Interesting New Website, Interesting Vote
By Robert Haugh
An interesting new website has been generating some buzz on Facebook: JamesRowenWatch.com.
For those of you that may not know, James Rowen is longtime Santa Clara political “gadfly” who has repeatedly harassed, annoyed, insulted, threatened, and demeaned a lot of people in our community (including me). He’s used emails, phone calls, and once wrote a blog that attacked Santa Clara elected officials and community leaders. That was until local attorney John Mlnarik sued him for defamation and won, and killed his blog. It’s like when Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker and ended his career.
Now, a website has been put up to collect evidence of Rowen’s vitriol. It’s unclear who created it. But it was actively shared on Facebook by Unofficial: Santa Clara City Council and Stand Up for Santa Clara.
Here’s some interesting things the site highlights:
- The Santa Clara Police Department has a case opened for complaints about Rowen (#T17001022).
- Rowen’s various types of harassment may violate California Penal Code 653m.
- Rowen was once arrested for battery against a female VTA bus driver and was put on probation for a year.
We’ll continue to monitor this site.
Because of time, we didn’t cover an interesting vote at the July 18 Council meeting in our Wednesday Council Recap.
City staff wanted the Council to clarify the Freedom Circle Specific Plan. Greystar who owns about 14 acres of the vacant land bordering Highway 101 and the San Tomas Aquino Creek (near Pedro’s Restaurant) doesn’t want to be part of the Specific Plan. They’d like to build a mixed use development and don’t want to wait.
Another major developer, the Irvine Company opposed Greystar’s effort to pull out of the Specific Plan. Irvine wants all property owners to participate so no one (i.e. Greystar) gets away with building a project without paying their fair share for infrastructure, parks, or even a school.
City staff believes that Greystar should be part of the Specific Plan so that the area can be better planned as a whole, rather than piecemeal. The Council agreed (5-2, Pat Kolstad and Patricia Mahan opposed).
But here’s what’s interesting. Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta didn’t vote. Well, he eventually did. But only after Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked him to record his vote. You can watch it at the 2:06:40 mark.
We’re not sure why Caserta ducked the first vote. But there’s a lot of buzz at City Hall about it.