For decades the motto of The Santa Clara Weekly has been, “Protecting your right to know.” The Weekly expanded in recent years to include The Silicon Valley Voice, our online publication. SvVoice can be accessed 24/7 without charge at www.SvVoice.com
Our Weekly is independent, locally owned and dedicated to our resident readers. We are supported solely through annual subscriptions and advertisers.
It is because of The Weekly and SvVoice, residents have been informed of the behavior, good or otherwise, by Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the City Council. The Weekly and The Voice have covered her prior Council proceedings, questionable appointments, stunning salaries, and absurd actions foisted upon Santa Clara.
We covered her systematic elimination of talented Santa Clara personnel and organizations that was crippling to City operations. It may be that time heals all wounds, and usually, time also wounds all heels.
The first to be axed was City Manager Julio Fuentes. His strong, forceful, and controversial personality was a threat to Gillmor’s “my way or the highway” philosophy. One thing Fuentes stressed was financial health. He took Santa Clara from a multimillion negative to a $53 million surplus in two years. Santa Clara could really use his skill and frugal vision today.
City Attorney Ren Nosky was the next casualty of Mayor Gillmor. Nosky was a by the law, by the book, pragmatic and insightful city attorney. He would not twist the law to fit the mayor’s agenda. Gillmor replaced Nosky with an unemployed civil service attorney Brian Doyle, whose attitude toward the law was and is: “What would you like it to mean?” That decision has cost Santa Clara millions in bad decisions, spurious lawsuits and legal interpretations. Why, oh why is he still employed?
Ousted next was fiscal conservative, guardian of finances and one of the brightest moneymen in the state, Finance Director Gary Ameling. Following his announced departure from Santa Clara he was immediately snapped up by the City of Las Vegas. They were about to build a new stadium and Ambling was a natural, having just completed Levi’s Stadium for Santa Clara.
Perhaps the most stunning group assault by Gillmor was her buzz saw like dissolution of the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau. Without warning or a blink, she eliminated 15 positions that marketed the City of Santa Clara and the convention center.
The casualty list in Santa Clara resembles a Blitzkrieg bombing. In this case, it is residents who continue to be shell-shocked. The mayor’s replacement personnel and salary awards defy gravity, fiscal integrity, financial prudence and that rare commodity, common sense.
These events and so many more have been reported by The Weekly and The Voice.
As I have wondered and asked many times, with new Council now in majority and control, “When will they end this era of pork barrel excess and outright corruption?”