By Sam Kumar
Councilwoman Karen Hardy’s “u-turn” on the stadium curfew, changing her strong campaign promise is truly appalling.
I was surprised to read your report on February 4th, about the City Council’s Goal Setting meeting and how Ms. Hardy said that she wanted to explore changing the stadium curfew. I thought maybe you reported it incorrectly.
So I was even more surprised to read a few days later in your site’s comments that Ms. Hardy confirmed the accuracy of your report. She even wrote this line:
” I said many times during the campaign that I was open to looking at the curfew in a limited way. I have been consistent.”
I ran against Ms. Hardy for City Council District # 3 in 2018. I respect her. But on the stadium curfew issue, she is not even close to being consistent with her campaign promise. I remember her being strongly against it. To double check, I went back and looked at the questionnaire we filled out for Stand up for Santa Clara.
Here’s the question we were asked:
The 49ers want to change the weekday curfew that ends concerts at 10 p.m. to help residents who need to get to bed at a reasonable time to go to school or work the next day. The weekend curfew is 11 p.m. The team says they, as the stadium manager, and the city will make more money by changing the curfew. The residents say just because a concert ends at 10 p.m. doesn’t mean it’s quiet that early since it takes a couple of hours for crowds to clear out. Would you vote to uphold or change the weekday curfew?
We both said no. But Ms. Hardy was strongly opposed. Her answer was even stronger than mine. Here’s Ms. Hardy’s full answer:
“My first reaction to the change in weekday curfew is ‘Over my dead body.’ No, I don’t think the weekday curfew should be changed. Also according to Measure J, any change in the agreement would need to go to a vote of the residents citywide.”
The questionnaire and our answers are accessible via this link for anyone to see and double check for themselves.
I’m disappointed in Ms. Hardy’s u-turn on this important curfew issue. I wonder if she would have made such an irresponsible move if the stadium were located in her District # 3 neighborhood? I don’t think so.
Ms. Hardy used to live in the District # 1 neighborhood in the 1980’s and she ought to know what it entails to be living in the neighborhood with all the noise factors. Ms. Hardy failed to show empathy to the residents of District # 1 and she should extend an apology to all residents for going back on her campaign promises.
Maybe she wrote “over my dead body” because she wanted to get votes in 2018. During the campaign, I never heard her say that she wanted to take a look at changing the curfew in a “limited way.”
Unfortunately, this is why a lot of people don’t vote. They believe politicians say one thing to get elected and then when they get into office they change their positions, especially if a powerful lobbying group is behind it.
I still support the stadium curfew. I understand that the 49ers aren’t even paying the City what they’ve promised from stadium revenues. That’s another reason not to fatten their wallets.
I think Ms. Hardy and the City Council should focus on collecting money from the 49ers as a top priority. The high order of importance is that we need to put our residents first. The 49ers are not struggling financially. They don’t need the City Council’s help to make more money at the stadium especially if it means making life miserable for our residents.
I sincerely hope Ms. Hardy will change her current position on curfew and be consistent to her campaign promises of 2018.
Editor’s Note: Sam Kumar submitted this as a comment on the website. His words are being reprinted as an op-ed today with the author’s permission. It’s been edited slightly. We have offered Karen Hardy a chance to respond.