Suds Jain Proposes Taking Power Away from Santa Clara Voters to Elect Police Chief and City Clerk

By Robert Haugh

At the Aug. 30 Council meeting, Vice Mayor Suds Jain proposed changing the elected Police chief and City Clerk positions to appointed roles.

In the City Charter, voters are given the right to elect both positions.

Jain claims that they’re few qualified Santa Clara residents for the Police Chief position and that the Clerk is a part time role that only handles election duties. 

“Santa Clara is the only City with an elected Police Chief and among only 20 precent of Cities with elected City Clerks.” Jain claims only 12 of 153 sworn SCPD officers live in Santa Clara. 

He also claims the Clerk position would be better handled by an appointed professional who answers to the Council and City staff. 

That same evening, Police Chief Pat Nikolai and City Clerk Hosam Haggag testified and rebutted Jain’s proposal..

Nikolai brought up the fact that interim City manager Rajeev Batra repeatedly says City staff is stretched thin with increased staff workloads exacerbated by the Current Council’s demands.

He adds that to begin a change, a Charter Review Committee would need to be formed which would only add to the City staff’s workload.

 “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The DEI task force studied the issue of elected vs. appointed Chief and concluded that an elected Chief best served Santa Clara’s needs.

 “What is more transparent than an election and being held accountable to residents,” said Nikolai.

Nikolai added that 7 of 8 Silicon valley cities hired their Police Chief from within their department.

 “It seems arrogant and flies in the face of democracy,” said Haggag. 

Haggag says Jain’s claim of ‘no accountability’ isn’t accurate – “The pinnacle of democracy is being held accountable by residents – the same accountability for Councilmembers.”

“I’m not interested in taking power away from the voters,” said Mayor Lisa Gillmor.

Councilmember Kathy Watanabe says a POA poll of Santa Clara voters indicates an overwhelming preference for an elected Police Chief.

The vote was 4-2 to support Jain’s proposal. Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Karen Hardy, and Kevin Park voted yes. Gillmor and Watanabe opposed.

The item will return to Council at a later date. This is a developing story.

18 comments

  1. Hey 49er 5 – LEAVE OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT ALONE. How is the search coming along for a new city manager and new city attorney????? You know, the vital cogs to our city government that you fired almost A YEAR AGO, AND REPLACED WITH A VERY PART-TIME CITY MANAGER AND A LAW FIRM THAT IS NOT ONLY WAY MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT MANY OF YOU ARE BEEN GETTING PERSONAL LEGAL ADVICE FROM, AND ARE IN NO WAY IMPARTIAL IN THEIR LEGAL “ADVICE” TO OUR CITY. I dare say they are for flaunting the law regarding freedom of information requests that they are refusing to comply with. Another stifling of free speech and transparent government brought to you by the 49er 5.

    • Example a july cpra request is being held up by Steve 1000 an hour Ngo until November 10!@!!!

  2. This council, aside from the Mayor and Councilmember Watanabe, have absolutely stifled transparency, free speech, and the rights of our citizens. The 49er 5 vote as though they received some mandate from the voters for radical change to do so. They absolutely did not. In actuality, the only mandate they received, and keep receiving, are from Jed York. They repeatedly vote to NOT hear issues in public regarding their dealing with the 49ers, the latest being not to hear further information regarding the $500 ticket gratuities given to Hardy and Chahal. Before that was Dr Ron Patrick, a critic of the 49ers, who was removed from the Planning Commission under very questionable circumstances, by the council majority. Maybe there is nothing there, but we will never know now after their vote to suppress this information. Jain now wants to further erode our choices as citizens and voters. He wants the chief to be a politician that the council can use as a punching bag and not an independent entity not beholden to Suds and the others. Same thing with the City Clerk.

    Jain claims there are only 12 officers qualified to be chief from within the department. He fails to mention that if an “outside” chief is hired, he or she will get a housing stipend as part of their package. If that stipend is extended to Santa Clara Police Officers, who currently live outside of the city but want to run for chief, then you have 153 officers who could run for office, knowing If elected hey will need to move back within the city limits and will receive a stipend to assist them financially, money that would be spent anyways for a stipend to hire an outside chief, hand picked by the council. I would never want this current configuration on the council to make this decision which would affect the safety of each and every one of us and our family members. Who here wants Anthony Becker choosing who the police chief will be if our right to vote for our chief is stolen from us?

    • Suds Jain is the biggest embarrasment ever to be elected. He refuses to discuss his private medtings with the 49ers; he wants to be exempt from the public records act; he attacks MediCal recepients; and he stalks Lisa Gillmor at public events. Abusive Becker is slightly worse.

  3. I have been reading over and over again of residents of other cities being so unhappy with their own police departments they no longer even want to fund them. Definitely MORE cities need to be allowing their citizens the right to vote for their Chief of Police, not less cities, for crying out loud. Removing citizen’s direct ability to vote for their Chief clearly isn’t working, and just seems so counter-intuitive to getting more citizens on board to adequately funding and supporting their police departments.

    • Suds has to go!!! He wants power and control of things that should be controlled by the residents. Santa Clara is like living in Russia any more. The whole council should be replaced. Our city community is no longer a friendly place to live. Just full of housing projects.

