By Miles H Barber
Dealing directly with decisions that determine our destiny is a deep dilemma, dramatized in the duality of the direction decided.
A case in point is the recent brouhaha over our City Council’s reluctance to sign an agreement with our hired hands who provide basic security services at our stadium.
Landmark is a company that has been providing basic security services for Levi Stadium over the past three years. These are the folks who do attendee gate screening, parking and other moderate security services in the stands.
A higher level of security is provided by trained police officers who deal with more serious issues like excessive drinking, disorderly conduct, perimeter security and rule-breaking guests.
Landmark employees have served our stadium with an acceptable record of performance doing their job with few glitches. While there are always issues when dealing with tens of thousands of guests, it is reasonable to suggest that without these primary security workers, we could not hold events at Levi’s.
The Stadium Authority, which is made up of our City Council, must agree on new contracts and contract renewals. One of these contracts that was up for renewal was Landmark. The 49ers ManCo, our 50-50 partner, sent over the renewal contract for our City Council to approve months ago. Our Council didn’t want to sign it.
The Council discussed and pontificated on the value and benefits of having a union member company doing this job as opposed to Landmark, which is non-union. The Council decided to reject Landmark’s renewal proposal.
This presented a serious issue. Levi’s Stadium was and is scheduled to host “Monster Jam” next week with thousands of people expected to attend.
Without basic security services using hundreds of Landmark employees, the event wouldn’t happen. The idea of using hundreds of police officers to fill in at the stadium would not only bust the budget but would be virtually impossible to accomplish on short notice.
Enter another showdown. Landmark delivered a letter to the City last week that was very explicit. Either renew their contract or be the recipient of a law suit which listed a number of contract breeches the City would have a costly time defending.
When you consider that Santa Clara is a benefactor of 50% of the net profits for all stadium events, not signing this contract would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
Last year Santa Clara averaged $200,000 for every major event held at the stadium. This money goes a long way toward filling out our City budget.
Most of you understand we have sympathetic union supporters on our Council. The politics of union or non-union should not get in the way of common sense. Our Council is responsible for driving maximum revenue to our City coffers and securing the future of our City services.
The recent loss and postponement of major project developments has already cost our City millions in revenue. Arguing over a stadium contract that has served us effectively, not perfectly, but good enough to generate millions for our City is strictly political, not practical.
Congratulations to our Council as reality was realized in a special session on Monday. They voted to accept Landmark’s contract.
Nothing like a pending law suit to stimulate practicality.