Patricia Mahan - Santa Clara City Council

Patricia Mahan Santa Clara politician and 49ers shill

The Career Santa Clara Politician... Who's against Career Santa Clara Politicians

In 1994, the Mercury News asked the political candidates for the Santa Clara City Council if the intent of term limits was being violated by the politicians of the city of Santa Clara moving from two terms as a city councilman, then to two terms as mayor and then back to two terms on the city council. Patricia Mahan, running for her first term as a councilmember said:

"The people of California demanded change when they imposed the two-term limit on their politicians," she said, continuing with a pointed reference to Council candidate and then-mayor Eddie Souza. "The Santa Clara City Council should not place itself above the will of the people by allowing a politician to serve conceivably 24 years or more, by succeeding himself as mayor after serving as councilman, and as councilman after serving as mayor."

That was 1994. In 2010, Patricia Mahan began her fifth consecutive term on the Santa Clara City Council after going from two terms as a councilmember, then on to two terms as mayor and then back to councilmember. So although the people of California spoke with respect to career politicians, Patricia Mahan chose not to listen.

Patricia Mahan: Ready Able and Willing to Lie for the San Francisco 49ers

While campaigning for the San Francisco 49ers and their city owned stadium, Patricia Mahan was willing to tell lies in order to convince voters they should go along with the deal. One example was when she was asked about the sweetheart deal the city has given the San Francisco 49ers for several decades on their training facility - the 49ers pay less than $2,000 a month for 11 Santa Clara acres. Mahan claimed that the 49ers had paid millions of dollars for improvements in the area and the sweetheart rent was in recognition of that. Concerned Santa Clara citizens who obtained the 49ers lease from the city found that the truth was just the opposite - IN ADDITION to the sweetheart lease, the city spent millions of dollars in modifying the area for use by the San Francisco 49ers.

Another Mahan lie was one that was also told by all the members of the Stadium Five - that building the stadium would not take money from the city's General Fund. And yet her own staff had presented her a report in early June 2009, that showed the city's General Fund loses $67 million dollars if the stadium is built.

Counting money

And Mahan, along with councilman Jamie Matthews, boldly lied in a Mercury news editorial page sales pitch for the stadium. In talking about the money the city would receive over 40 years, they did not use net present value for the amount - which is 8 million dollars - instead using the non-adjusted figure that the 49ers had been promoting - 40 million dollars. They said "Any net present value figures used by others are unreliable and based on outdated economic assumptions". Who uses net present value? City of Santa Clara staff. For instance, in their presentation to Mahan and Matthews and the rest of the city council, they showed that a one team stadium would cost the city $67 million dollars - net present value (NPV). Net present value is the only way to value projects that have immediate costs and returns that go out 40 to 60 years like a stadium. Which is why City of Santa Clara staff and all accountants in all the cities and all the companies all around the world use it. It's essential to recognize that a dollar received 40 years from now is not the same value as a dollar received today.

Why did Mahan and Matthews lie and say it was unreliable and based on outdated economic assumptions? Because they were selling a stadium to their constituents and were afraid the correct figures would not get them the votes. It's the same reason the San Francisco 49ers did not use net present value - they were trying to sell a stadium to Santa Clara voters. The 49ers were using bogus figures in order to reap a huge property and income tax break and public funds. Why did Mahan and Matthews lie about the return of the stadium? One can only wonder what kind of financial renumeration they got from the San Francisco 49ers. Certainly with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line for the 49ers they would be willing to throw a lot of money to Mahan and Matthews to act as their shills.

Patricia Mahan - an aggressive political partner for developers and sports teams

Patricia Mahan with John York of 49ers Mahan courting NFL and 49ers brass in 2007 in Santa Clara
with promises of taxpayer money and city liability

Patricia Mahan shows John York a parking lot Mahan showing NFL and 49ers brass the Great America overflow lot
right next to a residential neighborhood, but miles away from
her 4,655 square foot house near Santa Clara University

Patricia Mahan - Career Santa Clara Politician

Patricia M Mahan Santa Clara politician Patricia Mahan is a former two term Mayor of Santa Clara, a 3 term city councilwoman, and a lawyer. She served on the city council from 1994 to 2002 and was mayor from 2002 to 2010. Her third city council term will end in 2014. She is the leader of the Stadium Five. Although Kevin Moore is the godfather of the City of Santa Clara's efforts to subsidize a San Francisco 49ers stadium, it was Patricia Mahan who was featured on the initial mailing from the 49ers front group Santa Clarans for Economic Progress. At the June 2nd, 20009 city council meeting where the green light was given to try and get voter approval for a Santa Clara San Francisco 49ers Stadium, Mayor Mahan said:

"I have no fears that going forward this project will be a tremendous success"

It is surprising that she could make such a cocksure statement given that both parties to the stadium deal have created new entities - the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and Forty Niners Stadium, LLC - that will protect them from any future stadium losses. Not to mention the numerous cases of taxpayer subsidized sports stadium deals who have failed to perform anywhere near the predictions of the politicians and teams who championed them and have caused some municipalities great financial pain from severe losses.

