Work Daze

Variance Brings Larger Issues Into Crisp Focus

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

The Santa Clara City Council overturned a Planning Commission ruling denying a variance for a single-family home, going against urging from the City Attorney and a recommendation from the Director of Community Development. At the Council’s Tuesday night meeting, the minor variance raised larger issues of setting precedence for following city code as well as the need not to alienate and...

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Civics 101: Rock the Vote

  • Column by Dominic Caserta
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One of my favorite units to teach in Civics is political participation.  I begin the unit by asking students this question: Does one vote matter in the United States?  Overwhelmingly students say “No.” I vividly remember one student, "Sue," raising her hand and confidently saying in a county of 323 million people one vote does NOT matter.  I replied with one of my favorite phrases: “Well...

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Curfew Inspires Harsh Criticism, Mission Library Over-budget

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Finger-pointing and vitriol were in abundance during the Santa Clara City Council’s discussion of enforcing the weekday curfew for Levi’s Stadium. Tuesday night’s meeting centered around an informational report discussing the 10 p.m. curfew for weekday, non-NFL events and how the Council/Stadium Authority Board should proceed in regards to that City policy. “We have to do a better...

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Levi’s Stadium Loses Weekday Concert

  • By Alissa Reyes
  • Published On

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the City Council firmly decided on a 10 p.m. curfew for Levi’s Stadium, and now the ripple effects are being revealed. Singer Ed Sheeran has decided to pass on holding his concert at Levi’s Stadium and, according to his tour list, not stop by the Bay Area at all. “The community is paying a severe price for Mayor Gillmor’s music ban,” said 49ers...

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Stadium Authority Hears Financial Audit Results

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

An independent financial audit of Levi’s Stadium finances by CPA firm KPMG shows that the City put more than $3 million into its general fund from stadium operations last year. The Stadium Authority Board reviewed KPMG’s findings at its Tuesday night meeting. KPMG issued an “unqualified” opinion, meaning that the documents provided to them were free of any misstatements. Lisa Avis,...

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Two of Three Members of Council Ethics Committee, Charter Review Committee Chair Likely to Face FPPC Fines for Campaign Reporting Failures

  • Questionable Ethics on Display By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

At its Sept. 21 meeting, California's Fair Political Practices Commission is set to find that Council Members Debi Davis and Kathy Watanabe, and former Council candidate Tino Silva—as well as their respective campaign treasurers, Beverly Silva, Karl Watanabe and Dennis Azevedo—violated FPPC reporting regulations. During the 2016 election the campaigns failed to provide timely reports of...

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Incoming City Manager Will Serve on Powerhouse Charity Board

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

At the same time the Santa Clara City Council approved the $550,000 compensation package for incoming City Manager Deanna Santana, in a 6-1 vote (Caserta dissenting) the Council gave its approval for Santana to sit on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) Foundation, the charitable arm of the influential business public policy group. The SVLG lobbies local, state and federal...

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First ‘Gatekeeper’ Project Gets Go Ahead, New City Jobs Add $260K

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

The Santa Clara City Council approved moving forward with a revised application for a housing project in the old Moonlite Lanes location, essentially saying the proposed general plan amendment for the development will likely jibe with the El Camino Real Specific Plan. Prometheus, a San Mateo real estate developer, proposed a 158-apartment rental complex at 2780 El Camino Real last year—a...

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Levi’s Stadium Delivers $2.5 Million to Santa Clara, But Ongoing Disputes Dominate Marathon Stadium Authority Meeting

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Separating Santa Clara City Council and Stadium Authority (SA) meetings was supposed to end the marathon meeting cycle. But if the seven-hour SA meeting on Aug. 24 was an indication, the new schedule will simply lead to twice as many endurance-testing meetings. At last week’s meeting, nearly four and a half hours were spent discussing the yearlong Comprehensive Review of Stadium Authority...

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Mayor's Levi's Stadium Audit Costs Taxpayers $1.75 for Every $1 It Finds Unbilled by the City

Mayor’s Levi’s Stadium Audit Costs Taxpayers $1.75 for Every $1 It Finds Unbilled by the City

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Consulting firm Harvey M. Rose Associates estimates that Santa Clara didn't bill the 49ers for $114,000 in stadium-related work. That's the bottom line on the nearly yearlong $200,000 "Comprehensive Audit of Stadium Authority Finances," that arrived at City Hall on Monday—eight months overdue. The findings are almost 75 percent less than HRM, in its draft report, said was owed. HRM also...

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