Santa Clara Police Chief Mike Sellers gave a gallant speech at the Stadium Authority Meeting last Thursday.
In his 16 minutes, he demonstrated that police officers are not only physically brave, but also morally brave.
Emerging from the confusion of the Measure J Compliance Audit, Seller’s speech was a breath of fresh air for this City submerged in an ongoing political war. He took a stand for not only his own department, but also for every City employee whose reputation has been tarnished by the Mayor’s political agenda.
Sellers is a brave guy. Very, very brave. He took an oath to protect and serve Santa Clarans. Standing in front of Council, he represented the community and extended his oath to also protect and serve the City’s best interests—something that seems to be obscured.
Sellers showed the Council how words have consequences, not only for the City employees but also for the character of the City of Santa Clara. He made it clear that he is among the Santa Clarans who are put off by the City’s political circus and want to move forward to a harmonious, cooperative future.
Sellers pleaded with the Mayor, “These politically motivated attacks must stop. They must stop. You are hurting our City.”
Additionally, Sellers provided some behind the scenes details of the audit process that allowed Santa Clarans the transparency they were promised.
He also strongly suggested that the City and the 49ers properly mediate their ongoing feud.
“Enough is enough, guys,” said Sellers “You must start speaking the truth. We cannot treat our business partners any differently than we do other businesses. We should and must remain committed to our City’s code of ethics and values.”
Sellers said that he was able to set aside his personal opinion of the stadium to focus on his professional duty.
“To be honest, I never really wanted the stadium because I felt our City was too small to handle this venue,” said Sellers. “I am so proud of what my department and City employees have been able to accomplish. We developed a public safety plan, created a safety environment, and hosted Super Bowl 50. What else do you want us to do?”
Sellers ended his speech with a call to action for the 49ers and Council and offered to aid any efforts between the two.
“I ask the 49ers and Management Co to open a dialogue with us to improve relationships, address the pending law suits, and public safety costs. This effort requires leadership, real dialogue, and trust from everyone. I am willing to lead that discussion. I call upon the Mayor, Council and the 49ers to work together to improve our relationships for the sake of all Santa Clarans.”
This Editorial Board believes that because Chief Sellers’ position is an elected one, it allows him to speak up for the City employees who cannot take the risk of being added to the list of forced-out City employees.
Elected Police Chiefs have a unique position where they can stand independent and not be beholden to those who appoint them.
The community chooses an elected Chief of Police. The City Council chooses an appointed Chief of Police. We believe that an elected Chief will represent the citizens of this community, while an appointed Chief could easily embody the political turmoil of the officials who choose them.
Sellers’ went beyond his responsibilities as Santa Clara’s Chief of Police and stood tall in front of the Mayor and Council to remind them that their actions and statements pose serious risks to the City.
Some have dismissed his statement as a “tantrum” but after Sellers’ 32 years of serving this City, his statement demands honest reflection. We would call it standing up for Santa Clara.
You can watch the clip of Sellers’ speech on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/ZflxhE963VQ. When you watch the video, you will see that Sellers was met with applause—and rightfully so.
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