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.
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.
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.”