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Milestones – A Common Sense Council – Opinion

Do you remember your school days? There were always a few students who were always able to get it right. They were somehow able to connect the dots. You know, they had common sense and used that skill to find the right answers. As a result, they went to the head of the class.

Some of us watched, others ignored and a few tried harder to improve their skills. A common denominator on multiple-choice tests was, and is, common sense. 

Common sense is a natural gift that is initially instilled in every child. However, when adults and parents model bias, prejudice and outright stupidity, children can adopt those same traits. Then they become adults, very often never taking a good look at their own behavior.


This seems to be an anomaly. You have asked yourself a hundred times: why did he, she, or I do that? The result is usually defined by the decisions applied to arrive at the end result.

Bad results are almost always associated with foggy thinking. Thinking that has clouded the natural gift of common sense. 

When approaching an issue that needs resolution, we draw on our fuel tank of experience and knowledge, and consider the options. When objectivity with common sense is applied, the result is almost always a success. On the other hand, if the decision process is colored with political motives, self-serving intentions, anger or revenge, the result will not end well.

Santa Clara is fortunate to have a City Council majority that applies common sense when it comes to appointments and problem-solving. Most noticeable is the application of that marvelous ingredient of objectivity when making decisions. 

It is a pleasure to have objective members serving on the council. Members who are working diligently to restore the budget, build reserves and plan for the City’s future.

The reverse of this process was demonstrated by pre-2020 city council majority. They voted to hire Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana at exorbitant pay. In addition, the old council hired a retired San José employee — who had never served as a city attorney — Brian Doyle as the city attorney

The new city council majority identified these two hires as mistakes and they were both terminated. 

This council took their time, investigated and interviewed, and made objective and sound decisions. This process delivered an experienced, capable executive in Jovan Grogan, former San Bruno City Manager. In addition, they also hired experienced attorney Glen Googins, who had served 12 years with Chula Vista.

Congratulations to the Santa Clara council and to the new City executives.


1 Comment
  1. CSC 11 months ago

    Miles, your congratulatory note may be a bit premature. While the departure of Santana and Doyle may be welcomed, neither Grogan or Googins have helped right the ship yet.
    Senate Bills 1421, 16, and Assembly Bill 748 make police reports and disciplinary records promptly available to any person. Under Googins tenure in Chula Vista, the city was proactive in posting all related documents online. This not only complied with the law and improved transparency, it also proactively saved city resources.
    San Bruno’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was lead by Grogan that included specilized employees from their Fire Department, Logistics, Public Information, planning/intel, and Law Enforcement. The City of Santa Clara’s web site only lists City Management, Operations, Logistics, Finance, and Administration being part of their EOC.
    Santa Clara’s model that separates city leadership from FD/EMS/LE services is clearly disjointed and not on par with best practices throughout the state.
    The City Council need to help Googins and Grogan remedy the above inadequacies. They can start by tasking the City Manager with publishing all personnel and investigative records responsive to SB1421, SB2, and AB748 online and pressing forward with amending the city’s charter to eliminate an elected, politicized and detached police chief.

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