Council Recap – Batra Loses His Pension Spiking Request and Caserta Loses His Cool; Other Stuff Happened, Too

By Robert Haugh

A lot of really important things happened at this council meeting. But it’s late, so we’ll focus on one major item for today. We hope the council members get a good night’s sleep. They earned their pay last night with some important and good votes.

Rajeev Batra’s Pension Spike Request

Former Interim City Manager Rajeev Batra lost his request for a post-retirement pension spike. It  would have cost the city an estimated $500,000 to $744,000.

But he lost on a 4-2 vote. Mayor Lisa Gillmor, Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe, Councilwoman Debi Davis, and Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill denied Batra’s request. (Pat Kolstad was absent).

In the process, Councilman Dominic Caserta erupted again attacking City Attorney Brian Doyle and then later Mayor Lisa Gillmor. No kidding. Caserta lost his cool over a debate to give Batra extra pension money. At one point, Caserta unhappily said that he was not unhappy.

Caserta attacked Doyle, apologizing to Batra “for the way that the City Attorney’s office treated him.”  All Doyle really said was that Batra misrepresented the facts in his case. Doyle also said granting Batra’s request would be unconstitutional.

Councilwoman Patty Mahan, who’s also an attorney, tried to be the city attorney on this issue. She made lengthy legal arguments to support Batra’s pension spike. At one point, Doyle said that the council should rely on his legal advice and not Mahan’s.

Gillmor came to Doyle’s defense and said that unfortunately name calling was becoming a regular occurrence at council meetings. Caserta of course took the occasion to erupt again, proving Gillmor’s point.

Rajeev Batra
Retired interim City manager Rajeev Batra was denied his requested supplemental retirement benefit.

Other Important Stuff

We’ll write more about these issues in the coming days:

  • The Council reviewed a lot of city infrastructure needs for a possible bond measure in November 2018.
  • The Stadium Authority had a study session on the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. It’ll be played in Santa Clara in January 2019. The big news is that the 49ers will have to pay for all costs and eat an estimated $12 million loss. Wow. Good for the city. Bad for the team.
  • The Council adopted a “Dark Money” ordinance that requires political committees that spend more than $100 in Santa Clara elections to disclose their donors. This will stop BluPAC, the notorious dark money group from doing what they did in 2016. They tried to elect council members and hide the source of their money which many people believe was the 49ers. The team would not deny it back then. They won’t be able to do it again.
  • The Council will have a special meeting to review options to change the duties of the City Clerk and Auditor since Rod Diridon, Jr. suddenly resigned in February.





  1. I have been occasionally reading this news site over the past year to keep informed on Santa Clara politics. I have to say the more I read the more disgusting it gets. The reporter admittedly is all opinion which is obvious and ok because at least he admits it and puts his name on his statements. By allowing anonymous posts to slander people you dislikes is bad enough but by the statements being made it’s now become a feeding ground for vultures. If your followers can’t say it to a persons face, which obviously they can’t or they wouldn’t hide behind some made up screen name, they shouldn’t say anything at all. And you the owner of this website by allowing such statements to be published, says a lot about your character. Good bye and good luck. You and your followers need professional help.

  2. Interesting!! No surprise its not documented. If the school board covers up something as simple as naming a computer user I can only imagine the resources wasted hiding any Caserta misconduct

  3. What really concerns me is how many Caserta signs I see as I drive in my home town of Santa Clara. How many people have missed exactly who they think they want to vote for.

  4. Caserta is so embarrassing. After reading this comment from the recall Persky post I can’t believe Caserta was elected for any seat.

    Nice try Caserta
    April 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm
    I hear the stories from over a hundred Santa Clarans about Caserta and his sexual misconduct with female students and wonder why its not documented somewhere. No doubt his passionately endorsing the recall Persky is damage control hoping to gain women supporters and to distract locals from the merc article on reporting teacher sexual misconduct. Like anything else, if you hear the same story about someone from 100 different people it’s not just a rumor.

  5. OMG! It was like watching Ina Bendis and Chris Stampolis all over again last night – only better! Patti plays a better Stampolis and Caserta plays a better Bendis. Thanks for the memory. Now make like smoke and disappear like those 2 divisive nitwits did.

  6. Good vote!

    Dominic gives me douche chills whenever he speaks. I get the same feeling when I see one of his political signs. Hopefully next year he’ll be relegated to teaching. Wow, that doesn’t even sounds right.

  7. What a display of unprofessionalism last night. How did these people get elected? 12 years on the dias is way too long. I believe Mahan has been on for 20 years. They don’t know how to speak to people, make everything about themselves and insult people in the audience, staff and colleagues. And Caserta is running for Supervisor? Pay attention people in the south bay and present county supervisors. Vote for anyone other than Caserta. Warn your constituents!

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