Getting to Know the Santa Clara City Council Candidates
The Santa Clara Weekly is running a series of profiles on political candidates in the November election -- this article focuses on city council seat four candidate Tino Silva
By David Alexander

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Getting to Know the Santa Clara City Council Candidates

Tino Silva wants to represent you on the Santa Clara City Council.

Silva has been a member of Santa Clara’s Charter Review Committee and its Parks and Recreation commission. He was the president of the Santa Clara Youth Soccer League, holds a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology from Santa Clara University, and has worked in the human resources field for more than 15 years.

“I think Santa Clara needs someone who will stand up for what Santa Clara wants and what Santa Clara needs,” he said. “I understand and connect with folks to really be able to engage with them, to be able to peel the onion.”

Silva said his background allows him to “look at the big picture” and allows him to deal with conflict in a productive way.

Another part of advocating for Santa Clarans is being a fierce negotiator, he said. The current Council is not striving to get the most out of every new development project nor is it striving to protect the city’s assets, he said, singling out the issue with the Youth Soccer Park near Levi’s Stadium.

He characterized himself as “not afraid to stand up to developers.”

The Council should ask for more from developers, he said, because “it isn’t like the city is broke.” He called the idea that protecting recreational space would slow down development “ludacris.” If anything, the Council should look to add more recreation to make the city more attractive so people will want to live and work here, he said.

“Our park system is dismal. People get splinters sitting on the benches. The slides were put in 60 years ago,” he said.

He said the swim center is falling apart and that Santa Clara should build another swim center, another community recreation center and should have its own theater. The city needs more daycare for working families; it needs more gyms. Santa Clara is running out of places to “eat and congregate,” he said.

While Silva said the city needs to attract more business, before the Council approves any more high-density housing, it has to “put on the brakes” when it comes to development to allow the city to “catch its breath.” and see the impact of some of the projects that have seen completion in the past few years.

On a similar note, Silva said code enforcement is closely tied to infrastructure as well as preserving Santa Clara’s quality of life. He suggested having police officers who check parking meters also issue citations for homes and businesses that violate city code.

“As we grow, we want to make sure that we maintain that standard of living,” he said. “We don’t want cars parked on the street for weeks and yards that are out of control or folks sleeping in the park after dusk.”

Many of these issues could be solved by a simple investment in an app that would allow city workers to report problems as they come across them.

Keeping citizens informed about what is happening within the city is something Silva vowed to do more of if elected. For instance, he said the city should mail information -- perhaps as an insert to residents’ utility bill -- on new developments to those living in the area prior to the development breaking ground so those people are not blindsided by it.

This idea, he said, plays into the idea of transparency in local government. People shouldn’t have to regularly check the city’s website -- which he said “can be very confusing” -- to know what is happening in their neighborhood.