Positioning herself to run Santa Clara for another four years is Mayor Lisa Gillmor.
The only measuring device appropriate to measure her success for the past six years would be a Richter scale. She has shaken the foundations of the City to the point of devastation.
Virtually everything she and her former Council allies touched has gone South.
Personnel, the budget, operations, maintenance, partnerships and projects have been hammered during her tenure.
The Gillmor guillotine decapitated City Manager Julio Fuentes, City Attorney Ren Nosky, Financial Manager Gary Ambling, acting City Manager Rajeev Batra, and these losses don’t count the long-term managers and staff that quit or were “reassigned”.
Even worse was her choice of replacements. Deanna Santana became Gillmor’s choice for City Manager, whose dubious decisions for Santa Clara are her hallmark. In just a few short years, Santana has been able to increase her compensation from $684,000 to nearly $800,000. That’s a 25 percent increase for the highest-paid city manager in California.
But there is more. In addition, Santa Clara has gone from a budget surplus to a projected $25 million deficit.
Santana’s “my way or the highway” management style has moved numerous long-term, quality, experienced and expert employees to the street or into becoming third assistant, stand in line, managers.
Her failure to keep her word and honor Santa Clara employee agreements is a disgrace. Add to her report card the mega-million budget deficit and it would appear the only financials she is managing are those securing her own personal financial package and her extensive real estate portfolio.
Gillmor also hired Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle. This bungler made such abysmal decisions he had to look up to see bottom.
With Mayor Gillmor’s blessing, Doyle foolishly followed his feelings instead of law, thinking he could win against California Voting Rights Act (CRVA) attorney, Robert Rubin. (Rubin NEVER lost a CRVA suit.) By the time this foolish decision was determined, he and Gillmor cost Santa Clara taxpayers SIX million dollars.
The bones and skeletons left by the Gillmor gang are the kind of historical markers most often seen in a graveyard as opposed to a public park. Not exactly monuments of magnificence.
And Gillmor wants another four years?
Let’s see. Gillmor decimated the Chamber of Commerce, fired the entire staff of the Convention Visitors Bureau, spent tens of thousands on bogus audits, blamed the 49ers for everything that’s gone wrong in Santa Clara, wasted millions on bogus lawsuits, fired some of the best managers anywhere, hired the likes of Doyle and Santana and she wants another four years? Is she smoking something?
Santa Clara Council needs to deal with the Gillmor/Santana carnage created by shoot from the hip decisions of detriment.
Voters will determine Gillmor’s fate in the November elections.
In the meantime, City Council, why is Santa Clara City Manager Santana still employed?