FY2020 Budget, ICE cooperation, getting ready for fire, no-kill shelter, helping youth, Summer photo contest
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Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman
Mike's Monthly Message
June 2019 Edition
Balancing $8.1 Billion
For 30 years, I was a Certified Financial Planner managing investments for clients, and 2019 marks the 17th public budget I have worked on as an elected official.  I have a “head for numbers and a heart for people,” and my goal for public budgeting is simple: Match the needs of our residents with the tax dollars available. But as we all know, what is simple is not always easy. The current needs of our 2 million residents far outpace revenues, which makes this year’s budget a herculean balancing act. The County’s 2020 proposed $8.1 billion budget funds vital services that hold the fabric of our society together, but are often invisible to residents. In addition to providing everyday health and safety services, we are building a much-needed new jail with increased mental health capabilities. We are also investing ballot measure funds to address the countywide housing crisis and assimilating two hospitals into our system, adding hospital beds and ensuring hospital and emergency services are maintained in South County. At the county level of government, we don’t control the decisions made in Washington and Sacramento or what happens with the economy. But we must adjust to them. Much of the County’s budget is comprised of “pass through” State and Federal funds that pay for mandated services, which is why we are constantly adjusting to change and challenges in these uncertain times. Learn more about the County’s Budget:
FY2020 Budget Documents
FY2020 Hearing Schedule

Board Policy 3.54 and ICE Cooperation
As many of you know, I have been working to make our community safer following the senseless murder of Bambi Larson. In April, I requested that County staff research ways for us to legally notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when undocumented individuals who have previously been convicted of serious or violent felonies are to be released from custody. On Tuesday, June 4 the conclusion from Administration and County Counsel was presented to the Board of Supervisors that we cannot feasibly notify ICE because of one simple fact: Counties do not have immigration records. Only the Federal Government does. Therefore, we cannot independently confirm if a person in County custody is undocumented or not. This information and outcome was disappointing to me and to many of you too. The Board did affirm the policy to honor all judicial warrants presented by ICE. Since ICE has full access to an inmate’s release date, time and location, we must—by State law—defer to ICE to identify and determine who is undocumented and eligible for deportation.
I am grateful to the many residents who contacted me about this issue. I heard a lot of frustration and anger, as well as concern for undocumented immigrants. While I know that many people share my frustration with the very dysfunctional Federal immigration policies, we must continue to work together to find ways to keep our communities safe and free from fear. For further information, I invite you to read through the 141 pages of documents available by clicking here.

