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Milestones: Two Wrongs Are Still Not a Right

Yes, I was wrong. In my column last week, I misstated the timeline of Fire Chief Bill Kelly’s conversations with City Manager Deanna Santana. Also, Santana did in-fact ask Kelly to stay until June. My apology for that mistake.

On the other hand, was the essence of my column accurate?



While the City Manager brushes off the substance of my column like crumbs from a table, she denies reality, pointing a finger at an independent recruiting agency for being at fault.

This firm “inadvertently” posted the Chief’s job prematurely, which did create some surprise to the Chief and his staff.

Who recruited and directed this agency?

Oh, that’s right, our City Manager. She did terminate the agency for “jumping the gun,” stating it was totally their fault.

In talking with the agency personally, they would not confirm or deny and offered “no comment.”

While Santana acknowledges this faux pas happened, she accuses me of totally fabricating facts, while dismissing the core of my column.

While we are on the topic of fabrication, the issues I mentioned regarding recruitment, replacement and reassignment of long-term City employees is a reality she refuses to acknowledge. In addition, have you noticed the new employee salaries she’s been giving out? It’s like Santa Claus in a candy store.

Now, the City is allegedly discussing new taxes to increase revenue. This could include a corporate head tax on employees. Of course! Someone must pay these sky-high salaries and benefits.

There is also another prior column issue. The chastising of me by the Mayor’s hired gun, as she addressed the approval process of the UPS franchise at the Convention Center.

Wrapped in a package of bureaucratic meanderings, Santana dresses me down as an uninformed resident out of touch policy and how the City works.

Perhaps I am not the most informed person in Santa Clara, yet, like many residents, I do recognize behavior, good and bad. One of the rare qualities we expect from our elected and appointed officials is…integrity.

Frankly Ms. Santana, judging from the Council’s hostile remarks about the Chamber from the start of the Convention Center Audit, it is my opinion that the verdict was already decided.

The job of compiling the “right” evidence was given to a past associate of yours with a proven record of delivering your desired results. There is little question in my mind the outcome was determined by you and the Mayor long before it was delivered to the public.

The Chamber of Commerce is made up of over 400 businesses in Santa Clara. Board members who volunteer their time, are elected by the membership. Every member of the Chamber Board is in business. Yet, your auditor attacked a Chamber Board member for the “appearance” of self-dealing.

As many of us knew at the time, including you and the Council majority, it was UPS Corporate who contacted the buyer about assuming the UPS lease at the Convention Center. This acquisition wasn’t even on the buyer’s radar.

Adding insult to the buyer’s process, he spent the past full year dealing with City bureaucratic posturing before receiving final City approval last month for the UPS Convention Center lease.

Getting some things right, even eventually, doesn’t make right the wrongs.


Miles H. Barber has been on the Chamber Board on and off until he resigned in January 2019.


1 Comment
  1. John Smith 5 years ago

    It’s interesting that Miss Santana sends out City press release to dispute claims but she doesn’t answer question about her own ethics. The fire chief that she hired and gave $100,000 raise, is related to her, did she disclose that information???

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