GUEST OPINION: Police Chief Mike Sellers Doesn’t Deserve a Raise

Police Chief Mike Sellers Doesn’t Deserve a Raise

Guest Opinion by Gabe Foo

I remember when Santa Clara Police Chief Mike Sellers told Superior Court Judge Huber that the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park had to be turned over to the NFL for use by Homeland Security to protect the Super Bowl. It was a “fake news” item as the NFL used the soccer park to host the press and media.

Now I am surprised to learn that Santa Clara Police Chief Mike Sellers is being considered for a raise. The item was on the Santa Clara City Council Agenda a few months ago and will return for consideration at a future meeting.

I hope the city council will reject Sellers’ raise. His performance cannot justify it. Here are some examples why:

  1. Sellers leads the police department that violated Measure J, the law that voters passed to protect Santa Clara’s general fund from stadium expenditures. At first, he told the city council that no tax dollars were spent on the stadium. Then, Sellers later admitted it happened. According to the Mercury News (May 13, 2016), Sellers “when asked why his employees are saying otherwise, he said they’re “naive” and “they don’t know.” This is a clear example of poor management and leadership.
  2. Under his watch the police department spent well over $100,000 on public safety costs that were spent in violation of Measure J (from audit).
  3. There have been multiple incidents of serious violence at 49er games, and Sellers has not requested the 49ers either pay for additional public safety costs or take control of alcohol sales shutoff. He defers to the 49ers and chose to protect the team’s profits over the safety of Santa Clara residents.
  4. Three veteran Santa Clara cops have been ensnared in extracurricular criminal activity — one for indecent exposure, another for running a chop shop, and a third for shoplifting.
  5. Sellers does not have the respect of the men and women in uniform who work for him. Last year, for the first time, the Santa Clara police chief received a vote of “no confidence.” Why should anyone who received an overwhelming thumbs down from employees be given a raise?

Chief Sellers makes almost $443,000 in salary and benefits, according to the website He’s one of the highest paid police chiefs in the state. Unfortunately, he doesn’t deserve a raise.

If you agree, please demonstrate your support by voting on Stand Up for Santa Clara’s poll. You may do so without disclosing your name since many Santa Clarans (and officers) are concerned about retribution or pressure.

You can also tell the Santa Clara City Council he doesn’t deserve a raise. Please Call (408) 615-2250 or email

Gabe Foo, Stand Up For Santa Clara

Editor’s note: We have offered Police Chief Mike Sellers an opportunity to respond to this guest column, which was originally published on the Stand Up For Santa Clara website.


  1. Did I miss the amount of the raise? Can you provide this exact dollar amount and the percentage in the article?
    It is frustrating to not see this. It would be useful to show past raises in dollar/percentages as well.
    Thanks for letting us know all the facts.

  2. So says Gabe Foo who has never been in public service. Easy to judge others for not being perfect, yet you don’t have the fortitude or mental toughness to participate in a leadership role in democracy.

  3. Chief Sellers (and other City employees/Council/City Mgrs/etc) need to finally face CONSEQUENCES for their misdeeds! says:

    Are there NEVER any consequences for ethical violations in Santa Clara?

    What do I mean by this?
    The Chief continually allows violations of Measure J
    Staff memorandums have errors/mistruths and the Chief never asks for or gets corrections.

    Senior Staff and the past City Managers and City Council and former Mayor have done the bidding
    for the 49ers and other developers.

    Noone has ever been censured or fired.

    The major errors in city staff memorandum are never corrected.

    The payments to continue the Santa Clara Weakly/PRAVDA (?) continue along under Miles Barber
    and his bought off “journalism” goes on unabated and unabashedly pro 49ers and major developers.

    Undue influence by the 49ers, the developers and the corrupt SCW tarnish and unduly influence our elections.

    What can we do?

    Start with the Chief;

    1) Refuse the raise
    2) Censure him, put a permanent mark on his record
    3) Put him on “Probation” for X amount of months.
    4) Put him on a “Performance Review” where certain corrections must be made
    5) Fire him if he keeps doing the bidding of the 49ers

    NOTE: The police video cam of the officer involved shooting. Has the family ever received the body cam video yet? Glad we don’t have many shootings here in Santa Clara. But why is SCPD and the City of Santa Clara dragging their feet and stopping the family from their legal rights being fulfilled?

  4. Of all the main characters in the previous soccer park grab attempt, I feel Chief Sellers is the least to blame. Does that mean I think he didn’t make a mistake in previous dealings with the stadium? No, but I feel lack of precedent and lack of clear procedure led to mistakes. Does this, coupled with his perceived support of the 49ers, warrant his dismissal? I don’t think so. Although I loathe the 49ers with my last cell, and am a card-carrying, starry-eyed soccer parent, I wouldn’t wish for his dismissal just because his views are different than mine. I actually feel that he learned from this and is more open to listening to citizens at this point, and as a life-long citizen, I feel that he is doing a pretty good job.

    Should he get a raise? Maybe not, but at the moment, we shouldn’t let this issue cloud our vision and obscure another real danger, which is a renewed attack on our children’s soccer park.

    Carolyn Schuk’s latest attempt at rewriting history caused me to choke on my afternoon coffee…

    “Current City Council War on 49ers Started Over Soccer Fields”… Yikes! A total rewrite of history, whitewashing the sins of her beloved 49ers and omitting key details. It is a masterpiece of slant and bias, favoring the 49ers, while trying to transfer their stink to Lisa Gillmor, and her city council supporters.

    If this isn’t a prelude to a renewed thrust for the soccer park, I’ll eat my Barcelona hat. Hope to read an article about this soon…

  5. If a bad manager gets a raise, it sends a signal to all the other bad managers in all the departments that they should get raises too. Whereas they should get the boot. The council would be insane to give Sellers a raise. He’s an amiable fellow but generally considered a dunce.

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