With elections completed the tourniquet on development will be removed.
The influx of campaign cash to the coffers of our elected Mayor has smoothed the way.
The Council Majority perpetuates its power to pound good people.
While two new Council Members will be joining our Leaders Circle, they will most likely be holding hands as the minority.
It is expected that Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy, representing new districts two and three, will find a compatriot in Pat Mahan. They may produce some new energy and insights on issues that will be coming before the Council.
It is going to be an interesting discussion when, and if, the Chamber of Commerce is ever allowed by the Council majority to present their side of the recent audit.
This was the audit that led the Council to terminate the Chamber’s 35-year management agreement of the Convention Center.
There is no question the audit raised some serious questions. No, not about the Chamber but about our City Council.
It turns out that the auditor appears to have a reputation of creating whatever result is desired. Since the Council wanted the Chamber to look bad, the auditor obliged.
In discussions with Convention Center personnel, they are practicing the same policies used by the Chamber for 35 years. Policies for which the Chamber was fired.
The auditor, Denise Callahan, is not a Certified Public Accountant. She holds a masters in public administration. She is the same auditor that worked for City Manager Deanna Santana in San Jose. This is when Santana was admonished by San Jose leaders for trying to paint the police department as lily white by using the same auditor.
If this is starting to sound fishy, you have an idea of just one issue our new Council Members will be addressing.
While researching City documents, there was no discovery of any bidding process for the Chamber and Convention Center audit. Apparently, this “audit” was awarded without normal process.
This would clear up several questions like: Why was the “audit” not put out through the normal bidding process? Why did the Council postpone the Chamber’s response until after the elections? Why has the Council postponed the Chamber’s response yet again? Why was there not full disclosure in that our City Manager had employed this same auditor in a prior engagement that was controversial?
It is now apparent the audit decision was arrived at before the audit was even started.
Besides the conflict of interest issue, there are the destructive motives behind this bogus audit that have hurt more than a dozen long term City employees. The audit results have damaged the reputation of the Chamber as Convention Center managers. In the past 10 years the Chamber has turned in millions to the City in addition to the $2.2 million profit they produced for Santa Clara in the last fiscal year.
Our new Council Members are going to taste quickly these bitter bites of B.S. as they take their seats to deal with the damaging drama of this Council.
Miles Barber was president of the Chamber board in 1984. He has continued to serve on the board periodically over the years.
Fresh eyes will bring fresh conclusions. 35 years is quite a time in place and all sorts of things happen when there is not fresh blood. How often was the Convention Ctr administration put out for bid?