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Truthish-ness and Truth – Opinion

A week or so ago, the public was treated to the shameful spectacle of the mayor of Santa Clara browbeating a city employee until he said what she wanted him to say — something which was, as they say, lying with the truth. Watch this clip starting at 4:30:00 to judge for yourself.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s and her allies’ Big Lie is that Levi’s Stadium has delivered no money to Santa Clara’s general fund. Lacking the persuasion tools of the Spanish Inquisition, Gillmor has to settle for bullying city staff into making statements that only tell a small piece of the truth.

For example, if I were to say that I had zero money in the bank when, in fact, my checking account was zero, but my savings account had a $10,000 balance. Most people would understand that statement to mean I had no money at all in the bank in any account — which is not true. However, my statement has a grain of truth in it — call it “truth-ish.”*


Likewise, Gillmor’s Big Lie is truth-ish in the same sense that my statement about my bank balance is truth-ish. Like my checking account, there is no money in the account titled Performance Rent—profit from non-NFL events that goes to the City’s general fund.

But there is $14 million in cash in two “legal contingency reserve” accounts in the 2024/25 Stadium Authority budget. Of that, $11.3 million is the City’s performance rent from Levi’s Stadium since fiscal year 2022/23. Here are the profits that should be due the city: $4.4 million in 2022/23, $3.9 million in 2023/24 and a projected $3 million in 2024/25.

But instead of the general fund, the money is in the legal contingency reserves. And the reason for that? Mayor Gillmor’s eight year long litigation war on the 49ers. As long as the legal battles continue, that money has to stay on the stadium authority books to protect against the risks of these lawsuits.

In other words, Mayor Gillmor, as the chair of the Stadium Authority, has entered into a legal battle with the City’s business partner, which provided the reason to keep stadium profits in the stadium’s legal accounts vs. general fund. This, then, provides the truth-ish basis for saying that the City hasn’t gotten any profits.

The truth is that Santa Clara has received $14.9 million in performance rent since the stadium opened and would have received an additional $7.2 million over the last two years were it not for Gillmor’s deliberately adversarial treatment of the 49ers — what the Mercury called her “scorched earth” governing policy.

Beyond Gillmor’s shamelessness when it comes to the truth, it’s also shameful that Gillmor has no compunction about harassing city staff into becoming unwilling conscripts in her war. We wish we could say that this was a one-off for Gillmor, but browbeating and insults are all too common in her public treatment of city executives.

Even when she’s not saying anything herself, she is silent when her bottom-feeding allies at Santa Clara’s Safe Space for Bigots defame City officials. If The Weekly were to publish such libels, we’re certain she would make a big deal about it.

The people who do the leg work of managing our City, who keep the books and keep the lights on, deserve better.

*Credit to The Weekly reporter David Alexander who coined this useful word.

Related Posts:
Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor Must Own Her Role in the ISC Failure
How Soon They Forget


1 Comment
  1. W.S. 2 weeks ago

    Lisa Gilmore pressures the City employee to state how much has gone into the General Fund ($0) but does not want to elaborate on what he said that all funds during the past 3-4 years have gone into the Legal Fund for the lawsuits against the 49er’s. It is time that ALL reporting be much clearer as to ANY funds from Stadium events. The only thing that citizens hear is that there is no money coming from Stadium events. It DEFINITELY is NOT clear that there are proceeds, but they are being directed to the Legal Fund and not to the General Fund. Quit hiding the results of Stadium events!

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