Caserta Erupts And Other Things That Happened at the Council Meeting

Caserta Erupts And Other Major Things That Happened at the Council Meeting

By Robert Haugh

The July 11 meeting started with a bang. Well, Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta did.

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An angry Caserta objected to a request by Mayor Lisa Gillmor to continue the minimum wage discussion until next week. Almost five minutes at the opening of the meeting was taken up by Caserta demanding to know why Gillmor wanted to continue the item. He was not a happy camper. Caserta says that Gillmor didn’t return his multiple phone calls, texts, emails, and telegrams over the last few days.

Okay, we’re exaggerating. He didn’t send a telegram. And Gillmor actually sent him a response by email. But, Caserta was sure mad. He apparently wanted more than a one-sentence response. You can watch it on YouTube from 10:45 to 15:26.

But we’re not sure why he was surprised. Afterall, Gillmor pulled her endorsement of Caserta for Santa Clara County Supervisor by sending him a text. Ouch.  The relationship is not good.

You could say that Gillmor is improving. At least she responded to Caserta by email. We predict next time she’ll reply with a homing pigeon.

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Seriously, Gillmor’s reason was simple. She didn’t want to hear two major items: minimum wage and affordable housing, because the meeting would likely end around 3 a.m. For selfish reasons, we’re happy since we got to bed earlier. The meeting ended just shy of midnight. Gillmor also said a one week delay wouldn’t delay a minimum wage increase scheduled to take affect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Here’s what’s head scratching: after making a huge fuss about the minimum wage delay, Caserta made the motion for the continuance, then voted to support it. Huh? So, the vote was unanimous. Caserta started with a bang but ended with a whimper.

We got lots of text messages and emails as this was happening. It was like the excitement generated by a Stone Cold vs. The Rock steel cage match announcement.

Some people who contacted us were asked by Caserta to come to the meeting last night. They suggested the Caserta campaign wanted to use Tuesday’s meeting to show off what he’s doing for labor.

But, unfortunately, Caserta raised a lot people’s concerns about his temper and temperament. That’s not good for his Supervisorial race.

Other Important Items

  • Councilwoman Patricia Mahan was absent from the meeting.
  • Silicon Valley Power announced that there would be no rate increase for Santa Clara residents and businesses. Hurray!
  • Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra appointed a new Public Works Director Alan Kurotori who was Assistant City Manager. Congrats. He also announced a new Housing and Community Services Manager, Jonathan Veach.
  • The Council adopted a new affordable housing policy that includes these major elements:
    • “For sale” residential developments will include 12.5 percent affordable units (unanimous);
    • Rental residential developments will include 15 percent affordable units (5-1, Caserta opposed);
    • New residential developments will have a $20 per square foot impact fee (5-1, Caserta opposed);
    • A fee implementation schedule that increases every three months (5-1, Caserta opposed); and
    • The policy will be reviewed in one year.
  • The Council approved the conceptual design for bike lane improvements on Pruneridge Avenue at Lawrence Expressway.
  • The Council approved an ordinance to promote accessory dwelling units (granny units) to comply with a new state law and help to increase housing units in the City.
  • The Council approved an amount not-to-exceed $750,000 for continuation of legal representation with Hanson-Bridget LLP in the arbitration case against the 49ers about the rent “reset.”

 

21 comments

  1. […] The most controversial item will be a discussion about the City’s minimum wage. This is a battle between labor and the local business community, and a tough test for the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Organization, the former San Jose Chamber, that’s making moves in Santa Clara now. This was the issue that Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta erupted over last week. […]

  2. As a business owner in Santa Clara, I am offended that Mr. Caserta wanted to use the meeting to “show off what he’s doing for labor.” He should be working to help small businesses. We’re the people who create jobs and pay taxes. Instead, we get a politician who uses the minimum wage to score political points and show off about it.

    The affordable housing vote seems well intentioned but there’s little that government can do to change the housing marketplace.

    I’m not happy that the city is spending $750,000 in litigation fees against the 49ers. There must be a better way than paying lawyers who only have an incentive to create legal conflict.

