CAMPBELL PATCH: What changes would you like to see for the downtown civic center? Why do we need a new civic center?
JASON BAKER: As Vice Chair of the County library District Board, I'm well aware that Campbell is the last city in the County Library District to get a new or updated library. Our library is aging, too small and no longer fits our community's needs.
Libraries have never been just warehouses for books, but that's particularly true in today's technological age. I would like to see a Library that has spaces designed for the materials and uses for libraries of today and tomorrow, including room for meeting and collaboration using the advantages technology has to offer. Cupertino, Gilroy and Los Gatos are examples of inspired planning for a modern library. Modernizing city hall is overdue and important as well, and it makes some sense to do this as a cohesive plan.
CAMPBELL PATCH: What would you like to see for Dell Avenue?
The Dell Avenue Area Plan is about bringing more jobs and revenue to Campbell.
We have commissioned a citizen's advisory committee led by a professional consultant to help us answer some of the details. But broadly speaking the Dell Avenue plan is for me primarily about making a place for companies who might otherwise outgrow or not settle in Campbell to call home.
Campbell has a number of things that make it attractive to businesses,including close access to several different freeways and transit, lower housing costs for employees and an active interesting community and downtown. One limiting factor has been that they just can't find the space in Campbell to build and grow into mature, larger businesses. Ebay moved out of Campbell long ago, Netflix settled and stayed next door, and even our hometown pride Barracuda Networks has been experiencing growing pains including moving some operations to San Jose.
I am hoping that development in this area helps diversify the sources of city's income base the same way, and for the same reasons, an investor would diversify her personal portfolio. More business to business sales, in particular, would be one way to meet this goal and help fortify us against future economic downturns. Business in the Bay Area is booming; exciting companies are starting and expanding all over. Campbell needs to send a strong signal that we are ready and open for business. The Dell Avenue plan will send that signal.