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Milestones – Back from the edge! – Opinion

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and her lone ranger council supporter Kathy Watanabe continue to defy logic. One thing that can be said for this pair: they’re consistent. Consistently opposed, that is, to nearly any proposal by any of the other five council members regardless of its benefit to the community.

Consider that logic would, and should, prevail when considering any proposal that affects residents and City staff operations. That would be a major part of any consideration in most cities. But not in Santa Clara.

Just a few items come to mind. When Gillmor and her Council majority controlled the City coffers, many of the decisions made were costly to the City and residents. It was an unbelievable time, as millions were spent and wasted under the Gillmor-controlled regime.

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Santa Clara has advanced dramatically in the past few years following the bungled expenditures of an out-of-control City manager in Deanna Santana. Her anti-City decisions were over-the-top, matching her $800,000 compensation package. She was finally terminated by the new Council. Unfortunately, her benefit package lingered on for a year. 

Santana’s replacement, Jovan Grogan, has been a hit when it comes to management and budgeting. Having inherited a $17 million deficit from Gillmor’s former appointee, he’s working hard to remedy what is not an easy hole to fill.

Contributing to the City’s losses was another Gillmor appointee, Brian Doyle. Former Civil Service attorney Doyle, in just one day alone, cost Santa Clara at least one million dollars. His failure to disclose a litigation settlement offer to the Council in a timely manner allowed this offer to expire.

Too bad there is not a penalty for negligence and stupidity.

Doyle’s replacement is a highly skilled attorney from Chula Vista, Glen Googins. Googins has already demonstrated his skill with contracts and agreements, in addition to offering good leadership, benefiting Santa Clara.

Santa Clara’s current City Council has been diligent throughout the interview and hiring process. It has been a pleasure to observe the progress this Council has made as it works on repairing the damage left by the Gillmor majority.

Hats off to Suds Jain, Karen Hardy, Anthony Becker, Kevin Park and Raj Chahal, who have returned sanity and balance to Santa Clara’s City Council. 

Their teamwork has been exceptional.

Previous Milestones:
Milestones – Turn The Lights On! – Opinion
Milestones – Double Dealing! – Opinion
Milestones – An Upside-Down DA – Opinion

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4 Comments
  1. CSC 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    For decades the Santa Clara City Council has been in a contentious state anywhere Gillmor has been involved. Gillmor’s overt cronyism isn’t just evident in her ‘pay to endorse’ scheme with SCPOA, it was seen during the hiring of Deanna Santana who brought along her salary spiking crew. One of Santana’s best-buds, Mark Danaj, that she brought to the City of Santa Clara for two months to ensure his pension and benefits remained intact, starts his prison sentence in a few weeks, on June 4th https://www.mercurynews.com/2024/04/18/former-fremont-city-manager-sentenced-to-jail-in-fraud-case-must-pay-317000-in-restitution/
    .
    Santa Claran’s need to continue their march of installing a city council that represents each district independently with a fiscally innovative mindset. Prior to 2018, most residents had little voice in matters as Councilmembers were elected from a small power-centric, old-guard living in the city’s central district. Four Councilmembers are up for election this November and residents should strongly consider voting in this manner…
    • Dist. 1: REPLACE Kathy Watanabe. She hasn’t contributed any ideas to help her district or the overall city, Kathy is simply a rubber-stamping lackey for anything Gillmor tells her to do. Kathy also tried to silence Asian commmunity leaders during an anti-hate rally. https://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/watanabe-faces-call-for-censure-accusations-of-patterned-behavior-after-aapi-rally-rebuff/
    • Dist. 2: Re-elect Raj Chahal. Raj provides a steady hand on the council and his education in finance and experience as a Planning Commissioner, Board Member of the Santa Clara Library Foundation, and corporate executive experience is a benefit to the community.
    • Dist. 3: Re-elect Karen Hardy. A lifelong educator with a master’s degree in teaching, Kathy has taught math and computer science at Wilcox High School for almost 20 years. Her expertise will be needed in the city’s review of current evaluation of projects like the ISC and housing.
    • Dist. 4: Candidates need to file nomination papers by July 15 to appear on November’s ballot. Councilmember Becker has a legal inquiry starting on July 29. Hopefully a qualified candidate is identified and puts their hat in the ring to represent District 4.
    .
    And the community needs to step up and defend City Attorney Googins. Just for doing his job, a small group of rabid anti-santa-clarans are trying to make his life difficult. The small group – who bill themselves as Gillmor’s Gang – knew the ballot language satisfied all legal requirements so the only way they could possibly have it slanted in their favor was to have someone in the City alter it for them. In defense of city residents and integrity, Googins stood his ground, the Superior Court agreed with him, and for that the Gillmor Gang are name calling and trying to drag his name through the mud.
    .
    Get rid of Watanabe, vote her out! And reelect Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy.

    • Clarification? 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      CSC fact check – District 1, 4, 5, 6 are up for re-election this November…Karen and Raj (and Mayor) are good until 2026. Also, Becker is District 6.

      • CSC 3 weeks ago
        Reply

        Thank you.
        .
        • Dist. 1: REPLACE Kathy Watanabe. She hasn’t contributed any ideas to help her district or the overall city, Kathy is simply a rubber-stamping lackey for anything Gillmor tells her to do. Kathy also tried to silence Asian commmunity leaders during an anti-hate rally. https://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/watanabe-faces-call-for-censure-accusations-of-patterned-behavior-after-aapi-rally-rebuff/
        • Dist. 4: REELECT Kevin Park. Kevin is an engineer and has been involved with Santa Clara Sister Cities Association, Santa Clara Citizens Advisory Committee, Santa Clara’s General Plan Steering Committee, and Santa Clara Office of Education (SCCOE) projects.
        • Dist. 5: REELECT Suds Jain. Suds has taken steps to move progressive ideas forward and not stuck in the past. Suds holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MIT and has been involved with community improvement for more than a decade.
        • Dist. 6: Candidates need to file nomination papers by July 15 to appear on November’s ballot. Councilmember Becker has a legal inquiry starting on July 29. Hopefully a qualified candidate is identified and puts their hat in the ring to represent District 4.

  2. Fred 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    I agree with CSC’s comments above.

    Becker should do the right thing and not re-run. Even setting aside his legal issues he’s been a bit of a disappointment in his grasp of the issues. In a nearby article about city revenues he’s quoted saying that the city should allow the sale of cannabis to collect taxes. Had he looked at the economics of this? Is there any jurisdiction in California, or even the US, that has significant tax receipts from cannabis sales?

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