  3. I can tell you that Robert’s column is a must read at City Hall. We don’t always agree with him. Way more often than not, he’s right. His column is insightful and funny. For some of us, it’s the way we get information before it trickles down. There’s really no better source of info on what’s happening with city politics in Santa Clara. We wish there were. The fact that this column appears every day makes it timely and a great way to start a day.

  4. Robert,

    To say that I am ashamed would mean that I think you have any credibility, which your comments show that you have none. You’re just a petulant little gadfly, something Santa Clara needs far less of.

    You continue to push these false narratives and care more about short meetings so you can sleep rather than the city do business and take action to help the community.

    It’s about time you rename this site to “Robert Hates SC Weekly And Caserta” because rather than focus on positives and provide balanced reporting, you manifest nonexistent drama like it’s a wrestling match.

    We get it, you have bizarre delusional fantasies about being in the ring tossed around by a bunchy of beefy men but in lieu of that you want to write divisive fan faction about the very serious matters that impact the real lives of our neighbors. Your personal vendetta is showing, and it’s not very pretty to look at.

    • I’ve criticized a broad array of subjects. It’s only you and a couple others that feel I attack the sC weekly and Caserta. I guess you don’t read Silicon Valley wanderings, or any of the other pieces I’ve done on positive events and things going on in the community.

      I don’t mind long meetings. But I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the community to have so many 3 a.m. Meetings. I’ve sat through and reported on the meetings, and always will. I think it’s very intelligent to have two meetings go to Midnight than 3 am. Some of us have jobs, children and next-day commitments.
      Thank you for your opinion. It’s funny that you seem to hate me and my site, yet continue to flock here and comment … So thank you for your continued readership. Sometimes truth hurts.

      • Robert,
        The truth does hurt, and your wrestling quips and “wanderings” do not provide cover for your flaccid mockery, disdain and clear bias for many in our community. Perhaps you have embraced Trump style tactics too much and thrive on this blog being a breeding ground for NIMBYism and negativity, pushing false narratives and a personal agenda.

        Our community needs honest reporting and watchdog coverage, but so far you have not and it’s very easy to see through your ruse. I will maintain my voice and “flocking” no matter how often you want push for my silence, a rather misogynist trait you likely do not recognize. I just want to see you become a better voice in the community, not just another bully.

        Maybe when someone asks for you do better, you could take it as a community member wanting you to be a teammate, rather than respond with arrogance further exposing yourself self serving agenda.

        As for “jobs to do”, it is the council’s job to work for the community, no matter how long or how late the meetings, not to appease you. There is always tomorrow and I will keep hope, though it is quickly fading.

      • You obviously do not know me.
        I have zero desire to silence you.
        I have allowed every comment you have made. I could easily delete your comments. I allow comments to enhance discussion and engagement – whether I agree with it, or not.

        If you were to put a name to your identity, I would gladly B allow you to write a guest column for this site.

        By the way, some council members have skipped several meetings recently. They didn’t provide reason(s).

        Despite your personal beliefs, there’s no personal agenda from or by me. I have respect for every council member, and have worked alongside every council member at one point and have a long history of reporting on the Santa Clara community.

        Do you really think 3 am meetings are best for the City? I’ve seen meetings at 1 am where the council, staff and community members and speakers are simply exhausted. It’s not feasible to have marathon meetings that enter early mornings, week after week. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s not in the best interest to be making policy decisions at late hours. We need our council members and staff full focus on the items.

  5. Caserta was whiny. If you’re gonna complain about something why vote for it. He looks like the guy who has to have his way or he throws tantrums. Love your homing pigeon joke and photo. LOL

  6. I think you spent way too much time focusing on Caserta’s tirade and should have focused on something more important. Caserta voted against the affordable housing measures meant to help people in our community. He was siding with his developer friends. We first noticed this with BAREC. He received a lot of contributions right before a vote to support the development. This will certainly come up during his campaign. i wish you would pay more attention to it.

