The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones – Change is Inevitable – Opinion

What does City Clerk Hosam Haggag do? While the City’s website has a list of activities assigned to the Clerk’s office, what is listed doesn’t necessarily tell the story.

The website lists several honors attributed to the Santa Clara City Clerk, but these were awarded during Rod Diridon Jr.’s time in the office. Since Diridon’s time, not much has transpired.

Many readers might remember when Lisa Gillmor was first elected Mayor and consolidated her majority on the city council. Gillmor began what the Mercury News called her scorched earth policy. Many talented and dedicated employees were forced out and replaced. In came Gillmor’s choice for City Manager, Deanna Santana, and Brian Doyle as City Attorney. 

SPONSORED
SiliconValleyVoice_Ad2_Jan04'24

Rod Diridon Jr., one of the brightest employees in the City and someone with a record of long service that included two terms on the city council, resigned his elected position in February 2018. Some say it was because he anticipated that his job would be neutered by the Mayor and her compliant council.  

The transformation was in process. City Attorney Doyle found an ingenious way around the charter. He proposed assigning all the City Clerk’s responsibility to the Assistant City Clerk and making the City Clerk a “ceremonial” office with a stipend to match. 

In the next election, Haggag ran for clerk. He narrowly won the election with 25% of the votes in a 6-way election. He was re-elected in 2020, when he ran unopposed. His qualifications? None that we are aware of but considering the current “duties,” not much is required other than he supports Mayor Gillmor.

The current council is reviewing the City Charter and two items will be reviewed, both of which relate to elected positions. The first is the elected office of city clerk and the second is the position of an elected chief of police.

These are two positions that should be appointed by Santa Clara’s professional city manager. They are the best representatives of the city and best qualified to make these choices impartially, based on qualifications and experience. Perhaps the most important is oversight.

The city manager should be responsible for selecting the best individuals for the position and their duties. This decision, as it does with every other department in the city, would eliminate unqualified candidates who just happen to have more money or run unopposed.

SPONSORED
business_subscriber

3 Comments
  1. Hosam Haggag - City Clerk 10 months ago
    Reply

    From the opinion piece:

    “His qualifications? None that we are aware of but considering the current “duties,” not much is required other than he supports Mayor Gillmor.”

    Really, Miles? Aside from the fact that you’ve never even met me before (or even bothered to), where have you seen me “support Mayor Gillmor”? In fact, it was Gillmor who supported me in my first campaign (along with dozens of other elected officials and a broad coalition of community leaders and organizations that would make any candidate for office envious).

    I challenge you, and any other reader, to show me where I have endorsed or given support to anyone on the current council ever since I ran for office. I pride myself in holding this role as your elected City Clerk as fairly and equitable as possible, and doing my level best to remain impartial and unbiased in all my actions. Show me where I haven’t held up my end of the bargain.

    To insinuate otherwise is propaganda. Which I guess is par for the course for your opinion pieces.

    Readers are smarter than you think of them.

    Hosam Haggag – your elected City Clerk

    • Fred 10 months ago
      Reply

      Aren’t you the guy Gillmor appointed to the wasteful “Redistricting Commission”, the one that produced a half-assed recommendation that was against the CVRA any way? You enabled the wasteful spending on litigation by your patron. Your reward was her support for your run for the City Clerk position.

      • Hosam Haggag - City Clerk 10 months ago
        Reply

        Hey there Fred,
        I think you’re referring to the 2018 Charter Review Committee.
        1. I was appointed by the entire council to the 7 member committee.
        2. The committee unanimously agreed to recommend a 2-district model with 3 council-members per district, using ranked choice voting to elect the 3 members per district.
        3. The council unanimously agreed to the charter committee’s recommendation and was on the ballot as Measure A.
        4. There was overwhelming community support for Measure A, including endorsements from current council members Lisa Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Raj Chahal, and Suds Jain. Other notable endorsements came from Harbir Bhatia, former councilmembers Teresa O’Neill, Debi Davis, Patty Mahan and Dominic Caserta. If that’s not a “bipartisan” endorsement list I don’t know what is…. https://web.archive.org/web/20180504113517/https://www.betterelectionsforsantaclara.com/endorsements/
        5. Measure A actually satisfied the CVRA’s legal requirement. Which is why the party that was suing the city spent thousands of dollars opposing Measure A because had it passed then the CVRA requirements would have been fulfilled and would have made their lawsuit moot and thrown out.
        6. Measure A did unfortunately fail at the ballot box.

        I still strongly believe that Measure A would have been good for the City. Regardless, I am also happy that the city was forced to abandon its by-numbered-seat system and adopt a by-district system. Both can be true at the same time and not be at odds or contradictory to each other.

        Any suggestion of a quid pro quo (this-for-that) between myself and Lisa Gillmor is nonsense. In a 6-way race I was the most engaged Santa Claran with a track record that others didn’t have and my endorsements list went beyond just Lisa’s endorsement.

        Happy to chat more any time.
        With respect,
        Hosam Haggag, your elected City Clerk

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

SPONSORED

You may like