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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 TransparentCalifornia.com. 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.
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.