Guest Letter: The Santa Clara Weekly and Wasteful Government Spending
By Burt Field, Stand up for Santa Clara
I will be appearing before the city council tonight to ask about the Santa Clara Weekly and government waste.
I will ask the three questions I posed in a January letter on this website:
- Is the Santa Clara Weekly a paper of general circulation as is required of publications where the city places legal notices?
- If so, what is the audited circulation?
- And is Santa Clara wasting taxpayers’ money by advertising in the Weekly, when other publications with greater audited circulation and readership may both perform better and be more cost effective?
I started asking these questions on November 22, 2016. Since then, City Clerk and Auditor Rod Diridon, Jr. was good enough to talk and meet with me a few times.
I will request that the city council ask Mr. Diridon or the appropriate City staff to evaluate these questions and concerns and let the public know. Afterall, our city government is responsible to Santa Clara taxpayers first.
We’ve heard reports that the Weekly has few subscribers (maybe less than 100) and they’ve been billing the city about $100,000 a year for legal notices and other advertising. If these numbers are close to accurate, city staff needs to look closely at how this has all happened, and stop it immediately.
The Weekly has a right to print whatever it pleases, right or wrong. However before this publication gets another nickel from our City, it needs to prove that they are the best, most cost effective use of our hard earned tax dollars.
Remember, the residents of Santa Clara are the customers. Taxpayers, not just City Government should have a say in how our tax dollars are spent. I speak not just for myself, but for a growing number of engaged community members.
– Burt Field
Editor’s Note: Stand Up for Santa Clara was started in March 2015, when the San Francisco 49ers and the majority of the Santa Clara City Council took action to sell the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park to the NFL Team. It’s a grassroots organization of volunteers. Individuals from the organization have contributed to this website’s legal defense fund.