Indicted Councilmember Anthony Becker Won’t Resign, Removes Commissioner Who Led Recall Effort Against Him

By Robert Haugh

Last night, indicted Santa Clara City Councilmember Anthony Becker was challenged again by Santa Clarans to resign.

Becker refused and remained silent.

But he was not silent when it came to a reappointment of a Parks and Recreation Commissioner.

Burt Field

Becker singled out Burt Field from the list of eight other commission appointments that happen routinely. Field started a recall effort against Becker last year and has been outspoken about his opposition to the 49er Five.

After the eight other commissioners were reappointed, Becker made a motion to reject Field’s appointment. When Mayor Lisa Gillmor asked him why he opposed Field, Becker repeatedly shook his head and wouldn’t speak.

Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Kelly Cox was at the meeting and said she was not planning to speak, but felt she had to because Field was being persecuted by Councilmembers.

Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Kelly Cox

“I would very much like to discourage the removal of a commission member because you don’t like what they say. That’s schoolyard play,” Cox said. 

“I want to be better than that and I want to believe that Santa Clara is better than that.”

Becker’s motion to reject Field did not get a second and died.  

Then Councilmember Kathy Watanabe made a motion to appoint Field. Gillmor seconded it.

That vote failed 3-3-1 and Field will not be reappointed.

Motion to reappoint Burt Field failed with a 3-3-1 vote.

In a highly unusual move, Councilmember Raj Chahal abstained but would not say why when asked by Gillmor.

A longtime Santa Clara City Hall veteran said the votes and the lack of discussion were highly unusual.  

“Becker and Chahal never shut up. When they pass on an opportunity to talk, it’s really suspicious. They’re clearly hiding something.” the source said. 

The deadlocked vote also suggests some type of coordination and possibly a Brown Act violation.


  1. Well, looks like this Tuesday June 6th @ 6pm (City Hall) we will have our chance to do now two things.
    1. Support the Elected Police Chief… Guess who wants to get rid of it? Yeah you are correct, the 49er 4.5 Council (Previously 49er 5) wants to get rid of it.

    And oh yeah…
    2. It would be great to see as many people in our City, down at City Hall on Tuesday Night around 6pm to support me as well.
    My removal from my Volunteer Position as a Parks and Recreation Commisioner will be discussed and I plan on addressing just how embarrassing that is for our City.

    I really hope you all know why this is important…
    We as Americans have rights.
    The First Amendment (Not the Second) is the “Right to Free Speech”.
    The Brave people who set up our Country felt it was just that important! They also knew it would be most likely the first thing that will be attacked.
    So when you can remove a Volunteer Commissioner for speaking what they believe to be in the Best Interest of their City you have a HUGE problem.
    Of course none could muster up a voice of their own to say why I was being removed. All I saw was Beaker shaking his head time and time again.
    Really a bad look, but I am not surprised that’s the best he could muster.
    It was all very strange…. almost like they were coached on what to do, and what not to say.

    Who wants their City Back? Well we will need to do some work, they are not walking away on their own. Some will have handcuffs, and Orange Jumpsuits, but others will just need to fade away.

    Burt Field
    Former Volunteer Parks and Recreation Commissioner

  2. I have known Burt for many years seeing him on-and-off regarding soccer activities. Burt has always been direct and truthful during his volunteer service to the community. Burt is an example of the type of Santa Claran we need more of. I fully support Burt should he desire to serve the City in any capacity.

    In November 2016, voters passed Measure R to amend the City Charter to protect the Youth Soccer Park. It reads:

    Sec. 714.1 Protection of parkland and public open space.

    Neither the Ulistac Natural Area, the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park nor any other real property owned or controlled by the City that is presently listed or hereafter listed by ordinance in the inventory of parks and recreation facilities contained in Appendix Eight of the City of Santa Clara 2010-2035 General Plan shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days or more, nor shall its use be changed, abandoned or discontinued without such sale, lease, disposal or changed use having been first authorized or ratified by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the electorate, voting at a general municipal election for that purpose.

    No substantial building, construction, reconstruction or development upon or with respect to any lands so dedicated shall be made except pursuant to ordinance subject to referendum.

