You might think after six months on the job you would have a handle on the issues. This does not appear to be the case of the Santa Clara 2020 elected City Council.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor, in step with City Manager Deanna Santana, continues to direct the new Council like a conductor brandishing a baton.
The two of them have kept the new Council occupied with a variety of nefarious tasks that take time, energy, and effort with little to show in the way of change or progress.
By keeping the Council engaged in a variety of assignments and time-robbing tasks, they have successfully held off the new Council from grabbing the steering wheel of serious decisions.
If Gillmor is one thing, she is a master at diverting, directing and dodging. Lest we forget: This is the same Mayor, under whose direction, brutalized Santa Clara.
Just to refresh your memory, Gillmor and her Council cohorts, 1) Decimated the Chamber of Commerce. 2) Obliterated the Convention and Visitors Bureau. 3) Closed David’s Restaurant, the golf course and filed an eminent domain action against David’s Banquet Facility. 4) She has given a free ride to The Related Companies, who had an exclusive negotiating agreement for the 240 acres of former golf course property without paying a dime of rent for almost eight years. 5) Picked numerous squabbles with the 49ers that first cost the City $70,000 for an audit proving nothing. 6) Refused to pay 49ers bills to the Stadium Authority which added millions to Santa Clara’s debt and legal fees. 7) Went crazy with her salary awards, more than doubling Santana’s compensation to $700,000 a year. 8) Forced out numerous talented and experienced long-term City employees. 9) Endorsed City Attorney Brian Doyle in his pursuit to challenge the California Voting Rights Act (twice), which has cost Santa Clara more than $5 million. This council hasn’t moved the needle.
More important, Gillmor still runs City meetings like there wasn’t a change last November. This Council needs to replay some of the former Stadium Authority meetings to remind themselves that Gillmor and her cohort, Kathy Watanabe, are alligators in Girl Scout uniforms.
Gillmor is planning two things. 1) She will run again next year for Mayor and 2) She wants Council Members Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy out on the street since they are up for re-election.
In the meantime, what has the new Council done? 1) They have not brought salaries in line and under control. 2) They haven’t resolved the budget deficit. 3) They haven’t replaced Attorney Doyle who is a disgrace to the City and, 4) residents are still waiting for the preemptive action they promised.
While the wheels of progress sometimes turn slowly, most voters would just like to see them turn.