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
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
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
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
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 and
tax-deductible due to an IRS non-profit status
letter. To use PayPal, click Donate below
to send your contribution.
or print our
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
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
4) The right to offer motions germane to the group
and have those motions given a fair hearing before
the assembled membership.
Neighborhood Association, 1421 Yellowstone Ave,
Milpitas, CA 95035-6913, 408-262-0420, info@SunnyhillsNeighborhood.org