By Burt Field
I don’t like the fact that Jed York is spending over $1 million to take over Santa Clara by buying four City Council seats. But for what Jed wants, it’s probably cheap.
We thought we stopped him in 2014. Jed tried to steal the Youth Soccer Park from the City after breaking his campaign promise to build new soccer fields. Maybe he thought it was too costly to fulfill his pledge.
But the soccer community stood up and said no way. We are forever grateful to the brave councilwomen who were in the minority on the Council back then. They successfully fought Jed’s efforts: Lisa Gillmor, Teresa O’Neill, and Debi Davis.
The men on the Council at the time: Jamie Matthews, Jerry Marsalli, Pat Kolstad, and Dominic Caserta all supported giving the park away. Jed contributed money to all of their campaigns.
Interestingly, despite the fact that Jed says his current campaign is to add ethnic diversity to the Council, he and 49er executives have never contributed to a single “minority” candidate for the Santa Clara City Council. Never.
The fight over the youth soccer park was the first time Jed proved himself to be untrustworthy. But it wasn’t the last.
Jed has tried to lower his own stadium rent by hundreds of millions of dollars. That was in 2018 and he lost when the City went to arbitration to stop him. Just a couple months ago, Jed tried to stiff the City on stadium rent by a couple millions of dollars but the City forced him to pay again by going to arbitration.
If that isn’t bad enough, in 2019, Jed’s management company who runs the stadium got caught ripping off workers and the City has reported the violations to the Attorney General in a major case of wage theft. Again, this could be millions of dollars that workers should be getting.
Jed has also tried to change the stadium curfew that’s existed since the day the stadium was opened. It protects our neighborhoods by limiting loud music concerts from going past 10 pm on weekdays. And allows events to be held later on weekends.
If Jed can change the curfew, he’ll make millions of dollars more each year. But it will be done at the expense of Santa Clarans who have to work during the week and our kids who have to get up for school.
When you think about all the ways that Jed has tried to make more money by breaking his promises or the law, it’s amazing. If you add up the potential money, it’s astounding.
I guess it makes sense for him to spend $1 million when he could be raking in hundreds of millions more with a compliant Council majority. That would be good for him, but bad for Santa Clara.
The candidates Jed is supporting are Anthony Becker, Harbir Bhatia, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park. I won’t be supporting any of them. I like living in the Mission City. I don’t want to live in Yorkville.
Editor’s Note: Burt Field is the President of Stand Up for Santa Clara. It started in March 2015, when the San Francisco 49ers and the majority of the Santa Clara City Council took action to sell the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park to the NFL Team. It’s a grassroots organization of volunteers.