Absolutely, our Mayor should have a PR firm working under her direction to shape public opinion. The choice of Banner Public Affairs fits the bill. And, speaking of bills, at $450 an hour the burn rate is intense. Though the Mayor’s calendar shows no meetings with Pete Hillan from Banner, he shows on his calendar numerous meetings with the Mayor.
Our Mayor and her three associates have preached transparency to the public with such effervescence, you would want to believe them. But, does transparency in government only apply to those dumb enough to be transparent?
How can our Mayor spend hours and days working with Banner and never report it on her calendar? Is there more here the public should know?
More curious is the PR firm was hired at the urging of the Stadium Authority to specifically handle relations with the 49ers and stadium issues. Banner was nearly twice the price of the other two bidders. What happened to the City’s policy of selecting the lowest bidder? It appears that no one on the Stadium Authority Board knew that Banner was selected or how. Another foggy result of “transparent activity.”
From the reports Mr. Hillan supplied the City, he has worked on and billed the City for, a wide range of items unrelated to stadium issues. While the contract was to be written and paid for by the Stadium Authority, it turned out to be a City contract.
While Hillan reports and bills for services in May and June 2017, his contract was not approved until July 17, 2017 to be effective July 1. Transparently speaking, do the taxpayers of Santa Clara get stuck with those charges?
Truthfully, transparency in Santa Clara government is anything but.
Based on the Banner expose, the public is not being informed of deals being made, accountability for expenditures of taxpayer funds, retroactive contracts, ignoring competitive bids and whitewashing elected officials’ calendars.
If the public really knew the whole truth they would probably be marching on City Hall, and it wouldn’t be a parade.
We do know the Mayor and her team have burned through millions of taxpayer reserves, while at the same time reducing stadium-driven revenue and new construction projects.
Now, the Mayor is turning to the new high-powered and high-priced City Manager, Deanna Santana. The Mayor wants Santana to deliver the Darlings of Disruption from desperate disbursements devilishly designed to drive disagreement into despair. Deflection is the direction of the day. Deflect the deals being done and redirect the dire deeds onto the Duchess of Dimes and Dollars to defend.
Good luck with that one.
Remember the Alamo?
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