City Calendar Review — How Did City Leaders Spend Their Time?

City Calendar Review — How Did City Leaders Spend Their Time?

By Robert Haugh

We took a look at the publicly available calendars for Santa Clara city leaders which is on the city’s website.

We last did this in April.

Here are some general highlights for April-June, 2017:

  • Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill are the busiest, attending required public meetings, community gatherings, and individual meetings or calls.
  • Of the council, Councilman Pat Kolstad attended the fewest non-required public meetings.
  • City Clerk Rod Diridon, Jr. did not attend any non-required public meetings.

Here are some interesting meetings:

  • Gillmor met with San Jose City Councilman Don Rocha and former Campbell Mayor Jason Baker in June. They’re both running for County Supervisor against Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta who Gillmor un-endorsed in May.
  • Police Chief Mike Sellers also met with Baker, in March. Caserta endorsed Sellers’ opponent, Pat Nikolai in last year’s police chief election.
  • On April 3, Kolstad met with former City Attorney Ren Nosky who resigned in January. The meeting is listed as “social.”
  • Miles Barber, once a lobbyist for the massive Mariani development project, likes to meet with O’Neill. They  had meetings in April and May. According to her calendar, she’s met with him four times in the last year.

The first Barber-O’Neill meeting was listed as “General Business Discussion and Mariani’s proposed development.” The last three meetings have been about “city issues.” The only other councilmember that reports meeting with Barber was Caserta over a year ago, on April 2016, about the Mariani project.  That’s a lot of meetings for someone who is no longer a lobbyist.

Here are some commendable meetings:

  • On June 10, Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe attended the Muslim Support Rally near Valley Fair/Santana Row. It’s too bad others did not show up.
  • On June 12, Councilwoman Patty Mahan attended a community meeting to hear what Santa Clarans want in a new city manager.
  • On June 19 Gillmor, Watanabe, and Councilwoman Debi Davis did the same.
  • On June 22,  the following people attended the LGBTQ flag raising ceremony at City Hall with County Supervisor Ken Yeager:  Gillmor, Caserta, Davis, Watanabe, and Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra. Kudos to them. It’s too bad not everyone was in attendance.



  1. I can see that in 2018 much will be revealed. The Supervisorial race will help us all see the true nature of one of our Santa Clara politicians. His under handed dealings. Selling his political soul for money. His bending of the truth. Yes, it will be good year and much will be revealed.

  2. Robert,
    What voice do you consider this narrative to be for our community?

    It reads as tired nonsense that adds context to generate negativity and accusations in the comments section, and as a specious write up by someone with a pettiness that clouds their journalistic intent.

    What’s your angle? You clearly present one but be nice to understand it more directly from you…

    • “Diane” – what is so negative about linking to the city meeting schedules of elected council members, city clerk, police chief and high-ranking staff?

      This article discusses the meetings and events attended by These people. It’s transparency. I commended those who attended specific events, such as the city manager outreach meetings and the flag raising ceremony.

      What do you consider “negative” in this piece?

    • Diane,

      I’m not sure how many news columns and opinion columns you read on a daily basis. I personally read dozens daily between 2 local papers, 1 national paper, 1 monthly news magazine, and at least 5 online news sites. With that experience, I can say that Robert Haugh’s column today has little, just a hint, of personal opinion in it. It’s mostly a list of meetings which he sorts into categories. That’s a mild assertion of his opinion. Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with personal opinion or editorializing in a personal column. Most readers expect and value it.

      This site and Robert’s column is invaluable to me and many of my neighbors because of our interest in what the journalism industry calls “hyper local” news. We want to know what’s happening in our city hall and on our block.

      I stopped reading the Santa Clara Weekly long ago because the editorializing was weak, laughable really. And I actually like strong editorializing in columns. But I cannot tolerate bad writing. The Santa Clara Weekly is the poster child for bad writing and poor editing.

      I like Robert’s personal and somewhat whimsical style. His column also happens to share important “hyper local” news. That’s of great value to our community. For that, I thank him.

  3. Caserta can’t win Santa Clara. Chief or no Chief. He’s alienated to many residents by selling out to developers and the 49ers.

    • Old Quad Dad. Do you even know Dominic, I have known him personally for 20 years and live near him in the Old Quad. Dominic is a loving father and husband, and celebrated teacher at Santa Clara High School, winning Teacher of the Year the past two years.

      To your claims: Dominic has won FOUR straight elections in Santa Clara, garnering over 70% of the vote in the Old Quad in his last council race without Lisa Gillmors’ endorsement by the way. Those numbers reflect a huge support base for Dominic in the Old Quad.

      Along with Mahan and Davis, Caserta led on a Historic Preservation Ordinance protecting the historic charm of the Old Quad and Agnews area, and ordinance that developers are generally opposed to. And, he spoke out publicly against the 49ers recently for not following the city curfew with the U2 concert.

      So, you are simply incorrect. Caserta will win Santa Clara. Like you, I know Dominic loves Santa Clara and we deserve someone from our city representing us on the County Board. And, Dominic is our best chance of that goal happening. Plus, whether you agree or not, any objective measure of a campaign, Caserta is doing extremely well. He has the most endorsements, volunteers, and support of all candidates combined. He told me that he has had over 500 volunteers walk for him already! Those are the objective facts.

      Get to know Dominic, and when you do, you will not say such hurtful and incorrect statements.

    • Dear Bob,

      As for Mr. Caserta’s “volunteers”, you should know that he offers students credit and higher grades for walking precincts and working at the campaign headquarters. This must be illegal. But everyone is afraid to raise the issue. I understand that there may an organization that could deal with this at the state level. Maybe I will call someone there.

    • Again Oliverio who is the student…that claim is libel and simply untrue how are Caserta’s former students who are volunteering receiving extra credit when they are his former students shame on you Robert for publishing such lies and attacking Caserta’s professional credibility but that is what Robert does! Give one name of a student who is receiving a higher grade? You can’t another lie!

    • I’m not making statements about Caserta. The statements about students and extra credit were not made by me. These were made by readers, rest debts and people who want to let their voices be heard.

    • And notice how Oliverio continually makes false statements instead of acknowledging the facts about Caserta’s strength in SC…shame on you!

  4. Does it matter that the City Clerk doesn’t get out of City Hall? Does he even get paid?

    • Hey Jerry. Here’s a not so well kept secret:.Diridon doesn’t spend much time INSIDE city hall either. His staff thinks he’s a joke. His parking space has cobwebs.

    • Diridon —

      salary: $192K
      other: $12K
      pension/benefits: $72K

      TOTAL: $277 (rounded)

    • I for one think Diridon deserves his salary. He is an extremely talented and dedicated young man. A brighter fellow you will not meet. He may stay home a lot. But his years of dedicated public service have earned him the right.

    • Robert you allow accusations that are blatantly false accusations about Caserta and attack him professional as a distinguished teacher why do you allow such libel to occur? It is dangerous and unworthy of publication it is damaging and false. Have you know shame…

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