Year in Review: 2018 Was a Good Year for Santa Clara (Part 1)

By Robert Haugh

Happy New Year.

Here’s a recap of some of the major things that happened each month in Santa Clara last year (from January to June). It was a good year for the Mission City. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.


Santa Clara wins a big development battle with San Jose. We won two lawsuits against our neighbor city.  The results were better than anyone hoped for.  The Related Companies had to come up with an additional $10 to $15 million to get San Jose to drop its appeal of the City Place lawsuit. For the size of their project (estimated $6.5 billion), that’s not a lot of dough. But almost $9 million of that money will go from San Jose’s city coffers back to Santa Clara for the Santana West lawsuit. The Mission City didn’t have to put up anything more to settle the cases. Wow.

The year started with a big win for Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwomen Teresa O’Neill, Debi Davis and Kathy Watanabe who led the effort to sue San Jose when others wanted to wave the white flag.


Rod Diridon, Jr., our City Clerk, suddenly resigned. This was one year after former Mayor Jamie Matthews suddenly resigned. Maybe it has to do with how the planets line up in February on our planet at 37.3541 degrees N and 121.9552 degrees W. Or maybe it had to do with an employee complaint about the management of the City Clerk’s office.


At the Mexico vs Iceland soccer game, lots of fights break out. The three top people in charge of stadium operations say there were no problems. Except there were.  It’s clear from this event that the public can’t trust Police Chief Mike Sellers, Fire Chief Bill Kelly and 49ers Vice President Jim Mercurio. This game leads to some major reforms. The Stadium Authority may restrict alcohol sales and establish other neighborhood protections at events — or even say no to events that could be a big problem.


The 49ers announced that the college football national championship game will be played at Levi’s Stadium this month. But the big news is that the team will have to pay for all costs and eat an estimated $12 million loss. Santa Clara will have to pay nothing. This is a first for a host city. LINK

It’s another sign that the Santa Clara is managing the 49ers and not being managed by them.


Disgraced former City Councilman Dominic Caserta resigned his seat.

Caserta was running for Santa Clara County Supervisor when campaign aides started complaining about him. Then, Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked him to resign. At the time, there were nine police complaints filed against him for sexually harassing or abusing female students. He left the council and his teaching job at Santa Clara High School in disgrace. He’s gone from public life in the Mission City. But he’s still on the international list of public officials accused or convicted of sexual crimes. It’s called the Creep Sheet.


A measure to create council districts in Santa Clara and adopt rank-choice voting loses. Measure A lost because people were happy with the city and satisfied with the status quo. Mission City voters like things the way they are, they didn’t want change. And Measure A was a pretty big change. The campaign for Measure A was also confusing and poorly run.










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