Do no harm.
This is the basic rule to all elected leaders.
If only they would follow that rule.
From highly touted Governor Brown to Santa Clara Mayor Gillmor, doing no harm has proven to be a myth.
While Governor Brown is rated among the best Governor’s since his father, many people have forgotten the cost.
Here in Santa Clara we remember the famous “claw back” of Redevelopment Agency assets taken from us by Governor Brown and the Legislature. That fiscal impact to Sacramento was a brilliant strategic move to balance the State budget while recovering from the Great Recession.
The fiscal impact to Santa Clara was the loss of nearly $300 million in property which had been acquired with RDA funds from the State over more than 50 years. This property produced $14 million in annual revenue for our City. Now it “legally” belongs to the State.
The claw back was criminal. What had been right and legal for 50 years, suddenly became illegal via a stroke of the legislative pen.
Unfortunately, this was brushed off by virtually everyone as “politics.”
Evidently “politics” is really the buzz and media word for corruption.
The action taken by the Governor produced several billion for the State budget at the expense of hundreds of cities in California.
The “no harm” rule was violated within months of the Governor’s election.
Try not to think about the billion-dollar bullet train without a beginning and no end. The unfunded liability for that dream has become a nightmare.
Here in Santa Clara our Council appointed Lisa Gillmor as Mayor in 2016. Her first month on the job she targeted every City employee who she perceived as a threat to her future. Gone was our City Manager Julio Fuentes, followed by our City Attorney Ren Nosky, then Financial Director Gary Ameling. Over the following months the City Clerk duties were neutered and elected Clerk, Rod Diridon Jr., abruptly resigned.
Remember the “infamous” audit of the SF 49er Stadium Management Company? The Mayor proclaimed that millions in squandered funds, unpaid items, waste and money laundering would be found. The $200,000 audit costs were never recovered but it was found that the City had overbilled the 49ers $1,000,000 in golf course parking charges. Well, fool us once…
Now reintroduce the word “politics” as we look at the $175,000 audit on the Chamber of Commerce. Based on allegations, (nothing evil has ever been proven) the Chamber was fired as Convention Center Manager after 35 years. In addition, 14 employees of the Convention and Visitors Bureau were abruptly fired.
We also should note with question the multi-million-dollar lawsuit filed against Santa Clara for violating the California Voters Right Act. Even after receiving three warning letters from attorney Robert Rubin, the Mayor and Council did nothing. Of course, we got sued and lost the suit. The Mayor is now appealing. Cost to Santa Clara taxpayers? Millions.
The “do no harm rule” has been absolutely ignored by this Mayor and Council majority.
Can we expect a happier New Year?