Work Daze

Out With the Old, In With the New—Voting Rights Lawsuit

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

A week ago a California Voting Rights Acts (CVRA) lawsuit against the City of Santa Clara was dismissed on a technicality; namely it was impossible for the parties bringing the suit to comply with changes to the CVRA prior to the new law (AB 350) taking effect Jan. 1, 2017. However, the City's possible liability is unchanged because a new CVRA lawsuit was filed on Nov. 30. That case, Ladonna...

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Year-End Goal Setting Postponed, ‘Affordable’ Housing and Voting Changes on the Horizon  

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Tuesday night's Santa Clara City Council meeting wasn't one that will soon be forgotten. Council Member Patricia Mahan announced that she will be taking a short leave from the Council after learning that her breast cancer—in remission for several years—has spread to her spine. She called the recurrence “serious but treatable.” Mahan announced the bombshell at Tuesday night’s City...

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Council Transparency: MIA

  • By Melissa McKenzie
  • Published On

The City of Santa Clara has been pushing the need to be more transparent for nearly two years. Initially, Council was enthusiastic about the concept of keeping the public abreast of meetings and dealings Council Members had with various members of the community, developers, consultants and lobbyists. In fact, Council was so open to the idea that on Jan. 12, 2016 it unanimously approved the...

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October Council Calendars and What’s Missing

  • By Melissa McKenzie
  • Published On

October proved to be an interesting month for Santa Clara politics. While the WEEKLY broke the story about Banner Public Affairs’ dealings with Mayor Lisa Gillmor and noted the lack of meetings the agency had with Council Members on Nov. 1, it does appear—now that the October calendars have been released—one member of City Council had a meeting with Banner’s Peter Hillan in October—Vice...

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Work Daze

Second Stadium Audit Slated for 2018

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

On Monday the City Council's ad hoc Measure J compliance audit committee reconvened to review activity with regard to Harvey M. Rose's (HMR) final report and to launch a second project, this time to review operating costs and revenues at non-NFL events in Levi's Stadium. Santa Clara receives 50 percent of the net revenue for non-NFL events, minus credits that are specified on the contracts, as...

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Emails Sent During Election Expose Toxic City Council Climate

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

An email exchange of spiteful remarks between two Council Members about a fellow Santa Clara City Council colleague reveals that the discord on the Council is only the surface manifestation of deep animosities and resentments that have poisoned Council relationships. In an email sent just hours after the 2016 Santa Clara County Democratic Club's candidates forum, and Council Member Debi Davis'...

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PR Services Cause Conflict Among Council

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

The lack of a contract with a public relations firm—and whether Mayor Lisa Gillmor used that firm on her crusade to control the public narrative regarding strife between the 49ers and the City—has galvanized the Santa Clara City Council. The contract in question, with DC-based Banner Public Affairs, came up during a routine discussion of Stadium Authority financials at Tuesday night’s...

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The History of Santa Clara’s Downtown

  • By Carolyn Schuk
  • Published On

Originally published January 24, 2007   With the success of historic areas like Campbell’s downtown strip and the “faux” downtown of Santana Row, many regret that Santa Clara has no similar draw. But before we race to fix today’s perceived problem, history offers a cautionary tale for contemporary engineers of public space. It’s the old story of good intentions gone awry....

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Mixed Reviews on City’s Pilot Trash Program

  • By Melissa McKenzie
  • Published On

In an effort to comply with last year’s SB 1383, a law setting new state goals for cutting so-called “short lived” climate pollution from methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons, Santa Clara has begun a pilot trash program that requires residents to separate food scraps from other trash and place it in a split-cart container for disposal, and recycling through Sustainable Alternative Feed...

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Stadium Authority Board Wants Better Assessment of Community Room Rental Rates at Levi’s Stadium

  • By David Alexander
  • Published On

Contention over funding and access to a public meeting room at Levi’s Stadium prompted the Santa Clara Stadium Authority Board to reject a City Manager recommendation. At Tuesday night’s Stadium Authority Board meeting, Walter Rossman, the City’s Chief Operating Officer, told the Council that the 49ers Management Company (ManCo) has offered $25,000 in grant money to community groups that...

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