Milpitas’s Top Elected Official Wants a New Vice Mayor

Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran and Vice Mayor Karina Dominguez have been at each other’s throats for a while now, feuding on Facebook and exchanging choice words from the dais. Now, it looks like Tran so regrets appointing her as second-in-command that he wants to slash the term from two years to one.

At last week’s City Council meeting, Tran couched the idea as a way to give someone else a chance, “someone who hasn’t been vice mayor,” he explained. Since Councilwoman Carmen Montano has already served in that role, that would leave their colleagues Bob Nuñez and Anthony Phan.

Dominguez joined her fellow councilors in expressing support for the plan at the meeting, but slightly changed her tune later that evening in a Facebook post about being disappointed with Tran for not giving her a heads up.


“If you are a young woman with an opinion, you will be silenced in favor of the status quo,” she wrote. “If you stand up against power, you will be disrespected and forced into the sexist political ways of the system.”

Dominguez tells Fly that the council recently agreed at a retreat not to unload surprises—like last week’s bombshell—on each other. She notes that Tran, not incidentally, was absent from that outing even after it was rescheduled to accommodate his unpredictable work demands.

While open to relinquishing the honorific, Dominguez says she’s concerned that the mayor’s plan distracts from “pressing needs in Milpitas” and that it sends a negative message to young girls who might aspire to leadership positions. In a subsequent Facebook post, she urged her supporters to wear white in solidarity when the proposal comes up for discussion at the Dec. 3 council session.

Tran, for his part, balks at Dominguez’s claims of bias. To presume that the “decision is based on gender or race,” he says, “is not comprehensible.”

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

9 Comments

  1. How democratic, changing the rules after the game has begun! Congressman Schiff…………………….
    Vote them all out!

  2. > Milpitas’s Top Elected Official Wants a New Vice Mayor

    What the hell is wrong with Milpitas?

    It sounds like they need some conflict resolution.

    Or a group hug.

    Or, something.

    Maybe get each of the “Top Elected Officials” in Milpitas a therapy dog.

  3. Every time you criticize a woman politician it is considered sexist . So you just want us to keep our mouths shut? If men can be criticized also should women.

  4. There is a rumor that Rich Tran is doing this because Karina Dominguez rejected his advances.

  5. Tran is a person who behaves in very unusual ways, and this is no exception. To date, I am not sure what Tran’s purported beef with Dominguez is regarding, and I don’t think he’s explained it publicly, and that is pretty sketch. That makes me wonder about rumors like the kind Citizen Milpitas is putting forward, although we should presume innocence whenever any anonymous rumor is shared without evidence.

    One thing that sticks out in my mind is when Rich Tran declared he was quitting the Assembly race, he basically blamed her for it, saying that the top two elected officials in Milpitas shouldn’t be running for office at the same time, and that because she was running for higher office he could not. That rubbed me the wrong way and made me question the rationality of his approach to his working relationship with Ms. Dominguez. Instead of simply saying that he was worried his focus on running for higher office was distracting him from working for the residents he already represented, Tran had to add in the suggestion that his run for higher office would have been acceptable had Ms. Dominguez not decided to run for office. Instead of taking responsibility for his own decision to quit, he passive aggressively blames it on her. Ultimately, he used the whole thing as an opportunity to virtue-signal his own dedication to Milpitas (then why were you running for higher office in the first place?) while putting down Dominguez. I kind of liked certain aspects of Tran, but that move lost him my respect.

    • Excellent points. It does seem like Tran has something against Dominguez. The bottom line is that everyone needs to act like adults,, be transparent, and treat each other professionally.

  6. Well if the appointment was for 2 years she should be allowed to serve 2 years as vice-mayor before that change is put into effect. And She should be afforded all of the respect of any other vice mayor and assumed the duties of the mayor when he is out of town

Leave a Reply