    The provisions of this Section 714.1 shall not apply to real property owned or controlled by the City that is subject to the CityPlace Master Community Plan originally adopted by the City Council by Resolution No. 8339. (Added by electors at an election held November 8, 2016, Charter Chapter 20 of the State Statutes of 2017)

  3. I have known Burt for about 50 years, starting off at Curtis Jr High. Burt is a wonderful person.. He is also completely devoted to what is best for Santa Clara, and is an amazing community leader. Burt has demonstrated his fairness, integrity, and caring for our city. When my son was in Homestead Little League, Burt was in charge of umpiring, a thankless job he stepped up to do, and always did a stellar job with the players, coaches, and parents. Burt and his wife have done more for Santa Clara than Becker and Park combined will ever do. THANK YOU, Burt.

    Burt, you did not deserve this treatment by these rogue council members. Their behavior grows more and more embarrassing; something that did not seem possible, but they keep outdoing themselves. In fact, they should be giving you leadership commendations for your lifetime of service to the city. What is that saying about pride and arrogance coming before the fall? This has started to play out with one of the council members.

    Becker and Park, in the past few months, and from the dais, have chided and embarrassed at least 2 different citizens who applied for commissions, and coordinated a stunt at a council meeting to publicly humiliate community leader, Kirk Vartan. These elected officials are stifling democracy in our city, discouraging ordinary citizens from applying to commissions, speaking at council meeting, etc etc, and that is a huge danger to our democratic process.

    If there is a silver lining, it is the increasing involvement of the silent majority to save our city. I have never donated to a mayor’s race, put up a political sign in my front yard, joined a recall committee, or spoken in front of the council, but after seeing what the 49ers did to get their candidates elected, and their continued influence, but this election was different for me and others this past year. Thank goodness Mayor Gilmore was reelected, and things are looking guardedly more optimistic for our great city.

    • Mr Grogran
      Mr Googins
      Mayor Gillmor

      It has come to my attention that Vice Mayor Park has again used his position on the dais to mock and ridicule Mr Vartan

      Such condict is a violation of Mr. Vartan’s rights under Article 1,Sec 3 of the California Constitution that guarantees citizens the right to petition the government.

      In a world where people who are elected leaders are using mob violence to disrupt CEREMONIAL certifying elections, where elected leaders are handing out grand jury reports, where volunteers are denied appointment, Vice Mayor Park is ridiculing business owners.

      The right to petition is fundamental.

      My later mother, riddled with back pain, feebled by high blood pressure, addressed the city council at 82.

      The argument Vartan makes can be attacked, THE OPINION, not the individual.

      This is a rule not understood by Mr Park.

      This is a FORMALnote to be sent to the Civil Grand Jury that Vice Mayor Park is attempting to prevent people from paricipating.

      In the first volume of the GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, Solzhenitsyn wtites about how it was customary not only to imprison dissenters but to ridicule them as well

      All three of you are dedicated city executives with a city to run. Do you think I like to bother you with a complaint about an emotionally disturbed individual who uses books to insult?

      It is because I devoted my life as did my late parents to speak out for the right of the people to participate, even people I disagree with, strongly object to, work against, because it is their right to petition.

      James Rowen


  4. Matt Dillon, I’m confused by your reply to me. Of course there is no defending what happened last night. I am furious. I noticed that a lot of people on this blog don’t use their real name. But I wanted to use my name, because I don’t care who knows that I think what happened last night is wrong. And it didn’t occur to me, that the 49ers wanted Field off because they want the soccer park.

  5. What an embarrassment! How has this city council’s shenanigans not been featured on a news expose with actual visibility? Some investigative reporting for one (or more) of the network news stations I think is in order.

    • The motion to reappoint Field failed due to prior discussion with 4 council members.

      Jain and Becker on 5 occcasions have texted each other about Field accusing him of being a Trumper and racist.

      Two cpras have been filed


      4 or more council members planned this

      Until answered the vote on field should be reconsidered

      Becker accused Field of threats.

      This should be considered a cure and correct request

  6. Dear Community,

    Here is my position as ignorant as I am.

    The 49er 5 is looking to remove any opposition to the 49ers taking over the YOUTH SOCCER FIELDS — AGAIN!!!!!

    No Community Voice jeans those YOUTH SOCCER FIELDS ARE GONE.

