Another City Hall Resignation and Blue Suede Shoes
By Robert Haugh
Well, it’s one for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Now go, cat, go
— Elvis Presley, Blue Suede Shoes
There will be another high level departure at Santa Clara city hall.
Gary Ameling, the City’s finance director, announced a few days ago that he’s taking a CFO position in Las Vegas. We wish him well in his new job and hope he likes Elvis impersonators.
But seriously, it’s worth pointing out that he’s the third major resignation since former Mayor Jamie Matthews suddenly departed after the Super Bowl in February, 2016. First, it was City Manager Julio Fuentes. Then, City Attorney Ren Nosky. Now Ameling.
What’s the common thread? They were all considered too close to the 49ers.
Fuentes had his hand in the effort to hand over the youth soccer park to the team in 2015. That set off a firestorm in the community.
Nosky and Ameling were responsible for the stadium legal and budget documents that the 49ers won’t give to the city for the audit. Did they do their jobs for the city, or did they bow to the wishes of the team? We don’t know.
But Nosky drew criticism from the community recently for what some thought was too cozy a relationship with team.
Are these departures a good thing for the Mission City?
We called some community leaders and the general consensus is yes. They think city staff was too close to the 49ers and never pushed the team for information the council and the public thought they should have.
Let’s hope the new hires have the confidence of the city council and public, and they take transparency seriously.
We like what we’ve heard so far about the new city attorney Brian Doyle. He’s served on city commissions and we hear he lives close enough to city hall so that he can walk to work. Does that mean he’ll put the interest of the city first? We hope so.