The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

The Mayor’s Mission Town Center Confusion

On May 18, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor was a guest on a Santa Clara resident’s Facebook live stream called Transparency Tour Town Hall.

In the live stream, Mayor Gillmor mentions “our local paper thing”–assumingly referring to the Weekly–while responding to a question.

The question, which was submitted by a viewer, said: “Why did you vote against Irvine Apartments by Santa Clara University? We need housing.”

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Back in 2015, the Irvine Company introduced a mixed-use development located by Santa Clara University that was called Mission Town Center Apartment Homes, or the Viso Project. More information can be found here: www.santaclaraweekly.com/2015/Issue-13/city_desk.html

Mayor Gillmor’s response to the question: “Um, that’s not a correct statement. I actually voted for the project. It was a unanimous vote to approve the Irvine project.”

After some discussion she continues, “It was an approved project. I think in our local paper thing, they said we voted against it, but I didn’t. I never voted… we all voted for it. It was unanimous. You can check the record.” So we did.

We checked the record as well as our own reporting. Yes, the records show that City Council–including Gillmor–did vote unanimously to pass Irvine’s project on Feb. 23, 2016.

Additionally, your ‘local paper thing’ wrote 4 articles and 2 Milestones referencing the development and in all of those pieces, none said that Gillmor voted against the development.

In fact, in our March 2, 2016 edition we reported: “After a year of discussion and revision, the Council unanimously approved Irvine Company’s Mission Town Center mixed use development project at Benton and El Camino, but with significant changes.”

Perhaps the Mayor was mixed up and was referring to our reporting on the planning commission’s vote regarding the Irvine development? (www.santaclaraweekly.com/2016/Issue-8/commission-recommends-general-plan-change-to-make-way-for-controversial-retail-residential-development.html)

On February 17, 2016, we reported: “The Historical Landmarks Commission rejected the project. Jeannie Mahan, who sits on that commission, urged the planning commission to also reject it.”

In the same article we also reported, “The planning commission approved a recommendation that the City Council alter the General Plan to accommodate.”

That vote by the planning commission–which did not include Gillmor–wasn’t unanimous. We reported: “Commissioner Raj Chahal voted against all but one of the five proposals, and Commissioner Michael O’Halloran voted against two of the five proposals.”

Furthermore, on March 23, 2016 we reported then Council Member Dominic Caserta saying the project was a “unanimous agreement.” In the same article, we reported how and why Irvine withdrew its proposal for the Mission Town Center development. (www.santaclaraweekly.com/2016/Issue-13/santa-clara-observer-playing-political-football-with-levis-stadium-rent-reset.html)

The Weekly asserts we didn’t incorrectly report that Gillmor voted against Irvine’s Mission Town Center Apartment Homes–contrary to what the Mayor said in the Facebook live stream.

The Weekly’s editorial board would like to hear from you. If you have any comments please submit a brief letter to the editor. Please email your letter to scweekly@ix.netcom.com for publication. Please include your name and phone number with your submission–phone numbers will not be published. Letters to the Editor should be limited to 150 words.

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