By Debbie Algieri
I do not want to see the 49ers take over Santa Clara. But five Council members seem quite happy to let the 49ers run the stadium any way they want, even if it is harmful to the Northside where I live. But the rest of our city should be concerned, too. All of Santa Clara has been harmed by the team’s mismanagement of the stadium and apparent control over the City Council.
I also do not like how the new Council majority has made City Hall dysfunctional. The meetings are endless. There is a lot of nonsensical bickering with each other and with City staff. Some of the new Council members are bullying and try to intimidate.
One of those new Council members, Kevin Park, will not even appear on camera during meetings. It is not right, and it is suspicious. But the Council majority does not seem to care.
The pro-49er Council majority is rewriting the standards for Santa Clara, even if it is making things worse and less transparent. So, I have been doing research to fight back on behalf of residents.
As I talked to people in various Council districts, I came upon a disturbing story.
In 2017 and 2018, Council member Park had the police come to his home on two separate occasions for a domestic violence call. I was surprised that this was not disclosed during last year’s City Council campaign. Voters have a right to know about candidates and elected officials on a serious matter like potential domestic violence.
So I requested information to see for myself what his neighbors have been discussing. I got a police report through the police department as required by law. But a few days afterward, I got an email from Assistant Police Chief Wahid Kazem asking me to destroy the documents. He said the report had to be redacted.
This did not sound right to me. So, I talked to a few local attorneys who have knowledge about these matters. They believe the action is wrong and an official police report cannot be redacted for any resident, including a Council member.
The police department’s actions raise a lot of serious questions for me and others. Do they do this for all police reports for all residents? If not, why are they bending over backwards to protect a Council member? Is this a cover up? More importantly, is the lack of action putting someone at jeopardy?
I am asking that the City investigate this matter immediately. And if the City cannot adequately investigate itself, District Attorney Jeff Rosen should investigate.
Santa Clara residents already believe the 49ers are running Santa Clara and getting away with a lot. We do not need a police department that makes matters worse by protecting Council member Park who was financially supported by the team with millions of dollars. Council member Park has in turn has been doing their bidding.
If Santa Clara residents are to have any confidence in our city government, we need to know that City Hall and the police department are not protecting certain Council members just because they are close to an NFL football team.