The Silicon Valley Voice

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Milestones (OPINION)

It should be obvious to most residents of Santa Clara that not every citizen sees City issues the same way. That was proven again during our last election.

The general rule in American politics is the winner is determined by the majority vote. Which usually works in most elections if you omit the electoral college.

If you find yourself in the minority after an election does it indicate you were on the wrong side?

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That depends.

In Santa Clara, there are thousands who are very happy with our local elections.

There were many promises made on our City scene that motivated us to cast our vote for a chosen candidate. Our decision, for or against, was based on the rhetoric that captured our attention and our votes.

The objective of our elected City officials should be to conduct the business of our City with studious consideration of the issues, with an objective view leading to prudent decisions.

Considering the past few months of Council deliberation, that is a viewpoint which may be overly optimistic.

Our Council has chosen on too many occasions to play “kick the can.”

Let’s look at a few of these postponements and disappointments.

The Council was warned two years ago in a letter from civil rights attorney Robert Rubin that Santa Clara needed to revise its election process, creating wider and diverse representation.

Currently five of our seven Council members live in the same neighborhood.

The Council appointed a Charter Review Committee to examine the issue last year. They came up with four ballot measures, none of which dealt with redistricting or restructuring our election process.

Mr. Rubin wrote another letter of warning to the Council last October, with no response. Finally, last month, Rubin and the Asian Alliance filed their lawsuit against Santa Clara.

In response, the Council reestablished the Charter Review Committee to try again.

The can was kicked again when the City refused to honor the 49ers rent reset contract, and that lawsuit will be heard this summer.

Speaking of contracts, did we mention that our private stadium security company, Landmark, sent the Council their renewal contract two months ago. The Council sat on it for two months until Landmark threatened a law suit for $5 million in damages. Council approved it in a special session.

By now the can is getting badly dented. But there is more.

BAREC is a great development site on Winchester near Valley Fair. The contract for developing housing for seniors and veterans was awarded two years ago to CORE. In February, the Council awarded a $120,000 no-bid contract to a New York design firm to redesign the project which will delay this approved and needed housing for at least another year.

Last week, our battered can was kicked again as the Council voted to put a hold on all new development on El Camino Real until we have a new $910,000 study completed.

Maybe we should ask for a study of how we can motivate Council Members to conduct City business without more studies.

Those who can, do. Those who can’t, kick.

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The Mlnarik Law Group, Inc.

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