Milestones – It’s Not Their Money… (OPINION)

By Miles H. Barber, Publisher

City Council leadership of Santa Clara is chipping away the financial foundations of our City. The actions of a corrupt and cunning cast of misfits is costing our City the much sought-after prize of…solvency!

With the appointment of Lisa Gillmor as Mayor and the departure of our cash creator and project visionary,

City Manager Julio Fuentes, Santa Clara has been heading South.

Fuentes left our City after restoring our reserves from $3 to $53 million dollars in three short years. This Mayor and Council have been burning through City funds like Sherman through Atlanta.

Starting with a 11.5% multimillion dollar pay raise (payback) for our Police Officers Association in 2016, this Council has rocketed City debt to historic levels. The Council added another 3.5% this year to the POA, retroactive to December 2017. We now have the highest paid police force in the Bay area.

While miniscule by comparison, the bogus Stadium Audit turned out to be another Gillmor guffaw. Costing ONLY $190,000, the audit could only prove…the 49ers owed the City nothing. However, what was discovered; our City overbilled the 49ers for parking to the tune of about a million dollars.

Just imagine, the 49ers now want their money back. Mayor Gillmor won’t capitulate and is refusing to repay the 49ers and look bad to her constituency. Seriously?

Afraid it’s too late for that Madam Mayor.

This stonewalling is added to the other bogus issues she has charged against the 49ers. Your Mayor has spent millions of your money, yes, your tax dollars, trying to break a rental agreement with the 49ers.  A rental agreement she approved, a document she endorsed, a contract she voted for and personally signed as a Council Member.

Cost to taxpayers? Only a million or two so far and that’s only half the story. The 49ers have been paying Santa Clara $24.5 million a year in rent. The Mayor wanted more! If she loses this legal arbitration and the rent is reduced, it will be the biggest black eye since Mohammed Ali.

Now, let’s move over to personnel. With the distressed departure of Fuentes, Nosky, Ameling, Batra and Diridon, the gate of City greenbacks was opened, and replacements were lured to join Santa Clara at astounding salaries. Salaries known only to God in Heaven because; only He alone can see checks of those amounts at that altitude!

Jennifer Sparacino was formerly our highest paid City Manager at $303,000, until Fuentes arrived. His record was short lived and was skimpy compared to the $700,000 package awarded Deanna Santana, our latest City Manager. Hey, it’s not the Council’s money…it’s the taxpayers of Santa Clara’s money disguised as a slush fund for this Mayor and Council.

Oh, but wait! There’s more! Last year we had 68 city employees who earned over $300,000.

Hard to believe this Mayor and Council have now sought help from the community to find new revenue streams to bail us out……Huh?

Let’s see. We bust our buns to build a billion-dollar stadium to bring big bucks to boost benefits for our beneficiaries. This Mayor and Council majority impose a stadium weeknight curfew that sucks $3 million out of our budget and they want help?

Maybe a psychiatrist would be a good place to start.

While the 49ers have done a miraculous job at paying down our stadium debt from $732 million to $437 million in four years, this Council has increased our debt by millions in two short years.

Let’s take a guess; Lisa Gillmor is going to run for Mayor again in November.