By Robert Haugh
We took a look at city council meeting attendance going back to last year. Councilman Dominic Caserta has the worst attendance record of all council members by far. It’s even worse than one council member who moved to Washington state and another councilmember who had major cancer surgery.
In 2017, Caserta missed 9 of 48 council meetings — 19 percent of the meetings he was required to attend. Wow. He was Vice Mayor last year, too. This year, he’s doing even worse. Caserta has missed 2 of 9 council meetings — 22 percent.
Caserta has been campaigning for County Supervisor since last year. But he missed the February 20 meeting because he was in Italy. His campaign consultant, Laura Teutschel, suggested to us it was a “family vacation” even though Caserta’s spouse did not make the trip, according to people who work with her. Here’s some Caserta tweets from Italy. Ciao, Dominic.
The next most absent council member is Pat Kolstad who missed 6 of 48 council meetings (13 percent) in 2017. This year, Kolstad has missed 2 of 9 council meetings. That’s actually not too bad for a guy who moved out of Santa Clara and to Eastern Washington state in the summer of 2017.
Councilwoman Patty Mahan missed 6 of 48 council meetings in 2017. But 3 meetings at the end of the year were during the time she was having major cancer surgery. In 2018, she has attended all 9 meetings but left suddenly at the beginning of one of them. (We’ll be compiling information on who leaves council meetings and subcommittee meetings early, too, for a future report).
In 2017, Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwomen Debi Davis and Teresa O’Neill had perfect attendance. They did not miss a meeting and deserve gold stars (or extra cookies during recess). This year Gillmor and Davis have continued their attendance streak. O’Neill, however, missed one meeting to attend a conference related to Silicon Valley Power.
Current Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe almost got a gold star for last year. She only missed one meeting. But this year, she has a perfect attendance record so far.
Here are the official attendance charts compiled by city staff.