By Robert Haugh
Last night, the Santa Clara City Council met for the first time in the City Council Chambers since the pandemic forced Zoom meetings.
Everyone was there in person except for City Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe. She had a family emergency on the East Coast and was excused. We wish her well.
Councilman Kevin Park showed up. He was the only one wearing a mask even though no one was near him.
Here are some key Council actions from last night:
- The Council decided to place on a future agenda a discussion of moving City Hall downtown. This action was taken in response to a written petition from Mary Grizzle on behalf of the Members of Reclaiming our Downtown. The vote was unanimous (4-0) with Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Vice Mayor Suds Jain recusing themselves because of conflict of interest.
- The Council decided to cover the costs of City services in support of the Santa Clara Parade of Champions and the cost of facilitron parking fees. The Council approved up to $60,000 for in-kind services from the City. The parade organizers will request that the Santa Clara Unified School District waive their parking fees of $950. The vote was unanimous (6-0).
- There was a written petition submitted by Nick Valencia requesting to place on a future agenda a discussion of the future of the BMX track located on city property at 5451 Lafayette Street. A dispute with the Santa Clara PAL board has suspended track operations. The Council decided unanimously (6-0) to get a status report on May 24 with the goal to have the track open as soon as possible.