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Milestones: Time to Reach the Untouchable! – Opinion

Is it possible there is political manipulation in Santa Clara? Maybe not crossing the line into Al Capone territory, but perhaps enough to cause residents to ask the question. 

There are a few questions for which voters would like explanations — explanations that are not quickly forthcoming. 

One of these is why the Santa Clara Police Officers Association (POA) is so afraid of having an appointed Chief of Police? On the front burner of this issue is discarding the long-standing policy of electing a chief in favor of a qualified, vetted and proven candidate appointed through a process conducted by City management.


The other side of this issue is the lack of qualified candidates who are eligible to become chief.

For years Santa Clara was fortunate to have some home-grown candidates who qualified, ran, and were elected chief. Many readers knew these candidates personally. Chiefs like Manny Ferguson, Steve Lodge, and Mike Sellers. They had the credentials and experience to be police chiefs in any U.S. city. 

However, times have changed. “We have always done it this way” no longer is an intelligent reason to maintain an elected chief of police. Particularly when the only person now running is the POA’s hand-selected candidate. 

The POA has spent tens of thousands of dollars to keep things in the status quo category. That fact alone should tip you off. Something is not right.

Do you realize that Santa Clara would save $300,000 every four years by not having to put a candidate for police chief on the ballot? This is especially irritating when there is only one person running. And, in recent years, there has only been one candidate — as I said, hand-picked by the POA.

The selection process the City Council has used to find top notch talent like City Manager Jovan Grogan and City Attorney Glen Googins is paying huge dividends to the City.

When one division of the City possesses independent powers, it strips Santa Clara of authority, oversight, control and management. The city remains legally accountable for the conduct of its police chief but lacks any way to enforce accountability from the chief. 

It is absolutely time to vote for oversight, and accountability, responsibility, not autonomy, of a select and privileged class that consists of only one city employee.

Related Posts:
Point-Counterpoint: Measure B, City of Santa Clara
Bay Area News Group’s Our Bay Area Endorsements for March 5 Election Ballot


1 Comment
  1. Fred 2 months ago

    I don’t think it’s that complicated. The union selects and puts up their candidate; there’s no competition; candidate gets into office; there’s no oversight of the police; union wants more money so they support their City council candidates (like the current two handmaids), and the council members deliver the goods. Rinse and repeat.

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