As a concerned Santa Clara citizen, it troubles me that members of our city council do not hold our highly paid civil servants (city staff) accountable. Specifically, in the form of overpaid City Manager Deanna Santana who is consistently making excuses instead of coming up with usable solutions. As of August 2020, Santana had the highest base salary — $448,320 — and the second highest total compensation package — $709,446 — for a city manager/city administrator in California.
Council members have barely if ever discussed her salary. In fact, council has allowed her to hire even more highly paid civil servants while city services are being cut. At what point will her record of bad stakeholder relationships and wasteful budget spending be reviewed? Listening to her make excuses and exaggerations without any consent from our council is not oversight. There is a reason Santana has a track record of being bounced out of town time and time again. Her abrasive controlling management style is not what this once proud city needs. A new beginning is needed, but will members of the council have the conviction and courage to do the job they were elected to do?