The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones: David vs Goliath

Is the City of Santa Clara election already decided?

If you believe the polls, Mayor Lisa Gillmor could win in a landslide.

After all, whoever heard of her challenger, Anthony Becker?


Gillmor is a known commodity throughout the City.

Becker is known publicly by members from our Planning Commission and a few people from his work on Architectural Review.

Gillmor has strategically built a political machine that would be the envy of a South American dictator.

Becker has posted some yard signs and worn out his shoes with door-to-door walking.

Lisa Gillmor’s name is known by virtually every voter in the City.

Anthony Becker is known by his mother and a number of friends.

Gillmor is backed by her dedicated collection of followers and has wide name recognition.

Becker is supported by former Mayor and current Council Member, Pat Mahan.

Gillmor has proven she can maneuver through political battles like a knife through butter.

Becker is more of a collaborator and prefers creating partnerships that work.

Gillmor has skillfully eliminated virtually every organization and individual that has indicated any opposition to her agenda.

Becker has little need to eliminate anyone since he has no known opponents.

For the past two years, I have offered my opinion about the Mayor in this column. Before she was appointed Mayor, we used to do lunch about once a month.

Since she was appointed Mayor, she has never called me or returned my text messages.

Maybe that is the result of hitting the big time.

Or, maybe it is a result of her agenda not matching mine.

It is apparent the direction she has taken our City is not one I can approve of.

When Julio Fuentes became our City Manager, he arrived to find we had $3 million in reserves which would last about a week. When he was ousted by the Mayor, he left us with $53 million in reserves. This was during the toughest economic times since the Depression.

The Mayor and current City Manager have been spending our money like it belonged to Sunnyvale. In a recent headline making audit, they butchered the Santa Clara Chamber. They hired an auditor and basically told her what they wanted. The auditor made the Chamber look bad, made the Convention and Visitors Bureau look bad, and made the Chamber’s management of the Convention Center look bad.

However, before the audit was even completed the Mayor and Council fired the 14 employees of the CVB. Ahh yes…this saved the City $1.5 in payroll. But the audit information was a total fallacy. Imagine…losing your job over incorrect information!

There is one very serious problem with the Chamber audit. It’s not the truth! The audit has more holes than our City golf course. The Chamber will tell their side next Tuesday night at Council.

While we are discussing audits, what ever happened to the $180,000 audit on the 49ers that was going to find all the corruption, money laundering and graft? In checking that out…there was zip…Nothing!

It just seems that when it comes to election time, Gillmor uses an audit to gain notoriety. When she was running years ago, she even tried to convince the Council back in the 1990s to do a $100,000 audit of the Chamber. That Council had the brains to turn her down.

Maybe, just maybe, a candidate like Anthony Becker, who arrives at our door without baggage, might be a very welcome Mayor.


Miles Barber was president of the Chamber board in 1984. He has continued to serve on the board periodically over the years.


  1. Leslie Kloes 6 years ago

    If how Becker treats people on Facebook is any indication of his temperament, he is not suited for public office.

    • Gary 6 years ago

      Oh yes. Standing up for ones self is so not fit for public office. Believing in something is also a disqualifier. I think he treats people how they treat him. I think we’re all sick of the games and secret meetings, skewed numbers and broken promises. It is healthy for cities to cycle through council and other elected officials. Fresh blood fresh ideas and no permanent stale fish.

  2. Kirk Vartan 6 years ago

    I don’t read this product much anymore due to consistently diminishing quality and lacking objective views, but for some reason I did tonight. I saw this:

    “Since she was appointed Mayor, she has never called me or returned my text messages.
    Maybe that is the result of hitting the big time.
    Or, maybe it is a result of her agenda not matching mine.”

    While I find your conclusions without merit, let me add another reason:

    Maybe it is because you have shown your column to be disrespectful, condescending, inaccurate, and rude. And, it seems your paper has become a tool for the bidding of others (cough, 49ers, cough). For over two years, you have allowed this publication to deteriorate and not a “news” paper, but a advertisement and “hit” paper. I have had great respect for the quality of material that used to be part of the Santa Clara Weekly, but now, I don’t recognize it. I see a clearly slanted view in many of the articles, and what seems like a personal grudge and vendetta against Lisa or anyone that even appears to collaborate with her.

    Your opinion pieces often go off into the weeds, with many unsubstantiated allegations. While I understand “Milestones” is an opinion piece, you are the publisher, owner, and leader of the paper. I would hope you would provide a bit more journalistic integrity and not become an “Enquirer” type publication.

    I am sure you will torch me online somewhere, but it would be so nice if you could follow some of your advice and be constructive, not destructive. Be helpful, not hurtful. Be positive, not negative. And maybe provide some guidance for your reporters to do the same.

    Kirk Vartan

    • Honey 6 years ago

      Thank you, Kirk! Yes, I agree and thank you for thoughtful criticism.

  3. Jean 6 years ago

    Kirk although I agree that milestones is an opinion column and Miles Barber states his opinion harshly at times, I find the other articles valuable. The reporters show back up and proof to collaborate the news. It’s obvious Milestones takes facts as he sees them and states his opinion. But I appreciate seeing and reading the evidence the reporters use to back up the news. Opinions are a dime a dozen but facts are note worthy and can’t be disputed.

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