Caserta Lambasted by Public; Plus Many Other Important Things

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta skipped the meeting after major allegations of sexual harassment came out recently.

But even if he wasn’t in the room, he was a topic of interest.  In a twist from the ordinary, three people raised Caserta’s allegations during the open public speaking session. Shaunn Cartwright and Anne Sherman suggested he be censured or resign. The Reverend Jethro Moore of the NAACP suggested Caserta resign and get help for his problems.

The City Council could not take any action because the issue wasn’t agendized. But it’s likely to be on a future council agenda. Will his colleagues censure him or ask him to resign? Stay tuned.

But not all Caserta references were serious. Later in the meeting, Kevin Park  made a joke during public comment about having a water bottle in his pocket — a reference to Caserta.

Batra Asks for Reconsideration of Benefits

Former interim City manager Rajeev Batra asked the Council to reconsider his benefits issue. Really? Mayor Lisa Gillmor, Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe and Councilwoman Debi Davis and Teresa O’Neill wisely did not move to reconsider the item. We don’t know what’s a bigger head scratcher. Batra’s repeated requests for a post retirement pension spike or the fact that he thought he was a good city manager and would have a parking garage named after him. Seriously, he said that.

Measure A — Two Districts, One Santa Clara

The City Council  endorsed Measure A on a 4-2 vote (Councilwoman Patty Mahan and Councilman Pat Kolstad opposed) and unanimously approved an ordinance establishing two, three-member Districts if the Measure A is approved by voters in June. The districts could be in place by November. We’ll be writing more about this issue in future weeks.

Charter Review Committee member and community activist Hosam Haggag addressed “misleading statements and mailers” recently made about Measure A, including a Robo call by Santa Clara Unified School District Board President Noelani Pearl Hunt. We’ll have more on that issue tomorrow.

The Push for a New Downtown

Many members of Reclaiming Our Downtown spoke urging the Council to expedite a master plan for the Downtown area. This is the most energetic, enthusiastic and largest group pushing to bring a downtown back to the Mission City. We hope to soon see some development proposals and financing options to make it finally happen.


Items continued to the May 15 meeting included the appointment of a planning commissioner and the management fee paid to the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce

Great America Parking Lot Sale

Gillmor asked to continue the item on the purchase of nine acres of the Great America parking lot to the 49ers (under Jamestown Realty LLC of the DeBartolo Corporation) near Levi’s Stadium from the Successor Agency that took over the properties from the old Redevelopment Agency. The sale price is a measly $5.1 million. She wants to know more about the appraisal and process.

Santa Clara City Council
Many Non-agendized Items Tackled at Santa Clara City Council meeting.



  1. It’s really interesting how no one has come to Caserta’s defense. No one is standing up for his character. Not even the people who know him best.

  2. Looking at a sampling of local real estate prices, I would say that market price for 9 acres in Santa Clara could range anywhere from 30 million (rock bottom price) to 90 million. I’m just looking at different properties that have sold and trying to estimate by number of acres and similar value. Not an exact science at all, but clearly 5.1 million is another paltry offer by the 49ers in yet another attempt to shortchange the City of Santa Clara.

  3. I have been an early and strong opponent of Measure A but have recently converted. The vote split on the council re-affirms the correctness of my conversion.
    Logically the measure has little going for it. Two districts seems little better than one and although ranked choice is a better system it has its drawbacks.
    But this issue has little to do with logic and everything to do with the legal system. Very seldom are logic and legality on the same side of the equation. I will let others more familiar with the legal issues explain this as the campaign heats up but for the record I am now firmly in favor of Measure A.
    I would promote this on nextdoor but I am being bullied by petty tyrants. Nextdoor seems to think the person being threatened needs to be silenced with suspension while the person making the threat is rewarded with unfettered speech. I trust others will carry the banner for Measure A on nextdoor, but I won’t know.

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