City Council Meeting Highlights: Will Santa Clara Become a Sanctuary City and Will Great America Become a Mini Disneyland?

City Council Meeting Highlights: Will Santa Clara Become a Sanctuary City and Will Great America Become a Mini Disneyland?

By Robert Haugh

The Jan. 24 Council meeting didn’t provide the fireworks or action-packed, high-octane drama of a professional wrestling match. It was more of an Ironman Triathlon since it lasted almost eight hours (10 hours counting commission interviews and executive session) ending at 2:45 a.m. Here are the highlights:

Sanctuary City

Dominic Caserta initiated this effort and was supported by labor organizations and immigrant rights groups. The item was unanimously tabled to a future meeting to improve the language of the resolution.

Make Great America Great Again

The City Council wants Great America to thrive as a business partner – it means more jobs and more sales tax for the city. Santa Clarans may soon have their own version of a small Downtown Disney. Kudos to Cedar Fair for working with the City. Great America’s parent company has agreed to making concessions to their plans, such as complying with existing noise ordinances, unlike the 49ers who have upset Northside neighborhoods with noise from practices and concerts. This plan will create a Downtown Disney-like environment including a 1,300-seat enclosed performance pavilion. More on Great America’s plans in another column.

Community Room

The stadium agreement calls for a “community room.” Though there are no rental costs for using the 4,600-square foot community room at Levi’s Stadium, the rates for security, janitorial and guest services equates to an approximate four-hour price of $1,650. That doesn’t include furniture, catering, A/V rental and support. Oh, and Centerplate must provide all food and beverage. It’s not much of a “community room” after all. 49ers VP of Stadium Operations Jim Mercurio received the third degree from the Stadium Authority members. The city attorney will review stadium leases to determine if the cost needs to be lowered and report back in the next 30 days.

Community Engagement

Twelve Santa Clarans were interviewed for the Cultural Commission, with three appointed to vacancies. Congrats to Kendra Fehrer, Louis Samara and Heidi Willbanks on their appointments.


  1. interesting that the meeting ran so long. Commentary in SJ Mercury dated 1/24/17 by Scott Herhold recommends that there is a meeting curfew at the San Jose City Council Meeting. He says”….this is bad government. Ordinary people who had to go to work the next morning (are) effectively being disenfranchised.” I agree with him.

  2. The sanctuary city resolution received a lot of comments, even when the comments were supposed to address the postponement only.
    Most of the comments were opposed to the idea.
    Councilman Kolstad had a large stack of email received on this issue, stating they represented both sides. I got the distinct feeling they were heavily against. People, in general, tend to complain much more readily than compliment.
    What was the real reason they postponed it? There were concerns on the council about the resolution being adequate and someone used the phrase ‘half baked’. Does that mean it was ‘quarter baked’ when presented in December?
    Several council members wanted to see what Sacramento was going to do.
    Brown looks like he is going to double down on protecting illegal aliens but then he is also doubling down on his ‘high’ speed rail.
    But Brown isn’t in charge of Homeland Security. We have that to be thankful for.

Leave a Reply