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Milestones (OPINION)

Santa Clara has been fortunate in having some very talented staff members who have made wonderful contributions to our City.

While many of our elected politicians come and go and come again, it is usually different when staff members leave as it is usually into retirement.

One of our memorable members on City Staff was Rajeev Batra who retired in September.


Rajeev had served Santa Clara for 15 years as Director of Public Works before he was tapped to become Interim City Manager in March 2016. This appointment followed the abrupt departure of former City Manager Julio Fuentes.

Perhaps one of the most likeable traits of Batra is his sense of humor.

Even during some of the dark moments during his term, he found a way to see the humor rather than the horror of what was happening at the time.

This was one of Batra’s best gifts and helped maintain the sanity of his staff and co-workers as they dealt with the many difficult issues, daily upsets and disruptions taking place in our City.

One of the insightful quips he made during a brief meeting one morning following a Council Meeting that centered on the 49ers management of the stadium was as follows:

Batra: “I have a serious problem!”

Attendee, “Oh…and what’s that?”

Batra: “ I don’t know how to run a stadium.”

On September 22 this year, he had an informal retirement party in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The Chambers were packed to a standing room only crowd of co-workers and friends who came to pay tribute to him for his years of service.

Perhaps the funniest event of the party was Batra’s salute to David Letterman with his own top ten reasons for retiring at this time.

Since the community was not able to be there we thought it might be fun to share Rajeev’s comments which are as humerous as you would expect, and reflective of the state of the City.

Here they are for your reading pleasure:

Top 10 Reasons Why I Decided to Retire Now by Rajeev Batra

  1. Tired of always asking “Where is Alan?”
  2. Every Council meeting we hear from some public member “Staff has their head up their @*$*.” I’ve decided to take my head out.
  3. Very sore from being the ball slapped around in the political ping pong game.
  4. Feel young but some parts have already retired, like my brain.
  5. Running out of shoe polish for my head.
  6. Don’t have to look at my calendar to set up tee time or doctor appointments.
  7. I can actually attend a 49ers game without being accused of being on their side by some bloggers.
  8. Instead of thinking should I go to Fire Station 3 or Fire station 4 today I will be thinking is it a 3 iron or 4 iron.
  9. Bye bye tension, hello pension!
  10. My wife, Anu, got tired of being the interim First Lady.

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