The drawn-out political battle around San Jose Planning Commission appointments has been vexing enough. From politicking over equity and representation to outrage over the last-minute addition of a fourth finalist—George Casey, at Councilman Johnny Khamis’ behest—vying for two seats on the influential land use commission, it’s been a headache-inducing several months for all involved.
So it seems fitting that in an already confusing process, a typo nearly added an extra year to the term of one of the newly appointed planning commissioners. Peter Allen, one of seven members of the Planning Commission, identified the flub in an email to City Clerk Toni Taber following last week’s appointment of Rolando Bonilla and Mariel Caballero to the land use body.
Allen told Taber that her initial staff memo about the appointment referenced two vacant seats, one with a term expiring on June 30, 2020, and the other on the same date in 2022. However, a supplemental communique from Taber cites the latter term—Bonilla’s—as expiring in 2023.
No one clarified the discrepancy during the presentation before the City Council voted 6-5 to assign Bonilla to one seat and 10-1 to place Caballero in the other. “With all due respect to my new colleague,” Allen wrote to Taber, “I hope you can and will address this concern post haste.”
Taber—whose office recently drew criticism for some bizarre redactions to the public record—acknowledged the mistake, which she blamed on being rushed.
No matter. Bonilla’s rumored to be angling to succeed D5 Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco, who terms out in 2022. Unless, that is, she wins her bid for Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese’s seat in 2020, in which case Bonilla’s Planning Commission post would make a convenient steppingstone for the special election to finish the last two years of Carrasco’s term.