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Labor, Lobbyists and Developers Appear Frequently on Tardy Council Calendars

Of all elected official calendars available through Ordinance No. 1950, only Police Chief Mike Sellers and Acting City Clerk Jennifer Yamaguma had their August schedule up for viewing prior to the Sept. 10 deadline.

Every other calendar, less City Manager Deanna Santana and City Attorney Brian Doyle, was up exactly one week after the deadline, on Sept. 17. Santana’s and Doyle’s calendar were updated either late afternoon Sept. 18 or before noon on Sept. 19. Gillmor’s calendar was uploaded on Sept. 17, but then mysteriously disappeared from the City’s site. It was not re-uploaded until Sept. 21, despite the City ordinance stating all calendars are to be made public before the 10th of each month.

Now that all calendars have been accounted for, what has been shown is that Santa Clara’s elected officials recorded plenty of public events and meetings, and plenty of meetings with labor, lobbyists and developers, including two meetings with Related’s lobbyist Jude Barry, one of which was a bizarre calendar addition.

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Mayor Lisa Gillmor
Gillmor began her month welcoming FC Barcelona and AC Milan soccer clubs to the area on Aug. 1. On the 2nd, Gillmor and Council Member Debi Davis met with Hunter Properties’ President Deke Hunter, Jr. and Josh Rupert as well as Edward Storm of Hunter Storm Development to discuss the Gateway Crossing project. The proposed project consists of up to 1,600 residential units, a 182,000 sq. ft. full-service hotel, 15,000 sq. ft. of ancillary retail, surface and structured parking, public and private streets, a neighborhood park, open space and upgraded and expanded infrastructure and utilities on 23.8 acres at 1205 Coleman Ave.

Gillmor and Davis also teamed up for an introductory meeting with California’s Great America’s new General Manager Manny Gonzalez on Aug. 6. Gonzalez replaced departing GM Raul Rehnborg last month. Two days later, Gillmor met with Cedar Fair’s CFO Brian Witherow and general counsel Duff Milkie for an update on the theme park.

On Aug. 12 and 13 Gillmor, Davis, Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe and Council Member Teresa O’Neill met with most Bay Area media outlets to discuss the “rent reset” that resulted in a $10 million increase for the San Francisco 49ers.

Interestingly, Gillmor had a meeting with Matt Mahood, the president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO) to discuss “general relationship building, City of Santa Clara permitting process,” on Aug. 14. One of the reasons this meeting must be noted is SVO, formerly named the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, bills itself as Silicon Valley’s premier business networking and advocacy organization. Given that the City of Santa Clara officially terminated its contract with the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce last week, it further fuels the theory that SVO will take over chamber duties in promoting Santa Clara.

One day after Gillmor’s meeting with Mahood, the Mayor met with resident Shashi Ramchandani regarding issues in the Northside/Agnews area. The Vice Mayor, who is a Northside resident, also attended the meeting.

On Aug. 22, Gillmor and Davis had an introductory meeting with the Korean Chamber of Commerce that included President Ken Kim and Yeonsook Park Sasaki. Also attending the meeting was Han Yang University President Young Moo Lee, Vice President of Business and External Relations Sung-Chull Lee, Dean of Industry-University Cooperation Foundation Tae Hyun Sung, Associate Vice President of the Office of International Affairs Chong Seung Yoon, Dean of the Office of External Relations and Development Seong Geun Oh, and Associate Manager of the Media Strategy Center Sangcheol Oh. Additionally, Henry Bang, chairman of the North California Han Yang Alumni Association attended.

The Mayor ended her month with two labor meetings. The first occurred on Aug. 27 regarding a discussion on the Santa Clara Convention Center. South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council Executive Officer Ben Field, Unite Here Local 19 Political Director Sarah McDermott and business manager Enrique Fernandez, Painters and Allied Trades District Council 26 business representatives Owen Murphy and Joe Toback,  Teamsters Union Local 287 business agent Robustino Copado, Jr. and IA 134 A/V representative Lwo Wandling attended. Gillmor’s second labor meeting occurred on Aug. 29 regarding “important projects in the City of Santa Clara” with UA Local Union 393’s business manager Steve Flores and Political and Communications Director Jean Cohen. 

 

Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe
Watanabe kicked off August with a Jude Barry meeting on Aug. 1. The lunch meeting to discuss “transportation issues,” listed Barry as the CEO and owner of his political and communications consulting firm Catapult Strategies, and not as the lobbyist for the developer slated to build the largest project that will soon be underway in Santa Clara, Related’s City Place.

Five days later, on Aug. 6, the Vice Mayor met with resident Michael Bierbaum regarding “community issues,” and on Aug. 16 she met with Congressman Ro Khanna’s Campaign Manager Cooper Teboe about District 17, Santa Clara’s Congressional district.

On Aug. 17, Watanabe met with John Hyjer of Equity Residental about the 3131 Homestead Rd. project, a proposed development at the Laguna Clara Apartments that replaces a two-story, 86 apartment unit building with a four-story, 584 apartment structure.

An introductory meeting with the Korean Consulate of San Francisco occurred on Aug. 20. Watanabe’s calendar lists Davis and Gillmor in attendance, but the meeting was not recorded on the Mayor’s calendar. In addition to Gillmor and Davis, the meeting included Korean Consulate of San Francisco Counsul General Joon Yong Park, Consul Sanghun Oh and Silicon Valley Korean American Federation (listed as Korean American Association in Silicon Valley) President Ahn San Suk and Vice President Jung Myung Ryul.

