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“Significant Differences” Becker Responds to Gillmor’s Accusations

Santa Clara mayoral candidate Anthony Becker came out swinging after what he calls a fabrication by his opponent, sitting mayor Lisa Gillmor, accusing her of twisting the facts of last Tuesday’s City Council meeting closed session, and leaking a misleading narrative that she broadcast through the Gillmor-friendly San Francisco Chronicle.

“I believe the public has the right to know the whole truth about this matter and there are significant differences between what the mayor has leaked and what actually happened,” Becker said in a statement Saturday.

“I respect the laws that prevent me from talking about closed session agenda items,” Becker continued. “I am pleased the majority of the Council approved seeking an end to the litigation over the stadium. It had gone on too long and cost the City too much money. With the settlement, we now have millions coming to the City.”

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Via the Chronicle, Gillmor accused her colleague of telling her to “go f—k yourself” and making a rude gesture in the closed session. Other council members, as well as the City Manager, told The Weekly that they had been advised by the City Attorney not to comment on the matter. None of them would confirm Gillmor’s version of the story.

However, The Weekly has been told by City Hall sources that shouting was heard from the closed session, and Council Member Kathy Watanabe shouted at Becker, “I’m sick of your bulls—t” as she opened the door and walked out — apparently provoking Becker’s retort to “eff” — not the full expletive — herself,” and slamming the door so loudly that it was heard throughout City Hall. Gillmor followed Watanabe out the door. Their departure allowed the rest of the Council to conduct its business.

Watanabe was apparently still nursing her grievance hours after the contentious session, refusing to participate in a group photo recognizing Intel’s donation of COVID test kits to the City.

No one denied that there was an acrimonious discussion. It’s no secret that Gillmor and Watanabe’s conduct toward their colleagues is frequently rude and insulting. Since Gillmor lost her majority on the Council, she and her allies, Watanabe and fired City Attorney Brian Doyle, routinely attempt to create procedural roadblocks in the path of Council action.

Gillmor also told the Chronicle that she felt so threatened at the meeting that she called the police.

In fact, the police weren’t at City Hall because she called them, but because someone with an apparent mental disturbance had been wandering around City Hall since 8 a.m. and appeared to be very confused.

City Manager Rajeev Batra called SCPD after the person was still in the Council chambers late into the evening.

“I started worrying that about them, about how they were going to get home, what they were going to do when the building closed,” said Batra. “I called the Assistant Chief and he sent the crisis intervention unit. They were able to contact the person’s family and their father came to pick them up.”

The most recent leak of closed session Santa Clara City Council information to the Chronicle — the regular channel for City Hall leaks — concerned the 49ers settlement offer, and Gillmor, Watanabe and Doyle were on hand to comment immediately for the Chronicle’s story. In the present case, it appears that Gillmor volunteered the information to the Chronicle.

Leaking closed session and confidential public agency information can be referred to a grand jury and punished as contempt of court with a $1,000 fine and/or five days in jail.

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16 Comments
  1. Davy L 1 month ago
    Reply

    Very well written and very informative, Carolyn. A notice to both “Jill B.” and “SVV Owned by 49ers Too”, please recognize the difference between this article and that reported earlier by a very bias Chronicle writer. This one is factual; the other one is make believe.

    • SVV owned by 49ers too? 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      Here you go “Davy L”
      https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/09/08/opinion-unethical-behavior-threatens-public-trust-in-santa-clara/
      It’s an opinion piece, but one you’d have to have your head in the ground to not see clear as day.

      Regardless of who the untrustworthy lackys are doing the 49ers bidding…it’s impossible to deny who is running the show.
      This ‘very well written and very informative’ piece of…is an example of the clown show my city has become. I can’t
      imagine any resident of Santa Clara wanting to read these types of stories about the people making decisions for
      their city…and these stories have been non-stop!

      I know that Mayor Gillmor had a huge hand in starting this mess…and I wish there were other candidates not in the pockets
      of the 49ers…but there are none. There is only one choice for those who want the residents of Santa Clara to have a real say
      in the direction of their city and not get steamrolled by the 49ers…vote for whomever is not bankrolled by the 49ers.

      • Davy L 4 weeks ago
        Reply

        Wesley Kazuko Mukoyama:“It is becoming normal for Lisa and Kathy to distort occurrences for the Mercury and the Chronicle’s journalists do without investigating or inquiring what the other side said.”
        There is an election this November. My thoughts are Lisa Gillmor’s opponent will be elected, not so much as who he is, but because of how “terrible” a mayor Lisa Gillmor has been. Lisa strongly opposed our current six Districts voting system, costing our city millions of dollars. Now our City Council better reflects our population. Lisa was responsible for the hiring of Deanna Santana and Brian Doyle, both of whom costing our city many more millions of dollars. And, of course, all the lost millions from those frivolous lawsuits. Enough is enough. For this stupid writer now to compare us to the scandalous city of Bell is nonsense, insulting, absolutely laughable, and completely ridiculous.

        • SVV owned by 49ers too? 4 weeks ago
          Reply

          Davy L – What are your credentials to make any assessments of the writer?…seeing as you gush over your favorite journalist Carolyn ‘one-sided’ Schuk, your opinion is already highly suspect.
          Maybe take some of your own advice and look at both sides…doesn’t seem you even want to acknowledge the 49ers own Santa Clara now.

