Revolution has come to Los Gatos.
Well, that’s how one gadfly framed the town council’s Sept. 7 meeting, which descended into chaos after pro-police and anti-mask protesters’ separate-but-equal fears of government oppression collided.
The temporary recess that followed looked more like a low-budget Capital insurrection.
Brian Paul, Los Gatos Police Officers Association president, was the evening’s first public speaker, warning the community of a looming public safety crisis with only three full-time 9-1-1 dispatch staff members. The POA also called supporters to arms, lamenting how the LGPD was reduced from 50 to less than 39 officers over the past 20 years, to serve a population of 30,000.
Mayor Marico Sayoc eventually had Paul’s microphone turned off after he blew past his three minutes of allotted time, but was forced to call a recess when a dozen other attendees demanded the ability to cede their time to Paul.
(Spoiler: That’s not how public comment works, and the council supported boosting salaries to help recruitment on its consent calendar not even 5 minutes earlier, so the explosive contention was moot.)
It’s hard to decipher the entire fallout, as town staff muted the intermission, and one anti-masker Rumble poster overdubbed Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 rock-twang hit “Fortunate Son” on a clip of the kerfuffle—a move bordering on ironic.
However, the crowd’s tone was crystal clear, as vitriol ranged from threats that town administration “should be run out of town” to cries that no one will be safe “when someone’s raping you in your home.”
Yikes. Maybe that energy should be directed at local schools’ Title IV administration, instead.
Fortunately, there were enough police officers ready to protect and serve—helping cool down and clear the angry mob so the meeting could resume.