Watanabe ended her August meetings of note on Aug. 20 with Allene Zange, president of WIRE for Women, an organization supporting women seeking non-partisan appointed and elected public office in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

 

Council Member Teresa O’Neill
O’Neill began her August with a meeting on Aug. 1 with Congressman Khanna regarding “sustainable energies and workforce requirements in electric generation utilities and industry” and an Aug. 2 meeting with Hope Lutheran Church’s Pastor Jim Clark-Moore about “issues faced by low-income and homeless residents.

On Aug. 5 the Council Member continued her monthly meeting with residents to discuss issues in Santa Clara and provide community members the opportunity to ask questions they may have regarding Council or Santa Clara’s future.

One day later, on Aug. 6, O’Neill recorded a phone call with Mezzetti Law Firm President Robert Mezetti II about the proposed housing development near the Santa Clara CalTrain station. The project, which is an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement for the development rights on 2.4 acres owned by the City and the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority (VTA). Republic Metropolitan intends on building a student housing community development for Santa Clara University (SCU) that includes “upwards of 230 units/688 beds and upwards of 44,000 square feet of commercial space, and include cutting edge amenities, structured parking and attendant retail.” O’Neill had a second meeting about the project with Mezzetti on Aug. 29. That meeting included Republic Metropolitan’s President Bob Mendholson, SCU Assistant Vice President of University Operations Chris Shay and Old Quad Association President Adam Thompson.

That same day, O’Neill met with Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) Superintendent Stan Rose and Trustee Andy Ratermann about Bond Measure BB, which, according to santaclarausd.org, “seeks authorization to fund critically needed safety and modernization projects.” The $720 million bond “will be spent modernizing classrooms and classroom technologies at our 28 school sites to support high-quality instruction in science, technology, engineering and math; repairing aging and outdated facilities and upgrading older schools so they meet the same safety and academic standards as newer schools.” O’Neill also had a conference call regarding the Measure BB campaign on Aug. 29. The meeting included Rose, Ratermann, SCUSD Trustee Noelani Pearl Hunt, SCUSD PIO Jennifer Dericco, Cathy Van Pernis and Eric Dill of SCUSD and consultant Tom Clifford. Clifford is principal at CliffordMoss, a political strategy, communications and public affairs firm based in Oakland.

O’Neill’s bizarre Barry meeting occurred on Aug. 7 when the Council Member and the lobbyist met for lunch to discuss “Thomas Aquinas’ Theory of Just War and interpretations of the Beatitudes.” Aquinas’ theory of just war is the following: just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state, occur for a good and just purpose and not for self-gain and the central motive, despite the violence incurred, must be peace. The Beatitudes are eight blessings laid out in the Bible. The blessings are listed in the books of Matthew (Matthew 5:3-10) and Luke (Luke 6:20-22, 24-26). Although the lunch did not include City business, because O’Neill met with a lobbyist, City Ordinance 1950 requires her to list it on her calendar. Barry was also listed as CEO and owner of Catapult Strategies and not as Related’s lobbyist.

Two days following O’Neill’s lunch with Barry, she notched a lunch meeting with Sam Kumar, owner of Mayuri Indian Cuisine. Kumar, a 2018 Santa Clara City Council candidate, and the Council Member discussed “Santa Clara municipal elections.”

O’Neill continued her support of former Santa Clara Council Member Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s (formerly Jamie McLeod) bid for a United States House of Representatives seat in Oregon on Aug. 15 when she attended a planning meeting for a fundraiser for the candidate with David Donaldson and Linda Sell. Later that day, O’Neill attended a community discussion on the Laguna Clara project with residents Dave and Patty Susnitzsky and Sue Houchen.

On Aug. 23 O’Neill met with Hosam Haggag about his candidacy for City Clerk and on Aug. 27 she notched a meeting with Hyjer about 3131 Homestead Rd. (Laguna Clara project).

O’Neill ended her month with a lunch discussion regarding Santa Clara County Supervisor District 4 election with Kumar and Board of Supervisors Candidate Don Rocha on Aug. 29. O’Neill previously backed former Campbell Mayor Jason Baker for the position, but Baker did not finish as one of the top two candidates after the June primary election.

Also of note on O’Neill’s calendar were multiple meetings and phone calls regarding VTA. O’Neill attended the VTA board briefing and VTA Northeast Cities board briefing on Aug. 1 and VTA Board of Directors closed session and regular meeting on Aug. 2. Prior to the latter, O’Neill had a meeting with VTA General Manager/CEO Nuria Fernandez and CFO Raj Srinath regarding personnel issues. The Council Member then had a phone call with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo regarding VTA management issues on Aug. 6, a conference call with VTA Auditor General Bill Eggert about VTA changes on Aug. 8, and a meeting with VTA Interim General Counsel Evelynn Tran regarding the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) on Aug. 13. She also had a pre-meeting briefing for VTA’s Administration and Finance (A&F) Committee Meeting with Srinath on the morning of Aug. 16, followed by the VTA A&F public meeting. Four days later, O’Neill notched a second call with Eggert regarding VTA and finally O’Neill also had a phone call with Supervisor Cindy Chavez on Aug. 29 to discuss VTA security contract and management issues. VTA is one of the many organizations O’Neill is part of because of her position on Council.

 

Council Members Pat Kolstad, Patricia Mahan and Debi Davis
Council Member Pat Kolstad listed only three council meetings, an audit committee meeting on Aug. 27, a meeting with Hyjer on Aug. 27 and an interview with Northern California Power Agency (NCPA)’s Federal Affairs Manager Brent Ten Pas for NCPA’s 50th anniversary video on Aug. 28.

Council Member Patricia Mahan listed nothing other than three council meetings, Aug. 7, 21 and 28 on her August calendar.

Davis had no additional meetings to note in August.

View all Council Member calendars at santaclaraca.gov/government/public-calendars-of-certain-city-officials.

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