OPINION: The Actions of the 49er Five on the City Council Are Unethical or Criminal

By Lee Broughman

I continue to see glaring examples of lack of governance experience. Members seem to think that the City staff is their own personal staff.

And even though the Council agreed to priorities in January, several Councilmembers flood the Council meetings with their own personal agendas weekly with little regard to staff time and cost to the City.

I have also noted that Councilmembers participation in City events is poor except for the Mayor (Lisa Gillmor) and City Councilmember (Kathy) Watanabe.

Maybe the new Councilmembers think that all their visits to the 49ers are considered community events. But if they are, where is my invitation or the public’s invitation? (See Editor’s Note).

The five members of the Council should not be meeting or making decisions without public input.  

The City Council should represent the City’s interest especially when it comes to increasing monies for services. 

But I have noted that the Council majority has stopped the City Manager from seeking revenue increases if it has anything to do with the 49ers. 

They (the 49ers) are a large business and they made many promises to the City during the Measure J campaign. They have broken nearly every promise including their agreement to protect the residents around the stadium with the noise curfew. Why do five members of the Council trust them? 

This all feels unethical at the least and criminal at the most. 

Lee Broughman is a longtime Santa Clara resident and a Library Commissioner. This statement was submitted as an email to the City Council last night and read during public comment.

Editor’s note: the author refers to the 49ers meeting weekly with the group Mission City residents call the “49er Five.” They are Councilmembers: Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park).


  1. TY Lee for stating truth. I hope Becker heard your comment. He needs to stop disrespecting mayor and city staff. Mayor should have thrown him off council mtg last night. He is a liability.

  2. Lee, your message is one that resonates loud and clear with me. Hopefully others like us have had enough and we can begin the process to figure out what we can do to best defend the future of our City.
    That said, we need to be smart in how we approach a company which has increased the estimated Forbes value in 2014 of $500 million to now, 2021 over $4 Billion dollars.
    How did they do that? I know for sure they didn’t do it on the field!

    We deserve better. This is not we voted on when we allowed Measure “J” to pass, and the Stadium to be built.

    Thanks again for such a great article. Just know you are not alone.

    Burt Field

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