Getting Ready for Fire
Firefighters working to extinguish home on fire
An early morning fire on May 4th could have ended much worse had it not been for the skill and courage of the Santa Clara County Firefighters. A fire started in an unoccupied home on Foster Road in the hills above Los Gatos, which soon ignited a small fire in overgrown vegetation behind the home. The entire property was overgrown, making it inaccessible for fire engines. Fortunately, crews were able to extinguish the fire without any loss of life, but under hotter, drier conditions, this could have sparked a larger wildfire and threatened nearby homes. Now is the time to prepare for wildfire season!
No-Kill Animal Shelter
Mike with German Shepherd
Regular readers of my newsletter know that I am an animal lover and a strong supporter of the County’s no-kill animal shelter in San Martin. I am excited to report that our animal shelter has achieved a 94.3% live-release rate – one of the best in California! A no-kill shelter is one that achieves a rate of 90% or greater, something that the County’s shelter has successfully achieved since 2013. Shelters must commit to save healthy or treatable animals even when a shelter is full, and to only euthanize terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous. Our animal services team ensures that dogs, cats, horses, chickens, rabbits, and many other animals are rescued and provided forever homes. While the new, state-of-the-art animal services center is scheduled to open in 2021, the current facility is more than 40-years-old and less than one-twentieth the size of the future home, making the no-kill rate that much more impressive. Love animals? You can donate to the new Animal Service Center or sign up to volunteer at
Helping Youth Turn Their Lives Around
Mike at New Dormitory Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Last month, we celebrated the grand opening of a 31,000-square-foot expansion of the William F. James Boys Ranch near Morgan Hill, a County youth detention facility that helps 15 to 18-year-olds turn their lives around while in custody. The expansion allows the County to provide additional services, including rehabilitation, substance abuse counseling, gang intervention, and education in trades and skills. I’m very proud of the work being done at the James Ranch by both the staff and the young people who are committed to changing their lives. Ideally, our society would not need youth detention centers (or jails for that matter), but it’s the next best thing to help our next generation.
Summer 2019 Photo Contest
Supervisor Mike Wasserman's Summer Photo Contest
“A photo is worth a thousand words.” So, what do you want to say? Each year, I hold a Summer Photo Contest and ask residents to send me a photo that captures why Santa Clara County is the best place to be in the summer. The inspiration is endless, with miles of hiking trails, photogenic pets, festivals, farmers markets, events, summer foods and backyard fun. I will proudly display the winning three photos in my office. Simply email your photo (1 per person) to along with your name, address, and where in our County you took the photo before the Friday, July 26, 2019 deadline. More information on the photo contest – including rules and photos of past winners – can be found on my website.
Upcoming Events
Saturdays, June - July Los Gatos: Vasona Vibrations
Fridays, June - August Morgan Hill: 2019 Free Friday Night Music Series
6/8/19 Los Gatos: Day On The Lake 2019
6/10 - 6/28/19 Morgan Hill: Lunch at the Library
6/10 - 6/27/19 San Martin: Lunch at the Library
6/10 - 6/12/19 San Jose: Board of Supervisors Budget Hearing
6/11/19 Morgan Hill: Square Dance Class (ages 13+)
6/12/19 Gilroy: Life-Changing KonMari Method of Tidying Up
6/13/19 San Jose: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
6/15/19 San Jose: Hay Mas Adelante! - Medicare Education Event
6/15/19 San Jose: 5th Annual SuperHero Summer Festival
6/15/19 Los Gatos: Men’s Health Fair
6/15/19 San Jose: Juneteenth Festival
6/15/19 San Jose: Transgender Job Fair
6/18/19 San Jose: Board of Supervisors Meeting
6/19/19 Morgan Hill: Magic Show
6/19/19 Saratoga: Jungle James
6/20/19 Los Gatos: Summer Block Party
6/20/19 Morgan Hill: Senior Driver Education Class
6/21/19 Campbell: LGBT Pride Celebration
6/21/19 San Jose: Summer Solstice Dinner
6/23/19 Gilroy: Concours at Kirigin Cellers
6/24/19 San Jose: BAYMEC presents an evening with Wiggsy and Pals
6/27/19 Gilroy: Duct Tape Extravaganza (ages 12-18)
6/29/19 Saratoga: Antique Appraisal
6/30/19: Hollister: Pride Celebration
7/3 - 7/4/19 Morgan Hill: Freedom Festival
7/4/19 San Jose: 4th of July Family Fun Festival and Firework Show
7/4/19 Los Gatos: 4th of July Symphony in the Park

Community Announcements
The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley announced that its membership has expanded with the addition of a new winery, with more to come in early summer. The newest winery to join is P&V Winery in Morgan Hill, bringing the total to 33 wineries! Find them all at

The Santa Clara County Office of the County Counsel was selected by the American Bar Association to receive the 2019 Hodson Award for Public Service. The award, given to a single public law office in the United States each year, “recognizes sustained, outstanding performance or a specific and extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office.” Way to go!

Hey Garlic Lovers! The Gilroy Garlic Festival is just around the corner (the last weekend of July). We know and love it, but did you know that the festival is largely run by local volunteers? They earn money for their favorite local non-profits by working various shifts throughout the weekend event. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit the Garlic Festival website or talk with your favorite local non-profit or school group.


Stay in the know by checking my website for important local resources and following me on Facebook or Twitter. As always, you can reach my office at (408) 299-5010, or you can email me at with your comments and concerns.

Mike Wasserman's signature
Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman is an elected official representing District 1, which includes Gilroy, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, San Martin, parts of San Jose, and surrounding unincorporated areas.

Office of Supervisor Mike Wasserman - County of Santa Clara
70 W. Hedding St.
East Wing, 10th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
United States

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