Four years ago, in 2018, a new face appeared on the political scene in Santa Clara. A young man named Anthony Becker filed to run for mayor against Lisa Gillmor. Becker had limited experience, little funding, marginal support and was a virtual unknown.
As expected, Gillmor won in a landslide, spending the tens of thousands of dollars that flowed into the Santa Clara police union PAC from developers doing business in Santa Clara.
What was not expected was that Mr. Unknown, Anthony Becker, received 25% of the vote while spending only a few thousand dollars.
Becker was young, he was energetic and he knew Santa Clara desperately needed new leadership.
Looking ahead, Becker ran for City Council in 2020 to join Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy already on council. It was apparent that voters agreed with Becker and elected him along with Suds Jain and Kevin Park to create a new majority on City Council. The Gillmor majority was out, and the new council was in.
The newly elected council immediately began to examine the decisions of the Gillmor Gang, which had run the city for years without discipline or direction.
The new council was stonewalled. Mayor Gillmor’s appointments of Deanna Santana as City Manager and Brian Doyle as City Attorney made progress, transparency and accountability virtually impossible.
Attorney Doyle’s spurious legal counsel and Santana’s dogmatic management style left little room for the new council to move the City out of chaos.
As the new council recognized the issues, Anthony Becker led the new coalition to terminate the services of Doyle. Doyle’s departure brought community approval for Becker and the new council.
With that action completed, the focus centered on Santana. Her $800,000 compensation package was a concern because Gillmor had approved a year of additional pay in the event of Santana’s termination. That poison pill didn’t work, and the council still ousted Santana.
In a brilliant move, Becker and the council brought back Rajeev Batra as interim City Manager. Batra has returned discipline, direction and determination — that is dynamite.
Now Anthony Becker is back and running for Mayor again. This time with credentials, experience and actions that make him a qualified candidate.
What a refreshing opportunity for Santa Clara. Anthony Becker will make an excellent Mayor and one the City of Santa Clara can be proud to support without need to apologize.
It would be great never to ask again, why is Lisa Gillmor still Mayor?