The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: City Council Highlights

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: City Council Highlights

By Robert Haugh

The Feb. 21 City Council meeting was like watching a 60-minute iron man wrestling match between a broom and a skeleton. It didn’t feature any high-flying aerial maneuvers or Tombstone piledrivers.

We’ll rate the topics as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

  • Moonlite Lanes site developer, Prometheus listened to local residents, withdrawing their project, saying they will “go back to the drawing board” and further reach out to the community. They said they were surprised and “caught off-guard” by an outpouring of community opposition. This also demonstrates that the current City Council is listening to the community on development impacts. Great!
  • Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta pulled an item from the consent calendar regarding conference expenses for his attendance of the Yosemite Policy Makers conference in March. We drew attention to this item earlier this week when we reported that he’s staying at a luxury hotel on the city dime.

Now, Caserta said he will pay out-of-pocket differences from the lower-priced host hotel (after he made some disparaging remarks about Santa Clara News Online). Great! Self Hi-5 Dominic (and don’t take our reporting so personally. We will happily print his conference report on the site when he gets back).

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  • The Santa Clara Convention Center produced a year-to-date net profit of nearly $500,000 – over $615,000 more than a projected loss of over $135,000. Great!

The Bad

  • City staff is still relying on financial data given to them by the 49ers.  Even Caserta, a pro-49er Councilmember, said this system has to change.
  • Stadium public safety costs for NFL events have risen over 15 percent.
  • Even with a light agenda, and the Moonlite project being withdrawn, the meeting lasted past midnight.

The Ugly

  • The Friday Night Lights event drew just over 3,000 attendees. In 2014, the cross-town rivalry Mission City Bowl game between Wilcox and Santa Clara drew a reported 12,000 guests. Perhaps that game needs to return to Levi’s Stadium. That’s a win for the Santa Clara community.
  • The number of non-NFL special events was down by 40 percent, while attendance of those events was down 55.5 percent from the prior year.

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