City Council Recap – Short Meeting, Little Debate, No Fun
By Robert Haugh
The Sept. 12 City Council meeting flew by. It’s the first meeting in a century to adjourn by 9 p.m. Okay, maybe not a century, but a long time. It was almost as brief as the match between The Ultimate Warrior and The Honky Tonk Man at SummerSlam 1988 – ok, it wasn’t that short.
The biggest news (sort of) from the meeting is that Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra resigned, effective September 26. He did not attend last night’s meeting. Batra officially retired in March, but has served as a consultant over the last six months. We’re not sure why he was a no-show at this meeting. That means his last meeting will be the Stadium Authority meeting on Sept 19.
- The Council approved the salary of incoming city manager Deanna Santana with a 6-1 vote. Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta was the sole dissenting vote, citing his displeasure in her salary and benefits again. He also didn’t agree with allowing Santana to serve on the Board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation – which meets four times a year. Other councilmembers said Santana serving on the volunteer nonprofit board would be a benefit to the city.
- A study session on the San Jose Urban Villages located at Stevens Creek Boulevard, Winchester Boulevard and Santana Row/Valley Fair actually took up almost as much time as the entire Council meeting. Speaker after speaker spoke about the next chapter in “border wars” between Santa Clara and San Jose and Cupertino.
Councilwoman Debi Davis mentioned how San Jose Councilman Chappie Jones told her that San Jose is going ahead with the urban village plan and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Some public speakers said they heard the same thing from Jones. We don’t know the Councilman, but he doesn’t sound too subtle.
But the Council voted to try and do something about it. Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe recommended a task force between the cities. (We hope Jones doesn’t chair it). The Council approved the suggestion unanimously. However, we did notice that the Thomas Law Group was on the closed session agenda to discuss possible litigation against San Jose’s urban village plans. Is the council offering San Jose a carrot and a stick? Stay tuned.
- Discussion regarding Proposition 64 (Adult Use of Marijuana Act) was continued to the September 26 meeting, with Council asking staff to bring back more thorough information. City staff recommends retaining a consultant to complete an analysis of commercial marijuana operations within the City, and possible options for regulations, taxation, etc.
- Council approved funding the design and construction of the Fuller Street Phase II Sport Court at Fuller Park. The $385,000 comes from unused Mitigation Fees Act funds.