By Robert Haugh
Several prominent members of the Santa Clara community — including a respected former councilwoman — verbally lambasted Councilwoman Patty Mahan and Councilman Pat Kolstad at Tuesday evening’s meeting during the public speaking session.
Many people are still upset with them for blocking the effort to fill the seat of disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta. And for doing it so dishonestly and disrespectfully. Kolstad and Mahan made over 20 candidates jump through hoops and then said at 1:30 in the morning that they would not appoint anyone.
I’ve been covering Santa Clara politics for 13 years. This was the most criticism I’ve seen from Santa Clara residents toward councilmembers, except for Caserta. The only other time I recall widespread chastising of elected officials in Santa Clara was when former Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) Board members Chris Stampolis and Ina Bendis were terrorizing their organization. Kolstad and Mahan are not in good company.
Here’s a list of the many respected community leaders who spoke harshly about Mahan and Kolstad on Tuesday – some even suggested censure:
- Keri Procunier McLain — a respected and well-known former Councilwoman who hasn’t appeared in front of the Council in 20 years. She’s also considered a good friend of Kolstad and Mahan.
- Dorothy Rosa — Longtime Santa Claran who is seen by many as a grandmother figure in the Mission City. She rarely speaks out at council meetings.
- Hosam Haggag — a highly regarded Charter Review Committee member and community activist who has a large online following.
- Teresa Sulcer — an esteemed former Charter Review Committee member and non-profit Board member.
- Vickie Fairchild — a respected SCUSD parent and community activist.
- Kirk Vartan — a well-known and regarded small business owner and housing advocate.
See if you can match the quotes to the speaker (answers at the very end):
1. Two Council members were not honorable or considerate … You should be ashamed of yourselves … people know … and we won’t forget.”
2. “Who were you waiting for, Jesus Christ? Were you waiting for Dominic Caserta to re-apply?”
3. “You are both my friends … You played them … it wasn’t democracy in action, it was plain dirty politics in action.”
4. “There’s such a thing as the Santa Clara way … it means we care about the City.”
5. “Justifying the action using a false dilemma was wrong.”
6. “It’s a smokescreen … shame on you [Kolstad] for not living in the City and screwing us on your way out.”
7. “It is disheartening and extremely disappointing that two members of our Council lacked this vision and leadership.”
8. “The fact is, the reason he [Kevin Park] isn’t on the Council dais is because two Councilmembers … two of you decided to withhold … that is really reprehensible and a shame.”
These were bold words. To watch the full comments from each of the speakers mentioned, visit the links below:
Dorothy Rosa https://youtu.be/k6LrTrr_HzE?t=5407 at 1:30.07
Vickie Fairchild https://youtu.be/k6LrTrr_HzE?t=6664 at 1:51.04
Keri Procunier McLain https://youtu.be/k6LrTrr_HzE?t=8232 at 2:17.12
Hosam Haggag https://youtu.be/k6LrTrr_HzE?t=8361 at 2:19.19
Kirk Vartan – https://youtu.be/k6LrTrr_HzE?t=6005 1:40.03
1 – Rosa
2 – Haggag
3 – McLain
4 – Rosa
5 – Fairchild
6 – Haggag
7 – Sulcer
8 – Vartan