City Council Recap – Tackling More 49ers Items
By Robert Haugh
Once again, a large chunk of time was spent discussing matters relating to the operations of Levi’s Stadium. One item with a lot of discussion was the ongoing closure of the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail. Once again, the meeting lasted past 1 a.m.
The Creek Trail is closed to non-ticket holders for 23 to 26 events each year with attendance of 20,000 or more. The Creek Trail is closed for approximately eight hours on those event days. Police Chief Mike Sellers and the 49ers say the Creek Trail must be closed for security reasons.
Many speakers made the point that the City and the 49ers are obligated to keep the Creek Trail open since it’s public property and the stadium’s environmental impact report maintained an open trail. Some speakers contend that it’s a “land grab” by the 49ers since the Creek Trail is closed to create extra space for the “Safeway Faithful Mile” which is set up in the Great America parking lot and creates income for the team.
After significant discussion in the form of a motion, an amended motion, then a substituted motion, the Stadium Authority (Council) voted unanimously 7-0 to implement an immediate pilot program to set up a special path through the Great America parking lot for bicyclists who use the trail, and pursue temporary and permanent options in keeping the Creek Trail open to users. The City Staff will report back within 90 days.
Other stadium matters discussed and approved included service contracts for janitorial, parking and elevator services. However, a contract for security staffing was held until next week because the council seems split on the issue of “labor peace.” Local labor unions want Landmark Security to agree to allow workers to organize. Landmark and the 49ers say it’s unnecessary. This is shaping up to be throwdown next week between labor and the 49ers with Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta looking like the swing vote.
City staff presented information regarding the trend in minimum wage in Santa Clara County. Santa Clara currently has an $11.10 minimum wage. All three cities bordering Santa Clara (Cupertino, San Jose and Sunnyvale) are set to have a $15/hour minimum wage by 2019. The next steps are initiating community outreach and stakeholder feedback.
Santa Clara Convention Center Operating Models
Dan Fenton, Executive Vice President of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group presented information on the various operating models for Convention centers. Very few CVBs are connected to the Chamber of Commerce, such as is the case is in Santa Clara.
Fenton will do a study to determine which model is best for Santa Clara.
International Swim Center
Project Finance Advisory, Limited (PFAL) was approved for a nearly $650,00 contract to provide services for research and funding through a private-public partnership for the International Swim Center/Community Recreation Center/International Swimming Hall of Fame project.