By Robert Haugh
A strange thing happened at Tuesday’s Santa Clara City Council meeting.
Councilmember Anthony Becker asked his colleagues to agendize an item next week to remove a Planning Commissioner. Here’s what Becker wrote:
I would like both [sic] the removal of (Dr.) Ron Patrick from Planning Commission for providing inaccurate or incomplete information on his application and the appointment of Mario Bouza to the Planning Commission as well have [sic] this item placed on the July 5, 2022 meeting agenda.
Patrick was appointed to the Planning Commission on June 6th after Council interviews. Becker made the motion to appoint him. Yup. No kidding.
“I know we have information from the City Attorney’s office about what you’re trying to do,” said Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “And I don’t believe we have any authority to do that.”
“I’d like not to get into the specifics of the advice that the City Attorney’s office provided.” said acting City Attorney Steve Ngo. He’s from the Lozano Smith law firm.
“Any advice, to the extent that the Council had no authority to take action, we can address it before the next agenda.”
Ngo seemed really nervous. He clearly didn’t want to address the issue publicly. You can watch his answer here. But looks like Becker is pushing him and some legal limit.
Dr. Patrick was at the meeting and address the Council publicly. You can watch his 2-minute address here.
Patrick laid out the legal research to show his residency.
“I also wonder why such attention is spent toward me,” Patrick said. “I do some work for the DOD (Department of Defense) and there’s research on me for that.”
He speculated that there may be some unknown political agendas at work.
The 49er Five voted to agendize the issue. Councilmembers Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park voted yes.
Gillmor and Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe voted against the motion.
“This is not very transparent,” Watanabe said.