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Milestones: Farewell Pat

We take a break from the football playoffs to acknowledge Council Member Patricia Mahan, who deserves much more credit than this Council has offered.

When word of Mahan’s premature retirement via email was made known to City Staff, there were a few who could hardly wait to announce publicly to the community that Mahan was resigning and retiring for medical reasons.

While it may be difficult to get financial facts from the City of Santa Clara, the cost of City lawsuits, the true picture of the enhanced salaries that have been doled out, it took minutes for news of Mahan’s “confidential” email to the Human Resource department to go public.


This was not a mistake. It was a flagrant act of nose thumbing by the current administration.

Let’s face it. Mayor Gillmor, and her three joined-at-the-hip Council allies, have run rampant over history, tradition, logic, vision, personnel, policy and the Council minority.

The irreverent and intentional sharing of Mahan’s email was just another disregard by City leaders who have exercised little regard for people, privacy and protocol.

Santa Clara’s attorney, Brian Doyle, attempted a limp response to Mahan’s complaint, in a feeble attempt to defend this latest bungle. It may now be up to the courts and the voters to determine if a private email to a City HR Department and releasing it publicly is protected or not.

If it was a matter of common decency, Mahan would win hands down.

Pat Mahan has probably contributed more to the success of the Santa Clara community than any one person in modern history.

When Mayor, it was Mahan, who led the meeting with Roger Goodell from the NFL, and obtained his commitment for $200,000,000 towards building Levi’s Stadium.

Her vision to create a focal centerpiece for the City of Santa Clara was to become one of the most powerful economic engines ever created in Santa Clara.

Up until the current Council enforced the 10 p.m. curfew on weeknights, stadium events were pumping millions directly into Santa Clara’s treasury.

This current curfew didn’t stop the 49ers from working with Santa Clara and our schools. They have invested millions in just a few short years to enhance our STEM programs, the underserved and after school activities.

Pat Mahan saw immediately the value and opportunity for a new stadium in Santa Clara. Yet, even her forecast was underestimated, and her vision has proven to be more than prophetic. The past few playoff games at Levi’s undoubtedly gave a much needed boost to Santa Clara businesses.

In addition, the last three games introduced Santa Clara to more than 60 million viewers, putting Santa Clara on the mental map of so many.

There is nothing that comes to mind which even comes close to rivaling the resulting activity to put Santa Clara on the national front page. This includes even the controversial decisions by Santa Clara’s current Council majority, which have been more negative than productive.

Mahan’s decision is not a surprise in light of the battles she has endured both physically and publicly in her opposition to this Council’s strange choice of personnel and policy.

However, you would think Santa Clara staff would have the discipline to protect her privacy and simply respond to her inquiry, as opposed to making her email public.

Since our City Council may not acknowledge the many accomplishments of Mahan, we would like to say, Thank you Pat for your hard work, dedication, visionary thinking and balanced approach to City policy.

We thank you and wish you the best with many years of good health and hassle-free retirement.

We know you are in accord when we say…

“Go Niners!”


1 Comment
  1. Melinda Berlant 4 years ago

    Ms. Mahan,

    I hope you have a speedy recovery. As a citizen of Santa Clara, I am so sorry for the infringement on your privacy. This was wrong on so many levels.

    In my opinion, whoever received and leaked your email should be fired. Whoever distributed the press release should be fired. And as a matter of law, the city breached employee rights and should be sued as a result. The current staff and elected officials clearly have no respect for privacy, your contributions, and your loyalty.

    You better believe I’m going to be paying a lot of attention during the next election cycle!

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