Awards for the First Half of 2020

By Robert Haugh

The year is half over. Here are the best and worst for the past six months:

January

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

The 49ers are NFC Champions for the first time since 2012. They were led by tight end George Kittle on offense and great defense led by cornerback Richard Sherman.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

Longtime Councilwoman (and once Mayor) Patty Mahan resigned. She told City staff it was for medical reasons. She’d been public about her health issues for over a year. But she got mad and threatened to sue the City when the staff disclosed the reason she told them. Mahan had a long career and did a lot for Santa Clara. But she’s been really negative for a few years and went out on a sour note.

February

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

The 49ers went to the Super Bowl. They won the first three quarters but lost to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth. But the team still had a great year — at least on the field.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

The 49ers had their stadium management contract terminated by the City. It was discovered that 49ers exec Al Guido had financial conflicts of interest. Less than two weeks after going to the Super Bowl, the team got fired by the City for mismanagement and malfeasance. The 49ers have sued the City (for the 5th time!). So this will be played out in court over the coming months.

March

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

The Covid-19 pandemic starts. Our region and nation shut down. The City Council passes a residential eviction moratorium for renters. That helps out a lot of people who can’t make rent because they’ve lost jobs or income.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

Vice Mayor Karen Hardy and Councilman Raj Chahal stopped the process to appoint someone to replace Mahan to the City Council. They say they will only vote for their candidate — Suds Jain. No one else. They won’t even agree to interview candidates who applied and prepped and showed up at the meeting. Many of the candidates told us they thought the Hardy-Chahal move was unfair and undemocratic. One candidate, Andrew Knaack, shared the speech he wanted to give but was never given a chance to do so.

April

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause hardship for everyone. Silicon Valley Power comes through. The utility company gives Santa Clara residents a $30 credit on our utility bill.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

The Mercury News reports that legendary Santa Clara establishment Stan’s Donuts is closing. They were wrong and upset a lot of residents and the business. It demonstrates once again how the Mercury News frequently makes mistakes about cities outside of San Jose’s borders, especially Santa Clara. Unfortunately, other San Jose news sites are doing the same. We’ll have to point it out more regularly this year.

May

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

The City announced that it increased its Small Business Assistance Grant Program to $800,000. It’s a great effort to help small businesses and nonprofits located in Santa Clara that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

NOT the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce raises a paltry sum to help local businesses in Santa Clara during these hard times. Only three Chamber board members or staff contributed for a total of $1,500.

June

The Good —The Leg Drop Award:

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Police Chief Pat Nikolai took President Barack Obama’s “Commit to Action” pledge. And they made a video statement about police use of force. It’s about two minutes long. So far, we haven’t seen the protests or other problems in Santa Clara that have happened in other cities including San Jose.

The Bad — The Jabroni Award:

Councilman Chahal made a big stink about garbage rates at two City Council meetings. He lost the vote six months ago to have Santa Clara residents use split carts. But he wouldn’t let it go. He criticized the City staff on their numbers. The City staff rebutted Chahal and he had to back down. He was made to apologize for attacking City staff. But he wasted a lot of staff time and took up hours at two Council meetings for a vote he couldn’t change.

One comment

  1. Good job! especially like the “JuneBAD”, what a waste of valuable staff time. Raj should be embarrassed .

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