The Silicon Valley Voice

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Milestones: Higher pay is here!

The Santa Clara Way is dead!

Mayor Gillmor and Deanna Santana have decapitated the long-held policy of rewarding and promoting employees from within our own ranks.

For decades we hired and trained employees at City Hall with the knowledge that there was a future for advancement in our City.


It was encouraging for employees to know that coming in at an entry level position was only the beginning. In time, with diligence, application, an open mind and productive performance even an entry level employee could become a senior department director.

In fact, some of our most successful City employees came to us as trainees and eventually became leads within their departments. This process worked well for decades and proved to be beneficial for the employees and for continuity within our City and community.

There was a significant payoff for long-term employees because they knew they could continue to advance and always have a shot at eventually running the department. Being head of a department was a payback to our long-term employees, with higher pay and higher retirement benefits. In short, Santa Clara rewarded its own for their hard work, tenacity and devotion.

Our successful working plan of advancement and reward has now been annihilated!

In a span of two years, the Mayor, Council and City Manager have ignored our own employees and replaced them with hand-picked department heads from outside Santa Clara.

To add insult to mismanagement, Santana is bringing these people in at salaries higher than our own 25-year employees.

Ignoring the dedication, longevity, knowledge and hard work of our existing staff, who believed in the Santa Clara Way, our own employees have been overlooked, replaced or moved to a broom closet.

While these actions are punitive in themselves, the severe slap in the face is awarding inflated salaries and benefits to these newly hired replacements. What an insult. Imagine putting in 25 years of hard work toward the position of department head and suddenly you are replaced by an outside recruit at a salary that is $40,000, $60,000 or more than what you would have made.

This is not just one department. Santana has systematically decimated the leadership of our long-standing, hard-working employee force in virtually every branch of our City government.

She has hired dozens of old contacts as new hires, from places she used to work. And since she has been in San Jose, Oakland, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, the pool of acquaintances is huge.

However, several of these recruited employees came in at the very top of our City’s established pay scale. They not only skipped over the normal years of service, they were awarded salaries and benefits which defy gravity. Including her own package, worth about $700,000.

It is rather amazing how generous you can be when it isn’t your money.

However, it is our money.

What Santana’s budget fails to reveal is how we will pay these outrageous salaries.

These new employees are just fine. After one year they get lifetime pension and benefits based on these new highly inflated incomes.

Of course, Santana will defend to the death her right to spend your money as she sees fit, ignoring Santa Clara employees as dead wood and their many years of contribution to Santa Clara.

A government of, for and by the people? Forget it. It is an extreme example of might makes right and, for now, Santana has the Mayor and Council nodding their heads and giggling with an intoxicated sense of self-worth.

She’s going to write a flowery two-page letter to the public on how Miles Barber and this paper are demeaning new employees when, in fact,we are defending long-term dedicated employees that have been overlooked.


  1. Bill Meyers 5 years ago

    This is absolutely ridiculous. How can this type of activity even be allowed to take place in our great city. Promotion from with in is a proven model for success. Santa should be fired immediately. This is not acceptable by any means. 700K is more than than most tech executives make in this valley. This makes me very disappointed.

  2. SCLifer 5 years ago

    Prior to this article I had no idea who Santana was or is. It seems that Deanna Santana is some piece of work. From a quick search I can see that she is always looking for a new job. Pondering the ‘Why is she here’ question. Doesn’t Santa Clara government do their homework? Why does Santa Clara allow this type of behavior? Can anyone from the city answer these or at least a comment?

    Seems like a trail of destruction follows this lady everywhere she has been from Dallas, Oakland, Sunnyvale, and now Santa Clara. oddly enough, with a salary package of $373,000, a monthly car allowance of $550, five weeks of “management leave” and a monthly housing allowance of $3,750 I would be a lifer there… All of this and a 45 year home loan at 1.1 million for 45 years at .065% interest. Not to mention the civic unrest that she seem to have the great ability to create. It just doesn’t seem like any of this would even be legal. If this doesn’t raise more questions or at a minimum some eye brows. I have lived in Santa Clara for 38 years. I know that the city used to be a good ole boys club, some things never change. I would not be surprised if Santana is the one who gave the approval for all of the high density housing we see ruining Santa Clara.

  3. Charles tovareus 5 years ago

    I have been told by employees that the new management is very disconnected from city employees and treat them with a sterile attitude that also they have a closed door policy when it comes to meeting with employees to hear their concerns. Nepotism is also running rampant causing frustration with career employees, elections are coming and it’s time to move out these empty minded puppets of a council and elect true representatives of our communities here in Santa Clara.

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