How to Crash a Santa Clara Council Committee Meeting

How to Crash a Santa Clara Council Committee Meeting

How to Crash a Santa Clara Council Committee Meeting

A recent trip to review records at Santa Clara City Hall started out as an exercise in futility. All we found to inspect were a bunch design-build invoices for Levi’s Stadium, which is set to host Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. Looking for more answers, Fly crashed a governance committee meeting held in a small conference room. Many key political players were present, including council members Teresa O’Neill and Pat Kolstad, as well as Mayor Jamie Matthews, who seemed a bit startled by an unexpected reporter’s entrance into the room. The meeting touched on topics such as how Public Records Act (PRA) requests are handled and how items should make it onto council agendas, which led to a few observations on how the Mission City sausage gets tubed. Interaction between transparency-challenged city officials and lobbyists has drawn attention of late, and Fly couldn’t help but note the opaque manner in which city officials interact with the 49ers’ representatives at the weekly meetings—especially when all notes at these meetings are apparently taken by City Attorney REN Nosky, rendering them protectable communications under the claim of attorney-client privilege. City Manager Julio Fuentes bristled at the suggestion that the city and club should be anything but BFFs, and he groused something about the media’s duty to make more specific PRA requests if they want better information. Thankfully, there was no need to play defense as Nosky informed Fuentes that Fly has been playing nice so far. Any grumpiness on Fuentes’ part could be attributed to the council’s recent decision to give senior administrators pay bumps based on performance, and Fuentes got a smaller boost. He was apparently so offended he rejected the offer and could be on his way out.

 


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