More games by the Gillmor Gang.
The Charter Review Committee of Santa Clara met recently.
The decision of the committee was to ask residents of the City if they want three districts. This will become a ballot measure in March 2020.
Of course, this would be in deference to the six districts we currently have that residents seem to like. In a survey on the topic, 238 responded with 66% saying they liked the six-district plan.
As a result of having six districts, we comply with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). Most important, we now have our first minority on City Council in 50 years, which was the intent of the Act.
Note: The superior court has already determined that the City should have six districts, however it seems the Mayor thinks six districts gives too much power to the voters. Mayor Gillmor believes she has more influence and control when less is more.
The CVRA was invoked on Santa Clara last year after the Asian Law Alliance and attorney Robert Rubin sued the City for ignoring the law and discriminating against minorities with their at-large voting system.
And while we are on that subject, this Council totally ignored two warning letters from Mr. Rubin for years. This has cost our taxpayers millions. We didn’t need to spend these millions had the previous Charter Review Committees and Council created districts and cleaned up their act.
We haven’t paid the more than $4 million in legal expenses…yet, since it is on appeal. However, it is accruing interest at our expense.
As you know, our Mayor and Council don’t believe the courts are right and appealed the court’s decision. The appeal may be heard and settled next Spring. This creates time for Mayor Gillmor to influence voters to buy into her three-district proposal. She is hoping residents will support her Charter Review Committee’s proposal for only three districts to strengthen her case
If voters support this ballot proposition, she will return to court and say: “Look at this Mr. Judge, the people don’t want six districts, they only want three!”
The actual reason she wants three districts is simply because it would increase the likelihood of reelection for incumbents that support her and her agenda of centralized power.
What we have continually witnessed since Lisa Gillmor became Mayor is the systematic dismantling of the balance of power in Santa Clara. The removal and replacement of key employees has led to a political regime that rivals Tammany Hall. (Look it up).
The Council minority of Patty Mahan, Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy have limited ability to stop the onslaught of outrageous decisions. Just to name a few: the firing the Chamber of Commerce as managers of the Convention Center, the firing and termination of the entire Department of Visitor and Tourism, the vote to initiate termination of the San Francisco 49ers as managers of our stadium and the costly lawsuit and appeal over the California Voting Rights Act lawsuit ruling.
It has taken court action to create the multiple districts in Santa Clara and make this long-overdue change.
It will require the good sense of voters to restore sanity to Santa Clara government.