    This is a move way ahead of the issue coming forward.

    I see that crap in San Jose, in the East Valley all the time.

    By the time the Community is made aware that there is an issue, it’s to late and Fee’s have already been determined and paid for a project that is detrimental.

    That is my opinion.
    I am always available for discussion.

    In Community Spirit,
    Danny Garza

    Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and Gateway East N.A.C.

  7. I suppose Burt will have more time to work in the recall effort. Is that what Becker really wanted?!?!

  8. What an absolute embarrassment this is to our city and the parks and recreation commission. I’ve worked on the commission for the past two years with Burt. He is committed and passionate about his work and is an asset to the commission. He is also a passionate Santa Clara resident. When he see’s something wrong, he speaks out. And for that he is not reappointed to the commission. This is nothing more than the 49er 5 getting rid of another person who does not agree with them. Much like their open mocking of Kirk Vartan in a recent meeting. They will go after anyone who dares to hold them accountable. Kudos to Parks & Recreation commission chairman Cox who called them out for their tactics.
    All they did last night was weaken our commission and remove a passionate and committed citizen over their dislike for him.

    Dana Caldwell
    Vice Chairman – Parks & Recreation Commission
    City of Santa Clara

    • Dana

      1996, James Rowen, a virulent enemy of Judy Nadler was up for reappointlent to Civil Service. He had been engaged in many controversial actions. Judy commented, “James is certainly not my friend, but he has worked hard as a commissioner. Ethics is more important than my dislike for him. I am mayor, he is entitled to be reappointed for doing service.”


    • Dana, glad you brought up Kirk Vartan and the mocking.
      Kevin Park did it again last night to Kirk and also the

      It’s a no holds barred corrupted majority council.
      This is not good government! People wake up!

  9. I’m sure while Becker is wearing orange in lock up, Burt will have another chance.

    Suds knew Becker sold us out to the Niners and did nothing, isn’t Suds Jain bound by some code to report that kind of treasonous act? Suds is complicit in Becker’s act and should step down for turning his back on Santa Clara and District 5. Suds didn’t want to upset the Niners his money train. Suds is guilty as well.

    Thanks Suds for looking out for yourself and the Niners and leaving the city exposed to the niners thievery.

    • I am on my 3rd coffee because of this

      In my Man of La Manch mug!!

      Here me oh, becker, suds, and raj
      I hurl down my gauntlet to thee
      Thou are vile and corrupt
      And knight with his banner so bravely displayed
      Is about to engage in a valiant quest
      And Field will triumph at last!

  10. None of the council would support Becker’s motion not to approve Burt Field. But Karen and Kevin then voted no on the motion to approve Burt Field. Raj didn’t even have the courage of his convictions to explain why he was abstaining. It seems clear to me that this was planned. They want to silence someone who has been critical of them. Someone who volunteers his free time for the Parks and Recreation Committee? What happened to free speech in the City of Santa Clara? This is outrageous.

    • Kathy. God love you. Kathy, can you help me understand? Becker, a soon to be convicted felon went after a guy who coaches kids. Burt has said things I disagree with, so we fought it out on the field of demicracy. Matter over. We then found common ground, made peace, and worked for the issues we agree. Kathy, isnt that what we taught to do??? Field helps kids. That is a good thing, yes??

      Judy Nadler moved to reappoint a very vicious opponent of hers in 1996. She said the guy served the city

      That is what being a volunteer is all about, correct??

    • You mean they didn’t support motion to remove Burt! It was a plan. Coordinated cold and calculated. Suds’ “yes” vote does not exonerate him either.

  11. Another sad day. Burt has been doing excellent work and clearly the 5 are working to remove any and all opposition. Any one remember Park’s “All your friends are termed out” bullying stunt against Kirk Vartan where Becker was smiling (condoning the sarcastic use of his title) background?

    • @Scott F. I strongly suspect we will be able to send Kevin Park a revised copy of his book named “All your friends are in jail” sometime in the very near future.

  12. News

    City attorney received a cure and correcr brown act violation email on this matter. 30 days to respnd

    • Scott F. GOOD FOR YOU. I encourage everyone to go to documents on thr cpra website. JAIN AND BECKER. They accuse Field of everything!@@ Field did his job as a commissioner!!

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