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.
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!