The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones: Out of Balance

Perhaps the most important quality missing from our City Council is balance.

Having the odd number of Council representatives at seven, does provide some protection from votes being tied.

However, the issue in Santa Clara is simple. The majority wins with four votes.


Mayor Lisa Gillmor knew this going in and worked hard at establishing her majority.

Actually, it may not have been that difficult when you evaluate the three Council Members she chose to be her backup supporters: Debi Davis, Teresa O’Neill and Kathy Watanabe.

Not one of these three have been known for having visionary ideas, creative or intuitive skills, or an independent bone.

Conversely, the three remaining Council Members of Patty Mahan, Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal, represent independent thought, balanced ideas and common-sense voting.

In most cases, you would think common sense would make the most sense to the majority of our delegates. This has not proven to be a reality.

If the Mayor wants her proposal to pass, it will, whether with sense or senseless.

In many cases over the past few years the vote has been four to three with the Mayor and her three supporters leading the charge for approval.

Like the Millennial skyscraper in San Francisco, if the foundation is not level and solid, the building will tilt and become unbalanced.

This is what has happened to our Council. It is out of balance.

For this reason, our residents pay the price for imbalance.

Remember these Council majorities made accusations against businessman and Chamber of Commerce member Ravinder Lal? He was asked by UPS Corporate to consider taking over the store in our Convention Center because it was failing.

This Council majority accused him of self-dealing, conflict of interest, and inappropriate behavior.

Our City Manager also alleged the Convention Center had no authority to make him this or any lease agreement.

More than a year later it turns out there was no self-dealing, he did have the right to negotiate with the Convention Center and he did everything legally and by the book, according to UPS Corporate.

As a result, he finally inked the agreement to take over the UPS store.

Not even a mumble of apology from this Council majority which thoughtlessly attacked Lal’s reputation and business.

This is the lack of balance we are addressing. It would be a different story if the confrontations with community companies was an oversight. But the hard-core attacks on independent businesses in Santa Clara is a direct reflection on this Council’s non-balance.

The balance on this Council is more like the leaning tower of Pisa than the Empire State Building.

The relentless attacks on the 49ers, Chamber of Commerce, and prominent individuals is out of touch with reality.

Let’s restore balance to our Council that can and will bring vision, growth, partnerships and prosperity to our community.


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