Milestones (OPINION)

By Miles H Barber Publisher

Santa Clara’s Charter Review Committee has been assigned the task of creating districts for future City elections.

They were assigned this task two years ago, before attorney Robert Rubin filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara for voting violations of the California Voting Rights Act.

They missed the mark.

That Committee took a detour and spent their time creating four other ballot measures that had nothing to do with voting.  Since they never finished the job, they have reconveined at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council to finish the job. Unfortunately, too late to resolve the CVRA lawsuit that will most likely run into the millions at taxpayers expense.

To their credit, the Charter Review members have come up with a proposal to divide Santa Clara into two Districts. Unfortunately, this solution most likely will not stand up in court nor resolve the lawsuit issue. Other cities that have succeeded have chosen either four or six districts.

Now that they have completed their errant proposal, the Mayor and her Council rubber stampers, are out to direct more changes to our City Charter.

It is no secret our Chief of Police Mike Sellers, has stood up and against Mayor Gillmor on several issues. Sellers, as you may remember, was re-eeleted over the Mayor’s hand-picked candidate, Pat Nickolai, in a very close race last November.

Is it surprising then, the Charter Review Committee is looking at proposing a ballot issue that would allow the Mayor and Council to appoint our Chief of Police?

They are also looking at a ballot measure to make Rod Diridon Jr.’s current position as City Clerk an appointed position. Hence the smear campaign on the Mayor’s unofficial website created by Mr. Fake News, blogger Bobby Haugh.

There are also rumors the Council, through the Charter Review Committee, would like to repeal the approval of the Santa Clara Weekly as the City’s official newspaper. Hmmm…do you really wonder why?

It looks like the eradication of ANY independent voice in the City is the Mayor’s objective. That’s pretty scary folks.

What better way to silence opposition than through innocuous measures at the ballot box?

They will simply write the ballot statements in a flowery description of how these proposals will be “so beneficial to our City” they sound like mother’s milk and apple pie.

They’re not!

In reality it is the ego of a few politicans who are driving this bus. Unfortunately, the ultimate destination looks more like a catastrophic cliff than a picnic in the park.

Charter changes have been tried before and our voters didn’t fall for the politicians’ trickery. That may not be the case this time around. So many residents are drinking the LG kool-aid, they might go for it.

Our City fathers founded our Charter carefully inserting provisions to maintain the separation of authority and retain a balance of power in the decision process.

Tinkering with the Charter should be avoided. Stripping the heart out of our City Bible and the very meat by which balanced decisions are made would be head throbbingly painful.

We would love to read your thoughts. Letters to the Editor can be sent to scweekly@ix.netcom.com