By Robert Haugh
Santa Clara Councilman Kevin Park was put on the spot at last night’s City Council meeting for offensive public comments he’s made. This time he showed up.
Santa Clara resident Lee Broughman objected to Park calling Santa Clarans “toddlers” during the debate about the El Camino Real Specific Plan. Broughman wanted Park censured or admonished.
A variety of residents called in to agree with Broughman that Park’s comments were offensive and that his style is generally offensive or abusive.
That point was made in detail in an op ed yesterday by Kirk Vartan. Vartan suggested that Park apologize rather than be censured. That’s what happened last night.
Park was asked by Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe if he would be willing to apologize. That way the City Council could move forward on other more important issues.
So Park did. Well sort of. Here’s what Park said:
“I will apologize especially to Lee if it offended her — and it did offend her. But that was not the intent. I would have thought that people would be able to see the comment in a larger perspective. It seems like some people do and some people don’t. And my apology is for the people who don’t.”
But Park added:
“I do apologize if people were offended — and people were offended. I will try to keep things in mind in the future. But at the same time, offense is a pretty interesting animal which is — offense can happen at any time for any reason. And it doesn’t even need to be justified. It’s a feeling.”
Yup. Those were his exact words. No kidding. But this may not be the end of the story.
Watanabe asked City Manager Deanna Santana if there have been complaints about Park’s behavior from other individuals including City Staff.
Santana said: “The City can confirm that complaints have been received and that they have been handled by the City appropriately.”
Santana was reading her statement. She was being careful. And she read “complaints” as in more than one. Oh oh.
We’ll be following this story as it develops.
Editor’s Note: I had a long day yesterday. But it was a good day. So I only watched the beginning of the meeting. I know the 49ers made a major request for more money. I’ll write about that later.