Apple does not have a very good image in the eyes of Cupertino mayor Barry Chang, who recently appeared for an interview with The Guardian. Chang believes it is the responsibility of local companies to help improve the city’s infrastructure.
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During the interview, Chang said he wanted to meet with Apple to discuss the problem of growing traffic congestion in the city and visited the company’s headquarters, but the security guards threw him out, saying he could not come in since he wasn’t invited and that the meeting could not happen. He was a city councilman when the incident took place.
Apple makes a considerable contribution to the congestion problem, and this made Chang visit the company. The Guardian says Chang barely reached the lobby when the security team surrounded him and escorted him off the property. The incident dates back to 2012 when Chang was serving on the city council, and since December 2015, he has been a mayor.
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Apple is currently building a massive Spaceship campus, and Chang believes its construction will put a great burden on the city’s train and highways. Help from the iPhone maker could help in dealing with the problem. The Guardian states that Chang called on Apple to pay $100 million for the improvement of city’s infrastructure to tackle the problems from increased traffic from the new HQ.
“[Apple is] not willing to pay a dime,” Chang told the media outlet. They’re making a profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won’t. They abuse us.”
Cupertino facing infrastructure issues
Cupertino is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, which is home to more than 60,000 people. Many of these people have begun to organize their lives around their overburdened city, citing the aging infrastructure and booming companies in the region, which often has a very low effective tax rate as the cause of these problems.
The traffic and noise in the region have left residents so frustrated that now they want to stop more development from occurring in the region. However, Chang believes blocking development would damage the regional economy and that big Silicon Valley companies should just be required to pay their fair share.
Chang would have gotten permission to move on his proposal against Apple to pay $100 million to improve infrastructure — had he secured even a single “yes” vote from the other three eligible council members, but he failed to get one. Just last week, there were allegations of lying and corruption against Chang, which he claims to be completely untrue.