City Corrects Entire Miles Barber Column
By Robert Haugh
We got a lot of comments from people reading a “community letter” from the City on NextDoor. Last week, the City spanked … corrected … Santa Clara Weekly Publisher/Lobbyist Miles Barber.
The first paragraph was pretty direct:
The purpose of this communication is to clarify several issues that were mischaracterized in an opinion piece written by Miles Barber in the Santa Clara Weekly on January 31, 2019. The City of Santa Clara respects everyone’s opinion, but this opinion piece is not based on facts.
The next two pages set the record straight on a bunch of issues. Here are some highlights (or lowlights?):
Measure N The column states the Council proposed Measure N to protect the City from having to split the City into districts. This is not factual. It is the City’s position that Santa Clarans deserve to be a part of a public process on how they vote!
Santa Clara Convention Center The column states that since the City took over the management of the Santa Clara Convention Center (SCCC) in July 2018 and, during this time, the SCCC has lost nearly $300,000 in bookings. The City did not take over the management of the Santa Clara Convention Center in July 2018, as the opinion piece states. The Chamber is, and was, still managing the Convention Center during the reported losses and it was given a 180-day termination notice in Sept. 2018 due to its mismanagement.
‘Curfew’ impact on non-NFL events The column states the Council voted to enforce the noise policy affecting two weeknights a year, costing the City $1.6 million a year. The San Francisco 49ers have also said that the time restrictions affect their ability to book concerts. The San Francisco 49ers knew that these restrictions would be part of their operations back in 2010 when their Development Permit was approved subject to conditions which include the 10 p.m. weekday and 11 p.m. weekend time restrictions.
Investigation of Santa Clara Chamber Political Action Committee
The column states annual reports from the Santa Clara Chamber Political Action Committee were on the City and County’s website the whole time, and that the City sent out letters to Santa Clara businesses and the press by the City Manager’s Office pointing out that the SCCPAC could face fines of $43,000 or more.
The long-time pattern of SCCPAC’s failure to file as a City General Purpose Committee has existed since 2010. This practice incorrectly continued for years, with contributions to city elections for amounts higher than the 70% threshold, which is the legal trigger to form a committee with the City of Santa Clara. The City’s audit findings confirmed there was no amended Form 410 filing from the SCCPAC for the years reviewed, 2010 through 2018.
The City did not send out letters regarding the potential fines related to this matter to the community.
The City points out that pretty much all of Barber’s column was incorrect. Double Ouch.
This is the second time this year that the City has had to write a “community letter” correcting stuff written in the Weekly. And it’s only February.
We applaud the City for giving out good info and being transparent. We invite them to scrutinize our stuff, too. But they may be too busy correcting Barber and Schuk on regular basis. That could be a full-time job.