Unethical Behavior

Patricia Mahan was Santa Clara Mayor on 11/16/2004 when the she and a majority of the city council voted a large lifetime property tax reduction to city council member Dominic Caserta via a legal loophole called the Mills Act . Apparently afraid that he would not get four yes votes otherwise, Dominic Caserta voted yes on his own property tax reduction request, rather than recuse himself. This was reflected in the minutes for that night. As is their policy, a month later on 12/14/2004, Patricia Mahan and the city council approved the minutes for 11/16/2004 - the minutes which showed Dominc Caserta voting on his lifetime large property tax reduction.

Four years later, in 2008, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) got word of this improper conduct by an elected official and began an investigation. It was at this point that Dominic Caserta scrambled to have an addendum added to the minutes saying that they were wrong, and that they had been approved in error. He was now claiming that he had not voted on the matter. On the night that he made the request to have the addendum added that would protect him from the FPPC investigation , three people who had been present on 11/16/2004 stated that Caserta had voted on the issue - former councilmember John McLemore, former councilmember Aldyth Parle (via letter), and current councilmember Jamie McLeod. However, Patricia Mahan decided to help out her friend and neighbor and state that he had in fact not voted on the issue. According to her, not only had the minutes been recorded incorrectly on 11/16/2004, but on 12/14/2004, she and the rest of the city council - including Dominic Caserta - had approved those minutes in error.

Despite the fact that they had not been at the 11/16/2004 meeting Jamie Matthews, Kevin Moore and Joe Kornder did not recuse themselves from voting on the matter. Despite the fact that three people said that Dominic Caserta had voted on his property tax reduction, while only one person said that he hadn't, and despite the fact that the minutes which showed that he had, were approved a month later by Patricia Mahan, Dominic Caserta and the rest of the city council - Jamie Matthews, Kevin Moore and Joe Kornder all decided to bail out their fellow Stadium Five member and voted to add the addendum claiming the minutes had been recorded and approved in error, thus ending the FPPC investigation regarding Dominic Caserta voting on his own property tax reduction.

It should also be noted that city of Santa Clara, at the time of the FPPC investigation, stated that they had already destroyed the videotape of the 11/16/2004 city council meeting.

Patricia Mahan on massive 900 Kiely Boulevard project

On 8/18/2009 Patricia Mahan gave her justifications for approving the massive 900 Kiely Boulevard high density development (note that she never says that it is what the people of Santa Clara want - she was not governing from a democratic standpoint - but from a Kleptocratic or Aristocratic one):

