By Robert Haugh
At last night’s City Council meeting, multiple Santa Clara residents asked the City Council to agendize at a future meeting the possible censure of Councilmember Kevin Park.
They objected to Park’s abusive behavior when he verbally harassed and mocked a member of the public who spoke at the meeting.
Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe supported the residents’ request.
But the request failed on a 5-2 vote. The 49er Five closed ranks with Park and voted against the request.
Councilmembers Anthony Becker and Suds Jain even defended Park’s behavior at the February 7 meeting. That’s when Park mocked Santa Clara business leader Kirk Vartan.
They said they are more upset when Watanabe won’t say hello to them. Yup. No kidding.
Park was silent in his own defense.
“Councilman Park is an embarrassment to this City,” said Santa Clara resident Debbie Tryforos. “He is condescending, rude, and undeserving of his position.”
Another resident, Scott Filler said that Park’s behavior creates “a chilling effect. I, myself, am worried will I be the next person targeted or ridiculed for bringing this request forward.”
“Attacking citizens that come forward that don’t exactly agree with you – that’s egregious behavior,” said another resident Lee Broughman.
Gillmor noted that Park’s comments on February 7 were premeditated and that the rest of the Council acted like bystanders who didn’t want to get involved.
“Some people described it online as sitting there with a crowd of bullies,” said Gillmor. “There is no place in any universe of any kind for this type of behavior.”
Editor’s Note: The 49er Five are Councilmembers Becker, Raj Chahal, Jain, Karen Hardy and Park.
Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to help elect Becker, Jain and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections. Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team without reporting them and received $1 million each to help their elections in November 2022.
The 49er Five met with the team on an almost weekly basis and have voted to help the team win millions of dollars in concessions from the City since December 2020.
Note to Park
Attention, blog posters
There are rules.
Kirk Vartan addresses Council
A person speaking after Kirk IS NOT ALLOWED TO RESPOND TO KIRK.
Comments are SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE AGENDA ITEM,!!!!!!!!!
Last time I checked among the dozens of things Mr Vartan does for community, he founded resteraunt. It pays taxes!¡!¡
Supposed to be a good thing.
Park was chairing the meeting!!!!!
LET SPEAKER SPEAK, THEN MOVE ON!!!!!
No side swipes.
Gillmor is correct, ethics training.
No acting chairs insulting people.
No sudsy budsys emailing details of closed sessions, or bugsy beckers cursing residents, or scooby dooby parks imsulting resteraunt owners paying taxes.
Jeff Rosen asked.
City Attiorney has beeb asked to guarantee council meetings with Park chairing will be a safe environment. Mr Woven was asked to comment on Park misusing Woven,,’s book.
I forget which council member said this last night–maybe Raj–that this all started with Lisa and others censoring Patty Mahan and Pat Kolstad. I spoke up at that meeting, saying that this was a waste of time for the City Council to attack each other. They have real work to do. Seems like this cycle of attacking each other has not stopped but continues—Kathy Watanabe didn’t let Kevin speak at the Asian hate event, which he had not RSVP’d for. Kathy and Lisa were both censored for that. Now Kevin taunts a citizen when he is acting mayor. Should Kevin be excused for his behavior? No, I don’t think so, I was appalled by it. The other council members in attendance should not have just sat there and let it happen. For shame on them. But when will the City Council work together? I think the elected officials should all resign and let us start with a new group. And for heavens sake, Kathy Watanabe should at least say hi to her co-council members.
I agree with everything you say here. Kathy Watanabe should be courteous to fellow councilpeople.
And her fellow councilpeople should not use her behavior as justification for not holding Kevin Park accountable for unacceptable behavior.
And it was Suds Jain who started off a long comment by going over council tensions from the past.
Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy said nothing and have said nothing about any of this. They try to stay silent about this but their votes speak volumes.
Ha ha! Live in the other person’s shoes. So easy to criticize. I know bt first hand experience how the Clowny 5 have vindictively and purposefully and intentionally hurt Lisa Gillmor and Kathy Watanabe. I have handled the public records requests that prove the intent of attacks on those 2. Based on all that, these 2 have every right to not want to talk to the Clowny 5. And since it’s all public record, these 2 no doubt know the truly horrible things that have said too. I recommend anyone reading this to read the requests too! If you want respect or a hello, Clowny 5, STFU already.
SC City Hall Insider,
It would be better for Watanabe and Gillmor and everyone in the city if these five councilpeople did not have any such petty grievances to whine about.
Big Dummy Becker,
I heard you lost your job AGAIN. How can you claim to be so skilled in your campaign materials and suffer from chronic underemployment? You are getting too old to not be able to hold a stable job. Your employers must have a lack of confidence in your abilities and we all know that this has happened before. Karma called for payback! BTW, I hear Target is hiring.
