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Milestones: Good guy, bad Council

Milestones Good guy, bad Council, Jim Mercurio, ManCo, stadium

Every once in a while, you meet a person who is just likeable.

They may not be famous, popular, or a star, they just seem to have some qualities that make them likeable.

When I think of Jim Mercurio, ‘a good guy’ comes to mind.


Mercurio is General Manager for our stadium and works for ManCo, Levi’s Stadium’s management company.

Now, you wouldn’t exactly say he is unassuming. Perhaps the opposite. With a six-foot five frame and shoulders broad enough to block a doorway, he does not appear to be an individual to argue with.

In person he is affable, bright, knowledgeable, articulate and cooperative. To watch him in action at City Council or a Stadium Authority meeting you must be impressed that such an imposing figure could be so gentle.

Then you must wonder how this City Council and Mayor could display such disdain towards him when he delivers his regular report.

You can feel the contempt and scorn pouring forth from the Mayor and her cronies as they berate Mercurio for doing his job or in their mind…not.

It doesn’t seem to matter how capable he is, how gifted his skill in maneuvering the issues, he can do nothing right in the eyes of this Council.

Yet, Mercurio, showing the patience of Job, answers every question with substance, serenity and understanding.

This Council has been looking at anything that would eradicate the ManCo contract to manage the stadium.

They continue to uphold the ridiculous weeknight curfew that wiped out the possibility of two nights a year of sold out venues. Then, last week reported ManCo was not upholding their promise to deliver their projected profits.

Brian Doyle, our City Attorney and self-appointed financial analyst, stated he didn’t think the loss of the curfew events were the cause of the loss.

How about you leave the finances to Angela Kraetsch and don’t quit your day job?

Let’s see, two events a year eliminates about $700,000 per event.

Two times $700,000 is…surprise…$1,400,000.

And now you wish to blame ManCo for not delivering?

What are these Council Members and the City Attorney smoking?

Folks, we own one of the best stadiums in the entire Country. It was designed for and approved for the community to benefit from events held at the stadium.

Eliminating two major events a year was not a 49er decision, it was this Mayor’s and Council’s.

In the Council’s short-sighted decision, they made no provision to make up the loss at the stadium or any other way that we can see.

What option do they have but to blame ManCo as managers? It couldn’t be their own haste to harm that caused this damage.

When you peel the banana of intrigue, this self-inflicted shortfall is self-made.


1 Comment
  1. ABecker 5 years ago

    This article goes along the lines with my same comments I am writing now that was censored in the Santa Clara Blog, Santa Clara News by Robert Haugh. I recently saw one comment about the praise of Councilmember Watanabe, One commenter here calls Watanabe a Guardian?? you mean the same guardian along with Mayor Gillmor that pushed residents in the northside to vote a billion dollar+ stadium that they now hate. Watanabe is clearly a puppet for the Gillmor machine and I wish she would be independent mind and not scripted.

    Referencing Watanabe’s quote ““Taylor Swift doesn’t live in the Northside. U2 doesn’t live in the Northside. They all get to go home. But the people are still there and the people have to deal with the repercussions of events going until 11 o’clock at night, families trying to go to sleep, dealing with traffic, helicopters, all kinds of issues.”……to be blunt, Kathy, you voted for it, you knew what you were doing, don’t act surprised…. shoulda read the contracts closer before you promoted it.

    I start to wonder if this was their plan…..hype up a stadium to get built at the taxpayers expense; find issues in contracts that they read and agreed upon, then act surprised when something does not go their way because their own lack of judgement. See ending for predictions.

    Now……for votes, and popular public opinion they attack the very stadium they got built to now look like they are “the heroes”…”watching out for the taxpayers”…and honestly what the real scary part is….. everyone believes it and eats it up…..Why ? because Santa Clara voters have very short term memory or the oldtimers have left for better places because they saw the mess that was coming. The corporate shills got what they wanted at the taxpayers expense. Its kinda like a maniacal villain in a movie that creates a crisis to come back to act like the savior.

    Santa Clarans For Economic Progress.

