Santa Clara City Council Preview: Move to Eliminate Elected Police Chief and City Clerk; Request for Indicted Councilman Anthony Becker to Resign

By Robert Haugh

Tomorrow’s Santa Clara City Council meeting has another long agenda and a controversial one.

Some City Councilmembers want to eliminate the elected Police Chief and City Clerk. Both are rights Santa Clara voters have in our City Charter.

Some residents want indicted City Councilmember Anthony Becker to resign. They’ll ask for item to be officially agendized at a future Council meeting.

Agenda items:

  • Study session to review proposed FY 2023/24 and FY 2024/25 Biennial Operating Budget and FY 2023/24 Capital Improvement Program Budget changes
  • Study session — Presentation on timelines and administrative requirements for placement of Ballot Measures on the March and/or November 2024 ballot including consideration of amendments to the City Charter to change the Police Chief and/or City Clerk from Elected to Appointed positions and consideration of an action to approve a Work Plan for same, including possible formation of a Charter Review Committee
  • Recognition of Santa Clara University Student graduate Kairan Quazi
  • Proclaim June 19, 2023 as Juneteenth
  • Proclaim June 2023 as LGBTQIA+ Pride month
  • Consent calendar — Informational report and status update on the Morse Mansion
  • Public Hearing: Adoption of a Resolution approving the Levy of Benefit Assessment upon the City of Santa Clara Parking Maintenance District No. 122 – Franklin Square
  • Public Hearing: Adoption of a Resolution approving the Levy of Benefit Assessment Upon the Santa Clara Convention Center Complex – Maintenance District No. 183
  • Public Hearing: Action on Resolutions approving Water, Sewer and Recycled Water amended Rates to be effective July 1, 2023
  • Public Hearing — Note and File the Resolutions of the Salary Setting Commission establishing as unchanged the salary for the positions of Mayor and Council and City Clerk, and increasing the salary for the position of Police Chief to $313,692/annually; and action to adopt a Resolution approving and adopting the updated Unclassified/Elected Salary Plan for the position of Police Chief for the Period of July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2025
  • Action on a written petition submitted by Howard Myers requesting to place an agenda item on a future Council meeting to request that Councilmember Anthony Becker resign from the Council.


  1. Police have been subjected to bad raps all across the country. Why would anyone even contemplate eliminating citizen participation voting on their Police Chief? Ending citizen voting on our Police Chief serves to consolidate power in the hands of few. Look to Putin’s regime to see the final results of power limited to the hands of few.

  2. A vote for appointing our Chief of Police is a vote for outside sources like the 49ers to run our Police Department.

    Let the residents decide who keeps us safe, not people like Becker and his buddies.

    Let the people who live in Santa Clara vote for their Chief of Police and their safety.

  3. Regarding the election of the city clerk and chief of police, this is in the charter. What the council can do is vote to put this on the next ballot, and tell more lies like those that got many of them elected. Any doubt jed would like to have some influence on future chiefs so he can find ways to rip us off even more using security costs?
    I was on a charter review committee once when this was discussed. At the time I was in favor of appointed vs elected but in the last few years have made a complete turn around and strongly support elected.
    You can be sure if the forty-whiner council want appointed vs elected it is because their puppet masters want it.

  4. For reasons many know about, I cannot attend the meeting. Those are included in the petition, and the general public, are encouraged to comment.
    But Field has generously agreed to speak for me when this comes up to be discussed. The petition, as i understand the structure, is to request the council put on a future agenda a vote by the council to ask Becker to resign, for the good of Santa Clara. Chances are good that these crooked people will protect each other and not even agree to vote on it.
    Thank you Burt for pitch hitting, you always do a great job.

    • Who is But(t) Field?
      Howard, I thought we were friends??
      Any ways, we all know I’ve been called much…much worse… most of which by the way, can’t be printed or even repeated in public.
      So Howard, I promise I will keep it civil, I will be professional.
      If Mr. Becker does the right thing, I will agree to no longer be a Volunteer Parks and Recreation Commissioner.
      Sounds like a fair trade.
      Any bets on if that is going to happen or not??
      Still a positive thought, and I believe our City will start the restoration process it needs so badly.
      Burt Field

