On June 26, in the “Internal Affairs” column, the Mercury News reported on the San Jose City Councils’ decision to approve the transfer of the old city hall property site to Santa Clara County. Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio was the only member to vote No. He said, “‘The old City Hall could have been sold to benefit the general fund.’”
Several weeks prior to the council vote, and after having learned that the City of San Jose was planning to eliminate a $106,000 subsidy to the Health Trust’s Meals On Wheels Program for needy seniors, I sent a letter to the Merc in an effort to bring attention to the fact that the money could easily be found if the city would simply re-examine the land swap deal with the County of Santa Clara.
“We must stop this death spiral of increasing pension costs and decreasing numbers of employees,” wrote Councilmembers Nguyen and Herrera in an op-ed published last week by the Mercury News. Nguyen and Herrera explained their reasons for supporting Mayor Reed’s push to confront the city’s runaway pension problem. In terms of the pension problem, the residents of San Jose also get it.
A couple of weeks ago, the San Jose city government sent out hundreds of layoff notices to city employees. KRON 4 News reported that 25 percent of the city’s librarians received notices that their positions could be eliminated. The Mercury News reported that the San Jose police officers’ union has offered to cut their salaries by 10 percent in an effort to reduce the number of layoffs. Even with this last-minute concession, San Jose’s police force may still be reduced by 106 officers.
The intent of San Jose voters (and Measure I) was clear: trade in the old city hall for a new one downtown. Are the citizens of San Jose to be governed by the expressions of the people, or by local politicians’ interpretation of that expression?
Dear Mr. Doyle:
Several weeks ago, it was reported that the old city hall property site will be turned over to the Santa Clara County Government as part of a negotiated debt settlement between the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and the Santa Clara County Government.
Today, almost 1 percent of children (1 in 110) are diagnosed with Autism. Autism is a growing epidemic, and the American medical industry and educational system is behind the curve. In an effort to help meet the challenge, the local chapter of Autism Speaks is hosting a Walk-A-Thon here in San Jose next month to raise money and awareness for the cause.
Press reports indicate that San Jose’s old city hall property site, with an assigned value of $10 million, will be transferred to the Santa Clara County Government as part of a debt settlement between the county and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. But the old city hall property belonged to the city, not the RDA. Is the plan to transfer the old city hall complex to the county government a lawful action?
Mr. Doug McNea passed away last weekend. One headline read, “San Jose Tax Activist Doug McNea Dies At GOP Convention.” The label, “Tax Activist” doesn’t do the man justice. Doug McNea was a man of principle who stood up for his ideas. He also stood up for others. Doug was active in the fight to save the Tropicana Shopping Center when the city tried to take it over through eminent domain.
By now, the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, could have, and many say, should have, made a decision as to whether or not the A’s should be permitted to move to San Jose. The A’s ownership group wants to make the move, and San Jose city officials have been working to assemble the land for a new stadium. What’s the hang up?
The mayor on libraries and community centers vs. SJPD’s retirement benefits, the problems with contracting out city services, the grounding of the police chopper, and the importance of citizen involvement.