By Robert Haugh
On Tuesday, Santa Clara Planning Commissioner Dr. Ron Patrick was removed from his position.
He was unanimously appointed by the Council in June. He was sworn in earlier this month.
Councilman Anthony Becker made the motion to appoint him in June. Then Becker mysteriously and suddenly changed his mind.
“He says he got home the night of the vote and remembered that Dr. Patrick lived in Mountain View,” wrote Parks and Recreation Commissioner Burt Field. “That’s not believable.”
“What is believable is that Dr. Patrick is being targeted for removal by the 49ers because he has complained about the stadium operations and the trouble they’ve caused for the residences and the surrounding businesses like his.”
Becker interrogated Dr. Patrick Tuesday night “like a wannabe prosecutor who never graduated from law school,” a viewer texted Santa Clara News Online.
It’s worth watching the exchange to see Becker’s temperament. At one point, Mayor Lisa Gillmor admonished Becker for his tone. It lasts about 10 minutes.
The debate is followed by an interesting, personal statement by Dr. Patrick. It lasts about five minutes.
Becker made the argument that Patrick “lied” on his commission application by saying he was a Santa Clara voter when he was actually registered in Mountain View.
But Assistant City Clerk Nora Pimental said that after she alerted Dr. Patrick to his registration status, he legally re-registered to Santa Clara.
Pimental said that the Clerk’s office has notified other commissioners in the past of similar situations and they have re-registered.
According to Acting City Attorney Steve Ngo, Dr. Patrick is legally qualified to serve on the Planning Commission because he was legally registered to vote in Santa Clara at the time of his appointment.
But that didn’t matter to Becker. He moved to get rid of him. Becker was joined by Councilmembers Raj Chahal, Suds Jain and Karen Hardy. They prevailed 4-2.
Councilmember Kathy Watanabe and Gillmor voted against Patrick’s removal.
Watanabe touted Patrick’s abilities and his commitment to Northside businesses and residents.
“This is a travesty and what you’re doing is disgusting,” said Watanabe. ”There’s definitely something else going on here.”