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.