By Robert Haugh
At the Santa Clara City Council meeting on November 16, Santa Clara Councilman Suds Jain was found to have another conflict of interest that’s a problem for his district.
This time it involves the Union Pacific Railroad. He had to suddenly drop out of a study session on a Quiet Zone policy. That’s something that could improve the quality of life in many Santa Clara neighborhoods. And in Jain’s District Five, train noise is an impact.
Jain did not disclose the conflict himself. Elected officials should do that before an agenda item begins.
Here’s a link to the City’s official video of the meeting. Around the 1:25 mark, City Manager Deanna Santana gets a phone call.
Then, Santana interrupts the meeting. She says that a city attorney has informed her that an unnamed Councilmember may not be able to participate in the study session. They have to take a break from the meeting.
When they returned, Jain was gone from the Zoom screen.
According to City staff, Jain owns enough stock in the Union Pacific Railroad that he has a conflict of interest. That means he can’t participate in discussions or decisions about quiet zones in District Five.
This is the latest of a growing list of Jain’s conflicts.
Jain cannot vote on downtown development issues because of the location of his residence. That’s something that he did not disclose to District Five voters last year during his campaign.
And Jain can’t vote on Santa Clara University (SCU) issues because his wife, Lori Jain, works there.
During the campaign both Jain and his wife claimed that she would be retiring from SCU in January, 2021. That didn’t happen.
And during the campaign, Jain lied to voters about his conflict even though he was informed of it years earlier when he was on the Planning Commission.
Now we know that Jain cannot vote or participate in the discussion of the biggest issues in District Five: revitalizing downtown, SCU and BART.
At least, that’s the list we know about today. Stay tuned.