We are a volunteer group of local homeowners and residents of the Sunnyhills neighborhood
who are actively working to improve our neighborhood, and thus the city of Milpitas, through positive activities and programs.
History of the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association (SNA)
Bob Pecot, Carmen Montano, and Jim Alexander founded the organization in 1992 as the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Assoc. Its original goals were to beautify the Sunnyhills neighborhood by cleaning up vacant lots, working with the city on street repair, and getting the Hetch-Hetchy right-of-way landscaped into a park. The original board of the S.I A. was Bob Pecot, president; Carmen Montano, vice-president; Neil Mackenzie, treasurer; Jane Alexander, secretary; Jim Alexander, member at large; and Doretha Randolph member at large.
Bob Pecot became S.I.A’s first president. Under his leadership the organization grew and expanded its expectations after achieving some of its original goals. Progress continued despite losing key members due to job transfers and attrition, including founding member Jim Alexander, who moved to Colorado due to a job reassignment. In 1993 S.I.A. was dealt a severe blow when Bob Pecot died of a heart attack.
Upon Bob Pecot’s death, Carmen Montano took over as the second president of the S.I.A. Through energetic efforts; Carmen expanded the organization’s membership and increased its visibility in the neighborhood. During her tenure, she made sure the S.I.A had presence at all city events. She also launched the first “Make Sunnyhills Shine Day.” That day, over forty S.I.A. members swept throughout the neighborhood cleaning trash from vacant lots and covering all graffiti in the area. She also made sure the organization sponsored speakers and topics critical to the neighborhood, including the first "Sunnyhills Neighborhood Summit on Transportation" which included then supervisor Ron Gonzales. In 1994, Carmen married and moved to Monterey where her new husband worked.
Early in 1994, Ron Dittmer, who was vice-president under Carmen Montano, was elected the third president of the S.I.A. by unanimous vote. He nurtured an organization rocked by the departure of many key leaders and activists. Under his guidance, S.I.A. kept the Hetch-Hetchy idea alive and had speakers at many of our meetings. In February of 1996, S.I.A. was shocked when Ron Dittmer unexpectedly submitted his letter of resignation by mail.
Neil Mackenzie, then treasurer of the S.I.A., took over as interim president until elections could be held. In August of 1996 Neil Mackenzie was elected as the fourth president of S.I.A by unanimous vote. Rob Means Vice President, Betty Roberts was elected secretary; Bob Roberts treasurer; Simira Phan, youth advisor; and Doretha Randolph member at large.
The new board got the organization more heavily involved in removing graffiti, lobbying for stricter code enforcement rules within the city and working to get the city to pass a neighborhood beautification ordinance, crime watch programs, and developing programs to improve the local elementary school and anti-gang programs. It conducted a review of beautification and code enforcement rules of all the surrounding cities in Santa Clara and Alameda counties, to see what might work best for Milpitas, and submitted our list of recommendations to then city Manager Greg Larson at one of the "Milpitas Community Breakfast."
It also started a block captain plan and began to publish a monthly newsletter to keep the neighborhood better informed on what the organization was doing and also to help recruit new members.
In 1997, the Sunnyhills Improvement Association expanded its scope by adding more social, family, and educational events as part of its plan to improve community spirit and to break down cultural barriers among our diverse residents. The Sunnyhills Improvement Association started to sponsor events such as: “Sunnyhills Music in the Park,” a family participation event that teaches kids and their parents how to play simple musical instruments. It also started to work with local real estate agencies and banks to host “First Time Home Buyer” workshops that informed low-income families how to use government assistance to buy a home.
In 1998, new elections were held: Neil Mackenzie was elected president; Mike Robinson was elected VP; Rob Means, treasurer; Betty Roberts, secretary; Simra Phan, youth advisor; Bob Roberts, member at large; and Doretha Randolph, member at large.
In 1998, the Sunnyhills Improvement Association augmented its role in building community spirit and pride by adding new family participation events such as the “Sunnyhills Astronomy Nights,” a family participation event that lets residents come out in the evening several times a year to look at the stars and planets through high powered telescopes; “Sunnyhills Bike/Roller Fest,” a festival type of event with the theme of Bicycles and roller blades, to teach local residents the importance of safety and the benefits of low cost recreation.
As one of its major goals, it also added the relandscaping and new playground equipment for Augustine Park.
The Sunnyhills Improvement Association also was asked to take over the management of the “Sunnyhills Community breakfast,” which was later renamed “The Milpitas Community Breakfast.” By the year 1999 The diverse participation already within the breakfast was expanded to include such groups as the SIHK Foundation, the Mexican-American Business Association, the league of Latin American voters and the Milpitas Alliance for the arts.
