Council Delays Appointing New Planning Commissioner

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

After two hours of testimony from 10 Planning Commissioner candidates, the Santa Clara City Council will wait until later this month to decide on who will fill the vacancy. The interviews, held Tuesday night during a special meeting, became necessary after Commissioner Brandon Reinhardt resigned in February, citing the rising cost of rent as a major contributor to his decision to move his...

Full Story
Work Daze

Voting Rights Lawsuit To Be Heard April 23

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Some might think that the apparent formation of a "Yes on A" ballot measure campaign committee and resources being donated to that effort—promoted (paid) Facebook posts, PR services from a national advocacy group—that voter approval is the only thing needed for the Santa Clara City Council's proposed Two Districts/Ranked Choice Single Transferrable Vote proposal to become law. That is far...

Full Story

Past Due Projects Get More Time, Council Rejects Proposed Daycare

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Two Santa Clara developments received extensions despite being behind schedule. The Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to extend contracts on a 306,000 square foot office development on Lawson Lane and the “agrihood” housing project on Winchester Boulevard. The “agrihood” project was scheduled to break ground at the start of 2017, but public input caused the...

Full Story

City Clerk Vacancy Leaves Council With Plethora of Options

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Concerns over the qualifications for a city clerk has caused the Santa Clara City Council to consider dividing those duties among several employees. City Clerk Rod Diridon Jr.’s resignation in February left the clerk position vacant. The Council appointed Jennifer Yamaguma—the Public Information Liaison for the city and a certified municipal clerk—to assume the clerk’s responsibilities...

Full Story
Work Daze

Study Finds CEQA Doesn’t Stifle Housing Development—City Councils Do

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) isn't constraining housing development in California, as some claim. Instead a new study finds that city councils are constraining housing development with multiple and often redundant discretionary reviews and requiring developers to navigate dissimilar requirements for every city they build in. The findings were reported last month in a...

Full Story

Police Reinforcements During Soccer Game Prove Divisive

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

The Mayor/Stadium Authority Chair lambasted 49ers management for its handling of a soccer game after a tide of criticism from neighbors that included claims that rowdy soccer fans urinated in and tossed empty liquor bottles in their yards and jumped on parked cars. At its Tuesday night meeting, members of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority Board were displeased with reports following the March...

Full Story

Ad Hoc Measure J Audit Committee Quietly Expands Its Mission As Most Recommended Process and Reporting Changes Are Complete Or In Process

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

On March 19 the Measure J audit committee—Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Council Members Patrick Kolstad and Teresa O'Neill—reviewed the status of roughly 40 recommendations to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority (SCSA) from management consultant Harvey M. Rose (HMR) Associates. In the HMR's final report, officially published last August, the consultant reported that "the stadium Authority did not...

Full Story

Police Chief Gets Back Pay, City Manager Gets a $30,000 Raise

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Raises for two Santa Clara department heads dominated most of the discussion at this week’s City Council meeting. At its regular Tuesday night meeting, the Council discussed whether to give Police Chief Mike Sellers a cost-of-living raise and another 4 percent raise for City Manager Deanna Santana. Santana’s raise, less than 6 months after her start date, was part of her contract, which...

Full Story

CalPERS Change Will Add Over $150 Million to Santa Clara Pension Costs Short Term Despite Long Term Savings

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

  California's pension "crisis" has been brewing for a while. But recently things got worse. That's because the California public pension system, CalPERS, decided to reduce the time public agencies have to pay off their unfunded liabilities by 10 years—the difference between the pensions that are owed and the money that's expected to be in the system to pay them. While in the long...

Full Story
Work Daze

Santa Clara’s Proposed Charter Change Getting National Attention

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Whether or not to adopt a proportional election method is an important question for Santa Clara voters. But the outcome of that June ballot is important to another group of people: the advocacy non-profit and non-partisan FairVote, whose mission is advancing the adoption of such systems in the U.S., with the aim of achieving fairer legislative representation. The 501(c)(3) non-profit gives...

Full Story