By Robert Haugh
I’ve heard from many Santa Clarans who are upset at the 49ers Five and the direction the current City Council is taking these days.
According to sources, Burt Field, was one of the conveners of a recent meeting with Mission City leaders regarding the possibility of recalling Kevin Park, Suds Jain and Antony Becker.
Field was founder of the grassroots group Stand Up for Santa Clara that rallied support to fight Jed York’s takeover attempt of the Youth Soccer Park.
Below is a Q & A with Field:
Are you involved in an organizing effort for a recall of City Councilmembers? Who else is involved?
Yes, I’m one of many people who care about Santa Clara and think we need to do something to take back our city from Councilmembers who are not only making bad decisions but are doing things that many people think are corrupt. They’ve fired a city attorney and city manager because they were doing what’s best for Santa Clara and Jed York didn’t like it. Jed spent a lot of money to get them elected. Now he’s calling in the favors. They gave him parking revenue worth about $1 million by throwing in the flag on a lawsuit. They changed the curfew so York can make more money at the expense of Northside neighborhoods. They’ll continue to give away the City if we let them. And we won’t.
Which Councilmembers are you targeting?
Jed York spent $3 million to elect Anthony Becker, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park in 2020. We’ll target them for recall because they’re not on the ballot this year. And we can’t risk having them around until 2024. They’ll do too much damage to Santa Clara. Karen Hardy and Raj Chahal are on the ballot in November. So voters will have a chance to remove them this year.
Why do you think they should be recalled?
They’re literally giving away the store to Jed York. Once we add up all the numbers and total it for the voters it’ll be many millions of dollars. And the list will probably grow. We keep hearing about new things. Santa Clarans didn’t vote for a stadium so we could be robbed. But that’s what’s happening. We’re also hearing complaints about Councilmembers in each of their districts. One has a real issue with honesty and lying to voters. One has been abusive to city staff and the public. One has a history of being unprofessional and irresponsible. These are important issues for Santa Clarans. We have a really long list of complaints. But we’ll focus on a few major issues because that’s what we have to do in the campaign.
What will it take to qualify for the ballot?
Each Councilmember has a different number because it’s based on the number of registered voters in the district. It’ll take us somewhere between 2,500 to 3,000 signatures for each Councilmember. That’s a doable number. A lot of people care about Santa Clara.
Do you believe you’ll have the resources or volunteers to qualify for the ballot?
I think so based on the one meeting we’ve had. Once people see this happening, more people will come forward. I can tell from talking to my neighbors that people are really worried about Santa Clara and our future. We can’t even get good people to apply for city staff jobs. We’ve been without a city attorney for six months. And no one wants the job. Why would they with this Council? That’s never happened before in our history. Santa Clara has never had trouble attracting good people until now.
Will there be good candidates who will run in the recall? Who’s considering a run?
I’ll let them declare themselves at the right time. But I can tell you that some of the people coming forward have better reputations and track records than the people on the Council today.
Do you think the 49ers will try and save their candidates from being recalled?
Probably. Jed York made a big investment in his Councilmembers. He’ll double down. York has too much money at stake. It’s interesting that the people York has elected have never said no to his requests. Even if it hurts Santa Clara. During the campaign, some people didn’t believe that people running for office would just give away the City even if York was financing their campaigns. But now those candidates have a voting record. And the people who said they would pay back York are right. They’ve done it for the last year and they’re continuing to do it. I don’t think we know everything or have seen everything yet. But Brian Doyle’s lawsuit and other things coming out into the public record will tell us a lot in the coming months. It’s not a pretty story for Santa Clara. But the good news is we can change it and get back to being a great City again.