Santa Clara City Council Appoints Charter Review Committee to Evaluate Eliminating Elected Police Chief and City Clerk

By Robert Haugh

Last night, the Santa Clara City Council appointed seven Mission City residents to serve on a Charter Review Committee.

Their charge is to evaluate eliminating the elected Police Chief and City Clerk.

They will make a recommendation to the City Council for a possible ballot election in March 2024.

Only Santa Clara voters can change the City Charter. Currently, the right to vote for the Police Chief and City Clerk is enshrined in the City Charter.

But 49er Five have expressed an interest in getting rid of both elected positions.

The City Council gave general direction to the Charter Review Committee at the Tuesday night meeting. It passed on a 5-2 vote.

Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Suds Jain, and Kevin Park supported the motion.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe voted no.

The Council made the following appointments:

Gillmor: Joyce Davis (at large, city wide)

Watanabe: Satish Sandra (District 1)

Chahal: Chiragkumar Patel (District 2)

Hardy: Christine Koltermann (District 3)

Park: Daniel Huynh (District 4)

Jain: Jeff Houston (District 5)

Becker: Clysta Seney, registered as “Clysta ES Mclemore” (District 6)

The deadline to apply for the Committee was July 12.

Huyhn, Park’s appointee, missed the deadline by a day but still got appointed. It’ll be interesting to see how the Committee deals with this.

Every other appointee made the deadline.


  1. Reply to Jo is Patently Wrong

    Thank you for noting that I omitted a word–“should.” I intended to state that “…Santa Clarans **SHOULD** have the right to VOTE for or VOTE OUT the Assistant City Manager and the Assistant City Attorney…”

  2. Reposted from reply to Jo Warren…

    Jo’s statemen is not a fact: “…Santa Clarans have the right to VOTE for or VOTE OUT the Assistant City Manager and the Assistant City Attorney…”

    Jo’s assertion is a flat out lie. Both the Assistant City Manager and Assistant City Attorney are hired by their respective departments as regular employees, they cannot be voted out by either the City Council or the voting public.

    Many of the five councilmembers frequently referred to as the Forty-niner Five or the 49ers Voting Bloc by their opponents have served on various city committees for many years to include the [police] Chief’s Advisory Committee (CAC) and there is no indication that they hate the City of Santa Clara or any of their fellow residents or city employees.

    During the Charter Review Committee meeting none of the seven residents who spoke “outperformed” the city employees supporting the committee. Just the opposite, none of the seven provided evidence that continuing to have an elected police chief suits the needs of today’s community. In fact, I think at least two of the public commentors were factually incorrect in trying to substantiate their opinions.

    • Jo could be wrong, but i doubt she lied.

      Might be incorrect but would not lie.

      Ps one the longest serving CAC chairs. The City wide CAC, a critic of Nikolai, ALWAYS BACKED elected chief.
      Led two campaigns for electing chief

  3. No, no, no. Please no. I cannot believe how our beloved Santa Clara is spiraling into a tub of excrement—thanks to Scrubs Jain, Kevin Jork, Tony Becker, etc. The QUISLING 49er 5 are burning our city down. It is clear that the 49er 5 HATES Santa Clara and its people.

    Hat tip to those citizens on the Charter Review Committee serving on behalf of Santa Clarans. But it is Bull Shyte that each “district” councilperson “appoints” a person to determine whether to “appoint” a police chief.

    By the way, the Santa Clara city employees presented unimpressive and weak Power Point slides—without much added substance. The citizens out-performed tax-payer paid employees. Sad.

    No citizen spoke out against electing our police chief. Only outsiders want an appointed police chief.

    In fact, us Santa Clarans have the right to VOTE for or VOTE OUT the Assistant City Manager and the Assistant City Attorney…. they are NOT best for our city!!!!

    • Great reporting.
      One of these days check out the Suds Jain 700 conflict of interest form. 2 investments that invest in Jed York’s CHEGG. Oh, District Attorney Rosen sent Stadium Authority agenda where Becker voting. Should abstain.

      Chief charter change defeated 2 to 1 twice


  4. Response to “CSC”:

    Thank you for your post. I know of a “CSC” as a commentator at that muckraking rag of Santa Clara Weakly. I do not care about names/handles/avatars, etc., like Sub-optimal Jain, as far as on-line dialogue goes. It is the “ideas” that matter. For example, under the moniker of “Suds Jain,” a post was made by an author that I would never think an MIT grad would post… but… well, never mind. Sometimes, I’ve had learned more useful information conveyed to me by my dog.

