By Robert Haugh
So-Called Community Room
We know there are numerous challenges to using the so-called community room. It’s very pricey. Accessibility is an issue. We don’t see any local Santa Clara organization willing to hold a meeting in the so-called community room. It simply doesn’t make sense.
Board member Debi Davis asked about a street-level location near Michael Mina’s restaurant and questioned the four-hour minimum, noting many meetings are also in the evenings. “It seems like a lot of work just to schedule a meeting,” Davis said.
Board member Teresa O’Neill asked about exploring other meeting space options. Board chair Lisa Gillmor said the community room location and exorbitant costs will be problematic and would make it almost impossible for many groups to consider using the space.
Board member Pat Kolstad motioned to approve staff recommendation, but did not get a second. After some discussion, Kolstad motioned to follow the guidance of Executive Director Deanna Santana to explore the most viable location for the community room along with the open-ended parameters on meeting room reservation policies, insurance and implementing the six-month pilot program. The motion passed unanimously.
49ers VP Jim Mercurio attended the meeting. He said the space near the restaurant is anticipated for future use, though can be explored as an option for a community meeting space and that the 49ers “want to make this work out.”
“I hate to say it, but we got played,” said Charter Review Committee member Hosam Haggag. “We got scammed.” Haggag referenced 2009 images from Measure J that depicted a space for community use that featured much better access.
Of 37 audit recommendations, 10 have been completed, 14 have been partially completed and 13 have not been implemented. These were recommendations that Harvey M. Rose & Associates made during the audit, to aid the City in full cost recovery and ensuring policies are practiced.
City Attorney No Longer Interim
In a special closed session meeting before the Stadium Authority meeting, Interim City Attorney Brian Doyle had the “interim” removed from his title and will now be the City Attorney and will be full-time rather than part-time. Congrats Mr. Doyle.
Councilwoman Patricia Mahan and Vice Mayor Dominic Caserta were absent. We hope Mahan is recovering well from her surgery We’re not sure why Caserta skipped the meeting.