City Council Review: Council Wants More Information on KoreaTown and Parade of Champions

By Robert Haugh

Korea Town

The Council had a lot of questions about Ken Kim’s request to establish a section of El Camino as Koreatown. Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked for the history of the issue since it came before the Council years ago. Councilwoman Karen Hardy asked for a signed petition from local businesses. Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill wanted to know the historical justification for calling it Koreatown, instead of something like a Korean Business District.

The issue will come back in a couple of months.

Parade of Champions

The volunteer group to bring back the Parade of Champions made a presentation that showed a lot of community support.  Ana Vargas-Smith has been championing the idea and is the organization’s Chair.

They requested the Council to contribute approximately $71,000 to the event to cover all the City-related costs. The group said they plan to raise an additional $81,000.

Note: we misreported the numbers for the cost and request for city funds yesterday.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of money in the bank and the event is being planned for Saturday, September 28, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Council unanimously asked for a report on sponsorships to be made on June 4. The group also needs to confirm their non-profit status by then.  If everything looks in order, the Council could approve funding on June 25. The amount will be capped at $71,000.

Let’s hope Vargas-Smith and her group can deliver and bring back this beloved parade back to the Mission City.

Convention Center Transition

City Manager Deanna Santana gave a verbal report on the progress of the Convention Center’s new manager, Spectra.

She said there should be an agreement with Spectra by end of the week. They’ve had new staff visiting and transitioning. Some current employees will have offers of employment soon.

Santana said that Spectra has had discussions with the UPS store, but she didn’t say what they’re planning. This is the store that Chamber Board Member Ravinder Lal took over.  The Tap International Convention Center audit identified this as a possible conflict of interest. We’ll have to watch this issue.

TAP International is continuing audit work, but the quality of records kept by the Chamber, in at least one year, may not be auditable, according to Santana. Wow.

The Council will discuss governance models for a new Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourism Improvement District on April 9.


Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Patty Mahan missed another meeting.


  1. Love the idea of bringing the old Parade of Champions back, but six months doesn’t seem like a lot of time to plan such a large and detailed event. Perhaps the committee could plan for a 2020 parade instead? And does anyone remember that the parade used to host a competition for the drum and bugle corps? Wonder if Santa Clara Vanguard and other bands would be interested in this again? Keeping my fingers crossed that this idea comes to pass.

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