  5. Any decision or proposal this council makes, such as overriding the will of the people in the matters of eliminating the elected police chief, should be assumed to be flawed, and tainted in political corruption. Aside from Becker, who will likely be a convicted felon, how many other shoes will drop involving the other council members of The Five? Either Becker should have resigned, or the council should have removed Becker. He should absolutely not be allowed to vote on issues. He has effectively acted as the swing vote on important matters since he was indicted. It is so morally wrong that this continues. It is not a coincidence that the issues of the elected police chief and city clerk are being pushed right now, while The Five still have the council majority. Please do the morally right thing, Anthony Becker. Please do the morally right things in these matters, Jain, Hardy, Chahal, and Park. At this point, this council appears to be hell-bent on political retribution as their driving factor, as the next council agenda clearly shows. The other 4 have blindly aligned and tied themselves to Becker, for some unexplainable reasons, or so it publicly appears. Becker, at this point in time, is unfit to hold a position of public trust, as that has been irreparably damaged by Becker’s demonstrated actions, and his non-citizen corporate allegiance to the 49ers and the Santa Clara Weekly, going so far as to let a reporter ghost write city documents the he claimed to author, and leaking a Grand Jury report to The Santa Clara Weekly, etc. I will be at the council meeting this Tuesday night, and it is critical that other citizens please show up too, or call into the meeting for public input. Let’s save Santa Clara, our beautiful city, and not let an Anthony Becker et al destroy.

  6. I like the elected Chief. I like my voting rights as a citizen of Santa Clara. What I don’t like is the Chief has to live in the city. Even more so, I don’t like the Council can get rid of who doesn’t fit their agenda. Look at Deanna and Brian Doyle. Now they are targeting Chief Nikolai and Hosam. This is not democracy.

    If an amendment was made to allow those who live in Santa Clara County to become the elected Chief, the city would have a deeper pool of candidates. How many Santa Clara Police actually live in the city?

    • HalfAwake,

      I think you have pointed out the main problem with our electing our police chiefs. The chief must be a resident of Santa Clara because anyone who runs for an elected office in Santa Clara must be a resident and elector.

      “No person shall be eligible to hold any elective office in the City including Mayor, City Council, Chief of Police Department and City Clerk, unless he or she is a resident and a qualified registered elector of the City.”

    • The whole point is “skin in the game.”

      How about opening up our Council and Mayoral seat to people living outside of Santa Clara. There would be a bigger pool of candidates with that too!

    • Taleb,

      The problem is that a candidate for election as SCPD chief must live in and be registered to vote in the city just to run for election. This greatly limits who we have to choose from to be our police chief because they must live in the city just to be considered and almost no potential candidates will move to the city just to run for election.

      In this way we are restricting the quality of candidates for chief.

      And while I think it is better for our chief and police officers to live in our city I do not think it is necessary. It is often said that very few SCPD officers live in Santa Clara. Many police officers do not want to work in the areas or cities they police for their and their family’s safety.

      Most SCPD officers would not qualify to run for election as SCPD chief.

    • BA –

      My point was why not extend that logic to the Council? We could certainly get more qualified people in a wider geographic area. (The answer is a laughable, resounding “no!”). We want to be governed by those that actually live with us in our community.

      Taleb’s concept of “skin in the game” is absolutely applicable. It’s not a secret…if you want to be Chief move in to the City and live in the atmosphere that you create with your decisions on public safety.

      There is no mysterious qualified candidate that is just waiting in the wings in another city.

    • Taleb,

      It is the normal thing for an elected representative to live in the area that they represent at all levels of government. From city council to mayor to county representatives to state legislative representatives to national level ones.

      But it is the normal thing to not have a residency requirement for a police chief and for the police chief to be appointed by mayor or council and not elected.

      Having a police chief appointed and not elected does not run counter to your desire “to be governed by those that actually live with us in our community” because a police chief does not govern.

      And if you want for the police chief to live in the city to prove they have “skin in the game” that may not require election to the position. It may be that this can be requirement of any appointee.

      Right now at this moment I share the concern that election of our police chief will allow the Forty Niners to spend money to push for election of a chief who is beholden to them and will make decisions favorable to them instead of the city. Such as when calculating what the Forty Niners should be billed for SCPD resources dedicated to stadium operations.

      I am also concerned about the long term pool of candidates that we have to choose from to be our police chief. We are not a podunk city and we should have the best leadership we can afford. There are always qualified candidates waiting in the wings in other cities. Executive searches run by hiring committees to recommend candidates for appointment typically will run nationwide searches for candidates. At least statewide or regionwide.

      Requiring that our chief be elected greatly constricts who we get to choose to be our chief. The number of SCPD officers who live in Santa Clara is a very small minority of the force. We exclude a large majority of our own force from consideration.

  7. Well, don’t worry about how long Howard may have to wait. One guess who is Pitch Hitting for him? It maybe a long night, but I will be there to make sure they know just how much the Residents have appreciated that a volunteer was removed for any reason, let alone “No reason”.
    Not the best move for sure.
    Sadly, it’s not even close to the top of their “Worst Decisions” list.
    Burt Field

  8. Looks like a real 💩 show. Real question is if the 49er 5 will put Howard Myers’ request forward. With all eyes watching, what will they do?

    • Amen! Is Suds going to throw his little buddy under the bus especially since he told on his little buddy? Is momma Karen going to kick him off? Chahal will no doubt abstain. Coward that he is. And Park will probably not make up his mind until the last minute.

      The people have figured out the games. Time to shut it down.

      ALL MUST GO!

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