OPINION: 49ers Want to Get Rid of City Attorney, then Curfew, and Take Over Santa Clara — But We Can Stop Them

By Burt Field

All Santa Clarans should be concerned, really concerned.

We learned this week that the new majority on the City Council wants to get rid of City Attorney Brian Doyle — and they’re getting pressure from the 49ers to push him out.

Doyle has been an outstanding City Attorney who is actually a Santa Clara resident. There’s no doubt that he can be trusted to do what’s right for our city.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the City Council’s new majority. They’re being pushed to get rid of Doyle. We learned that Tuesday when Councilmember Suds Jain admitted that the “49ers would like to see Brian Doyle gone.” That’s a scary statement.

Why don’t the 49ers like Doyle? There are at least 180 million reasons. Doyle led the legal effort to stop the 49ers from lowering their own stadium rent. When the City won that fight, we secured $180 million in rent over the next approximately 40 years of the stadium lease. The 49ers were not happy campers.

Doyle also led multiple efforts to call out the team when they’ve broken the law:

  • The team intentionally violated Santa Clara’s curfew law.
  • The City documented a major case of employee wage theft with a stadium contractor.
  • 49ers executives Al Guido and Jim Mercurio have financial conflict of interests and look like they’ve engaged in self-dealing with stadium contracts.

Doyle has clearly been doing his job and doing it well. We applaud him for standing up for Santa Clara.

What’s really unfortunate is that the 49ers think they can have their way with the new City Council. But when you spend $3 million to get three Councilmembers elected, you obviously want something and expect to get it. 

Jed York wrote big checks in last year’s election to elect Anthony Becker, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park. They all say they didn’t ask for his money, but they were all beneficiaries of York’s large wallet. In fact, the three of them have run for city elections multiple times before last year. None of them could win on their own merits. York knows that and now he wants a return on his investment.

The first thing the 49ers want is Doyle fired. Then, they’ll want to change the curfew to make more money for themselves at the expense of Santa Clara neighborhoods that the curfew was put in place to protect.  The pro-49er Councilmembers are already publicly saying they want to do this.

It’s like 2015 all over again. That’s when former Mayor Jamie Mathews was in charge and a pro-49er majority ruled the City Council. The team would frequently get its way. That’s how they almost stole the Youth Soccer Park.

But in 2015, the women on the City Council stood up to them. With the help of the soccer community, they stopped the 49ers. Thankfully, one of those women is still at City Hall: Mayor Lisa Gillmor. She and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe who represents the neighborhoods around the stadium can be trusted to do what’s best for Santa Clara and not the 49ers. Sadly, the rest of the City Council cannot.

That’s why our community must rally again to stop the 49ers from taking over Santa Clara and stop us from being turned into Yorkville.

We ask people to re-engage through our website. Sign up if you haven’t already. And please recruit friends and neighbors. We’ll be shining the spotlight on the City Council more regularly and taking more direct action when necessary. 

Maybe if we can save our Youth Soccer Park, we can save our city, too.

Editor’s Note: Burt Field is co-founder of Stand Up for Santa Clara, a grass-roots watchdog organization born out of the fight to save the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park in 2015.


  1. I grew up in Rhode Island at eventually moved out here in 1998. One name that sticks in my memories is Buddy Cianci, the Mayor of Providence RI. I remember him doing so many wonderful things including his decision to upgrade homes and apartments in low income areas. He was so loved by so many. BUT, in 2002, he was taught a very big lesson. And that lesson was the fact that a politician accepting large amounts of money for political favor is a CRIME! He spent 7 years in federal prison and when he finally got out he tried to improve the way he was viewed by all those people who once loved him.

    SUDS JAIN ,ANTHONY BECKER and KEVIN PARK not only took a ton of money from Jed York, but they will also damage the needs of children and seniors who will be the most benefited by that curfew for education and health by getting enough sleep at night.

    Now they are trying to get rid of the best lawyer needed by Santa Clara at this time. They need to do this for their “Boss” Jed because you see, they don’t answer to the Santa Clara voters.

    I pray they are not successful. But, let’s see what happens from here.


    • Diane, thanks for chiming in. So many people are unaware of what is happening, and that is exactly what the 49ers want and hope to maintain.
      There is a growing amount of people who are becoming aware, and that is a great thing for our City, not such a great thing for this one local company.
      Thank you for caring about Santa Clara. It won’t be easy as long as Jed York has the loudest Mega Phone in the land.
      Have a great day.
      Burt Field

  2. Is there any recourse for recalling a council member?

    If these crooks do get away with firing a lawyer who is good for Santa Clara, hopefully Brian will get behind a class action lawsuit for the people of Santa Clara vs the crooks of Santa Clara. He can still fight for us, maybe even run for a council seat.

  3. Wake up Santa Clara, you now belong to Jed York and his three idiots, SUDS JAIN ,ANTHONY BECKER and KEVIN PARK. THEY ALL GOT ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH TO RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL. As for the other 2 city council people KAREN and Raj , it looks like they are leaning towards Jed York. Dose this sound like a Democracy?
    You voted for the enemy, please don’t let them win !!!!!!

    • Uh Dorothy Rosa it was more like $1M each
      that Jain Becker and Park ended up with
      from deep pockets Jed to get elected.

      Like Dorothy said
      Wake Up Santa Clara!

    • Who wants to be a mill. Thank you for pointing out my mistake. I knew it was B, but I was so angry at them that i goofed. I really love the 49ers, but i am sorry that they have a money hungry leader.

  4. I wonder if those people that strongly supported people like Suds are still proud of their decision. So glad I saw him for what he is. A sell out, only interested in what’s best for him, not the city. Big show of community service but actually self service disguised.

  5. I hope every resident confronts these third string players for the 49ers and let them know you want them to represent the residents, not Jed York.

    Ask them not sellout Santa Clara to the 49ers for their own gains.

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