Rumor is that Mayor Lisa Gillmor will be on the ballot for Santa Clara Mayor in November. She has totaled 19 years on City council since first elected and served as Mayor the past ten years.
Wait a minute you ask, “How can she serve so long as on Council and Mayor when there are term limits?” Good question. Gillmor left Council after terming out following two four-year terms and was waiting for any opportunity to return.
That opportunity came to fruition when Jamie Matthews was elected mayor and Gillmor was then appointed to serve his remaining term.
Following Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium in 2016, Mayor Matthews abruptly resigned. Many questions regarding his departure remain to this day. Matthews has not been heard from since the time he left.
It was rumored that Gillmor lobbied the then-current council to appoint her mayor. This was later confirmed in private conversations with council members. Kathy Watanabe was appointed to serve the remainder of Gillmor’s term, providing Gillmor with a guaranteed majority that gave Gillmor a free run of the City with virtually no opposition until 2020.
Gillmor’s time as an appointed council member and mayor did not count as elected time so she could then actually run for office in 2018. That she did and was elected to the council again.
In addition, she backed candidates who bought into her “take no prisoners” philosophy of management and they were elected. This gave Gillmor a free run of the City with virtually no opposition until 2020.
By that time, Gillmor had pushed out the city manager and city attorney and replaced them with like-minded lackeys who drove out numerous long-term employees.
Talented long-term City employees were ignored for promotion and, in some cases, salary increases. Others were simply replaced. A number of City bargaining units were mistreated and overlooked when it came to salary adjustments. Promises made were not always kept.
When 2020 rolled around, voters said, “Enough!” The electorate chose more balanced candidates who were objective in their thought process and Gillmor found herself without a majority. This was the first time she didn’t have dominant rule in years.
The new council spent a great deal of time dealing with Gillmor appointments like questionable attorney Brian Doyle and $800,000-a-year City Manager, Deanna Santana.
It is a pleasure to witness the courage of the current council. The vindictive power of Mayor Lisa Gillmor no longer has teeth.
While democracy is a slow and deliberate process, almost always the voters eventually get it right.
In November, voters will have the opportunity to further improve the performance of City Hall and the leadership in Santa Clara. It is time.