegally parked vehicles and RVs.

We’ve gotten a lot done together in Sunnyvale over the past seven years. We built a new City Hall. We got the Downtown on track. Isn’t it incredible? We’ve opened new parks, rehabilitated others, and the Corn Palace park is also on the way. I led the charge on Corn Palace and built the coalition on City Council to get it approved despite fierce opposition.

We need to keep moving forward on our key Sunnyvale initiatives.

  • Climate Action Plan
  • Vision Zero / Active Transportation Plan
  • Get the downtown across the finish line
  • Carefully manage the implementation of our new specific plans, El Camino, Lawrence Station, Moffett Park, Downtown. These will bring significant new housing to Sunnyvale and we will have to manage the demand for services accordingly
  • We have to do more on Equity, Access and Inclusion
  • We will prudently do what we can for homelessness. But let’s be clear, we will not swamp the City’s budget in the process. I support the Governor’s CARE courts, and safe RV parking.
  • We have to work with VTA to make it easier for our high schoolers in north Sunnyvale to get to Fremont High School in the morning and back home at night

My goal, as your next Mayor, will be to make Sunnyvale safe, fiscally secure and moving forward. I want to be Mayor because I love this City and I will fight hard to keep it a great place to live, work and do business.

In November 2024, I ask for your vote to serve as your Mayor. I’ll fight as hard for you as I would for my own family.

russ melton

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