SANTA CLARA — Three City Council members were sworn in Wednesday, as incumbents Herb Basso and Mary Jo “Tode” Hafen join newcomer Jarett Waite to serve the people of Santa Clara.
All three candidates are excited about economic development in Santa Clara, such as the new Harmons Neighborhood Grocer which is nearing completion on Rachel Drive and will provide sales tax revenue to the mostly residential city.
“I decided to run again because there are some things that I’m passionate about in our community and I would like to continue to serve,” Herb Basso, five-term Council member, said.
Basso would like to see more economic development get to a point where the city is sustained by sales tax and not have to rely so heavily on property taxes. He is also concerned about keeping the community safe and independent in terms of utilities.
“I’m looking forward to kind of see a few things forward that we’ve been working on,” Mary Jo Hafen said. This will be the first year that Santa Clara has a major business in the community, which should help the very limited tax base.
“But mostly … I actually am really proud of the way our community runs on the budget that it does have,” she said, “and we will just continue to kind of move forward and see if we can’t continue to make progress in small steps … it’s truly an opportunity to be part of this.
New Council member Jarett Waite said the upcoming development and increased tax base means the city will need to spend its resources wisely. He wants to focus on improving parks and city services, paying down some of the city’s debt and helping the city better utilize social media for communication.
“I am super-excited to serve,” Waite said. “It’s a really exciting time for the city.”
“We also have the great announcement recently of the DiFiore Center coming to town, so that will be awesome for our arts, and for enhancing our downtown.
“Personally, I want to really focus on finding a good resolution for our solar policy,” he said, “that’s been kind of a sticking point for a lot of citizens.”
Outgoing council member David Whitehead was honored by the council, as Mayor Rick Rosenberg presented Whitehead with a watch and a pen handcrafted from the wood of one of the sycamore trees that line Santa Clara Drive.
Santa Clara did not have an election; candidate Wally Ritchie withdrew from the race and the remaining three candidates filled the open council seats by acclamation — without a balloted election.
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