By Robert Haugh
Last night, the Council appointed seven people to a Charter Review Commission. The group will put a charter amendment on the March ballot so Santa Clarans can decide how to create council districts in our city.
As we’ve reported before, last November, 70 percent of Santa Clarans voted and said they should decide if and how districts are created in our city. We prefer that to Judge Thomas Kuhnle’s decision that concluded that Mission City voters are racist.
Here are the appointments:
District 1: Benjamin Cooley
District 2: Steve Silva
District 3: Christine Koltermann
District 4: Kathy Almazol
District 5: Suds Jain (did not attend)
District 6: Steve Ricossa
At Large: Rich Bonito
There were two unusual choices:
Vice Mayor Patty Mahan appointed Jain even though he did not show up for the interview. She had multiple qualified candidates in her district. No one can remember when someone was appointed to a city board or commission who didn’t actually interview. We got texts and emails last night from multiple candidates and people who were unhappy that they took the time to participate and Jain did not.
Councilwoman Karen Hardy appointed Koltermann. She was a controversial Trustee on the Santa Clara Unified School District Board years ago. Koltermann was a considered part of the bloc that included and supported disgraced former school boardmember Chris Stampolis. They drove parents, teachers, and administrators crazy for years. They were considered responsible for a lot of turnover of teachers and staff. In 2013, there was a Change.org petition with over 1,500 signatures supporting a no confidence vote of Koltermann, Stampolis, and others.
But the commission looks good overall despite these unusual choices. They’ll have to put together a charter amendment by the fall for the March, 2020 ballot.