    • We did discuss the affordable housing item. That was a very interesting discussion. We also denoted the votes – note Caserta was the sole dissenting vote on multiple items … His Motion to go with lower fees/rates wasn’t even seconded …

      We will certainly be following the money trail and correlation to voting history … Stay tuned!!!

      I’m a huge believer in “follow the money” … Many already know this from my past articles on campaign finance … We will certainly address campaign contributions again soon.

    • Walter Caserta made a motion of four of the five affordable housing measure to help working families. Pls get your facts correct…

  7. Thanks for sharing the You Tube link and staying up late to write about the meeting. That’s why I love this site. I didn’t know you could watch city council meetings on You Tube. I watched Caserta’s eruption. He is an undignified young man. I’ll never vote for him.

    • Pls watch the video Caserta was methodical logical and calm in his comments. The Mayor does not manage the agenda the City Manager does, the Mayor did not simply answer the Vice Mayors questions before the meeting, she wanted to pull an item with unanimous council approval AFTER the meeting was published. These are serious violations of the City Charter and all example of the appointed mayors bullying tactics.

      And, where did Caserta erupt give me a break Robert this is another example of fake news and yellow journalism how you are describing the conversation is simply inaccaurate and an attempt again to discredit Dominic and prop up Lisa. Department heads are scared of her and hate coming to work and feel it is a toxic work environment because of LISA.

      Also we would love to see one of your email or texts you claim to have received last night. Show us just one! Caserta did not erupt he was calm and correct. Process and following the Charter matters. The Mayor was appointed to be a unifier she clearly is not that! That is obvious.

      Interesting Robert you fail to mention that almost every member EVERY member of the Ad Hoc working group on affording housing praised Caserta’s leadership style running those meetings! Why don’t you mention because that is not your infomercial? Why?

      Shame on you what hack job AGAIN!

      • Looking at last nights votes, it appeared there was pretty clear consensus among the council on the majority of items. Quite a lot of unanimous votes and lots of great discussion and arguments on a myriad of issues.

        I do not need to share private emails or texts with anyone.

        Caserta himself said he was angry and upset. I provide the link and the time to watch. In my opinion, and several others, he was not calm in his remarks regarding this item.

        You obviously really like mr. Caserta.i have no problem with him. But im going to report when he’s fuming hot angry at the dais … This isn’t the 1st time he’s had a bit of anger released at a meeting.

        And if you read this article I once again criticized gillmor’s communication style with Caserta …

      • The audit will be public in August from what I’ve heard (and the Mercury news reported earlier today). I am curious when the agenda was modified – On Friday, the agenda showed it being requested to be continued. Agendas generally are available by Thursday’s prior. Seems like it was “pulled” (it was actually a request to continue it) with adequate time and re-agendized accordingly.

        One key point made – the minimum wage issue has been very much addressed. Affordable housing had yet to me heard. So now, an ordinance can be brought back, maybe next week.

        It would have been very hard having both items on one agenda. We truly need to be leery of having so many 3 am meetings – no one does their best work at those hours especially after starting at 5 pm.

      • Look at these details… how would anyone know the vote would be unanimous?
        There are many clues to this to see that this must be Dom Casserta writing to defend himself
        using the pen name of “Lance.”

        Pathetic!

      • Just when you think Caserta couldn’t get any more lame, childish, shady and embarrassing he comments on this site with alias names. Lance, Diane, Bob……It’s a long list. What a joke of a candidate and campaign.😂😂

    • Nor Robert do you mention nor give credit to Caserta who created the Silicon Valley Scholarship Fund that was discussed last night. Because of Dominic’s vision and leadership 42 students have received $192,000 in scholarships to go to college. Why didn’t you mention that?

      • The meeting ended at midnight. I write and publish immediately. And then I sleep … Thanks to the mayor I didn’t have to stay up to 3 a.m., once again, which I have done plenty of times and always will to cover this beautiful city.

        I can’t always report on every detail from every meeting. Perhaps other publications will address those items.

        Thanks for reading and commenting.

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