The City Council “grudge match” against the SF 49ers has escalated to a new low.
Following the disappointing results of an expensive taxpayer audit, Mayor Gillmor has called for another audit hoping for a different result.
As Council Member Dominic Caserta said, “Are you kidding?”
Watching the audit review and results Thursday night was painful. Not so much as to what was reported, but the defense of the audit offered up by the Mayor and her Council allies.
One could only be hopeful that completion of the audit would bring an end to the controversy and dissention. Somehow, it would not be too much to expect that the audit results would allow an opportunity for our Council to end the war and declare peace.
It doesn’t look that way.
The emotional and passionate argument put forth by Council Member Terresa O’Neill was a demonstration of determination to justify a year of disturbing distraction. That was painful.
O’Neill, who has been known for her thoughtfulness and objectivity, went over the edge in her defense of the audit and in turn, cast doubt on her own objectiveness.
However, that is how it is when you have been so immersed in a belief for so long that even the facts cannot dispel beliefs or modify positions. This was so much out of character for O’Neill who has been a strong supporter of the Mayor but has voted her own conscience on numerous issues.
Perhaps the most pointed and descriptive presentation of the night were comments made by Police Chief Mike Sellers. In his comments, he nailed it. The accusations, allegations and assertions against the 49ers that have continued by the Mayor and Council for the past year “must stop!” These comments are hurting our City and have divided our citizens.
Sellers noted that in his 32-year career with SCPD he has never experienced such polarization within Santa Clara.
What we know is that these issues have caused some very nice people to become not so nice.
Once savvy and rather balanced individuals have become attached to an argument that should never have started. This has caused our Council and our residents a year of pain and division.
It would be unfortunate for Santa Clara if this war continued.
However, ego is an unpredictable commodity.
The desire to be right is a powerful deterrent to rational behavior.
Nonsense can replace common sense.
Sound ideas are exchanged for ideas that sound good.
Few decisions are made for the common good and uncommon decisions are made for the few.
Open discussion to achieve agreement becomes closed discourse, division and disagreement.
Optimistically we can hope for healing of our Council. Realistically, this will be difficult.
We are all aware that making the same bad choices over and over expecting a different result is totally dysfunctional behavior.
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