By Robert Haugh
A top City staffer sent a letter to Santa Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher Miles Barber reprimanding him for his behavior at the May 22 City Council meeting.
That’s when the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce made their big pitch to keep their convention center management fee. That’s the $145,000 fee that no one seems to know what they’re doing for their money or how they suddenly got a big raise from past years.
The Chamber prepared a Powerpoint presentation to make their case. But there were some minor technical difficulties. So Barber, a Chamber PAC board member, decided to enter the small control booth at the back of the council chambers without permission.
According to the City’s Chief Operating Officer Walter Rossman in a June 15 letter to Barber, “a city employee felt uncomfortable and was disturbed by having you enter into the confined employee-only area but also because of the derogatory and offensive language that you allegedly used.” Wow.
Barber is not known for being good with technology. But he must have thought he could help fix the situation — by yelling at City staff. Smart.
What the city employee reported is similar to what we heard from several people at the meeting who overheard Barber. But since we’re family friendly, we can’t reprint the swearing.
Barber, as many people know, writes a column in a Trumpian style in his own publication. He frequently criticizes female councilmembers with misstated facts. He even resorts to childish name calling, saying some of Gillmor’s allies: “can’t spell their own names.” He also likes to attack Mayor Lisa Gillmor and wrote that “she invents non-existent facts.”
Rossman’s letter of reprimand is copied below for your reading pleasure. He cites a couple City and employment policies that Barber violated. Rossman ends with a good verbal spanking of Barber: “Please be advised that the City expects that you will respect the above-referenced policies and refrain from any actions that harass City employees.” Ouch.
The Chamber will be back on the agenda soon to discuss their management fee. After his official reprimand, don’t look for Barber to be on the list to speak again on behalf of the Chamber. Not unless the Chamber wants to shoot itself in the foot one more time.
Maybe Barber could work on the Chamber’s Powerpoint presentation instead.