The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Milestones: Why Read Opinion

Is there any good reason you should read an opinion column?

Especially this one?

After all, it is just this writer’s opinion made up from observations by watching, listening, reading and discussing,


There is no intent to fabricate, embellish, twist, change or manufacture facts. What is, just is…and from that, you and I come to an opinion.

There is no need to make anything up. The current political decisions and climate provides more intrigue than most novels.

For example, the City firing the Chamber of Commerce after 35 years of volunteer service by using a hired gun. The City never offered any oversight or suggestions to the Chamber to make this long-term partnership better. Never a suggestion for improvement or do this or that, so things work better. Instead, the Council used a suspect auditor and audit to damage and destroy the only organization in the City to champion businesses and our City’s tourist business.

The Council and City Manager followed these actions with public statements about years of missing documents, expenses and reports. Of course, this Council never reported that after weeks of sorting and archive searching the Chamber found and provided virtually every document.

And you may ask, “Well, why doesn’t the Chamber just sue the City?” This is not the point. The question should be “Why should our Chamber need to sue or be treated by this Council and City Manager as criminals?” Especially since they turned in $2.2 million to the City in their last year of management.

This Council and Manager have managed to spend most of that $2.2 million profit on a massaged audit, consultants, studies and search costs for a new management company.

Our City Manager, Deanna Santana, was hired in by this Mayor and Council with a $700,000 package. She has added 11 assistants averaging $300,000 annually. Most of these are old cronies from prior points of employment. Long term City employees have been forced out or moved to other departments.

Now here is the request: draw your own conclusion and please form your own opinion.

You may also consider this: the California Voting Rights lawsuit we lost at a cost of $3.2 million was avoidable. This Council was warned three times and did nothing. As you may be aware, this Council has appealed the court’s decision. This kind of appeal can take years to resolve, as our Council knows.

The funds will be locked up in an award bond that will accrue at as much as 7%. So, when the funds are finally paid out, it could be on other elected Council Members watch. Clever idea; make future incoming Councils pay the bill.

Do you have an opinion yet?

If you read Carolyn Schuk’s article last week, you know this Council acted to enforce a weeknight curfew on our stadium. We’ve finally received confirmation that a world-class act, Ed Sheeran, refused to play at Levi’s due to the weeknight curfew and took his show to San Francisco. The City lost close to $1 million in revenue.

The question I would ask is this? “Why is our Council majority making decisions that damage good people, burn bridges, break partnerships, and lavishly spend your City funds?

If you can’t form an opinion from these issues, skip reading this column.


Miles Barber was president of the Chamber board in 1984. He has continued to serve on the board periodically over the years.


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