Milestones (OPINION)

By Miles H Barber, Publisher


Virtually everyone is familiar with a budget.

Whether you have a detailed accounting system or rely on the back of a napkin, you have a pretty good idea of the funds that come in and the money that goes out each month.

And yes, it is not uncommon for many households to have more month than money.

Your parents probably had influence on your current method of handling financial situations.

If your parents were low income or mismanaged their money, you will be lucky to have worked through that influence to have built good credit on your own.

If your parents were wealthy, you may have had everything made easier for you and you still needed to learn the value of making a dollar all on your own.

Now our current Mayor comes from a very successful family. Former Mayor Gary Gillmor was a star basketball player at SCU. He was a successful teacher here in Santa Clara. He became a skilled real estate broker and a very successful Mayor. He made millions in real estate and knew the value of negotiation.

Unfortunately, these talents and skills were not automatically transferred to his kids.

Lisa Gillmor has the charm and personality of her father without the business skills to negotiate for a billion dollar business like the City of Santa Clara.

To make up for these deficiencies, she has attracted a number of City Council groupies who, it appears, are instructed to: 1) attend all Council meetings, 2) always speak in support of the Mayor’s proposals, 3) reach out on their social media sites to tell their followers how great she is.

She even convinced local blogger Bobby Haugh to be her “unofficial” spokesman with his blog. Haugh worked for the Weekly for years until he became so contentious, he was fired.

Not surprising, Haugh has posted a number of editorials—usually slamming public figures who oppose the Mayor’s agenda. These include Police Chief Mike Sellers, former City Manager Rajeev Batra, Council Member Dominic Caserta, Council Member Pat Mahan and a host of other bright-thinking community leaders.

In addition, he brings to his blog “guest editorials” that slam the Weekly and support the Mayor and her three yes-women

So let’s see how they are doing; in one short year the Mayor and her majority have managed to get rid of:  1) Two City Managers,  2) Our skilled City Attorney,  3) A financial guru of our Finance Department. They have: 1) Increased police officer payrolls by 11.5%,  2) Increased the City Manager office expense and payroll by 300%, 3) Hired a City Attorney who offers a lot of his personal opinions for $325K a year, 4) Been successful at stonewalling the Weekly from obtaining public records ever since we published those despicable emails between Council Members Debi Davis and Teresa O’Neill.

Speaking of Davis, the Weekly did a Public Records Request in November for all emails from Davis since the time she was elected. The Weekly received a disk with 1,600 emails to Davis. Not one email from Davis.

So much for the much touted transparency at City Hall.

Davis did say during a Council meeting she barely knew how to use her phone. Maybe she doesn’t understand email either?

One thing we have learned this year. This Council does not understand budgets. They are on track to burn down our reserves and run a structural deficit of  more than $5 million this coming fiscal year.

This is a case of amatuers having more year than money.

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