Exchanging “shoot from the hip hypocrisy and hype” for hope, Santa Clara’s City Council is bringing sanity to Santa Clara.
Taking careful aim, it was still a shot heard ’round the City and the entire Bay Area community when Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana was terminated. This action was not solely due to Santana’s compensation demands, nor her egregious management style, nor even her total support of Mayor Lisa Gillmor. Difficult to explain, the allegiance to Gillmor and her demands were a head-shaking phenomena. Oh, that’s right, Santana was getting nearly $800,000 in compensation for doing Mayor Gillmor’s bidding.
Santana, also, did make a mistake or two. Her attitude toward City employees was absent that miracle ingredient, compassion. Replacing long-term Santa Clara employees and managers with former colleagues created an atmosphere of disappointment, despair and dirty pool!
Santa Clara’s Council witnessed these actions and formed a plan for replacement. It would take time, thought and personnel. It also would take the combined energy of the Council majority acting in tandem and in good faith.
You might note that the termination of City Attorney Brian Doyle had been completed months earlier. The fact the City didn’t fall into shambles was a good indication that they could make the second necessary change. In fact, they took responsible and necessary action and dismissed Santana.
Interesting to note among this Council the absence of ego and me-too ism. They work together, focusing on what’s important for the city, not for the big “I.”
The only exceptions fall to the remnants of the old Council. That would be Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Council Member Kathy Watanabe.
Santa Clara has endured six years of Gillmor at the helm as Mayor and she is thinking she will run again in November. Not only that. She wants to wrestle back control by running two unproven, but loyal to her, candidates. She is quietly promoting Nancy Biagini, who got bagged in the last election by Raj Chahal. Chahal has been solid, a dedicated worker who is now well known and appreciated for his work on Council.
The second pick by Gillmor is Christian Pellecchia, who has moved into Karen Hardy’s district and taken residence there with the intent to unseat Hardy and support Gillmor. Pellecchia is now president of the struggling remnants of the Chamber of Commerce that Gillmor decimated in 2018.
It would be reasonable to make a Weight Watchers guess on the chances of either of these candidates…slim and slimmer.
Residents have reached their patience limit with promises by Gillmor. Her god-awful gum-ups have brought out the best in voters who rejected her ridiculous decisions, employee picks and outrageous expenses.
This year Santa Clara can cure the last of the chaos and choose clear cut candidates that will contribute to the City and its citizens.