By Robert Haugh
The big news from last night’s City Council meeting is the sudden resignation of City Clerk Rod Diridon, Jr. This is eerily similar to how former Mayor Jamie Matthews resigned suddenly after the Mission City hosted Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium two years ago.
Matthews held a press conference the morning after the Super Bowl, announced he was stepping down, then cleaned out his office and was gone before the end of the day.
Diridon left just as hastily. He announced at the beginning of the council meeting that he’s leaving for a position in the hi-tech sector. (Rumors are he’s headed to either the Silicon Valley Leadership Group or a major tech company.) Diridon shook hands, took a photo with the council, then left the meeting immediately — before the first agenda item.
The Council was clearly surprised. They made impromptu comments thanking Diridon for his service. Only Councilwoman Debi Davis didn’t speak following the announcement.
Rumors have been circling for months at Santa Clara City Hall about high turnover in the Clerk’s office and a pending evaluation of its operations under Diridon.
Diridon was serving his fourth term as Clerk, elected in 2004. Prior to being elected Clerk, he served two terms on the Council. He also served on the Board of Library Trustees.
The Council voted unanimously to accept his resignation and his recommendation to have Community Relations Manager Jennifer Yamaguma temporarily fulfill the role, serving as Acting City Clerk until the Council takes further action. Yamaguma, who holds a CMC (Certified Municipal Clerk) certificate, worked with Diridon for eight years before transitioning into her current communications role.
Study Session: Tasman East Specific Plan
Director of Community Development Andrew Crabtree made a study session presentation about the 45-acre Tasman East area near Levi’s Stadium.
The early plans include:
- creation of 38 acres of usable space, not counting roads and infrastructure.
- Density of approximately 100 units per acre, with some micro units included.
- 10 acres total of open space.
- an area for a future school.
- Santa Clara Unified School District Director of Facility Development and Planning Michal Healy said SCUSD anticipates need for another school in the area, particularly for younger students.
He presented a lot of information, but omitted one hugely important item during his presentation – the fact that there are CC&Rs on many of the properties, in particular, the “center district.” It was only brought up during the study session when a commercial real estate broker and Ron Patrick, a current owner of one of the businesses, brought it up during public testimony. So only 60 percent of current tenants/owners are onboard with the vision and planning for the site.
According to Patrick, many of the business owners are feeling pressure to sell their property. “We don’t want to be forced to move to Gilroy, he said.” Patrick believes he’d have to pay a lot to find industrial property to move his business.