BREAKING STORY: Has Councilman Pat Kolstad left Santa Clara and will he have to leave the Council?

BREAKING STORY: Has Councilman Pat Kolstad left Santa Clara and will he have to leave the Council?

By Robert Haugh

There’s been a lot of buzz on NextDoor regarding Councilman Pat Kolstad’s residency. Kolstad recently sold his home in Santa Clara and bought a house in the state of Washington.

Santa Clarans are asking: is he still eligible to be on the council? Here’s a sample of NextDoor comments:



Recently, Terri Kolstad, the Councilman’s wife, posted this comment on Facebook:

Terri FB 2

On Monday, former City Clerk candidate Deborah Bress showed up at the City Council’s Governance Committee meeting and asked if Kolstad could keep his seat on the council since he bought a home in the state of Washington, which appears to be his primary residence. City Clerk Rod Diridon, Jr. reportedly said that Kolstad could remain on the council, as long as he was a registered voter in Santa Clara. But that may not be entirely accurate.

Here’s what the Santa Clara City Charter says:

No person shall be eligible to hold any elective office in the City including Mayor, City Council, Chief of Police Department and City Clerk, unless he or she is a resident and a qualified registered elector of the City.

Here’s what the California Secretary of State’s website says about the qualifications to be a registered voter under the category “Determination of Residence and Domicile:”

If a person moves to another state with the intention of making it his or her domicile, the voter loses his or her domicile in this state.

This looks like a serious inquiry. We’ve asked Kolstad and Diridon for comment, but did not get a response from Kolstad. Diridon responded this afternoon, though didn’t provide anything new. We’ll update when we learn more from them or others. This is a breaking story.







  1. Pat Kolstead has been “phoning it in” as they say in Hollywood. Whether he is in CA of WA doesn’t matter: he is one of the worst for residents and the best for the 49ers and monied developers! As long as he is on Council, residents are toast!

  2. What’s the big deal? Caserta lived in San Jose when he first ran for Santa Clara City Council

    • Why does Debbie Bress always want city officials to go after people? If KOLSTAD is breaking the law, contact Jeff Rosen. KOLSTAD could be renting a room or apartment or living with relative
      Sorry, but the law says he could living with his mother, and be active in political affairs

    • The Secretary of State website discusses election day voting not serving in office. To challenge KOLSTAD’s current voter registration is a county elections and district attorney matter. It is easy to mix and match laws, make sideslam, but not follow it through

  3. It seems pretty clear to me. He is no longer a resident. Sounds like we need a special election???? Or does the council again interview replacements like they did last time???? I believe that seat is up for election in 2018.

  4. Wasn’t Teri the one that “won” a Lexus SUV from the Mission City Community Fund that had to be purchased because the Kolstads used campaign funds illegally to play?

    • Yes! That’s right! I remember reading that in the SF Chronicle. Didn’t they have to give back the car? Not sure if I have all of the facts right, but I do remember it was a big deal.

    • YEAP … Same Terri Kolstad … Seems the Kolstad’s like to make the rules go their way and not follow the rules! PAT was the same when he was a cop too! They “moved” … READ — Changed their principal residence … Why is it so important that Pat keep voting in Santa Clara when he is no longer living here, but just visiting? What or Who needs his vote so badly?

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