          • Davy L 4 weeks ago

            Normally, when a candidate runs for reelection, they run on their record. Lisa Gillmor cannot do that, as her recent record has been terrible. A second method would be to claim how much worse her opponent is. However, as many “bricks” she hurls, can easily returned them twice as hard, twice as fast, and twice as many. A third method, not as good as the first two, would be to create a diversion, such as creating a straw dog, a boogeyman, like the 49ers. That is what Lisa and her supporters appeared to have decided upon. However, I believe are our voters are bright and intelligent enough to see through all this gobbledygook, mumbo-jumble, deceit, and subterfuge. In the past, one of Lisa’s strongest supports has been the Police PAC. However, should the PAC have doubts concerning her election chances, I would not be surprise should they hedge their bets by supporting both candidates this election. As for the Chronicle, the Mercury, and the Examiner newspapers, my prediction is that each one of their editors shall favor Becker over Gillmor. And for my final prediction: we shall have a new Mayor next year.

          • SVV owned by 49ers too? 4 weeks ago

            I’m sorry…but that is just ridiculous thought, similar to the antivax movement.
            So your ‘theory’ is Lisa and company made up this “49ers boogeman”?
            I suppose in your world Lisa and company also coerced the 49ers to give their opponents millions of dollars for their campaigns?
            Alright…I’m done with you Davy L, the conspiracy angle made me lose any respect for your position.

          • Davy L 4 weeks ago

            There is no reason to discuss the 49ers. Your mind is already set. I only wish to state my views on this coming election. This election is strictly between Lisa Gillmor and Anthony Becker. Period.

  2. Ed Richards 1 month ago
    Reply

    Kathy Watanabe is on the Santa Clara City Council so she can be important…but she is not important. She is condescending, mean spirited mildly uninformed and extremely rude. She refused to stand up with the Council to commemorate a gift to the City from Intel. Intel is very successful company who has been generous with the City in the past. Mz Watanabe put on pout that garner at least a 9.5 if properly judged. You go girl!
    Lisa Gillmor Leadership you can’t buy. by, by Lisa

  3. Davy L 1 month ago
    Reply

    Lisa Gillmor broke the law by leaking closed session and confidential public agency information. The very least she deserves is to be censored and reprimanded by the entire City Council for her faulty behavior.

  4. CSC 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    “Closed session and confidential public agency information” might be items that are supposed to be sealed but personal and/professional attacks – be it verbal or physical – should not be considered city business to be kept confidential.
    .
    New revelation about (1) Watanabe participating in vulgar shouting and (2) law enforcement present at City Hall for an event separate from the council meeting reminds me of a perspective from one of America’s top though-leaders, Frank Sonnenberg: “There are two sides to every story – especially if you’re a hypocrite.”
    .
    The Santa Clara City Council has had a tremendous problem with its moral compass aligning with the path of residents. Internal council-member battles have permeated for more than a decade and it’s not just opinion of microeconomics or community events, literally the basic qualities of a democracy – accountability (public records, opaque finance), human rights (police criminality and policy violations), and political culture (voting rights) – are constantly challenged in this city. Some have questioned mayoral candidate Becker’s business experience but given the toxicity Gillmor has flung around like she’s driving a honey wagon (manure spreader), voting for Becker might alleviate enough oppression in council chambers to allow the collective council body and city managers the ability to move forward with constructive dialogue and effective change.

  5. 49 year resident 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    gosh sounds like I need to attend some council meetings again….. bring on November

  6. BuchserAlum 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    “The Weekly has been told by City Hall sources that shouting was heard from the closed session…”

    So you are making a fuss over Gillmore supposedly leaking descriptions of personal strife during a close session and printing exactly the same sort of leaking in the same piece?

    Who is your “City Hall sources?” Anthony Becker?

    • Davy L 4 weeks ago
      Reply

      Lisa Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Teresa O’Neill, Deanna Santana, Brian Doyle, Robert Haugh, Burt Field, Lee Broughman, James Rowen, Bob McDuffy, the Dude, Jill B, SVV owned by 49ers, BuchserAlum … all Birds of the Same Feather.

  7. Wesley Kazuko Mukoyama 4 weeks ago
    Reply

    It is becoming normal for Lisa and kathy to distort occurrences for the Mercury and the Chronicle’s.journalists do without investigating or inquiring what the other side said. Lisa says and journalists write. Shame on the journalists

  8. W.S 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Let’s see. We have Mayor Gilmor and Councilmember Watanabe walk out of a closed-door Council Meeting and let the remaining 5 Councilmembers conduct/complete the session without them. Therefore, the Mayor was not there to represent the City overall and the Councilmember was not there to represent her district. Looks like a complete lack of concern over the impact this could have on the households in their respective areas and on those who voted them into office. The antics of these two are coming down to “if you won’t play in my sandbox the way I want you to, then I don’t want to play with you anymore.” Gilmor and Watanabe were voted into office to represent the residents of Santa Clara. At what point will the residents in Watanabe’s district finally have enough and recall her. Gilmor will find out the results come November. Their actions are no longer political but just plain acrimonious. Santa Clara residents deserve better.

    • Davy L 3 weeks ago
      Reply

      Say! I like that word: “acrimonious”. It’s the perfect fit for my collection: Lisa Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Teresa O’Neill, Deanna Santana, Brian Doyle, Robert Haugh, Burt Field, Lee Broughman, James Rowen, Bob McDuffy, Tom Shanks, the Dude, Jill B, SVV owned by 49ers, BuchserAlum, SC Resident, Another SC Resident, Average Joe, Michael B … all Birds of the Same Feather.

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