Photograph by Noelle Luchino
UNCIVIL WAR: Steve Glickman says that after battling a hostile majority for eight years, he's had enough.
Los Gatos councilmember quits suddenly amid simmering resentment
By Jessica Fromm
LOS GATOS Town Councilmember Steve Glickman's last-minute decision not to seek another term surprised his fellow councilmembers, and has shifted the tone of the fall local election.
Glickman, who is known for being outspoken and has often clashed with his four council colleagues, spoke for 15 minutes during the "Council Matters" portion of last Monday's meeting. Included in his statement were requests for the council to officially oppose Prop. 8, a measure which would ban gay marriage in California, and to put a discussion of term limits on the agenda. Both requests were met with stony silence.
"It was more like information shock," said Town Clerk Jackie Rose. "There was some speculation and hearsay that he wasn't running, though he had never said so. It was kind of a surprise that he announced it that night. Nobody knew that he was going to do that."
Glickman said later that he was "disappointed" in his fellow councilmembers' reactions, and criticized other council decisions.
"Quite frankly, I'm not that anxious to serve with people that care more about dogs than children," Glickman said. "That's hardly being a responsible pubic official. You address the issue on its merits, not 'I'm not going to support something because I don't like the guy that suggested it.' That would be shameful."
During the council meeting, Glickman refused to explain his reasons for not running, citing the council's policy of not "electioneering from the dais."
However, he said the following day that his motivations for not running lie in what he saw as the "toxic effect" of incumbency on the council, his disappointment with the handling of a recent referendum on a skate park, and a general resentment that he feels the other councilmembers' hold toward him.
Glickman's resignation has some locals speculating that the upcoming council race might become more heated.
"It's probably a little bit more competitive, because now there is only one incumbent," Rose said. "I think it might be a little bit more competitive for the candidates that are running that aren't incumbents."
While delivering his announcement, Glickman raised ethical questions about the recent commendation to council candidate Steve Rice's son, Brian, who was also awarded the privilege of leading the pledge of allegiance before a recent Los Gatos council meeting. Glickman said that he sees this as just another example of electioneering from the dais.
"I said, 'Could this have anything to do with the fact that this is a child of a candidate?' A day [later], a picture of that appears on the candidate's website," Glickman said.
Glickman, who was voted onto the council in 2000, said he feels that the councilmembers have a lot of animosity toward him because he calls them out on issues.
"I was resented from the day I was elected," he said. "I was not part of the in crowd. I was an outsider. This is very much a high school clique, and I'm not part of the clique, I never have been. The people who think they own the town by right resent my presence."
Councilmember Diane McNutt, who is not up for election this year, said Glickman's announcement not to seek re-election was not what she had expected.
"It's always hard when someone surprises you with these things and you haven't had time to think about them beforehand," McNutt said.
She chided Glickman for bringing up the subject of term limits.
"Steve had never said anything about term limits before," McNutt said. "I guess when you decide not to run again, you have a different point of view about term limits.
"I don't think that is a subject that should be introduced right now, right at the start of an election season, because then it just becomes the center of this year's election."
A total of four people have announced their intention to run for the Los Gatos council. According to Rose, Planning Commissioners Michael Kane and Steven Rice, current Mayor Barbara Spector and Los Gatos architect Peggy Dallas have all filed paperwork to run for the two open Town Council seats.
Because he is an incumbent, Glickman's last-minute announcement has extended the deadline for filing with the city from Aug. 8 to Aug. 13.
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