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.
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.