Santa Clara voters have several decisions to make this Nov. 8, 2022. High on the list is who will lead the City in the coming four years.
Santa Clara Mayor’s Race
There are two people running for Mayor this year.
Incumbent Lisa Gillmor is seeking a second term in office. Gillmor has served Santa Clara for several decades, either in the capacity as the City’s mayor or as a member of the City Council.
Meanwhile, District 6 Council Member Anthony Becker seeks to unseat Mayor Gillmor. Becker also ran for the office in 2018 but many voters felt he lacked experience for the role. Now, after two years as a member of the City Council, Becker is back.
The two candidates offered their visions for Santa Clara during the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara Candidate Forum on Sept. 29. For a comprehensive recap of the forum, click here.
City Council District 2 Seat
Current City Council Member Raj Chahal is running for re-election in District 2 – which is bordered by the San Jose International Airport to the east; the CalTrain tracks and El Camino Real to the south; Bowers Avenue, San Tomas Expressway to the west; and Montague Expressway to the north.
Chahal was the first person to represent District 2 since the City switched to the six district election system.
He will run against “inventor” Larry McColloch.
The two candidates met at City Hall on Sept. 29 during the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara Candidate Forum. For a look at what they saw in the future of Santa Clara, click here.
City Council District 3 Seat
In District 3, incumbent Karen Hardy will run against challenger Christian Pellecchia.
District 3 encompasses the area bordered by El Camino Real to the north; Lawrence Expressway to the west; Pruneridge Avenue to the south; and Saratoga Creek/Kiely Boulevard to the east.
Hardy teaches robotics and computer science at Wilcox High School, while Pellecchia is a developer.
Both candidates shared their ideas for Santa Clara and District 3 during the Sept. 29 candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara. For complete details, click here.
Measure G: City of Santa Clara No Tax Increase/Services Protection Measure
City voters will also decide on two ballot measures in November.
Measure G reads: “To protect essential services without raising taxes, such as 9-1-1 response; police patrols, fire protection; street/storm drain repair, and maintaining reliable local utility service; shall Section 1320 of the Charter continuing the annual budget transfer of funds from City utilities to the general fund at 5% of gross receipts until ended by voters, generating approximately $30,000,000 annually, with independent audits, all funds local, be reaffirmed/adopted?”
According to the City Attorney’s impartial analysis, approving Measure G would not change any operations within the City, it would simply amend Charter Section 1320 to make sure that the current process of transferring 5% of gross receipts from utilities into the City’s general fund aligns with legal requirements.
The rate of 5% has been in place since 1980.
A “yes” vote would approve the charter amendment.
A “no” vote would deny the charter amendment but would not change how the City currently conducts business.
Measure H: City of Santa Clara Business License Update/Tax Equity Measure
Measure H reads: “To protect Santa Clara’s financial stability and maintain essential services such as 911 emergency/public safety/crime reduction services, safe/clean public areas, pothole repair, parks and libraries, shall an ordinance to update Santa Clara’s 1992 business license tax on businesses to $45 per employee and on landlords to $15 per rental unit, generating approximately $6,000,000 annually, until ended by voters, with independent financial audits, all funds staying local, be adopted?”
Under the current business tax, businesses pay anywhere from $15 to $500 maximum annually, while rental unit operators pay $3 per unit if they operate three or more rental units.
Measure H would change the business tax to a flat rate of $45 per employee per business with a cap of $350,000 and charge rental unit operators $15 per unit if they operate three or more rental units.
According to the City Attorney’s impartial analysis, the business tax could bring in an additional $5 million of revenue annually.
If approved, the new ordinance would go into effect on July 1, 2023.
Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees
There are four seats on the Santa Clara Unified Board of Trustees up for election, however, two of the races have already been decided.
Incumbent Jim Canova won Trustee Area 1 because he was running unopposed. Current Board of Trustees President Jodi Muirhead won her re-election bid for Santa Clara Unified Trustee Area 6. She was also running unopposed.
In Santa Clara Unified Trustee Area 3, incumbent Vickie Fairchild is running against business owner and parent Nestor Toribio.
While, in Trustee Area 4, incumbent Andy Ratermann is running against “university administrator and parent” Kimberley Wiliams.
Assembly District 26
Redistricting has changed who will represent Santa Clara at the state level. Santa Clara and Sunnyvale are now combined into one district – Assembly District 26.
There are two candidates vying to represent the district are Evan Low (D) and Tim Gorsulowsky (R).
Low is a current member of the Assembly representing District 28. Prior to his election, he served on the Campbell City Council.
Gorsulowsky is a local business owner and entrepreneur.
State Senate District 10
There is also a change in who will represent Santa Clara and Sunnyvale in the State Senate. State Senator Bob Wieckowski’s term is up. Voters now have to decide who will take his place.
The two candidates are Lily Mei, a democrat who currently serves as the mayor of Fremont, and Aisha Wahab, another democrat who is an at-large member of the Hayward City Council.
Santa Clara County Sheriff
Voters will also be asked to decide who runs the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Current Sheriff, Laurie Smith, is on trial for corruption.
The two men vying to replace Smith will have the task of regaining the public’s trust. Former Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Jensen is running against Bob Jonsen, a former police chief.
The two candidates met in a forum in September hosted by the League of Women Voters of San Jose/Santa Clara.
To find your Santa Clara City Council District, visit the City’s website.
For a list of the polling places closest to you as well as hours of operation, visit the Registrar of Voters website.
To find out what’s on your ballot, you can input your address on the Registrar of Voters website.