Milestones (OPINION)

By Miles H Barber Publisher

Common sense is such a wonderful commodity.

It is what makes most organizations succeed. The lack thereof…causes them to fail.

However, the application of common sense is a rarity, particularly at Santa Clara City Hall.

Now, you can be sure that if common sense could be bought, this Council majority would spend millions to buy some.

However, as suggested, the application thereof would probably be squandered.

If you didn’t have to wash your hair last Tuesday night or needed to walk your dog, you wouldn’t have missed one of our Council’s best examples of common sense non-attendance.

After listening to audience input from our Council groupies like Kirk Vartan and Scott Lane (neither Santa Clara residents) along with a few other local curmudgeons, our Council voted as usual without the presence of common sense.

Common sense folks would rather stay home and watch “Murder She Wrote” reruns.

When they do show up to present a common sense position, the Council ignores their comments.

The Council prefers their regulars who always support their position. Who cares if some of them are not from Santa Clara? They agree with the Mayor’s Council and that’s what is the decider.

Now, you must salute Mayor Gillmor. She is brilliant at orchestrating her supporters in making three-minute speeches that cover all the dog tracks.

However, when it comes to rational ideas and common sense, Council Member Pat Mahan sounded more like a mayor than the Mayor. The difference here is that Mahan looks at City money as belonging to our residents. She understands compromise and the importance of trade-offs that make sense.

She made a very rational presentation to extend the Stadium weeknight curfew by one hour for an $800,000 return to our general fund. This amount is on record by the 49ers Management Company.

Now, here’s where common sense goes AWOL.

Any rational city council in the United States would take an $800,000 windfall in a heartbeat. Not this Council majority!

Of course there are some tradeoffs. You don’t get this money because your witty, bright and beautiful, or because you feel deserving. This kind of money involves some sacrifice even if it is for only one hour.

Instead, our Council majority simply kissed off an $800,000 windfall for Santa Clara.

We thought it was interesting that a few people blamed the 49ers MANCO for not running the stadium professionally. “If they can’t make the money they are supposed to make, let’s take the contract away from them.” Really? You shut them down and then blame them for not making money?

This type of public input describes perfectly what is meant by the absence of common sense.

God forbid that any two of the four Mayor’s majority should be absent from Council at the same time. We might be stunned at the bright light of common sense that would permeate the Chambers of Santa Clara City Hall.

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