“The last time the mayor of Cupertino walked into Apple – the largest company in his small Californian town and, it so happens, the most valuable company in the world – he hoped to have a meeting to talk about traffic congestion,” Nellie Bowles reports for The Guardian. “Barry Chang barely made it into the lobby when Apple’s security team surrounded and escorted him off the property. ‘They said ‘you cannot come in, you’re not invited.’ After that I left and have not gone back,’ said an exasperated Chang, who’s been mayor since December 2015 and had approached the computing firm when he was serving on the city council three years ago.”
MacDailyNews Take: Next time make an appointment, Barry, you moron.
“Many in Cupertino, a 60,000-person town in the heart of Silicon Valley, are beginning to organize around their overburdened city. They claim the region is struggling with aging infrastructure and booming companies whose effective tax rate is often quite low,” Bowles reports. “Frustrated by traffic and noise, some in Cupertino are trying to put a stop to more development, which they argue brings more congestion on the roads, parking and train system. But Chang says limiting new development would damage the regional economy and that the real solution should be higher taxes on the wealthy and companies such as Apple.”
“He recently proposed that Apple – which is building a massive new campus its own employees nicknamed the Death Star, or more favorably, The Spaceship – should give $100m to improve city infrastructure,” Bowles reports. “To move on the proposal, Chang only needed to get a single vote ‘yes’ among the three other eligible council members. He failed to get that vote.”
MacDailyNews Take: Gee, wonder why he couldn’t pull even one vote? (smirk) Apple should just “give” $100 million? Puleeze.
“‘This American politics. This so-called democracy,’ Chang said, recalling the unanimous ‘no’ vote,” Bowles reports. “At a recent Cupertino city council meeting, some residents protested about a lack of funding for public projects, Chang said – even crumpling up meeting agendas and throwing them. ‘They ball up the paper and throw it, and they say ‘You’re making all the wrong decisions,” Chang said. ‘In the meantime Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They’re making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t. They abuse us.'”
“The mayor of Cupertino plans to keep pushing Apple to contribute more to the town. Apple paid $9.2m in tax revenue to Cupertino in 2012to 2013, which was about 18% of the city’s general fund budget, according to an economic impact report,” Bowles reports. “Chang is now working on proposals for a business employer tax that would make companies with more than 100 workers pay $1,000 per employee.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Hey, Cupertino, you “so-called democracy,” how ’bout you don’t elect a moron for mayor next time?
By the way: “The state’s political watchdog has penalized Mayor Barry Chang for failing to properly report financial contributions during his 2014 mayoral and Assembly campaigns,” Ramona Giwargis reported for The Mercury News in March.
“In his run for City Council, Chang did not disclose 160 contributions totaling $24,280 on campaign filings and failed to report occupation and employer information for 35 individual contributors, according to a proposed settlement the California Fair Political Practices Commission released Monday,” Giwargis reported. “Chang also failed to report occupation and employer information for roughly 231 contributors during his 2014 run for the 28th Assembly District.”
“Chang, who has served seven years on the City Council, recently proposed raising the city’s business tax to charge companies $1,000 per employee,” Giwargis reported. “The idea didn’t sit well with Cupertino’s largest corporate resident, Apple, which officially declined comment but apparently told Chang they’ll oppose his plan.”
Read more in the full article here.