Published in the July 20 – Aug. 2, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Partnership leads to decrease in county homelessness

Mike Wasserman

Mike Wasserman

Homelessness decreased 14 percent in just two years in Santa Clara County thanks to innovative programs and partnerships between government and local nonprofits, according to Supervisor Mike Wasserman in his recent newsletter. Among the success stories are those in the Housing First initiative, which operates housing and shelter sites across Santa Clara County, assisting 4,000 chronically homeless individuals, families with children, veterans, and youth each year.

“There is no question about it: Housing First works. The concept of Housing First has proven effective in our community,” Wasserman said.
A single homeless person often uses $67,000 in government services annually. Once housed, that number drops to $24,000. The savings is due largely to homeless individuals relying on expensive emergency room services for basic health care. Once housed, this reliance drops dramatically.

Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones office

Marisa Otto

Marisa Otto

Marisa Otto, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Morgan Hill, is supporting the students of the Morgan Hill Unified School District by using her office as a drop-off location for a school supplies drive.

Local residents may help support this effort by bringing in items to the Edward Jones branch office during regular business hours through Aug. 1. The branch address is 275 Tennant Ave, Suite 206A.

“As our world becomes more global, competition within our younger generations continues to rise, emphasizing the importance of a quality education,” Otto said. “I’m proud to support the academic development of young minds in this community through this school supply donation program.”

Filing period opens for MHUSD, council seats

Three seats are open on the Morgan Hill Unified School District’s Board of Education and two on the city council for the Nov. 8 election. The mayor, city clerk and city treasurer’s seats are also up for election. Residents interested in running can file with the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters from July 18 to Aug. 12. If an incumbent does not file, the nomination period for that seat will be extended to Aug. 17.

The three MHUSD trustees whose terms will expire this year are Tom Arnett (completing former trustee Amy Porter Jensen’s term), Rick Badillo and Bob Benevento. Current city councilmembers Larry Carr and Marilyn Librers will see their four-year terms end in November.

Interested school board candidates may pick up nomination documents beginning July 18 at the district office, 15600 Concord Circle.

The November election will mark the first MHUSD trustees’ election under new trustee area maps, a change the school district was forced to do under the threat of a lawsuit from a local attorney. In order to run as a candidate, individuals must live within the boundaries of a vacant seat. In turn, only residents who live within those trustee areas are eligible to vote to fill that vacant seat.

Any person 18 or older, a citizen of the state, a resident of the school district, a registered voter, and who is not disqualified by the United States Constitution or laws of the state from holding a civil office, is eligible to be elected or appointed a member of a governing board of a school district.

Carr has announced his intention to run for re-election, but Librers has not. Planning Commissioner Rene Spring has been campaigning for one of the seats since last year. Resident Mario Banuelos has also announced he will run for a city council seat in November. Mayor Steve Tate announced earlier this year he will be seeking his sixth consecutive term as mayor in the Nov. 8 election.

City Clerk Irma Torrez and City Treasurer Mike Roorda have not announced whether they plan to run.

Candidates for the city election can pick up nomination packets during the nomination period from City Clerk Irma Torrez’ office at 17575 Peak Ave. For more information or to schedule an appointment, candidates can call Torrez at (408) 776-7380.

Candidates for city offices must be at least 18 years old, a Morgan Hill resident and a registered voter. Potential candidates must submit 20 signatures of registered Morgan Hill voters.


The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office is located at 1555 Berger Drive in San Jose.

LOHS pigs injured after gate intentionally opened

About 15 pigs were released by an unidentified person or persons from a Morgan Hill high school farm earlier this month. Although they were returned, many suffered cuts and bruises.

The incident was reported to police. The pigs are part of Live Oak High School’s Future Farmers of America, where students in agriculture classes care for the pigs and show them at the upcoming Santa Clara County Fair. Students and police are not sure whether it was a prank or vandalism. Regardless, the physical toll on the animals and the emotional toll on the students is the same.

-By Staff Reports