How the Mayor and Council Spend Their Time
By Robert Haugh
Many Santa Clarans don’t know that the Mayor and Councilmembers put their calendars online for public inspection. This happened as part of an effort to create more openness and transparency at City Hall. We applaud the council majority who made this happen. We hear it wasn’t a popular idea with some councilmembers and some top city staffers who wanted privacy.
We decided to take a peek to see what our elected leaders are up to. Here are some general observations:
- The Mayor and Council have a lot of committee and subcommittee meetings in addition to their Tuesday evening council meetings. They’re earning the raise they got last year.
- They spend a lot of time meeting with developers. That’s not a huge surprise since there are a lot of development projects on the agenda and developers often want meetings to discuss details.
- The developers who interact most regularly with the Mayor and Council are: The Related Company (Jude Barry, Steve Eimer), SummerHill Homes (Joe Head, Katia Kamangar), Prometheus (Jon Moss, Jon Dalrymple) and Irvine (Carlene Matchniff).
Here are some more specific observations:
- Mayor Lisa Gillmor is really busy. She looks like a full-time mayor even though her job is part-time. She is also meeting with residents about development issues and individual problems. She looks like the only one who is regularly doing that.
- Runner-up for busiest schedule is Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill.
- Dominic Caserta is the least busy. Maybe because he teaches full-time and he’s running for County Supervisor, he’s not keeping up with his colleagues.
Other interesting things:
- Councilmember Patty Mahan met with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to discuss City Place on Feb. 16. We double checked Liccardo’s calendar to confirm the meeting. (The Mayor and Council in San Jose make their calendars public, too).
- Then, we noticed something interesting by looking at Liccardo’s calendar. He also listed the meeting with Mahan on Feb. 16. Plus, he reported a meeting with Caserta on Jan. 6. But that meeting does not appear on Caserta’s calendar. Was this just an oversight? Was this a secret diplomatic mission? We’ll find out soon if there’s a press conference featuring Caserta and Liccardo announcing a peace settlement in the development border war between Santa Clara and San Jose.
If you want to check out the Mayor and Council calendars, here are the links: