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Milestones: With Appreciation! – Opinion

Congratulations to the voters of Santa Clara!

You have moved from a “my way or the highway” City Council to a much more moderate approach and application to public government.

Congratulations to Suds Jain, Kevin Park, and Anthony Becker who walked a great deal, talked to so many, and were convincing enough to win resident’s vote and become new Council Members.

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In a close race in District 1, Kathy Watanabe defeated Harbir Bhatia by a few hundred votes. This was Bhatia’s first run at public office and she made an impressive showing in her desire to unseat incumbent Watanabe.

Watanabe will now join Mayor Lisa Gillmor in what we will call the “minority” since they represent the tired antics that have tied the hands of politics in Santa Clara for years.

Jain, Park, and Becker will join Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy as the new “majority” which unquestionably will bring a more moderate and thoughtful approach to financial decisions, operations, and management.

What is exciting in this process is to see the election of three candidates of diversity. Raj Chahal broke the “white barrier” in 2018, which had made up Santa Clara’s Council for 50 years. This election of three new Council additions represents more of the ethnic makeup and diversity of Santa Clara. This is truly a breath of fresh air.

Most likely we will witness the return of the 49ers to the Stadium Authority meetings. Having been treated so rudely by former Council Members, the 49ers stopped attending. With that in mind, it would be my guess that stadium revenues may not jump in the short term due to COVID. However, as we return to normal, revenues will rocket for both the 49ers and the City.

There are many areas of concern for the new Council. One of the most demanding is filling the projected $34 million shortfall. The prior Council made some costly decisions that the new Council will need to address.

It might be wise for a few of the employees who have been added to the City payroll over recent years, to dust of their resumes and begin looking at their options. The new Council has already sent up smoke signals they are prepared to make some changes.

What is also encouraging, is the energy this new Council brings to Santa Clara. We may see City business return to normal as opposed to the abnormal actions taken in recent years.

Who won this election? The residents and voters of Santa Clara. Congratulations again and thank you for your interest, your vote and your enthusiasm.

Support your new Council!

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3 Comments
  1. CSC 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Both of these are spot on: “One of the most demanding is filling the projected $34 million shortfall” and “It might be wise for a few of the employees who have been added to the City payroll over recent years, to dust of their resumes and begin looking at their options.”

    Compounding the revenue deficit brought on by COVID and overly generous compensation packages, don’t forget that the City of Santa Clara has the highest percentage criminal-cop police department in the Bay Area, if not the entire state, that has cost taxpayers millions over the past couple years. $6.7M to Danielle Burfine, $1.7M Austin Calhoun, $500k Mohammed Moneeb and there is still an investigation under way that will look into potential criminal or policy violations committed by Philip Cooke and Brian Gilbert, while they were employed by SCPD, who both plead guilty to federal crimes just a few weeks ago.

    A random sampling of police officer salaries shows the average beat cop in Santa Clara receives $159,642 annual base whereas a similar experienced peace officer in bordering Campbell receives $129,460 and in Sunnyvale $133,947. Sunnyvale’s public safety officers are both cops and firemen providing a much higher skillset to the community. If the City of Santa Clara lowered base salaries to match the City of Campbell, it would save approximately $4M per year. Given the high amount of criminal and policy violating cops Santa Clara produces, there’s no way they can claim they hire and train the best – salaries should be reduced. In addition to ethnic diversity, the new crop of city council members appear to be very educated, hopefully they have the backbone to make decisions in the best interest of residents.

  2. SC 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Thanks to all the voters who voted! Looking forward to the issue debates and changes (some being very tough I’m sure) that the new council will make.

  3. Davy L. 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Hooray! Hooray! Let’s also end the lawsuits, and make the six District elections permanent. The good guys finally won!

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