City Council Review: New City Hall Study, New Developer Park Fees, New Convention Center Caterer

By Robert Haugh

There was lots of new stuff approved last night.

New City Hall Study

Council approved a contract for the SmithGroup to study a new City Hall and Silicon Valley Power building. There’s a need for more space for employees and future growth. The contract is for about $1 million.

They’ll look at rebuilding at the 20-acre Civic Center area. But the Reclaiming Our Downtown group asked for the Council to look at moving City Hall downtown. So the consultant will share info with the group studying downtown development to see if that could work for their plans.  The City owns about six acres downtown.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked that the area around the Triton Museum be included in the study. But she emphasized that there are no plans to move the museum. Councilwoman Debi Davis insisted that the St. Clare statue be protected. Staff said that it would be, because it’s technically in an area considered parkland.

Park Fee

The Council approved a “phase in” of the per capita park improvement fee over a four-year period at 25 percent  per year. The phase in is meant to help developers build housing more quickly and absorb the cost of a potentially large fee. Since the fee is tied to land values and those have gone up fast in the last few years, some projects may not have gotten off the ground.  The staff and council have been working on this for a while. It’s good that it’s finally done.

Convention Center Catering

The Council approved the Staff recommendation to select Levy Premium Foodservice Limited Partnership to take over Convention Center catering from Aramark. They provided the City with the most net revenue. From 2020-35, it’s projected to be about $93 million. Wow. Staff said their food quality is outstanding and 25 percent of it will be locally sourced. They’ll also bake their own bread and pastries on-site. (Note to Levy: we can’t wait).

Levy also provides food and employees to Levi’s Stadium across the street.

We also learned that Aramark pulled out suddenly from their contract. City Staff had to scramble for a temporary solution and manage the RFP that picked Levy.  Kudos to City Staff.

Other Stuff

  • Santa Clara’s drinking water quality meets all state and federal standards for public health. Any major investment in improving the quality would not necessarily make our water any safer.

All votes passed 7-0. Vice Mayor Patty Mahan called into the meeting from 13845 Pine Street, Bigfork, Montana, according to the agenda.


  1. Don’t understand why the Santa Clara Weekly still writes how the Chamber ran the Convention Center so well. The City doesn’t correct them. At least we get some info from you.

  2. So our water is safe to drink. Great. But why does not any Council member mention how bad it tastes??

Leave a Reply