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 … correctedSanta 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.

Ouch.

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

(SCCPAC)

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.

In January, the Weekly’s Carolyn Schuk mistake-filled story got a major correction. That was about the Community Grant Program.

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.

8 comments

  1. Is it possible that Miles and his motley crew do not like the city manager and definitely don’t like our Mayor ? When was the last time in the Weekly championed the efforts of Ms Gillmor ? The bias is so apparent it’s embarrassing, and sometimes I think the paper is only printed so he can have his first amendment right to attack the city management and mayor. As a business owner I would love to be able to advertise in a local paper but that paper is a disgrace to a city of our quality. We have so much to offer but we as a city do not have a newspaper except for Santa Clara News, which I so enjoy reading and wish it had financial backers so we could have a REAL grown up Paper in our city. SC is considered the ugly step child of the bay area many times and the Weekly is an example of how ‘ugly’ it gets. What a disgrace and embarrassment. The Chamber is no better. Please continue the good work you do here.

  2. Barber is a joke. I’m sure the fever last time he was sick fried what little brain he had. His writing is nonsense. I’m embarressed for him. Its crazy how he spends his waking hours thinking about the Mayor. Why is the city still paying the Weakly? Any other publication would be welcome. Barber needs to retire, hes obviously senile.

  3. I hope the City will keep calling out the Barber of Seville’s BS along with his co-hort the Barberess of Seville. The pair can’t handle the success of a hardworking Mayor and equally hardworking City Manager. Leave them alone, Barber and Barberess. You can’t hold a candle to them.

  4. Good for City Hall. They should be blowing the whistle on the Weekly all the time.

    But the really egregious relationship is between the 49ers and the Weekly. They look like the paper’s only major source of income. So no one is surprised that Barber and Schuk writing glowingly about the team. Has there ever been a critical review?

    Remember when Barber criticized the city for not paying a dime for the college championship. HA! We didn’t waste tax dollars and he criticizes the city! What a louse.

    Schuk writes stories that read like someone in the 49er PR department wrote them. In fact, it’s not even in her writing style. What a sleazy way to operate.

    They don’t even tell us, their readers, that they get major funding from the 49ers. Shouldn’t that be in every article?!

    No sense of journalistic ethics or personal integrity with these two.

  5. The Ballad of Miles Barber (To the Tune of the Ballad of Sweeney Todd)

    Here’s the tale of Publisher Miles

    His skin is pale and he rarely smiles.

    He writes his columns with a poison pen

    But the City corrects him again and again.

    He lobbies the City and easily riles,

    Does Publisher Miles, the Demon Barber of the Weekly.

    (With apologies to Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler)

    • To the “Demon Barber” – what a brilliant and hilarious takeoff on “Sweeney Todd”. I’m a huge Sondheim fan and think that the composer would appreciate your tribute. Usually, columns and letters about Miles Barber are depressing, rage-inducing, disgusting – this letter had me laughing at Mr. Barber’s foibles. Thank you for your humor and creativity!

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