Out of Touch
By Robert Haugh
The Santa Clara Weekly’s Milestones column demonstrates how out of touch with the community its publisher Miles Barber is.
Last week, the column made the case that the 49ers should lower their own rent and that we should develop a lot more housing along the El Camino. Seriously, that’s what he wrote.
Maybe Miles thinks that the 49ers should pay less money to the City. He never makes a case on why in this column. If he did, he would be laughed out of town.
Last year, the 49ers were the 4th wealthiest NFL team and worth about $3 billion according to Forbes Magazine. The stadium is a big reason why. And the stadium is owned by the city of Santa Clara and we, the taxpayers, helped pay for it.
If you read the Forbes story, it’s obvious that the City is trying to make sure that the 49ers can cover future debt obligations. This will make sure that Santa Clara taxpayers are not on the hook for the debt like Oakland taxpayers are for the Coliseum. This makes us wonder:
- Does anyone in Santa Clara with any business sense think this a bad thing?
- Did Miles write a column years ago for the Oakland Tribune when the city of Oakland made a bad deal with the Raiders?
Miles also writes a defense of major developments on the El Camino. He thinks that Prometheus and SummerHill should have the support of the council for the projects that do not fit in the city’s general plan. (Note to Miles: the company is “SummerHill” not “Summerhill.”)
What’s interesting is that Miles continues to write about development issues without disclosing his role as a lobbyist for the massive Mariani development project. After we asked the City Clerk for Miles’ lobbyist forms and reported it, Miles filed a form that says he is no longer a lobbyist. That’s interesting timing.
But neither he nor Lou Mariani have responded to questions we’ve asked about the massive project, nor his role or financial interest in the project, even if he is not technically a lobbyist. For the sake of his readers, and to demonstrate basic journalistic ethics, Miles should disclose his past and current role.
Finally, it’s hard not to point this out. If you write a column and you’re not a particularly exciting writer, you should probably not have an advertisement for snoring at the bottom of your column.