City Council Recap: No FPPC or CalPERS Violations by City Despite Anonymous Complaints

By Robert Haugh

At the City Council meeting, the City was cleared from two “charges” recently.


On October 9, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) dismissed a complaint that “mass mailings were sent at the public’s expense.”

Some person didn’t like the educational information that the City sent out about Measure A last June. That was the proposal to create two districts in Santa Clara and adopt rank-choice voting. That complainant thought it was too political.

Note to the complainant: Really? You think this stuff looks like political brochures? 

Interestingly, the complainant was anonymous.  But the complaint had five “witnesses.” Councilwoman Debi Davis said this was politically motivated and it wasted a lot of staff time.  All of the witnesses are politically active people:

  • John McLemore
  • Shirley Odou
  • Ignacio Alarcon
  • Dolores Alarcon
  • David Donaldson

Coincidentally, they all opposed Measure A. Councilwoman Patty Mahan interrupted her colleagues again to say that the five were just witnesses. Coincidentally, Mahan also opposed Measure A. Hmmm.


Last week, the Santa Clara Weekly/Silicon Valley Voice published an article by Carolyn Schuk that claims the City is the subject of a state pension investigation into the hiring of Mark Danaj. It’s wrong. CalPERS communicated with the city on October 12 that there’s no problem.

According to the City press release, “Danaj was hired in May 2018 on a short-term, at-will, part-time basis as an assistant to the city manager to assist with a City Council-directed audit on the Santa Clara Convention Center due diligence and audit.”

The audit uncovered mismanagement and malfeasance on behalf of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce. It also uncovered advertising in the Santa Clara Weekly that looks like self-dealing. Santa Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher Miles Barber is a Chamber director.

That complaint to CalPERS was also anonymous. Hmmm.


The Council made two appointments last night by 5-0 votes. Councilman Pat Kolstad was absent.

Debbie Tryforos was appointed to the Board of Library Trustees.

Shawn Williams was appointed to the Planning Commission. Based on his statements about high density and the fact that he lives in the Northside, he’s not going to like the Kylli mega-development.  He’s not going to like the massive Mariani development proposal either. He may be more anti high-density than Raj Chahal

That fact that Williams got a unanimous council vote is interesting, too.


One comment

  1. To the people who opposed Measure A and supported the lawsuit — our city is not racist. Minority candidates lost to better candidates. That doesn’t make us racist. The premise of the lawsuit and forcing us into districts is that we only vote for white candidates over minority ones. That’s B.S. Patty Mahan, Jeannie Mahan, John McLemore, …

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