  4. Pay attention. As many have stated Jed boy has a plan. Why are stadium public safety costs in litigation? Jed boy doesn’t want to pay. He wants to control costs. What will fifa cost? Did he and Al make a deal with fifa? Has to honor his promises to fifa but not residents of Santa clara? What deal was made to get Cindy Chavez elected and dumping money into an IE for her? Something planned for SJPD?

    Pay attention folks. If you thought this was a bumpy ride before it’s about to get bumpier.

    And Becker Park Chahal Hardy and Suds have no qualms about helping. They got a big debt to payoff. BIG!!!

  5. This City Council is so corrupt it doesn’t surprise me that given a chance, namely
    Becker would like to take the vote away from the Santa Clara residents. This is totally wrong! It’s the residents that live in a Santa Clara that should have the say, just as we should vote new City Council members in to replace the Corrupt ones that we currently have ( you know who you are).

    • Why is Steve Ngo delaying release of the 49er-jain, becker emails until after the election??? Barbara has it!@ jain hates the public. Jain is an old political floozy with spare change in nickles.

  6. From Barack Obama today on Twitter-

    Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy—and, as the late Congressman John Lewis reminded us, our most precious right.

    I’m not in favor of taking this right and decision away from the people of Santa Clara.

  7. Sorry, this was actually a mistake that with all the other crap falling down on us, I forgot that this was also part of their (49er 5) Mission Statement.
    So let’s just go back and edit one of my previous post about “Their” Playbook.

    Please add in, at any point. They have a Master Plan, and this all falls under the title
    “Screw Santa Clara at every turn”. So really feel free to start a new page on this one.

    *****Remove the power to Elect Police Chief******

    So far in the history of our City this has been tried quite a few times. Each time the residents have successfully defended this element of our City.
    If successful, it will continue the onslaught of of our diminishing powers that we the residents now hold.
    So where will that power go? Answer right into someone’s pocket…. and that pocket now resides just a few miles North up 280 in the Los Altos Hills. I’m guessing it is not the rough part of Los Altos Hills either.
    At first glance, the Elected Chief of Police sounds like a small trivial piece of our City.
    But to remove it, will be huge. With lots of $$$$$$$$ behind that decision.
    So far the Chief of Police has only had to answer to us, the residents of our City. I think that is important to me, and I hope you feel the same way.

    As with anything today in our local politics. Whatever the 49ers want, I just vote the other way.
    We are smart people who love our City. Once you can see the damage done already, just try and imagine what will continue to happen if we do not get our City back.

    Burt Field
    burt.field@gmail.com

  8. Taking power away from voters? Jain (and the voters) should be more concerned with his lack of power in his own district, I have been told Jain can’t vote on SCU or the new downtown area plans. Anyways, he’ll be much to busy fighting off a well organized recall effort

    bye bye Jain, bye bye Park, bye bye Becker!!!

  9. How come Jain hides the fact that Park and Becker meet with him the 49ers!!

    3 times in August, Stalker Suds

    Imagine a grown man following the Mayor snapping her photo!

    Weirdo

  10. There are only two groups calling for this… Which was already voted on in 2000? And then a Charter Review committee in 2010? Talk about a waste of time and money: it’s already been asked and answered. Resoundingly answered.

    1. The 49ers (and those that do their bidding). They want the ability to control public safety costs without regard to public safety at events (Just look at their management of parking at the stadium. They got your money, now wear it). And remember, public safety costs are being litigated.

    2. The SVVoice, widely known as the PR Firm for Anthony Becker and the San Francisco 49ers. Why? Well, the Niners told them to, most likely. They published an op-ed by a Garrett Bondaug railing against the elected Chief system. Did anyone else notice that they didn’t have the standard post script describing the author? In a shameful lie by omission, they didn’t tell their readers that GB has devoted his life to attacking our police department after he violently resisted their efforts to investigate a domestic violence circumstance at his house. He sued the City, and not only did he lose, but he had to pay restitution to the City for his frivolous suit (Does the SVV know how to look up public information? Or did they not want to tell their readers? Either way it’s not a good look from an “editorial board”). No mention of his involvement with any websites either. His arguments are remarkably similar to those made by an individual that frequently posts on SVV under the alias “CSC.”

    So there you have it. The 49ers looking to squeeze every last dollar that they can out of the City. The SVV obediently helping and aligning with their champion and leader of this effort, Gary Bondaug, the losing litigant on a lifelong vendetta.

    Oh and it doesn’t hurt that this allows Suds Jain to vindictively go after Pat Nikolai for daring to endorse his opponent in the last election.

    • Suds will work with anyone including Mahan, mclemore, sellers, Honda to get back at those that beat him and called out his lies.Those 4 clearly have their own vendettas against people who have stood up to them in the name of Santa Clara. A sorry lot.

    • Looks like they picked the wrong figure head for this campaign! Why would anyone listen to ANYTHING that guy says? What’s that old saying about beds and fleas? I hope our Council members don’t align themselves behind Garret Bondaug.

  11. Jain hates democracy. Seeks to end the Public Records Act. Holds secret meetings with 49ers, wants to end city council elections, hates Lisa Gillmor. Insults people needing MediCal That mark on his forehead, price tag!

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