    I admit I am ignorant regarding MAPA and assertions in your first two (2) paragraphs. I did look briefly at the two (2) links, which I am grateful for you to provide your bases of argument. But I am still confounded at the aim of the response.

    The last paragraph does conclude that “[i]f anything unprincipled with the CRC member application process occurred, the City Manager, City Attorney, Mayor, and Council Members can refer to the city’s charter and inform candidates and public of action to cure the matter.”

    In my view, both the City Manager and City Attorney can be “FIRED,” in the new age of Al “jed yorkie” Capone. Those two, as Disney said, are no better than “Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” And suggesting that Council Member officiate the CRC is equivalent to letting the fox into the hen house.

    But I reach out to you, and am not embarrassed to recite Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

    I am not overly religious but there is wisdom in that proverb.

    We all must discuss COGENTLY and COMPASSIONATELY share our views to work together to live harmoniously in Santa Clara, rather than tread down the horrid and doomed path set forth may the 49er 5.

    Viva Santa Clara!!!

  5. Dear Community,

    My mistake.

    Ethics is out of the question already.

    In Community Spirit,

  6. Dear Community,

    Years ago – Cruz Bustamante – ran for Governor here in California.

    The Mexican American Political Association was entertaining Cruz Bustamante as a possible endorsement candidate.

    5 Candidates showed up at our Endorsement Convention.

    His Airplane was delayed because of engine problems in Colorado, (to the best of my recollection).

    In our Charter, we had the same procedure of “No Show, No Endorsement”. PERIOD!!!



    Ethically, the Minority Lieutenant Governor, was not considered for and endorsement from MAPA for the Governor Seat here in California BECAUSE HE WAS UNABLE TO ATTEND.

    There were MAPA members from all over the State at our convention.

    MAPA had to make a complete investigation into the Policy and Procedures of our Charter.

    We followed the Charter.

    We are proud to be Ethically Responsible.

    We hope that this Committee will do their Ethical and Responsible Duty to deny this person who cared so little for the job at hand.

    It seems to me, and i can only assume that no matter what, the Fix was in.

    He was going to be A SHOE – IN supported and added to this vital Community Committee.

    Unethical is UNETHICAL.


    Let me make this real easy, If we can do the ethical thing, then surely the ethically mandated appointed Residents of Santa Clara can be just as correct.

    Audit for Brown Act Violations as that might be a problem and Record every meeting.Accountability.

    This is my opinion.

    In Community Spirt,
    Danny Garza

    Mexican American Political Association
    Associate State President
    San Francisco Bay Area Region

    San José / South Bay
    Chapter President

    • Wow, it’s been many years since I saw anyone type the acronym MAPA. Membership with the Mexican American Political Association has been on a severe decline since the early 2000’s further impaired when the group’s former president, Nativo Lopez, was charged with voter fraud in 2009 eventually convicted in 2011. Nativo died in 2019 and I thought so did MAPA.
      Apparently, Danny Garza is still carrying their torch in NorCal.

      While Garza’s “No Show, No Endorsement PERIOD!!!” story is a wonderful 20-year trip down memory lane (2003), what Danny’s story didn’t mention is despite not receiving the MAPA endorsement, Cruz Bustamante still became the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for Governor that year. United Farm Workers and many prominent Latino groups supported Cruz.
      I think it’s important to note that this Danny Garza who serves with the almost extinct MAPA is not the same Daniel Garza associated with the highly flourishing LIBRE Initiative and National Association of Latino Elected Officials.

      Regarding an entity’s charter and decision-making process: MAPA apparently had theirs and the City of Santa Clara has their own as well. If anything unprincipled with the CRC member application process occurred, the City Manager, City Attorney, Mayor, and Council Members can refer to the city’s charter and inform candidates and public of action to cure the matter.

  7. Observation. PENAL CODE 118. PERJURY






  8. Correction: I incorrectly wrote “Anthony Becker is an indicted suspect in crimes involving his lack of moral turpitude.” It should have read “those of moral turpitude”. Back to the Giant’s game and our normally scheduled broadcast. Go Giant’s and A’s

    • Now that Suds admitted that he knows Bicker is on his final countdown, I wonder if they’ll schedule a special meeting while Taylor Swift is mayor so they can shove anything else down our collective throats.

