Is Jim Tomsula Now Running the 49ers Community Relations Campaign?
By Robert Haugh
When it comes to community relations in the Mission City, the 49ers are having the equivalent of a 2-14 season. They’re doing such a bumbling job that it seems that Jim Tomsula must have been hired. Spoiler alert: he hasn’t. (But you’ll have to read the whole column to find out who’s responsible).
The latest example of the team’s mistake with community relations took place on September 20. The 49ers and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group held a “Public Official and Civic Leader Staff Thank You Event” at Levi’s Stadium.
But our sources say they didn’t invite Santa Clara elected officials. Yes, really. They didn’t invite the leaders from the city where they were having the party. And where they’re trying to get the weekday concert curfew lifted. Yes, really.
That was a Tomsula move. Not a Jim Harbaugh move.
For those who don’t remember — or want to forget — Tomsula flopped as a 49ers head coach after the team got rid of Harbaugh who led the team to a Super Bowl and three straight NFC West championships. Tomsula was nice guy and a good defensive line coach, he just wasn’t cut out to be a head coach.
We applauded the team last April for finally turning the corner (we hope) on the football operations when they hired head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch. LINK
We also suggested that owner Jed York take a closer look at his non-football staff since as he famously said: “You don’t fire owners.” Unfortunately York hasn’t. And the team continues to make mistakes off the field. Here’s the growing list:
- They reneged on their commitment to build new soccer fields, then tried (unsuccessfully) to take over the Youth Soccer Park.
- They tried to lower their own rent. Seriously.
- They didn’t turn over documents for a City audit which makes people think they’re hiding something big.
- They have their fingerprints all over BluPAC — a dark money group that tried to take over the City Council.
- They brought in dozens of employees by bus to City Hall to attack Mayor Lisa Gillmor whose popularity in Santa Clara is sky high.
- Then, to top it off, they sued the city, their landlords. Go figure.
- They intentionally violated the weekday stadium curfew with the U2 concert and in May and are are likely to do it again in October.
This makes us wonder: who’s responsible for all these blunders? We asked City Hall sources and others who work directly with the team. Most people said it was 49ers President Al Guido.
York has taken a back seat. And as one well placed source said: “Al is great at sales, but not at politics.” So he’s like the Tomsula of the 49ers community relations.
Guido won’t answer honestly when reporters have asked if he and the team were behind BluPAC and dark money.
He also criticized the City for hiring the Harvey Rose auditors for the Measure J stadium audit instead of Grant Thornton.
But Guido ignored the fact that his preferred audit firm wouldn’t fill out the city’s ethics form and had been fined $3 million by the SEC for “multiple audit failures” just six months prior.
With this type of record, maybe Jed York should let Shanahan and Lynch run the non-football operations, too.