Santa Clara City Survey Shows Voters Lack Confidence in City’s Use of Tax Dollars, Can’t Hire City Attorney

By Robert Haugh

Yesterday, the Santa Clara City Council met for its annual priority setting meeting. They got a wake up call with some negative numbers.

First, the good news. People like Silicon Valley Power. Their total positive-to-negative rating was 86-13. Kudos to them.

Now, the bad news. The majority of voters think that Santa Clara does a poor or just fair job focusing on priorities that matter.  That rating was 44-52. Ouch. 

This is the first time since I’ve been covering City Hall for over a decade that the City Council was considered out of touch with residents.

City Hall did even worse on the question of how responsibly they’re handling tax dollars. That rating was 43-54. Wow.

Again, in recent polling the City did much better on that issue. But that was before the new City Council, a.k.a. “The 49er Five,” took over a year ago.

There will be more coverage of Council priorities in the coming days.  

For example, last night we learned from City staff that they’re having trouble completing work because there’s no City Attorney. 

It looks like the 49er Five are having trouble hiring a City Attorney after they fired former City Attorney Brian Doyle without cause last August. Is that a surprise?

Also, looks like they want to raise new taxes, and get rid of the elected Police Chief and City Clerk.

Looks like it’s going to be an interesting year, but not a good one.


  1. Again we are hearing the council wants to stop electing the Chief of Police and the City Clerk! Enough is enough! While certain members of the city council think about the next election, we, the voters, think about the next generation and who will do the best for us.

  2. Will the thin skinned 49er 5 cry at next meeting. Whine about being picked on and play blog victim again. What a joke.

  3. Is Suds trying to trap Deanna asking Q&A re timeline for hiring atty?
    It’s not her job to know, SmartGuy!
    This guy is devious as much as he is a liar.
    His priorities are screwed up 2.

  4. I live in District 2 and I have never heard a word from Council Member Chahal. No communication, no outreach to hear what’s important to us. He is busy doing what???? Certainly nothing positive for D2 or the city.

  5. The 49er 5 are trying to ruin this great city. The only thing they have accomplished is the non stop witch hunt of Mayor Gillmor. Now the city manager has a target on her back. The 49er 5 are shady and clearly don’t represent the people of Santa Clara.

    Suds= proven liar and a lobby’s for the 49ers
    Hardy= nodding off and sleeping at every meeting. She wakes up once in a while to say something nasty.
    Park= wife beater thinks he knows it all
    Chahal= the only time he talks its nonsense. He needs esl classes
    Becker= He is busy doing bong hits during the meeting. Watching his non stop poor behavior It’s obvious he is on drugs. He is everything a City Council person should not be. The list of Becker problems is to long so I’ll spare you all.

  6. Another embarrassing meeting!! Which one of these 5 POS losers is Jed going to pick to run against Mayor Gillmor??? Let’s hope it’s the joke of the city Becker and his rainbow crosswalks.

  7. Becker cries at the meetings everytime someone talks about him. If Lisa Gillmor cried and whined about people picking on her, the whole meeting would be about that and nothing else. Lucky for us the Mayor is smart and knows the Dais isn’t a place to cry about being picked on in blogs and newspapers.

    Becker is rude and dis respectful and look at what Karen Hardy did to censure our mayor. She was so nasty and painted a horrible picture of Mayor Gillmor.

    Did lisa cry? That is not what our Mayor does. Our Mayor has only one thing on her mind and that is, the City of Santa Clara.

  8. Did anyone notice Park micromanaging the moderator?
    It’s not your job, Park!
    DIdn’t you hear Unit 9 rep’s statements??

  9. Becker blows a gasket about false allegations that are directed towards him. However, Becker has no problem accusing staff of having a mouthful of excuses, collusion, and pension spiking. In addition, Becker seems hostile, and wears his insecurities on his sleeve. He needs to stop deflecting his deficiencies on other people.

