The Silicon Valley Voice

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Milestones: Other People’s Money

Often referred to as OPM, other people’s money is what you use to buy your home, your car, and many household items. This of course is when you buy on credit.

The Santa Clara City Council has found the use of OPM very handy in their political war with residents.

This past March, the City Council approved a potential change to the City Charter by offering up Measure C. If passed, this Measure would have approved three voting districts in Santa Clara which is in direct opposition to the Court ordered six districts that now are in play.

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The Council majority approved and supported Measure C and even produced a glossy brochure which was mailed to residents to “convince” them that three districts was better than six.

Voters did not “buy” the three-district theory. They rejected Measure C handily.

However, using City funds for a host of questionable items seems to be of little concern to this Council majority which maintains their suffocating hold on City Council.

You are probably aware this Council has filed numerous lawsuits against the City’s premier business partner, the SF 49ers. This Council wishes to be stadium managers using OPM to fund their legal challenges.

In addition, the City is involved in nearly a dozen additional on-going legal actions.

Santa Clara’s legal fees have sprouted like Jack’s beanstalk on steroids.

Now, if these issues were insufficient in raising your level of alarm, you might want to view a few of the actions of the current Administration.

Start with the use, or misuse, of OPM in Santa Clara. This Council has catapulted the compensation of City Manager Deanna Santana to one of the highest in California. It is most unusual (unheard of) for a city with only 130,000 residents to pay $700,000 to a city manager.

This Council has approved hundreds of thousands of dollars for public relations contracts. With nothing happening at the stadium, and most public activities on hold, “why”?

Remember the hundreds of thousands spent by this Council on audits and studies. The audit of the 49ers alone cost Santa Clara nearly $200,000 producing…nothing.

These items are only the skin of the onion in the money being directed to pay for questionable actions and activities in Santa Clara.

But then, if you possess the belief that it is okay to spend if its OPM, you may think you are off the hook.

Possibly residents who are paying the bills have a different perspective.

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