When the County of Santa Clara enters a Sister County affiliation, it is with the expectation that there will be a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. However, some relationships may not work out for one reason or another, or there are times when either or both communities want to end the relationship. In recognition of this possibility, the following guidelines are proposed for ending a Sister County affiliation.
Before ending a Sister County relationship, the County Executive, Office of Public Affairs will:
Determine whether there is community-based support for continuing the relationship. The Office of Public Affairs will canvass community members to determine whether there are people in the community who worked on or who are interested in working on the relationship. Broad-based community support, which includes participation and involvement, will be the key factors that determine whether to end or to continue the relationship.
If the Office of Public Affairs finds that support exists to continue the relationship, a letter will be sent to the presiding official of the Sister County. This letter will acknowledge that there has been a lapse in activity, but that the County of Santa Clara Board Chairperson is prepared to reactivate the relationship. The letter would also request concurrence from the overseas Sister County.
If the overseas Sister County agrees, then staff from both cities, the local county group and their counterpart abroad, will develop an action plan to rejuvenate the link. Additionally, both counties would include as part of the action plan, a “resigning” ceremony.
If the overseas Sister County does not respond or says “no, thank you”, then the County of Santa Clara will inform SCI in writing of the situation and request that the affiliation be deleted from the SCI Directory of Sister Communities.
If the Office of Public Affairs finds that there is no interest from the local community to continue the Sister County relationship, the Board Chairperson will send a tactful, diplomatic letter to the presiding official of the Sister County abroad. The Office of Public Affairs will inform SCI of this action in writing with a request that the affiliation be deleted from the SCI Directory.