Four weeks ago, I respectfully submitted my letter of interest for appointment to the Council vacant seat. My message was structured responding to the thoughtful areas Council and audience members suggested should be addressed by any prospective applicant in the Council’s May 22 meeting to assist in council, and the public’s important vetting process. With less than five months remaining on the term, all I wanted to do was — the best — to serve Santa Clarans. Humility, an opportunity to heal and apply my judgment and common sense as best as I would, have been my operating principle for the council term remaining.
- Previous Candidacy for Council – I have run for a seat on City Council on previous occasions. I was successful on none. I sought appointment to Council in 2011, 2016 and 2018 when vacancies arose. Despite being a proven candidate with a viable record and strong community support was not appointed. In total, I received 35,811 votes of 110,551 total votes cast for the seats I competed in those previous elections. I appeared in approximately twenty candidate forums, sought endorsements from traditional stakeholders and media. The Mercury News notably endorsed me in each of the three campaigns in 2012, 2014, 2016 and again received coverage on May 29.
- Campaign Contributions – City records show I raised a total of estimated $140,634.02. Approximately 80% of that total came from individual City residents and 20% received from family and friends outside the City.
- No to Special Interests – My Campaign Disclosure Forms and Filings show that no developer/49er interest/chamber of commerce nor any other group has ever contributed nor ever been solicited to make any contribution to any of my campaigns.
- No to PAC’s – In my 2016 Council race, media reported that a certain blu-pac supported me, and two other candidates’ races. As I publicly stated on every occasion, I had not then, nor now any knowledge of any such dark money.
- Back to Future – On June 12, Council had a chance to appoint anyone out of final-five final ranked candidates — Forte, Haggag, Park, Jain & Nadeem. Mayor Gillmor, Vice Mayor Watanabe, Councilmembers Davis, and O’Neill registered their votes as 4-0 for the final-five candidates. Two council members, Patricia Mahan, and Pat Kolstad voted for none. We felt betrayed, time wasted and disgusted with politics. Measure Q passed in 2016 gave full authority to Council for appointments, and we didn’t. It was appalling.
With the Judge Kuhnle Court’s “Remedy Phase” pending decision with potential $2-$3 Million fines to the City and Council Districting Process Meetings, we find ourselves in a complete disarray with self-inflicted wounds. Over the years as leaders of the City, we failed to address demographic representation issue. Mayor Gillmor recently said: “the goal is to diversify our council.” As proud Santa Clarans, together we shall improve City’s image, reputation, and win the hearts and minds of all residents.
Hope you enjoyed City’s July 4rth fireworks with your family and friends.