There are so many things that are better grounds for criticizing Anthony Becker and which are relevant to the people of Santa Clara.
Attacking him in this mocking way for losing his job takes focus away from those more relevant points and makes some view his critics as elitists.
This topic is about how unprofessional it was for Kevin Park to mock Kirk Vartan in a personal way. While we commenters are not elected officials and not sitting on the dais in a council meeting we should also refrain from mocking people personally.
Karma has paid Becker a visit. His health is declining. He looks like a 60 yo dude.
The 5 have opened themselves to scrutiny due to their complicity in park’s actions against vartan. They deserve every criticism.
Mocking someone for losing their job is not scrutiny and is also not criticism.
It is not hard to criticize Becker and scrutinize everything he does without resorting to elitist mockery and insult.
Takes it out of council hands
Members no involvement
Direct channel to district attorney. Press
Lg. 3 times voted yes. 1992 to 2023
Kw voted yes
Park opposed it 2010. 2022
Jain opposed. 2010 2022
Always good to agree to disagree! Cheers!
In grammar and middle school, we have student councils. Teachers instruct the kids chairing the meeting to call on kids MAKE NO COMMENTS WHILE AND AFTER THEY SPEAK. NO ONE GIGGLES. Now it is obvious 9 year old Kevin was busy stealing markers from Linda, and 9 year old Anthony was munching on his crayons, and 9 year old Suds was writing memos to the Attendance Clerk about how to fill out the daily reports more efficiently, it did it covered.
Teacher Hardy is an embarrassment. She is no role model. She needs to go.
Who is asking for an Ethics Commission???
ETHICS TRAINING, REVIEW?????
If only all the people that comment on your articles would go to council meetings, call in from Zoom or write to them……there are just a few of us that do so and because we helped in the last election, we are ignored. I would have done this even if I hadn’t helped. Anthony calls this political theater. He is the biggest actor of all. And the rest of them sit there like see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil………Suds says nothing come from this, why wasn’t that the case when the went after Lisa and Kathy? It may not do anything in his eyes, but the more these actions get put on agendas, hopefully some of the public will take notice.
I am someone who has a heck of a lot invested in Santa Clara and pay more attention to the goings on of our city than ninety nine percent of my neighbors and I have strong objections to how Kevin Park behaved and how his council allies stood by silently and refused to have a discussion about whether or not he deserves censure or even defended him by diverting attention with attacks upon Watanabe and Gillmor.
I would have loved to have cosigned on this petition and to speak in person in council chambers but Kevin Park and his allies’ behavior has shown me that I would only harm myself in doing so.
I am a business owner as well as a homeowner and resident here. What Kevin Park showed is that if I criticize his personal conduct publicly then I may be exposing myself and my business to his ridicule. Because he has shown that he will lash out emotionally he cannot be trusted to make fairminded decisions if a political opponent is involved. So I know if I speak publicly then if I ever have a business or personal matter that involves the council or even city government then I have to worry that Kevin Park will use his influence to get back at me. Just as he used the power of the gavel on the dais to get back at Kirk Vartan in the most childish of ways.
I might feel differently and be able to chalk this up as an uncharacteristically emotional moment in which he indulged his petty tendencies if he had apologized at any point afterward. He has not apologized or given an explanation of why he felt it necessary to use his position on the council dais to mock a member of the public. He has never spoken about it at all and so I can only conclude that he feels justified in what he did.
He was not justified at all. Kirk Vartan has obviously been politically aligned with Gillmor for years and has also been politically opposed to Park and his allies. He has been dogged in his criticism and I think it is fair to say that he has been one sided in choosing targets for his criticism. But he has always been professional and polite. I have never seen him descend to personal mockery or ad hominem attacks in council meetings or his YouTube series. Kevin Park has shown that he holds himself to a lower standard than public critics of his. Even if they have always gone high he goes low.
Anthony Becker and Suds Jain showed that they will back up Park in doing so. Will deflect criticism of his behavior away from him by attacking me. And Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal have shown that they will watch these attacks go on without a single comment and will not merely be passively complicit but will also cast votes against examination of childishly abusive behavior unbefitting a councilperson.
And I know that I not only would make myself a target but I would be doing so without any good effect at all. The five of them will vote as a bloc to oppose Gillmor and Watanabe in any and all ways and that means voting to protect each other against any criticism leveled by Gillmor and Watanabe regardless of whether or not that criticism has any merit.
I do not expect any better from Park or Becker or Jain. Park is too thin skinned and arrogant to understand where the line is between the faults of his political opponents and his own. Jain cannot help but be part of petty city council drama as his gossipy participation in text conversations with Becker have shown. And Becker is drawn to taking part in petty squabbling because he is too thin skinned to look past anything that bruises his delicate ego and is an easily distracted simpleton.