  9. Anthony Becker is an indicted suspect in crimes involving his lack of moral turpitude. Why why why is he allowed to vote on anything of consequence to the citizens, especially the ballot to remove our elected police chief. Just think, if the 49er 5 had their way and could literally appoint anybody for police chief that their puppet masters over at the 49ers order them to hire. Nothing is scarier in this scenario than the unqualified buffoons making up the 49er 5 that would have total power in appointing our chief. I’ll trust the citizens and their judgment to pick a good police chief over the 49er Sycophant 5. Obviously the only reason they are wasting time trying to get this on the ballot is at the 49ers directive. This has nothing to do with what the citizens want or what’s best for the city as survey after survey has showed. I wish the 5 of you would resign as the irreparable destruction you have all caused to our city grows larger and larger. Please resign. The 5 have soiled and tainted fairness and democracy at the highest level in our once great city.

  10. Railing against Seney/McLemore’s perceived alliances with Becker is like continuing to rail against Patrick Nikolai and his long friendship with convicted felons Brian Gilbert and Phil Cooke. Except Clysta Seney isn’t a convicted felon.

    • Zinnnggg,

      Wow the Becker and McLemore political relationship is even more of a black eye than I thought if you are right that it is like our police chief continuing to have a friendship with two thugs like Gilbert and Cooke. If that is true I hope that you will share with us how you know this because in my view it would be a black eye in my estimation of chief Nikolai. Those two are disgusting thug bullies.

      The difference however is not simply that Clysta Ellen Seney McLemore is of course not a convicted felon. She is not even indicted of a felony unlike her nominator Anthony Becker.

      Another big difference is that whether or not Nikolai is still friends with Gilbert and Cooke that has no bearing on Santa Clara because they do not have a role or a vote on anything to do with our city or its government. They are not ever going to be city commissioners who will take part in permanent decisions about our city charter.

      Unlike Clysta McLemore.

  11. While I am sure that each councilperson’s choice was vetted and their opinion on election versus appointment aligned with the councilperson it is no surprise that Becker’s choice was made in a seemingly questionable manner.

    Clyta “Seney” as Robert notes normally uses her married surname of “McLemore” and is married to John McLemore, former city councilperson and along with Patty Mahan is one of Anthony Becker’s political mentors.

    Robert: did Becker’s nomination form for Mrs. McLemore list her as “Clyta Seney?” I wonder if this was agreed upon between Becker and the McLemores in order to futilely obscure her relationship with John McLemore.

    Likewise I wonder if the three settled on her instead of John because her being on the commission would achieve the same predetermined goal but would call less attention to Becker’s ties to McLemore and Mahan and the question of how much they pull his strings behind the scenes.

    • Hi Buchser Alum:
      Yes, that is the exact wording off of the nomination form.
      I doubt many people took the time to review the nomination forms and those who were appointed.
      I think it is rather obvious that the appointees are mostly directly connected to the Councilmembers and will vote how their appointees ask.

    • Curious the cover memo says clysta seney

      Cpra filed about becker seney emails

    • Robert,

      Thank you for the confirmation on this. Very clumsy seeming attempt at being sneaky to use Clyta McLemore’s maiden name instead of her legal name. Anyone who knows and cares will know that she is married to someone who has been a political mentor to Becker and adversary of Lisa Gillmor for years.

      Either John or Clyta are probably objectively good candidates to serve on the commission but using Clyta’s maiden name seems to show that Becker knows that nominating the wife of his political mentor is underhanded so is trying to hide this but in a very clumsy and futile way.

      This would be surprising but this is Becker and Becker has shown innumerable times that he is on the dim side of the intelligence spectrum. I do not even mean that in as a meanspirited insult but simply as a factual statement that his level of intelligence is clearly low.

      He should have just nominated her as Clyta McLemore if that is her legal name and the one she uses for her voter registration.

    • James,

      I urge you to please be more discriminating in the CPRA requests you file for our city to satisfy. While there have been some correspondences that have been revealed that fill out the picture of how some councilpeople talk amongst themselves your CPRA requests have not yielded anything actionable. The volume that you file takes a lot of staff time to respond to and I wish that you would be more selective in the staff time you command to fulfill requests so that they can spend more time on regular city business.

      Humbly please consider that a more selective use of the CPRA would not only benefit the city in terms of saving staff time but would also make you look better and more reasonable and would thereby enhance the impact you want to personally make.

  12. Interesting that Council member Watanabe asked the best question


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