Freedom is not free. It is attached to an expensive price tag, paid for with the blood of our mothers and fathers who fought, were wounded and many never to return.
There are few families in Santa Clara that have been left untouched by the struggle to remain free.
With every generation, the challenge to retain our freedom returns. Unfortunately, that challenge can come from within our own borders and municipalities as politicians assume office and begin their leadership reigns.
While our constitution guarantees the right to self-expression, the freedom to assemble and freedom of the press, our own Mayor is challenging those liberties.
The recent loss of two key City staff members was not an accident. They were forced out by our Mayor and her chosen Council candidates. Ren Nosky, our City attorney for the past five years kept us on an even keel, out of trouble and provided sound legal counsel. However, that is not the Mayor’s style. She has embroiled our City into six, count them, six major law suits that will cost our city millions. Nosky refused to give Mayor Gillmor the answers she wanted and he’s now gone.
Gary Ameling, our Chief Financial Officer, was one of the most respected financial officers to be found in the public sector anywhere. Since he could not find one dime of misappropriation, money laundering, embezzlement, or book-cooking by the 49ers, as the Mayor alleged during the election campaign, he is gone. Ameling was immediately recruited by the City of Las Vegas to handle their finances.
The Mayor is facing another upset and disappointment. Her much-touted independent audit, which was created to expose all the alleged underhanded dealings by the 49ers, is producing a dry well. What the audit will show is the City was in error by not billing correctly some safety officers hours. The audit should also point out the 49ers have paid every invoice produced by the City. Even though the “independent” auditor was handpicked by the Mayor at a council meeting at 1 a.m. in the morning, over staff’s recommendations, the “spin” she will deliver will be primarily pomp and puffing.
Freedom of expression is under siege at City Hall, unless of course, you happen to be a spokesperson for the Mayor’s point of view.
Freedom of the Press is under siege outside of City Hall. The Mayor is attempting to create a ground swell movement to damage the Santa Clara Weekly. She has recruited Burt Field, leader of the “Stand up for Santa Clara” group, to lead a campaign to discredit the Weekly. She has Mr. Field alleging in a letter to the Council, that we are not a newspaper of general circulation, we charge too much for our legal publications, that we do not publish regularly and other facetious, foolish and flat out fake fabrications.
Could it be the Mayor is inviting law suit number seven?
When this columnist’s father shipped out to the South Pacific in 1941, he was too young to understand why his father was going and why he didn’t come back. In later years, it became clear that freedom to write opinion, tell the truth and continue the fight for free expression was earned by men and women like Dad.
Thank you, Dad, and thank you to the men and women of Santa Clara who believe that freedom of expression and freedom of the press is a value worth paying the price.
Your subscription to the Santa Clara Weekly is your endorsement.