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On December 13, 2018, the City Council held a Governance Session to discuss the necessary components of a high performance governing body, assess the impacts of the new district election system, and enhance and strengthen the teamwork between the Council and staff. 

The City engaged two highly-qualified facilitators for this session:

  • Dr. John Nalbandian is a professor at the University of Kansas and also a former Mayor. He has presented to city councils throughout California, including at the League of California Cities conferences, and has recently facilitated discussions with both the City’s management and executive leadership teams.
  • Jan Perkins is a former city manager and Senior Partner with Management Partners, the firm that assisted the City during the council districting process. Jan facilitates many city council workshops throughout the state, as well as consults on other issues.

Together, these professionals in the field led Council and staff through discussions that touched on a variety of issues within the concept of high performance governance, including the roles of elected and appointed officials and ways those officials can act as bridge-builders. The Council confirmed that the following principles would guide governance in Santa Clara:

  1. We all care about and will govern for the entire Santa Clara community.
  2. We will follow our Santa Clara ethical values.
  3. We will follow our Council-Manager form of government.

The following resources are available for those wishing to learn more about the meeting:

Videos of City Council Session on Governance - Dec. 13, 2018

Governance Session Part 1

Governance Session Part 2



The City Council will have a follow-up session in September 2019 to discuss how the change has gone and if there are additional outstanding concerns.

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