Council Appoints New City Manager; Prop 64 Recreational Marijuana and More Discussed
By Robert Haugh
After a month-long hiatus, the City Council re-convened with few dramatic items at their August 22 meeting. The big news is the Mission City will soon have a new City Manager – one that is highly touted and well-respected.
New City Manager Announced
The City Council appointed current Sunnyvale City Manager Deanna Santana and approved her wage and benefit package with a 6-1 vote (Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta opposed). Caserta does not agree with the “total compensation package,” which totals approximately $700,000, according to him.
Other councilmembers commented that she is a top level city manager and Santa Clara had to pay top dollar to get her. Community activist and Charter Review Committee member Hossam Haggag pointed out that bad city management has cost the city a lot of money and paying for expertise could save Santa Clara money in the short term and long run.
Santana brings years of high level city management experience, including over 23 years of service in San Jose, Oakland and Sunnyvale. She received the VIP Woman of the Year award from the National Association of Professional Women in 2015 and was recipient of the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Business Award in 2012.
Proposition 64 (“Adult Use of Marijuana Act”) Study Session
We heard a lot about marijuana. Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries are banned in Santa Clara, but delivery service exists.
Caserta stated Prop 64 was passed overwhelmingly in Santa Clara with 60 percent in favor and said “we need to tax and regulate this fledgling industry.” Some speakers mentioned the large amount of taxes San Jose generates through marijuana regulation.
After a lot of discussion, the Council asked City Staff to return with more information by the end of the year, with the ban on commercial use (dispensing) to come back sooner.
- Council approved 2018 meeting dates.
- The minimum wage ordinance was adopted.
- Mayor Lisa Gillmor should really use her gavel to control the meeting more. One speaker often made personal attacks and commented from the audience.
- Caserta and community activist Deborah Bress agreed on two items – we almost fell out of our chair. It would be like The Iron Sheik and Hulk Hogan hugging over dinner.
Yesterday, we reported that the Harvey Rose audit concluded that the 49ers owe $1,951,051 to to the City’s general fund and the stadium’s construction fund. We double counted a number. The total should be $1,842,270. We regret the error.