Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor: Lead with Honest Intentions or Get Out of the Way of Santa Clarans

Editor’s Note: These remarks were made by Mayor Lisa Gillmor last week at her swearing-in ceremony. They have been edited for length.

By Mayor Lisa Gillmor

I want to thank the people of Santa Clara. Your encouragement and your good words kept me going this year. Your votes and your support will keep me going for another four years. And for that, I’m extremely grateful. 

I have taken the oath of office to serve Santa Clara numerous times. Every swearing-in ceremony has been special, but in many ways tonight is extra special. 

This year, I learned a lot about myself. I knew that I would face great odds if I ran for re-election. I knew that millions of dollars would be spent against me. I knew that the type of personal and ugly, negative campaigning that took root in our City in 2016 would appear again. Despite all that, I chose to stand up for the City that I love. 

The challenge may have been daunting, but the decision for me was easy. I personally feel that I have a duty to serve Santa Clara. Our City’s interest is my first and only priority. I have no desire to serve in another office. As Mayor, I have the best possible job. 

As much as I love my job and look forward to the next four years, I know it won’t be easy. We have serious challenges. 

We are still recovering from the pandemic and a dramatic drop in our convention center business, sales tax, and hotel tax. 

Levi’s Stadium has generated almost no non-NFL revenue since 2018. 

Many residents can’t find an affordable home to buy or rent. And sadly, some of the people in our community – including a large number of women and children – cannot find any shelter at all. 

In the coming years, my job as Mayor – and our job as a City Council – will be to restore City services and civic pride to Santa Clara. 

We must continue to build the housing our residents need while we maintain the integrity of Santa Clara neighborhoods. 

We must help local businesses – large and small – survive and expand in our City. We must spur economic growth and development to build our tax base. 

We must continue to provide the quality police and fire services that Santa Clarans expect and deserve. 

We must take seriously a commitment to ethics and transparency that once made Santa Clara a national model. 

I know from my many years of public service experience that all these efforts are important to the future of our City. Equally important, they are major priorities for our residents. 

I know this from the thousands of hours I’ve spent talking to Santa Clarans at their doors, at the farmer’s market, at grocery stores, and all the civic events I attend. 

When I was walking precincts, I met a 50-year resident who gave me some advice. He said, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” I really had to think about those words. 

Let me conclude by saying that I look forward to serving you as Mayor for another term. I am honored to work for the City I love. 

I hope that we at City Hall will lead with honest intentions, follow our best instincts – or get out of the way of Santa Clarans who want and deserve to live in a great city.

Thank you.


  1. Does anyone know how the 8 billion dollar Related project got through without community involvement? I’ve talked with too many people in the community who were unaware of this project until it was done. I haven’t talked to anyone who would rather have an 8 billion dollar development on a landfill posing many environmental risks versus a golf course, walking trails etc. Finally, will we be paying prevailing wages to these workers who are working in one of the most expensive areas in the country? The letter to our governor suggested otherwise.

    If anyone can help me feel better about any of this, I would appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

    • Speaking of trolls!
      Looks like the trolls have arrived!

    • Hi Kim,
      This project has been around for at least two years. The previous council and a few current ones have had knowledge and access to all of the details. There many council meetings about this project and lots of community outreach. Just go back and watch the council meetings from 2018 and 2019. As far as the letter to the Gov., This was also discussed in a council meeting a month or two ago. All the facts were laid out and the City Attorney said, Mayor Gillmor did nothing wrong. The project is going to pay the prevailing wage and use union labor. It has been a long process, and really the only way for you to know the details is to watch the council meetings.


  2. Using next door as a tool to update the community is a great idea! As you pointed out, we have a lot of serious issues to tackle. I think it would be great to use this platform to update the community on the progress made. I’d rather see what we’re doing to get into the solution than use this platform for character assassination. Do you think it’s possible to get monthly updates and ask for volunteers, if needed?

    Thank you in advance for your consideration!

    • Yes nextdoor can be a good platform for dissemination of information.
      The problem is when the trolls decide to attack and leave nasty comments.
      Sure there’s nothing wrong with other opinions. It’s just
      when the poison pens come out and
      folks don’t know what to believe.

  3. Mayor Gillmor and Family,
    I know our City is still broken, but having you still at the helm gives all of us hope for a better tomorrow.
    Have a great Holiday Season, then it’s back to work!
    As I look around, I can still see and smell some garbage that needs to be addressed.
    For now, enjoy the Holiday Season.

    Burt Field

  4. Congratulations Mayor Gilmore. You ran an excellent campaign and leading with your ethics and values for Santa Clara.

  5. You gotta read SJ Spotlight (or not) to see how once again Becker is playing the victim accusing the Mayor (once again) of hurting Becker’s feelings. Really? There’s a term for Becker’s behavior:

    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)
    Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a complex mental health condition, often linked with a “victim mentality.”

    Words of advice for Mr. Oh poor me: you can only play the victim just so many times before people start to figure out that maybe you’re the problem!

    • To finish your thought Tom:

      And that Lisa Gillmor isn’t the bad boogie Mayor that Jed York, Patty Mahan (and all her cronies), Mike Sellers and the 49er 5 would have you believe she is.

      Put that in your blunt and smoke it, Becker! You will feel so much better!

  6. I’m fortunate to live in a City where a Mayor has honesty and integrity at her core. Thank God Lisa won and has restored some confidence in all those that voted for her. Congratulations again to Mayor Gillmor.🥳🥳🥳🥳🥳

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