By Robert Haugh
On Wednesday, the story about Santa Clara Weekly Lobbyist/Publisher Miles Barber and the massive Mariani development project got a lot of attention. Barber himself felt the need to respond.
Barber wrote a column spending a lot of time denying he is currently a lobbyist even though the story didn’t say he was. (He also spent a lot of time attacking me personally).
Barber was let go by Lou Mariani as a lobbyist in 2017. That was after formal ethics complaints were filed against him. That’s documented in this week’s story and in a 2017 story about former Councilman Kevin Moore replacing Barber as the lobbyist.
Barber also denied that he was a “co-applicant” even though he was listed as one in the City staff’s presentation.
That presentation was done by Community Development Director Andrew Crabtree.
But Crabtree made an honest mistake. Here’s Crabtree’s explanation:
“That was a mistaken carryover from the past. I apologize for the confusion. In preparing the presentation we incorporated some older material and didn’t notice his name was in the table. We haven’t had any activity on this project for a couple of years. Miles wasn’t officially the applicant then either, although at some point in the past he acted as a lobbyist on the applicant’s behalf. He has informed us that he is no longer a lobbyist.”
For the record, Mariani was contacted by email to explain Barber’s current status at least 7 days before we published Wednesday’s story. He never responded and that’s in the original story.
Yesterday, we asked Barber and Mariani to respond for the record if Barber was promised any future compensation for the project. It would be important to know if Barber has a financial interest as he writes his column or as his paper covers the development. This question has been asked by residents near the development.
Neither Barber or Mariani has responded to the future compensation question by our deadline. If they do, we’ll print their responses.
This column is written to set the record straight. And to be even more accurate, from now on we’ll refer to Barber as “publisher and former development lobbyist.”