Watchdog Journalism and Community Engagement Making a Difference

Council Preview – Watchdog Journalism and Community Engagement Making a Difference

By Robert Haugh

There isn’t anything too exciting on Tuesday’s Council meeting agenda. Nothing indicates the meeting will turn into a no-holds-barred steel cage match. We picked out a few of the issues that will likely generate some buzz.

Council Travel Policies

Watchdog journalism makes a difference. Mayor Lisa Gillmor requested an item to set travel policy for Council members.  The policy “assists with regulating travel in order to ensure fiscal stability and the proper and equitable use of City resources,” says the staff report.

Transparency and fiscal responsibility. That’s a win for the community.


Infrastructure Assessment – Study Session

Assessing the City’s aging infrastructure was a critical concern of the entire Council at January’s goal-setting retreat.

Funding sources, current conditions, current and proposed projects, unmet needs and deferred infrastructure will be addressed. This will be interesting. Perhaps Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta’s comments in January regarding potholes in the City caused a little ruckus around City Hall?

You aren’t alone, Dominic. No one enjoys potholes.

Stadium Authority Budget – Study Session

There will be lots of numbers, and loads of information to digest. We will spare the space in this column, and just say, it’ll be interesting. We’ll likely write in detail after the meeting to highlight important data and council questions.

Salary Increase for Interim City Manager

Retiring Interim City Manager, Rajeev Batra, who has also been serving as Director of Public Works, is guaranteed a merit pay increase in 2017 ranging from two to to five percent. This is guaranteed as part of the MOU in the contract with his bargaining unit.

The staff reports suggests a five percent wage increase, effective March 12, 2017. His monthly salary will increase from $25,141 to $26,398. Is this really necessary, or will it be considered an attempt to spike his salary for  his pension calculation?

2232 to 2240 El Camino Real Project

Another five-story development project slated for El Camino. This one comes from Summerhill Homes, and is adjacent to Santa Clara Town Centre where Calmar Cycles, Mayuri Restaurant, Verizon and Academy for Salon Professionals are now.  This one is requesting 151 apartments.

At least this project is more in line with the General Plan. This project proposes 55 units per acre, which is compliant with the El Camino Real Focus Area – which allows a subtle increase in residential density,  if there is access to transit.

But we expect similar neighborhood opposition as there was for the Moonlite project.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the summary. Two major objections to the Summerhill development.
    It requires rezoning from the general plan.
    It allows five stories which is too much. Most of us don’t want ECR to become tunnel like with high rises on both sides. This would leave no room for small businesses and services.

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