Guest Letter – POA Speaks on Audit

Editor’s Note: Following is a letter that was sent to the City Council from the Santa Clara Police Officers Association. It was submitted to Santa Clara News Online for publication.

Dear Mayor and Council,

I am writing on behalf of the Santa Clara Police Officers’ Association Board to officially commend you for the stadium audit conducted by Harvey M. Rose Associates, and to let you know that we have full confidence in your leadership.

As you know the dedicated men and women of the Santa Clara police department work many hours at the stadium and know its operations well. Some of our members previously raised questions about our department’s procedures, or lack of, to comply with Measure J. Our members cooperated fully with the auditing firm because we care about our city and believe we should follow the law established by Santa Clara voters.

We believe it’s important that the final audit confirmed that Measure J was violated; but it’s more critical that the auditors identified almost 40 recommendations to improve city operations, including those in the police department, so that Measure J will be complied with in the future.

We also want to commend the city council, especially Mayor Lisa Gillmor who has been criticized for her efforts to uncover the truth behind stadium operations. As you all know, the Grand Jury recommended the audit, not the Mayor. The council then approved the selection of the auditors — unanimously. Now, that the council has accepted the auditors’ results and findings, we urge you to implement the changes necessary to comply with Measure J, especially working in the confines of the approx. $1.8 million cap on public safety costs for NFL games.

We have full confidence that with your leadership, the city will comply with the law. We stand ready to assist you.

Patrick Nikolai
Santa Clara POA President



  1. Charlie built the SCPD station! He had nothing to do with the 49ers stadium. That is Steve Lodge… who then worked for the 49ers.

  2. Not surprising to get a letter from Charles Arolla ripping Pat Nikolai.

    He is the one that worked with the 49ers that created the toxic stew that the current Chief of Police inherited.
    Unclear if the current chief is as bad as Charles Arolla or not as far as siding with the 49ers but it appears so after he ripped the Mayor.

    Chief Sellers didn’t even know what was going on financially for 2+ years in his own department so what credibility does he have in ripping the auditors. Instead he should be thanking the auditors for identifying what is going wrong since he is obviously unable or unwilling to do so.

    But what noone is talking about is the salaries, benefits and retirement of the police and fire that are bankrupting the city. I hope that gets as much coverage as the 49ers vs the City/Stadium Authority.

  3. The audit was great … But far, very far from done. We, the citizens still have the right to find,out what, if anything we are actually making (or spending) on non-NFL events. The 49ers are still refusing to turn that over … Wonder why? What are they hiding? Who really is paying for all that sod? And what about OUR community room too? Seems the 49ers have taken over that too … Without paying for that too? Or who are they paying off for that ??

    And the audit ..l seems the Fire Chief was the one really caught red handed … He needs to be removed … I’m fe heard lots about his underhanded citizen shenanigans too, Kelly is not squeaky clean at all … Dirt at the top of that pile too … Sure hope the new City Manager is brining in a big shovel and knows how to use and is ready to start shoveling to clean up on Day 1 … Lots of dirt has got to go!

  4. Mr. Nikolai, could not have said it any better. At the very least, this is what I believe many of us in Santa Clara want and need. Accountability and transparency in every aspect of our local government, and of course one of our largest tenants in the City of Santa Clara.
    Remember this is a minimum 40 year contractual relationship, and all this angst is over just our first 3 years of that relationship…..yikes. Sounds like we need some therapy along with a annual audit.
    So many questions, so few answers.
    The audit was the logical place to start. What’s the popular saying?
    So Is everything ok, everything good?
    Anything look out of place, or odd?
    Any concerns or possible violations of local laws like Measure J?
    These are just good sound questions that needs to be asked on a regular basis. And if there are legit questions when would you like to discover these issues and work to fix them?
    Our Mayor and City Council did the right thing. I applaud you all!!
    To sum it up, the best way to protect our City now and in the near future is to continually elect officials who work for us, “The residents”.

    Burt Field

    • It is interesting to see that failed Chief of Police Candidate Pat Nikolai has re-assumed his position as President of the Santa Clara Police Officers Association. More interesting is his recommendation that the Council implement changes ( for police and Fire) to be working within “the confines of the approx. $1.8 million cap on public safety costs for NFL games.” He was very vocal during his campaign…. now what changes does he suggest; and is he inferring that Police and Fire should work NFL events for less than their current salary overtime rates of compensation in order to fall below the $1.8 million cap?

    • Yet another ANONYMOUS and uninformed statement. The author clearly does not remember that I retired as Chief of Police in 2000, many years before there was any discussion of building a stadium in Santa Clara; and certainly before Measure J, the stadium’s construction, and had no role in “creating the toxic stew that the current Chief of Police inherited.” My experience with the 49ers was that they made no effort in supporting the Santa Clara Community, including it’s non-profit organizations like PAL. Once approved to build their training center in Santa Clara and a well-below-market lease, they were a “non-entity” in our City UNTIL there was a push to build a stadium for their use. Then very strategically they supported a CSUSD bond measure; and as a Quid Pro Quo the District then supported Measure J, feeding thre false narrative that the stadium alone would fill the school district’s coffers with new-found tax dollars.

      My position regarding the Stadium has never wavered: I was opposed to Measure J; and as predicted it has become a drain on public safety services in Santa Clara. It was clear from the outset, before any Measure J was voted upon that Santa Clara’s Police Department was (and remains) the smallest law enforce agency in a jurisdiction where a NFL Stadium is present. That neither of the two largest law enforcement agencies in the County—San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office—provide any assistance during NFL and Non-NFL events was predictable from the outset.

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