    Remember when then resident and lobbyist for Measure J now Mayor Lisa Gillmor said it would bring $26 Million Dollars for our schools in the “Yes on Measure J” Commercials. With Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis chiming in too before they were on the council. Remember all that money….. Well, flash forward to 2019 where the county awards huge tax appeal to the Niners. $31 million refund (there goes the schools money-little higher than Gillmor promised) essentially a $240 million tax break ($6 million reduction annually for 40 years) and its largest in county history according sources.

    They failed us! Basically, our leaders were duped and were tricked right? Yes and No. the 49ers were just doing business, the City was just so eager to show city’s of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland they wanna run with the big dogs too. Yet in 8 years, they have proven they can’t run the stadium efficiently let alone the city. Maybe if there was better leadership years ago, maybe there would be a better stadium management organization than ManCo.

    Gillmor, Watanabe, Davis, Matthews, Moore, Etc. should have never had no business in the stadium business and now a quartet on council are pretending they are champions of bringing justice to the mess they created. Once again I ask many to reference this word,

    They should resign because they know their cheerleading led to the loss of all that tax money….they knew the contracts. Or just admit they are wrong, and they are fixing the mistakes. Its not all the 49ers fault, maybe they just saw a “money eyed” council years ago that would instantly put a stadium here. Think of all the time and how much loss Santa Clarans have endured because of these decisions. Think of more and more money for next 20+ years being spent for this tit for tat fighting between council/SA and the Niners.

    The stadium could be a bigger success, yes there is mishaps, there was issues with the contracts. It can be fixed, but having witch hunts and creating mountains out of mole hills is what damages our reputation, it does not help us. We are known as a toxic place to do business. Personally, If I had it my way, the stadium authority should not be council members but community members with no political ambitions or past, and/or we should just sell the stadium to the 49ers and get what is owed.

    All I know is if I would have done any of this, or any of this behavior, that there would be calls for my resignation.

    Before they on the dais act like social justice warriors, they should look in the mirror and publicly admit their wrong doing because they clearly never knew the contracts or knew what they were rooting, voting or campaigning for. I was duped as a voter only because they asked us to trust them, the council, the city, and yes the niners. Yet we shoulda been smarter than that, but what was passed was passed.

    Remember back in the day when then speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi said you have to pass the bill to read it regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act. Sounds very familiar and around the same time period (circa 2009/2010) with getting Measure J to pass. Why didn’t they find these problems in the initial Measure J deal rather than 2019. Did someone not get their personal check or booster?

    Remember…Current Mayor Lisa Gillmor was appointed to the city council to fill the empty council seat left by then elect Mayor Jamie Matthews as a reward for her work on the Measure J campaign.

    Also recall these are the same individuals including lobbyist Jude Berry that had been pushing for “city place” a $6 billion dollar project on top of landfill (this project was never voted on by the residents…remember the stadium was a billion and we had to vote). Maybe Councilmember Watanabe will live on top of it and deal with all the traffic that will bring too !

    Lastly, I will go back to the beginning of this comment where I wonder if it is part of their plan to see it fail. I personally am beginning to wonder if they want ManCo to fail, so then they can put who they want in there to manage the stadium. Let’s look at that entire area. Across the street from the stadium is where the Related Project is “City Place” On the other side of the creek or slough is the convention center. Recently in a bold move the council fired the management of the convention center and replaced it with Spectra.

    In a recent Council/Stadium Authority meeting City Manager Santana was giving a presentation and somewhat advice to ManCo where she said, an example of good management would be Spectra. Right there in this moment I figured, that is the goal is to get new management in there. Almost scripted like a film that tries to plant hints of the conclusion mid way through.

    So if you see the bigger picture….. lets say…. if Spectra was to get the stadium management contract on top of the Convention Center they will control giant pieces of our entertainment district and be cozy right next to friend and ally Jude Barry’s Related Project City Place. While the organization Spectra sounds like a James Bond title, the actions happening now seem like a plot in a James Bond movie.

    Does anyone recall the actions council did last summer in changing the city clerks role without vote of the people ? Making the rules up as we go is the norm here. Everything is happening so fast so quick, it almost feels like a total takeover with a specific agenda.

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