Suds Jain Skips Out on Major Housing Development Vote in His District

By Robert Haugh

Last night, the Santa Clara City Council considered a major housing development project on Monroe Street in District Five.

But Councilmember Suds Jain who represents the area was on vacation and skipped the meeting.  

Jain was aware that last night’s meeting was the first one scheduled after the Council’s summer break.  

He was also aware that the housing development project was on the agenda.

Councilmember Kathy Watanabe, who was attending the meeting via Zoom from New York, moved that the item be held for one week so Jain could participate and represent his district.

But Watanabe could not get a second to her motion.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor had to abstain from the item and remove herself from the discussion since her office is located within 1,000 feet of the project.

Councilmember Kevin Park asked if Salvatore Caruso, the project’s applicant, wanted the item held for a week.

“I had spoken to Councilmember Jain before he left on his trip and asked if he would be attending,” said Caruso.  “And he said ‘no.’”

“I’m assuming if his desire was to attend, in today’s world, he could attend via Zoom.

“Even though she has a family emergency, Councilmember Watanabe is attending from another part of the country,” said Caruso.

The project is located at 950 Monroe Street, between Franklin and Homestead.  It’s a six-story mixed-use development with 50 units (20 percent would be affordable), four townhomes, and three single-family residences. It has on-site parking and amenities, landscaping, and off-site improvements, according to the City staff report.

The City staff recommends project approval. So did the Planning Commission by a 6-1 vote.

Many downtown residents, including members of Reclaiming Our Downtown, opposed the development.

After hours of public testimony that pushed the meeting past midnight, the Council could not make a decision. They asked the developer to work with the community and bring the project back at a later date.  

The vote was 4-1 with Councilmembers Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Park, and Watanabe in favor.  Indicted Councilmember Anthony Becker voted no.

Unless Jain skips the meeting, he’ll have to participate since he has no conflict of interest according to City staff.

Editor’s Note: Councilmember Jain will be offered a chance to communicate why he missed the vote and his position on this project if he had voted.


  1. Kudos to Karen Hardy for joining with Kathy Watanabe in vigorously supporting this proposal. They are the ones who saw what I saw which is that the development appears to be overwhelmingly keeping within the spirit of the Draft Downtown Precise Plan.

    Shame on Suds Jain for dodging this. Not wanting to take any stand on a controversial development in his own district.

    No surprise that Raj Chahal continues to be afraid to take a stand that might draw him flak.

    And no surprise that Kevin Park did his usual pretending to obsess over details in a sham show that will lead to him pretending that he would be open to voting for the development even if it would draw him flak from opponents but he just cannot vote for it because it is not perfect.

    Interesting stand by Anthony Becker. His questions for staff and the applicant seemed to be written for him by someone else. And his questions were all based on mischaracterizations that were repetitively explained by presentations that came before his questions. Then explained again so that he had no excuse for not understanding that many of the questions were disingenuous or based on mischaracterizations. But of course he had already made up his mind before the meeting even started.

    It seems that he very much wants to drum up political support for himself from residents of the Old Quad. He himself stated that he learned early on that the residents of the Old Quad are political influential. I wonder if he actually thinks that his opposition to the project on their behalf will lead them to make it possible to continue to have a political career.

  2. Jain and chahal! cowards of the county who disappear when they want go avoid controversial votes.

  3. Adam Thompson and his cronies are at it again. Screw any project that they didn’t design! You’ll never have a DT with this nimbyism. Cry all you

  4. Wow, that was a pretty blatant disregard for his constituents by Suds. Pretty much everyone in the district that I have talked to is opposed to this.

Leave a Reply