In 1998, the Sunnyhills Improvement Association changed its name to the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association.
In the year 1999 the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association was selected as the winner of the BRICC award. The BRICC award is an annual award from the United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County and the Community Foundation for outstanding work in the community. The Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association also received a commendation from the City of Milpitas for its outstanding work to improve the neighborhood and bring favorable recognition to the City of Milpitas.
In the year 2000 the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association had many reasons to celebrate because many of our long time goals were finally realized: We saw the start and completion of the Hetch-Hetchy park, holding both a groundbreaking ceremony at the beginning and a dedication ceremony when the project was complete. We got traffic calming devices installed on one of our busiest streets. We successfully lobbied the city of Milpitas to undertake a major rewrite of its code enforcement rules and regulations, seen our graffiti problems almost disappear, got the city to approve $300,000 for a major relandscape of Augustine Park and another $100,000 for playground equipment. We also got Augustine Park chosen by the Milpitas Alliance for the Arts as the first trail in its “Art in the Parks” program to put art projects inside parks.
We also sponsored a Weller Elementary school “Teacher’s Appreciation Day” and conducted a neighborhood wide survey about neighborhood issues and concerns.
Our social events such as “Sunnyhills Music in the Park,” “Sunnyhills Astronomy Nights,” “Sunnyhills Bike/Roller Fest 2000,” "Sunnyhills Community Garage Sale" and the “Milpitas Community Breakfast” were more successful than ever before, bringing a favorable reputation and image to our neighborhood. “Sunnyhills Bike/Roller Fest 99” was even featured on Evening Magazine Channel 5. Many stories about the organization and the neighborhood appeared in local newspapers and the evening news.
In the summer of 2000 we sponsored our first "International Potluck night." An event to celebrate the diversity of our residents, by having participants brings a food dish from their native or historical homelands. Participants were encouraged to tell how the food is traditionally prepared and history of the dish. The event drew nearly 60 participants and people got a chance to sample food dishes from all over the world. A front-page article appeared in the local food section of the San Jose Mercury news and was covered by the Milpitas Post.
The summer of 2000 also saw the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association work with the city recreation department and the Community Foundations community arts project to sponsor "The Milpitas Summer Concert series" in Augustine park. The summer concert series was the best attended in the history of the Summer Concert series.
The Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association received commendations from the County Board of Supervisors for its work the Restorative Justice project that helps teens in trouble with law enforcement to a more positive life path and won a commendation from the City of Milpitas for having the "MOST INVOLVED CITIZENS."
The year 2002 marked a milestone when the relandscapping of Augustine Park was completed after many delays. 1.5 million in a complete redesign of the park that included regradding the park for safety and security, removing many blind spots inside the park that were not easily patrolled. Relocation of pinic benches and BBQ pits aways from the back fences of neighbord homes and new picnic benches, BBQ pits installed. A complete redo of our playgroun creating one area for tots and a totally seperate are for pre-teens thus adding safety for both to play in age approriate playground euipment. New walkways etc.
On Oct 12 2002 the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association won it's second BRICC award--now renamed the Elizabeth Anabo BRICC award as the most outstanding neighborhood organization in the county.
From its founding in 1992 to the present, S.N.A. has met or exceeded most of its goals. This despite heavy turnover in the key people within the organization during its early years.
The organization is stronger than ever, and the increase in community spirit in Sunnyhills is obvious. More and more, the people in Sunnyhills are joining hands to solve common problems and coming together as neighbors. People can say with pride “I am a SUNNYHILLS RESIDENT”
As the motto of the organization goes.
“Our future’s so bright we gotta wear shades.”
(from a song by timbuk 3)
“It’s not the big things that make an area unsightly and unlivable, it’s a combination of the small things.” -- Bob Pecot, past President and founding member of the Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association.
Become a member!
Annual dues are only $20/year. To use PayPal, click the logo below and send your contribution to contribute@SunnyhillsNeighborhood.org
or print our membership form and mail a check to SNA, 1421 Yellowstone Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035-6913
Pursuant to Article 12, section 1 of the corporation's Bylaws, rights of members shall include:
1) Notice of all regular, special, and annual meetings, plus notice of any committee meetings in which they have expressed interest.
2) Copies of any newsletters or other publications of the organization, plus requested copies of any other documents of the organization.
3) The right to vote at all general meetings and the right to vote on any sub-committees that they join.
4) The right to offer motions germane to the group and have those motions given a fair hearing before the assembled membership.
Sunnyhills Neighborhood Association, 1421 Yellowstone Ave, Milpitas, CA 95035-6913,