Sizing up our City in succinct syllables of sound is a soliloquy of silliness.
While Shakespeare was a master at forming phrases filled with fortuitous fortune, failure and folly, most mortals are relegated to meek and modest meanderings.
Our City has a Shakespearean similarity; a dim and dark drama driven into dilemma by dubious decisions.
On a dark and dreary night at the City Council in 2015, our story begins.
The SF 49ers were poised to acquire the soccer park for game day parking. They had the Council votes and to them it was simply a business decision.
Councilmember Lisa Gillmor didn’t see it that way. She rallied the soccer moms and dads of Santa Clara to stop the surge by the 49ers. Hundreds of soccer folks found their way to City Hall and rallied, raved and cheered as the Council backed down in the face of vigorous opposition.
Skipping forward, the 49ers sought and found alternative parking and moved on.
Now, appointed Mayor Gillmor was not about to move on.
This was war and the 49ers were going to be flattened.
Gillmor convened the Charter Review Committee which was supposed to address district voting. Instead they proposed four ballot measures unrelated to district voting. The preservation of Ulistac Park measure was really designed to prevent new soccer facilities from being built there.
Turning to the next page, we witnessed the election campaign last fall; positioning the 49ers as the demon candidates and the Mayor’s candidates as the deliverers. The deliverers won.
However, while the war was over in the 49ers camp, it was only beginning for the Mayor and new Council.
The Grand Jury’s suggested audit was going to be the 49ers death knell. That hasn’t turned out so well. The City will probably owe the 49ers a million or more.
The Council then challenged the 49er incentive performance rent contract which was based on their success or failure as managers the first year the stadium was open. They did incredibly well and their rent (by contract) would reduce from $25 million to $17 million. The Mayor said no deal. Arbitration on this dispute will be held later this month with a price tag that could buy a new house.
Then came the Council’s refusal to exend the 10 p.m. stadium curfew for weeknights. The impact on our City is negative. Each major event at the stadium is worth $500K to $600K to our City’s general fund. U2 was allowed to play until 11 p.m. by the stadium management company. They were found to be in breach of the curfew and the Council fined ManCo $750.
This was followed by the Council-led challenge to open the Creek trail on event days. So far Gillmor hasn’t persuaded a majority of the Council to disregard the Department of Homeland Security.
So, this Shakespearean drama draws out in downtown as the duo of discontent debate.
However, we remain confused.
Is this play a comedy or tragedy?
You will have to be the judge.