Thank you I wanted to have my own comments. uhm First to address the perception among the public especially that seg segment of the public that's most immediately and forcefully impacted by this project development that's the Peppertree neighborhood And the perception there being the the developer hasn't worked with the neighborhood, hasn't really talked, hasn't been cooperative, forthcoming all of those things, uhm, and I've I and and the perception that he wasn't willing, the, and I don't think he meaning Mr. McCoy personally, but the developer, as a whole, wasn't willing even to consider changing the plan until Council action and questioning forced the plan changes. In a way though, the credit goes to the public for bringing it to our attention, because you're right this is the only way we know uh is by hearing from you one to one as to what your particular concerns are. And we sort of can amalgamate those and get some concensus about some of the issues that are involved in any development and this project is no different. So you have kinda brought these changes into play. and Some of them are for the good. Maybe it doesn't go as far as I would want. But I also think that I, I cannot, uhm, deny that I think in some ways the perception the developer's not been responsive is correct. I mean we've come a long way in getting them to be more responsive and I think going forward I'm hopeful that it'll become even more responsive. . I have some real concerns when I hear about the demolition and the particular problems it has caused to homeowners and I hope that really changes substantially and very quickly. Uh, because I think a lot of, you know the negative, the negativity's got to start healing here because I think this project is going forward. We've tried to make it better. I don't know that it's exactly what you want, It's not exactly what I want, It's not exactly what the developer wants, and I understand that when, one comment was that, you know I said We should both feel pain. I didn't say it exactly in that right way I said, you know, Compromise is when nobody's really happy. So nobody's really happy, uhm, so maybe it's a good project after all. You know I, I do sense the, also the, from the audience, you know that we're here listening to the unions and this is our organized you know and people coming in and I've gotta say from my perspective all of that kind of testimony is interesting but it's really not persuasive. It it you know, jobs are fine, we wanna be , you know,have economic development in our city we ... wanna have good jobs and all of that stuff but it doesn't really convince me one way or another, that's not the reason to do any kind of project it's just to satisfy the unions. or building trades or provide jobs. That's not the only reason. Uhm The only reason in my mind is always to do what's best for Santa Clara overall. And what's best for Santa Clara is to continue to grow and develop. It is a good idea to build housing when there's not a need for housing because number one the housing can be built more cheaply so when it does come on the market it can be better priced. And there will be a need. The housing will be there when the need comes back. You can't play catch up when it comes to housing or you will always be behind. I think that in response to some of the points that were brought up in our last hearing the project is much improved, the overall heights are much limited from what they were before, uh It will be less massive,It will be less massive along the street So I have to look at this in the end is this a good infill project. Does it fit with the surrounding neighborhood. And remembering, not just Peppertree Woodbridge is on the other side and that's a pretty dense development. apartments are north of that. those are pretty dense. So it's got kind of a triangular shape with different articulations on all of those sides. I think putting single family homes along the entire perimeter along Pepper Tree helps a great deal those housing lot are still kinda small especially when you compare it to Marietta Drive it's probably two to one but I've gotta be honest Are we gonna be able to build lots the size of Marietta drive anymore and make them affordable in Santa Clara. I mean you could, could put em here. One person commented that the developer's not gonna pay for the school fees and stuff you're absolutely right. Let's not kid ourselves. They don't pay for it. The users pay for it. The consumers pay for it. People who buy the houses and rent the houses pay for it. All of those costs. They get built into the pricing structure. So sure we could demand that they put houses on 10,000 square foot lots. They'd be so expensive they wouldn't be Santa Clara. I'm not interested in creating elite homes in our city. They em where nobody that really lives here could afford to buy them. So that means smaller lots. So that single family perimeter helps. The articulation of on the north and east side are against apartment houses and condos so I think that is probably fairly compatible. Uhm I do have a few concerns that were particular, I don't think they need to, the don't rise to the level of conditions or anything but I would like the maker of the motion to consider referring them back to staff so they get attention and addressing. One if the Woodsborough retaining wall, if there is some need to improve that. One is this demolition zone and the neighbors concern with cement dust and not having someone to contact either to in the city, we need that point person, we wanna avoid what happened with Mansion Gove, or is it Mansion Park. Somebody mentioned a particular tree 609 maybe somebody and look at that And then the ADA accessibility issue I think may be key because it's something that we hadn't thought of but when we think about this connection to uhm, Central Park, let's make sure we get that ADA accessibility uh built in to that. And the fencing of the tot lot. That's uh, so if we could maybe by consensus ... and just refer those back to the city manager. So there not conditions for approval but just particular .. concerns that I would have. uhm So I think overall the developer has maybe come lately to be responsive but has finally become a little more responsive. Uhm, I think the project overall now is a lot more compatible that it once was and I do find it, uh, I will be supporting it, but I do reall want the neighborhood to stay involved and make sure as the development goes forward that those particular issues get addressed. Councilman Matthews

Patricia Mahan San Francsico 49ers shill Mahan

Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan works with San Francisco 49ers to enliven north Santa Clara residential neighborhoods

In a May 20th, 2010 KTVU channel 2 report on the 10 o'clock news, Santa Clara mayor Patricia Mahan said:

"I can envision when the fans come in for a football game, or a concert, or any other event on the weekend - that area of town - which is pretty much shuttered on the weekends, is gonna be a vibrant place to be."

Not coincidentally, Patricia Mahan's 4,655 square foot house is near Santa Clara University, far from the residential neighborhoods by the stadium. But there you have it stadium site residents - start throwing more block parties and keep the shades up in the next few months and maybe Patricia Mahan will decide that you haven't shuttered your neighborhoods on the weekends. And then she can work with the 49ers to find residential neighborhoods that are so quiet on the weekends that they need police checkpoints along with 68,500 fanatical football fans, concert goers and monster truck afficionados to bring in fun and excitement - or as she calls it - vibrancy.