City Council Preview – More Stadium Issues & More

City Council Preview

By Robert Haugh

This week’s City Council meeting is the second of three consecutive regularly scheduled meetings. The Council members have been busy, and the agendas are packed each week.

This week, the Council starts with a 4 p.m. closed session. Ouch.

Stadium Matters (Again)

* Creek Trail – San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail Follow Up

Last week, Council asked Staff to return this week to answer lots of questions about insurance risk assessment, security and information on the how the magnetometers were located and approved.

There will likely be some fireworks related to this item. It’s another test for the council on whether they have any say in how the 49ers manage the stadium and the surrounding land.

* Civil Grand Jury response

The 2016-17 Santa Clara Civil Grand Jury sent a letter on April 12 requesting a response on the status of the implementation of the previous recommendations by the 2015-16 Grand Jury. Staff has developed a proposed response. The response essentially says that the Harvey M. Rose Associates, LLC audit will be completed in two phases with Phase I to be completed in the near future relative to the City’s processes, and Phase II including stadium operations, will be delayed. The letter strangely does not say why Phase II has been delayed. It’s because the 49ers haven’t produced documents. It’ll be interesting to see if the Grand Jury weighs in on the document issue.

* U2 Concert and VTA Services

In a nutshell, it appears that stadium management did not adequately prepare a traffic plan for the U2 concert slated for this Wednesday, May 17, as VTA is not prepared to provide adequate services following the weeknight event.

Stadium Authority and VTA Board member Teresa O’Neill recently engaged conversations with Nuria Fernandez, VTA’s General Manager. Fernandez raised “serious concerns” about the arrangements for transportation away from Levi’s Stadium after the conclusion of the U2 concert. There had been allegedly been no arrangements made for additional light rail trains or buses to be coming to pick up approximately 5,000 to 6,000 concert goers who will ride public transit to Levi’s Stadium that night.

According to the agenda, in pre-concert planning meetings, the Stadium Management Company acknowledged that the U2 concert would not end before the 10 p.m. weeknight curfew, per the conditions of approval of the Stadium. Wow. The 49ers are basically saying we don’t care about your stinkin’ rules.


*Budget Study Session

City Staff will present an overview of the proposed 2017-18 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget. It is expected Council will approve this budget on June 13.

* Resolutions and Procedures

Several resolutions and procedures will be approved. Among the items include:

  • amending time limits for speakers at meetings (10 minutes for presentations from applicant/appellant/challenging party,
  • five minutes for presentation with written petition,
  • three minutes for non-agendized public presentations,
  • two minutes for public presentations for individual agenda items
  • one minute for Consent calendar items pulled for discussion),
  • establishing a Public records Policy for the Mayor and Council,
  • and amending the travel policy for the Mayor and Council members.

We first reported Councilman Dominic Caserta trying to get the city to pick up his tab for an expensive stay at Yosemite’s Majestic Lodge.

After our story, Caserta said he would pick up some of the tab himself. It may have led to the travel policy updates.

* General Plan Amendment Projects

An early consideration policy could possibly be approved for General Plan Amendment applications. The four projects include:

  • Prometheus (575 Benton at El Camino Real),
  • Mariani’s (2500 El Camino Real at Buchanan),
  • Hunter-Storm (Gateway Crossing Coleman at Brokaw),
  • and Greystar (Freedom Circle at Mission College Blvd.).

The Gateway Crossing (adjacent to Costco) and Greystar projects are expected to be allowed to go forward, as they are both already well under review. The Prometheus proposal and the massive Mariani’s development project are much more controversial.



  1. How can Santa Clara stop and reverse the corrupting influence of the 49ers (and other developers)? says:

    49ers continue to give the City of Santa Clara “the Bird!”
    Why? Because they can!

    There need to be consequences built in.

    Let’s remember what the 49ers get from the city:

    1) Ground lease for eleven (11!) acres of prime real estate 20 years @ $26,000 per year!!!
    Extension of this obscenely low lease agreement at $26,500 per year for 60 more years!!!

    This is “corporate welfare” worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of 80 years!!!

    2) Allowing the City to own the stadium saved the Yorks an estimated $300-500 million in taxes!

    This stadium also increased the value of the team 2-3x over what it was before.
    Whether or not this valuation stands up after the incompetence of York Jr meddling in the team
    and making the 49ers a laughing stock in the NFL may be up to debate

    And even juicier investigation would be what payoffs and special treatments were given to the former
    City Manager, Mayor and certain past and current City Council Members to people on behalf of the
    49ers. There must have been many “off book” payments made that were purposely made apart from the
    team in question but undoubtedly for the team.

    If you go back far enough, investigate whether or not Eddy D. was set up in the sting operation by those that
    stood to gain by taking over the team. It was jealousy and the quest for money and power that drove those
    to topple Eddy D. If you can unravel this, I think you’ll find that you might have a horse head on your pillow
    though. Which is why nobody wants to cross the 49ers under their current ownership. (That and the payoffs
    are too good)

    3) The Youth Soccer Park may still be in danger. City Council never publicly acknowledged that the City Council resolution 10-7785 would force the 49ers to pay market rate for that property and build an 11 acre “like kind” facility to replace the YSP.

    Please also investigate the LIES that this was to be for parking. This was initially true, but the 49ers were going to flip this for development and make big $$$

    4) Subsidized parking that was on the Santa Clara Golf Course. That same golf course’s busiest days
    were Sundays and the Golf facility was making approximately $5 million per year and had approximately
    $3.5 million per year giving Santa Clara a net profit of $1.5 million per year.

    Please investigate why the City Council and staff continually LIE about this.
    It was to make the 49ers and later the push to develop land and give sweetheart deals to Related
    Development for their corporate takeover of public lands.

    5) Using the “Security” and “Fear Factor” and “9/11” and “Boston Bombing as an excuse for money, power and land grabs.

    How much money does the Levi’s Stadium Management Company make off of the Safeway mile (from Safeway and all of the vendors that pay to be there) and what other side benefits are there?

    You don’t think they do that for the fans or out of the “goodness of their hearts” do you?

    What does this precedence of taking over land that was not analyzed in the Environmental Impact Reports allow the 49ers to do? What is their end game?

    What about the “temporary” magnetometers that have been made permanent over the last two years?
    It is these magnetometers that were supposed to be EAST of the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail

    6) How are the 49ers able to twist City Managers, Mayors, City Council Members and senior City Staff to do their bidding?

    And what will current leadership do?

    What can the current Mayor and Council do?

    What consequences can and will befall City Staff for crossing ethical lines of doing the bidding for the 49ers?

  2. Quoting:

    “one minute for Consent calendar items pulled for discussion)”

    This is very, very bad. This needs to be at least two minutes.
    If anything, if these items are pulled off, why aren’t these increased from two to three minutes,
    not reduced to one minute.

    To put this into perspective, the Council members can talk for an infinite amount of time before the public gets to speak on any issues (pulled from consent or regularly scheduled to be discussed), then the public gets to weigh in on things for two minutes; then the Council can talk for an infinite amount of time.

    Not only is this unfair, but many times (almost every time) there are misrepresentations and untruths uttered by one or more council members in both the Council’s first and second pass at talking. After we speak there is no way to correct the record or point out that the Council Member is speaking incorrectly (on purpose or otherwise). The City Council Members know this and are purposely distorting the truth to satisfy their puppet masters.

    Seems like some people are right. “Santa Clara is the ‘City of Bell’ of Northern California!”

    • The worst part is not being able to rebut statements made after public comment.
      But if we all go back and forth as much as we like the meeting would go on for days, literally.

      I don’t have a solution but share the frustration.

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