We invited all Santa Clara City Council candidates to speak directly to the voters through The Weekly’s print publication and on the Silicon Valley Voice website. If you don’t know what District you’re in, please check the City’s District map on their website.
Candidates had a week to reply. We asked candidates to answer the following questions in 100 words or less:
- What’s your position regarding the City’s continued appeal of the voting rights lawsuit it lost in 2018 and what course of action would you advocate for?
- What do you think is the City’s major challenge and how would you address it?
- What do you think is the major challenge in your district and how would you address it?
- What is your view of Santa Clara’s current Council dynamics?
- What’s the first motion you would make as a Councilmember?
Here are the candidates’ answers, unedited. We note candidates who chose not to respond.
- As Council Member, I will vote to not pursue the city’s appeal of the voting rights lawsuit. The millions of dollars the city will spend on these lawsuits can be better utilized for our residents in this time of economic crisis Santa Clara is facing. I would much rather allocate the same resources to creating a fund to support our small businesses in Santa Clara.
- Economy. Santa Clara is facing a budget deficit crises of predicted $34 Million for the next four years. Here’s how we can increase revenue for our city without increasing residents tax burden: remove 10 pm curfew at Levis stadium allowing incremental revenue from events such as concerts, rebuild Franklin Square Downtown to include high density residential units such as apartments, explore programs to attract more small businesses in Santa Clara. Our resident’s safety is also important to me. Our Police Department does a great job, and I’m in support of defending, and not defunding our police.
- The current city council has not been able to solve Santa Clara’s economic challenges. We need representation by council members who understand business dynamics. I’m a Computer Engineer with an MBA in Entrepreneurial Strategy from Southern Methodist University. In my career I’ve negotiated many great business deals with C-level clients. I can offer these skills for the benefit of our city. Furthermore, I’ve battled and defeated depression related illness in my life and come out on top. We need such an optimistic mindset on our city council to overcome barriers and get things accomplished.
- The current city council dynamics is such that there are 4 council members who are usually aligned with each other. This majority has accomplished little. We need new ideas for the prosperity and safety of our city. I’m endorsed by the Republican Party and am a huge supporter of our President Donald J. Trump. I will successfully bring new ideas to our city council and I will get things accomplished.
- I would make a motion to remove the 10 pm curfew at Levis stadium for concerts and events. It takes substantial time to plan events and commit successful artists, and this will happen only when the curfew is lifted. Concerts and events generate substantial revenue for the city’s general fund, create hundreds of jobs and thus invigorate our Santa Clara economy. In this time of tremendous budget deficit in Santa Clara, we need to welcome revenue for our city from concerts and events. This is revenue that does not put a financial burden on our residents.
- I think the appeal is pointless. It is wasting Santa Claran’s money, it is wasting our city’s time. The judge ordered the 6 districts and no city has ever won an appeal of a CVRA lawsuit. This is a political agenda & a last attempt of certain individuals trying to retain & protect their power. I just don’t believe taxpayer money should be spent on that. As unfair as that seems, it comes down to districts serve the purpose to bring diverse voices that making better choices.
- Affordable Housing. Back when my parents were young they could buy a house, a car etc. My generation today can’t live that American dream. Many can’t afford the new housing being built while countless that make under six figures have to come up with unique ways to live around here. This is a major problem because the character of Santa Clara is wilting and I see a mass exodus because skyrocketing rents & cost of living is the incentive to pack up and go. I speak to parents who are afraid their children can’t live here in the future & will be priced out. We must stop this and plan a better future.
- Housing is a major challenge because lots of District 6 is residential. There are possibilities on Stevens Creek corridor but it cannot overly impact existing neighborhoods. We cannot make the same mistakes we made with projects on the El Camino Real where the developments dwarfed the single-family homes. Stevens Creek is also a major public transportation line which is why its attractive to development and also for the City of San Jose. We have to work with San Jose on development along their side of the corridor and find a balance. I want harmony and inclusion in housing development in District 6, especially affordable housing. Places to go and community gathering areas would be another challenge for D6.
- The city council is broken and divided. There’s always petty squabbling & hateful attacks. There’s too much bias and no room for compromise. We need to mend our relationships with fellow councilmembers, neighboring cities, the 49ers and other business entities. I often see certain council members just give everything away to developers and nothing for the community. I want to change the tone on the council by creating unity. I’ll return the kindness & common courtesy to the office. I am about building bridges rather than burning them. I have a communication & an open-door policy. I am always willing to have open ears, open eyes & an open mind.
- My first motion would be to end the appeal of the CVRA lawsuit and bring the nightmare to an end. This lawsuit has cost millions of dollars only because Santa Clara would not comply and convert to districts. The court ordered districts was the solution yet the city decided to appeal and spend more taxpayer money. Also included with my motion would be to implement 6 districts by ordinance like 29+ other cities have done in California protected under the CVRA. Time to move on and learn from our mistakes. What we learned was, districts work and lawsuits don’t. A Downtown plan is a close second place.
Robert Mezzetti – Did not respond