The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones: Waterloo in Santa Clara?

You remember your history? Napoleon had created a virtually unstoppable French army, marching through towns and villages like a Sherman tank through a cornfield.

On the verge of routing the Prussians and English forces in one monumental push, Napoleon made a fateful decision to conquer and capture both at once.

It was not to be. Napoleon’s forces were divided between separate armies of the opposition and eventually routed at Waterloo.


Divide and conquer has been used for centuries to gain power in every corner where people are motivated by power.

Sometimes voters are lucky and good people are elected to direct our many government bodies. On occasion, those elected reveal their true motives which do not promote the welfare of the people being represented.

Power, for the sake of power does not last forever.

Napoleon became Emperor of the French in 1804 and held power until 1814. Initially loved and appreciated for his brilliance in battle, his tactics of encounter are still studied to this day. It was to be expected that his many triumphs and over-assurance led to his eventual downfall.

Yet, so it is with even the most powerful: time wounds all heels.

Napoleon’s appetite for victory outpaced his eventual ability to cover all the bases and you know the outcome…he met that turbulent defeat at Waterloo.

Santa Clara’s current City Council is led by a most domineering Mayor in Lisa Gillmor. It is no surprise the one demand she expects from her Councilmember allies is absolute allegiance. As a result, her majority of faithful Councilmembers have voted her way 99% of the time for any proposal she has presented over the past six years.

However, the tide could soon turn. Just 60 days from now, Santa Clarans will determine if they will continue to endorse the “my way or the highway” current leadership or vote for a more balanced Council.

Current candidates for Council who promise to create that balance include two long term Planning Commissioners in Suds Jain and Anthony Becker. They have worked diligently for years on the Santa Clara Planning Commission. They have used their talents to create and deliver quality construction plans and development on dozens of projects.

Additional long-term residents and community workers include Kevin Park from the Westside, who is running against incumbent Teresa O’Neill. Park, an engineer, has been active at Council and is an outspoken critic of questionable voting actions by O’Neill.

Park is joined by Harbir Bhatia from the North side, who is challenging incumbent Kathy Watanabe.

Bhatia has been actively involved in many Santa Clara programs, projects and planning. Her 20 years of organizing huge events locally is a refreshing option for thoughtful consideration as opposed to the automatic “yes” vote for which Watanabe has been known.

When considering your vote, ask “What has this person done to make Santa Clara a better community? Are you safer, financially secure, happy with business partner relationships and know Santa Clara is being run with a vision of balance benefiting both business and residents?”

Maybe it is time for a Santa Clara Waterloo.


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