Hardy and Chahal both know better but in this case and some others will remain silent and vote with the majority without comment because of politics. But they know that they are complicit in unacceptable behavior at least in this instance and I do not know what they tell themselves to make peace with their conscience.
The specific childish incident of Kevin Park making a mocking personal attack against Kirk Vartan during a council meeting is not itself an important event. It is not the end of the world and by itself is not worth a lot of attention. However the impact of this is worth a lot of attention and is very important to the good and fair functioning of our city. All that is needed is for Kevin Park to apologize and for his allies on council to apologize or acknowledge their mistake in being complicit or even supportive of his behavior. Then we can move on.
But absent this then the five of them are saying to all Santa Clarans that public political opposition to them will result in personal attacks against you. Criticize them publicly and do not expect fair treatment from them in their official capacities as councilpeople.
Email to jay reed from kevin park
“I showed up knowing kathy would not ask me to speak to get back at her:”
If that was Park’s intention then that was silly and petty and it was also silly and petty for Watanabe to not let Park speak at that event.
Actually Vartan and Park have been allies in the past. Vartan has expressed his dismay with park, jain and Hardy and how their philosophies have diversely changed since being elected. $$$$ talks.
Maybe it is the case that their having prior been political allies makes Park especially emotional when he is criticized by Vartan.
Something to note.
Kirk Vartan is a private citizen. He can be an advisor to any public official he wants. Vartan could be an advisor to the Governor. He is not being paid out of public funds, or entitled to public resources.
Kevin Park is AN ELECTED OFFICIAL. By oath, Park must respect the citizens of California. ALL OF THEM
He is now VICE MAYOR. Park is REQUIRED to follow the rules.
Vartan can be ejected from the meeting by Park’s authority.
There is a distinction, thus a responsibility.
Just read in Silicon Valley Biz Journal that the corrupt 49er FIVE are UPGRADING Levi Stadium Suites and have yet included the city of Santa Clara in the process. In particular, there has been no requests for permits to begin construction in early 2024. What Chutzpah!!! Every lowly resident of Santa Clara (in the eyes of the 49er FIVE) *MUST* get permits and inspections to replace even a water heater.
“When the 49er FIVE seek to connive… it is Santa Clarans they deprive!”
Early 2021 texts between jain and becker
VARTAN TO BE RIDICULED WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Jain accuses Vartan of working to bleed city of loans.
Becker makes even more personal accusations involving Vartan and Mayor.
Obtained through cpras.
You should learn how to make the type of reference and linking to information from PRA that allows people to know what you are talking about. Without providing substantiation all you are doing is feeding the animosity of a very tiny percentage of Santa Clarans who know what you are referring to and view things the same way as you. They already agree with you but people who do not know what you are talking about are going to view you as an anonymous crank who is posting accusations that are made up.
PRA request records and specific documents can be directly linked. And specific passages can be quoted so that people reading your comments can know what you are writing about and also that it is something real.
For example here is a PRA request for “All emails and texts from and to Suds Jain and Anthony Becker regarding Burt Field or James Rowen or Kirk Vartan from March 1, 2022 to March 30, 2022”
And here is the document in which Anthony Becker and Suds Jain exchange texts in which they repeatedly discuss that someone named James Rowen is frequently filing PRA requests and how they think he does this at Lisa Gillmor’s behest or to please her.
“I just got 4 new PRA’s from Rowen today. Serial abuser trying please Lisa. Doesn’t even live in Santa Clara.” – Suds Jain
This can be found on page four of this document:
It requires more work to refer to things this way but is well worth the time and effort if you want to persuade people who do not know or do not care about the political rivalries amongst our city council rather than play to the choir who already feels strong animosity toward certain councilpeople.
How does the City operate anymore with so time wasted on nonsensical issues? That 030 policy needs reform. Bypass the council approval.
It is true that this is all a waste of time and Kevin Park should save the city time by apologizing for his behavior and promise to refrain from personally mocking members of the public who make comments during city council meetings.
The entire City Council is a joke. Nothing ever gets accomplished. I think Becker and Park both share one thing in common, a mental illness. How can we say these City Council members are here to serve their Community? They have issues that prevent that from happening, and clearly show disrespect for each other and do not work together with the same goal in mind, the residents of this City.
Did anyone really expect them to do anything?
Kevin Park campaign manager Jay Reed
“In this age of online comnents that lead to comments about women, no one who uses the Internet to ridicule should be emoloyed in campaigns”
Citizens Advisory Committee meeting
2010 Citizens Advisory Committee meeting.
“Ridiculing people who appear before the City Council is outright harrassment and must be sanctioned.”
Time to send jeff rosen some more petitions. Vartan is a concerned citizen. I disagree with him all the time. But when he addresses the Council, it takes 40 seconds to simply acknowledge him and move on. Park=coward