Top 10 Random Observations from Santa Clara’s Swearing-In Ceremony

By Robert Haugh

Here are some interesting and random things that people told us about Tuesday night’s swearing-in ceremony. Thanks to the numerous people who sent text messages and emails during the event and the next day.

  1. The crowd was the biggest in recent memory. People were crowded into the lobby because they couldn’t get into the council chambers. It was a diverse crowd, too.
  2. Former Mayor Gary Gillmor was the funniest speaker when he swore in his daughter, Mayor Lisa Gillmor. Gary said it’s been 50 years since he was Mayor. He looked at the six females on the council and asked: “What happened? Where are all the men?” img_5293
  3. It was a nice touch when Lisa Gillmor complimented all of the Councilmembers in her speech. She said good things about the current ones and the new ones.
  4. Newly elected City Clerk Hosam Haggag told some good stories about his personal life. And some good biblical stories, too. But he spoke way too long. We’ll give him a one-time pass. We liked the story of how he got his start in local politics pushing for a Santa Clara beekeeping ordinance.  
  5. Karen Hardy told the most emotional and nicest story of the event. Hardy said that she called her mother on election night to tell her she won. Her mother passed away a few days later. That was the last time they spoke. Our condolences to Councilwoman Hardy and her family.
  6. Councilman Raj Chahal was sworn in by State Senator Bob Wieckowski who complimented Chahal for being the first Sikh on the city council. That’s true. Later, Chahal in his prepared speech said that he was “the first minority council member in the city council history.” That’s not true. Roger Martinez was elected in 1979 and was on the council in the 80s.
  7. Councilwoman Patty Mahan was typing on her laptop during the speeches. Our sources say she didn’t post anything on Facebook or Twitter. Maybe she was answering emails.
  8. Former Planning Commissioner Emmy Moore Minister was the boldest photographer. She wasn’t an official photographer. She doesn’t work for a news organization. But she’s not shy. Minister was right up front and took some great pictures.
  9. There were three cakes for the crowd to enjoy. One for Gillmor. One for Haggag. One for Hardy and Chahal. The Gillmor cake wasn’t eaten so police officers got to enjoy it back at headquarters. Nice move by Santa Clara’s finest.
  10. Note to City Hall staff: Next time, order one extra cake and send it this way. Chocolate, please.


  1. Robert,

    Love this article. Thanks. You gave a lot of good info … and interesting stuff. I read the Weekly’s article online … booooring. I’m glad they stopped delivering their paper. It’s just trash anyway. Your stuff in great. Keep up the good work.

    Robert Smith, Jr.

  2. No surprise that Mahan is RUDE! She voted for Chris Stampolis when he applied for Caserta’s vacant council seat. She was the only one to cast a vote him during the interview phase. SERIOUSLY! Stampolis is the worst and is abusive. Mahan is another Ina Bendis who was also rude during meetings and the public.

  3. chahal is a problem. he always got stuff wrong on the planning commission. he doesn’t get facts and data. i saw him fail to even vote on projects half a dozen times. his fellow commissioners seemed annoyed with him. looks like the council and city staff will be too.

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