  10. Based on what I’ve seen from Karen Hardy’s performances at the city council person, I would hate for this goofy person to teach my children. She seems to be following the others but really doesn’t know why. She can’t defend her position and she’s not helping anyone in her district.

    Based on her responses and actions she shows poorly for our school teachers. Between Karen Hardy and dominant caserta I think we need to look closer at the competency of our school teachers.

    • I was in Leadership Santa Clara 2020 and at kickoff heard Karen Hardy talk down about her students. There were two students in room and a school supervisor. I felt embarrassed for them that a city leader who also teaches would be so insensitive. This is obviously a pattern for Hardy.

  11. What a shocking meeting. Way too much to unpack but what about Karen’s shocking response to PRA requests?

    1. Her response to a law based on TRANSPARENCY was to try to publicly shame those inquiring about government?
    2. She said she’s into publicly shaming because she’s a teacher?!?

    This is particularly concerning when you consider that she wants to do away with the elected Chief and Clerk positions. Those would be some dark and ominous closed door meetings!

    Star chambers? Only if she was more competent.

    No thanks, Karen.

    • Hope school superintendent was watching.
      Is this the kind of teacher we need?
      Maybe a parent can complain?
      We don’t need another Caserta
      intimidating students.

    • Hardy is lucky we dont publicly shame her for being a POS.

  12. Remind me why our former City Attorney (Mr. Brian Doyle) was fired?
    I’m just so confused.
    Wasn’t he the one that has successfully defended our City against specifically one local company. The very same company which seems to think suing our City is just a standard everyday business practice.
    At the same time wasn’t he able to raise that very same companies rent in a building we built for them?

    If I was a prospective candidate for becoming our next City Attorney, I’d run away from this “Hot Mess”.
    So if we can’t get anyone to even want to work in our City as our attorney. Who do you think will want to be part of our City Staff, or run for Public Office?

    Our City is sick, and as long as we allow this one company to wield this much power, we will never be able to get healthy again.
    How do we fix this
    Vote what is best for our City.

    49ers want something, (Must be bad)
    Vote the other way.
    49ers back someone, (Must be bad)
    Vote for the other candidate.
    49ers against something, (Must be good for our City)
    Vote for it.

    Thanks Burt Field

    • Thanks Howard, I’m still waiting for J. Byron Fleck to do a spell check on me!
      I’m so sorry I didn’t do more to help the other incumbents when the last election came around.
      Santa Clara Councilperson O’Neil please forgive me. You represented your District with Class.
      Something the 49er 5 can’t even begin to buy even for $3 Million dollars
      How you were somehow replaced, by some self proclaimed genius is shameful and troubling.
      Thanks again Howard
      Burt Field

  13. Nothing is ever going to get done when Becker thinks every differing opinion and observation about his obvious support for the 49ers is “gaslighting”. It’s only gaslighting because he’s making it so. The 49er five need to stop being babies when people don’t agree with them or voice their opinions; they need to learn how to see both sides of an issue which they clearly can’t. You’re an elected official, not everyone will like you; learn to deal with it and stop wasting the city’s time. So focused on defending himself because he knows he’s in the wrong and whats being said is true.

    I would also like to mention that it’s very obvious that Park, Jain, and Becker do not give these meetings their full attention when they’re asking for clarification on something that has just been said. I can’t wait to see these three attend an in person council meeting where they can’t get away with focusing on something on their computer while important business is being discussed. Also another reason things can’t get done with his council.

    Complete trash and garbage. I can’t wait for these five to lose their seats in the next election; I will definitely be pulling out my folder of things said and done to share with their district.

  14. Having trouble getting things done w/o an atty? Wait until Jed fires the city manager. Lets see how things can really slow down. We need to fire some council members before they sink our ship.

  15. I remember taking this poll. The results agree pretty much with my responses.
    This poll also seemed like they were getting some free focus group feedback on the easiest way to raise taxes. Guess those rainbow colored crosswalks are expensive. Get a grip, council!

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