By Craig Larsen
On June 21, 2022, Santa Clara resident Craig Larsen made this statement to City Council during the public presentation time. It’s reprinted here with his permission. Minor edits have been made for clarity.
Dear Mayor Gillmor and Councilmembers,
Transparency and accountability are often key commitments made in campaigns for public office.
They are important to ensure to the public we have elected officials whose actions are that of honesty, integrity, and fairness, to name a few values.
In addition to those, the public expects elected officials to disclose conflicts of interest, update their public calendars promptly, and make timely financial disclosures, among other required provisions.
Corrections, when needed, should be made promptly. Failure to do so erodes the public’s trust.
When transparency and accountability are found lacking in a city council, it tarnishes not only the council’s reputation but also degrades the image of the city as a whole.
At the June 7 meeting, a petition, Item 22-780, was presented by Mr. Brian Doyle.
That petition was in regards to a sitting councilmember, Mr. (Kevin) Park, and Mr. Park’s reportedly inconsistent statements submitted in public filings as required for public office campaigns.
Mr. Doyle’s petition was heard, debated, and denied, not so much on the merits of the petition itself, but due to Mr. Doyle’s ongoing litigation with the City.
It was recommended that the petition be re-submitted once legal issues between Mr. Doyle and the City had been resolved – whenever that might be.
I was very dismayed.
What kind of City Council do we have here?
Do we have a City Council that is transparent and accountable?
Is this vote to deny the petition, not based on the petition’s merits, a symptom of a larger problem?
Does this Council violate the public trust and play favorites in their dealings with other entities as well?
Mr. Park has had plenty of time to resolve the issues raised by Mr. Doyle and yet, these issues persist.
The public does not need half-hearted, condescending apologies wrapped in arrogance talked down to the public as one might to a child. The public demands transparency and accountability.
So what can be done?
Tonight, I am submitting to the City Clerk’s office my own petition to have the same matter as presented by Mr. Doyle placed on a future Council meeting agenda.
My petition is remarkably similar to that of Mr. Doyle’s. I have no legal entanglements with the City, so there is no need to wait until any legal proceedings are resolved.
Should Mr. Park wish to demonstrate his commitment to transparency and accountability to the public in this forum, I will withdraw my petition.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.