The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Gillmor Integral in Bringing World Cup to Santa Clara and in Tearing it Down

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor’s messaging has been clear in the last several months, she doesn’t trust the 49ers, Santa Clara’s partner in Levi’s Stadium, and because of that, she doesn’t trust anything surrounding the FIFA World Cup.

Gillmor said as much in a recent comment to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“It’s no secret I share the public’s concerns about the financial risks and conflicts of interest for the World Cup,” Gillmor told the Chronicle on May 17. “It is important those issues be discussed publicly with our residents.”


However, Gillmor’s latest public comments about negotiations with the Bay Area Host Committee (BAHC) and the Forty Niners Stadium Management Company (ManCo) regarding the hosting of the FIFA World Cup at Levi’s Stadium are in direct contradiction to her actions.

In her comments to the Chronicle, Gillmor stated that she had not signed the “Information Sharing and Event Cooperation Agreement” issued to key City personnel and members of the BAHC and ManCo.

Council Member Kathy Watanabe also stated that she had not signed the agreement. It was implied by both that they felt signing the document would hinder transparency in the process.

However, it was Gillmor herself who moved to have the document created during the May 23, 2023 Santa Clara City Council/Stadium Authority meeting. Watanabe seconded the motion.

According to the City’s meeting minutes from that day, Gillmor made a motion to “…adopt the Santa Clara City Council Guiding Principles for World Cup 2026; to direct the City Manager/Executive Director and City Attorney/Stadium Authority Counsel to negotiate and execute an Information Sharing and Event Cooperation Agreement with Bay Area Host Committee, United States Soccer Federation, Federation Internationale de Football Association, and Forty Niners Stadium Management Company LLC to facilitate the sharing of information on substantially the terms presented, in a final form approved by the City Attorney …”

Six of the seven Council/Stadium Authority members voted in favor of the motion. Council/Stadium Authority Board Member Kevin Park was the only member to vote no.

However, Park, along with Council/Stadium Authority Board Members Karen Hardy, Suds Jain, Anthony Becker and Raj Chahal all signed the agreements when they were distributed by the City in the fall of 2023.

The Weekly reached out to Mayor Gillmor to ask her why she did not sign a document that she directed City staff to create, but received no response.

Impact of the Information Sharing and Event Cooperation Agreement

City Attorney Glen Googins confirmed that the creation of the document titled “Acknowledgement of Duty of Confidentiality” was a direct result of the Council’s direction in May 2023.

The agreement, which was signed last fall by at least 20 City employees, including the five Council members mentioned above, as well as members of the Santa Clara Police Department and the City Manager’s Office, is a single-page document.

It “… requires that anyone receiving, accessing or viewing (collectively ‘accessing’ or ‘access to’) any Confidential Information under its terms first sign an acknowledgment of the confidentiality obligations imposed (‘Acknowledgement’) before accessing any such information.”

It also includes four agreements.

First, the person signing the document confirms that they are considered “Relevant Personnel by the City or SCSA” and that their access is “necessary to carry out the City and SCSA’s analysis of event costs, revenues, or public health and safety support responsibilities …”

Second, the person has a “duty” to keep confidential information in the “strictest of confidence” and will not share it with anyone who has not been designated “Relevant Personnel.”

Third, that confidential information will be marked confidential, and if the signee is unsure of that confidentiality, they will ask the City Attorney for clarification prior to distributing or discussing the information.

Fourth, the person will maintain the “integrity” of the format of the information, meaning they will not download, print, photograph, or otherwise duplicate.

Googins told The Weekly that “The Information Sharing Agreement confidentiality agreement is binding on the City, its public officials and employees, regardless of whether or not they have signed the Acknowledgement form.”

Gillmor has a History of Supporting the FIFA World Cup at Levi’s Stadium

Despite her current protestations about hosting the FIFA World Cup at Levi’s Stadium, Gillmor’s voting record tells a different story. During the Feb. 22, 2022 meeting of the Santa Clara City Council, Gillmor voted in favor of a resolution to support the City’s bid to host one or more FIFA games.

It was a unanimous vote of the Council/Stadium Authority that bridged the oft wide gap in the political aisle.

But Gillmor’s support of the bid goes back even further than that, well before the so-called “Council Majority” took office.

In a letter dated Aug. 31, 2017, Gillmor told John Kristick, the exec. dir. of the 2026 United Bid Committee that Santa Clara would be thrilled to host FIFA games.

“The City of Santa Clara would like to declare its strong interest in being a host city for the 2026 World Cup,” Gillmor’s letter opened.

“We are a world-class city with a high-tech venue that is ready for the opportunity to host this premier event,” Gillmor continued. “We unequivocally support this bid and look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful city.”

At the time, no one in the current “Council Majority” took part in the request. Under Gillmor’s name on the City letterhead were the names of the City Council members at the time: Dominic J. Caserta, Debi Davis, Patrick Kolstad, Patricia M. Mahan, Teresa O’Neill and Watanabe.

O’Neill has also been a less avid supporter of the FIFA World Cup since she was voted off the Council. A frequent member of the Gillmor voting block during her tenure on the Council, her tune changed around the time Gillmor’s did.

Most recently, she helped pen a letter to District Attorney Jeff Rosen accusing 49ers President Al Guido of double-dealing. O’Neill, along with Tom Shanks and Pedro Hernandez-Ramos, asked Rosen to investigate Guido because in 2022, he signed contracts with FIFA on behalf of ManCo and the BAHC.

Former chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Ann Ravel has previously said signing both documents isn’t illegal unless Guido stood to gain financially. She said an accusation isn’t enough, there must be proof.

Ravel said that since this issue does not appear to rise to the level of a crime, it’s something better handled by the FPPC rather than the DA.


1 Comment
  1. Fred 2 weeks ago

    What’s a seven letter word that’s a synonym for petulance?

    Gillmor, of course.

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