By Robert Haugh
An unusual thing happened with appointments to Boards and Commissions. This is something that Mayor Lisa Gillmor typically does just like other mayors have done before her.
But Councilmember Suds Jain objected and created his own list giving himself and the new 49ers-backed councilmembers more appointments.
Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe objected and voted against it. But it passed 5-2.
Resident Debbie Algieri called in to comment on the process. She said that the new Councilmembers have made this “the most dysfunctional council I have ever seen.”
We’re hearing this from others, too. It reminds us of the Santa Clara Unified School Board meetings years ago when Chris Stampolis and Ina Bendis created havoc.
As we’ve written a few times already, it’s going to be a long year. And it’s only February.
Councilmember Anthony Becker proposed that Santa Clara get rid of the cannabis ban that the City Council instituted initially in 2019. It was made permanent last year.
Becker argued that the city should lift the ban. He believes marijuana sales could generate much-needed revenue and it would be more convenient for Mission City residents who want it.
Becker also cited his experience working at a dispensary years ago. Councilmember Jain seconded his motion.
But Councilmembers Watanabe, Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal spoke against lifting the ban.
They believe the revenue projections were too optimistic and have not benefited most cities. And they cited negative impacts on the community, particularly children.
Councilmember Kevin Park made a long rambling statement. Eventually, he said that the issue should be studied.
Mayor Gillmor said the revenue generation would be minimal compared to the city’s cost and opposed lifting the ban.
The measure failed 4-3 with Becker, Jain and Park voting to lift the cannabis ban.