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Santa Clara Council Calendars Show New Developer Meetings in July

The July City Council calendars are out, and one thing is still clear: previous months have not been edited to reflect missed meetings. There continues to be no mention of Peter Hillan, Banner Public Affairs, and, given the City’s recent rent battle with the 49ers, no mention of Sam Singer, the City’s contracted public affairs consultant, less one introductory meeting between the communications professional and Mayor Lisa Gillmor back in February. However, there are still plenty of Council Member meetings to note in July.

The Mayor began her month by attending the annual 4th of July picnic at Central Park and followed it with an introductory meeting on July 5 with Emily DeRuy of the San Jose Mercury News.

On July 6, Gillmor recorded a meeting with Cupertino’s Mayor Darcy Paul, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Ahlborn and Related lobbyist Jude Barry about “hyperloop opportunities.”  The hyperloop project, first reported earlier this month, will ideally travel from San Jose’s Diridon Station to DeAnza College with the bulk of track barreling down Stevens Creek Boulevard through the Santa Clara/San Jose border.


Barry’s involvement in this project remains unknown. In the past year, he had meetings about transportation with Council Member Teresa O’Neill (Mar. 7 of this year and Sept. 29 and Aug. 18 of last) and Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe (Apr. 5, but recorded as “transpiration”). But his most recent lobbyist report, dated July 12, lists Related as his only client.

Gillmor also had a meet and greet introduction with Santa Clara University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Michael Crowley and Assistant Vice President of University Operations Chris Shay on July 12, and on the 17th, met with Watanabe, O’Neill, Assembly Member Kansen Chu and Chu’s field representative Simeone Chien regarding “legislation, state budget and district issues.” Additionally, the Mayor met with resident Vicky Field and Westgate Church’s Local Compassion Pastor Finny Abraham about volunteer opportunities.

The Mayor had a single developer meeting in July. On July 24, she met with John Hyjer, first vice president of investments with Equity Residential regarding 3131 Homestead Road, the site of the Laguna Clara Apartments, where the developer hopes to build a four-story, 585-unit urban-infill project to replace the current 86 unit complex.

Her last two meetings of interest occurred on July 27 when Gillmor had a meeting about City Place with Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Director David Bini and Steve Flores, business manager for United Association of Journeymen Local 393  and a second meeting with Rudolph and Sletten’s John Elwood and Lou Mariani and Linda Lecca of Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant. Elwood is listed as being with Mariani’s — not with his employer, a developer.

The Vice Mayor spent the first two weeks of the month attending public events and meetings, as well as the funeral for former Mayor and Council Member Larry Marsalli and she provided an interview about the Chamber of Commerce to David Louie of KGO-TV.

On July 13, Watanabe, along with O’Neill, met with Prometheus’ Executive Vice President and Partner of Development Jon Moss and Development Director Marilyn Ponte regarding 575 Benton Street, a 355 apartment complex that includes eight live-work units, 650 parking spaces, 1,601 square feet of office space, 346 square feet for a pet spa, 1,528 square feet of bike amenity space, three private courtyards and one public courtyard, 19,985 square feet of retail space, 2,364 square feet of potential commercial space and an amenity roof deck with 4,341 square feet of club room and a fitness center.

Five days later, on July 18, Watanabe met with John Hirokawa regarding his candidacy for Santa Clara County Sheriff and two days later had a meeting with Karina Dominguez about her candidacy for Milpitas City Council.

On July 25, Watanabe met with residents Lavell Souza, John Lesnick, Jamie Brick, Hung Le and Kevin Park about the 1530-1540 Pomeroy Ave. project, a proposed development of eight two-story townhomes to replace two single-family homes and miscellaneous small outbuildings. One day later, she met with Hunter Properties’ Director of Development Josh Rupert and Chairman of the Board Edward Storm about the Gateway Crossing project, a mixed-use development of 1,600 apartments, a 182,000-square-foot full-service hotel and 15,000 square feet of ancillary retail, surface and structured parking facilities, public and private streets, neighborhood park and open space at 1205 Coleman Ave.

The Vice Mayor ended her month by meeting with resident Hazel Abalgado about community issues on July 28 and Council District 2 Candidate Nancy Biagiani about her campaign on the same day.

O’Neill’s July began with her monthly resident Q&A on July 1, which she followed with a call a day later with resident Alycia Burgoon about the catchall “city issues.” She, too, recorded a meeting with Rupert and Storm about the Gateway Crossing project on July 11 and attended Marsalli’s funeral on July 13.

Later that day, she attended the 575 Benton Street project meeting with Watanabe before sitting down with Santa Clara Unified School District Board (SCUSD) of Trustees candidate Vickie Fairchild, Santa Clara Unified Parents (SCUP) treasurer Peta Roberts and educator Tiffany Anderson about SCUSD issues and the upcoming board elections this November.

Schools continued to hold a presence on O’Neill’s calendar with the Council Member meeting with former president and board member of the California School Boards Association (CSBA) Josephine Lucey and Santa Cruz County Office of Educators Area 4 Trustee Rose Filicetti on July 16 regarding “public schools issues.”

O’Neill also attended the July 18, 18 and 20 trail on the Ladonna Yumori Katu et. al. v. the City of Santa Clara, or the voting rights lawsuit that resulted in eliminating citywide Council voting for districted council seats and a citywide mayor election process.

On July 24, O’Neill met with Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Nick Kaspar about the Convention-Visitors Bureau and had a conference call with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)’s Deputy Director Dennis Radcliffe and Caroline Gonot about the Berryessa Extension.

Finally, O’Neill ended her month with four resident meetings: Nancy Biagini about her candidacy for Council Seat 2, Mayuri Restaurant owner Sam Kumar regarding “city issues,” Raj Chahal about his candidacy for Council Seat 2 and Luis Lecanda regarding board and commission openings.

Council Member Debi Davis kept a light July calendar mostly filled with public events and meetings. However, she did have a meeting with Moss and Ponte on July 16 regarding the 575 Benton Street project, as well as sitting down with residents Rich Bonito and Howard Myers about Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant on July 18 and meeting with lobbyist Cynthia James about Great America on July 26.

In addition to attending Marsalli’s funeral, Council Member Pat Kolstad had a phone call with Ray Hashimoto, principal of HMH Engineering, about an unnamed new development on July 11 and notched a meeting with Rupert and Storm about Gateway Crossing on July 16.

Council Member Patricia Mahan only had public meetings and events listed on her July calendar.

While meetings have not been added to Council Calendars to reflect previous errors and many meetings go unrecorded completely, the Council Calendars give some insight to the vast amount of time Santa Clara’s elected officials spend meeting with lobbyists and developers about pending and proposed projects within the City.  View all Council Member calendars at

Read our coverage of June’s here.


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