A woman has been waging war with the city, emailing reams of records requests punctuated with verbal abuse. A memo going to the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday instructs Karen Mou’s record requests on public libraries to be denied.
“You are so jealous about me being smarter, slender, better and younger looking and/or more educated than you,” she wrote staffers at Martin Luther King Jr. Library, according to public documents.
“You need to stop using your very large body size to harass …” Mou wrote another time. “You might want to get your IQ tested to see if your IQ is as high as mine.”
Sounds like she’d fit right in with some of our beloved commenters.
In other pejorative, caps lock-heavy epistles, she called a librarian a “BIG, STUPID, FAT BULLY,” “FAT SUPID AND EVIL” and worse.
The correspondence popped up on this week’s Rules agenda, when the city manager recommended denying for the umpteenth time her misguided records requests.
“I am aware of an incident … when you referred to an employee as a ‘bitch,’ ‘fucking bitch,’ and that your concerns were ‘none of [her] goddamned business;’ and another incident … when you called an employee a ‘fucking liar’ and threw city property [signs] to the ground forcefully enough that the crashing was heard through multiple closed office doors,” City Manager Ed Shikada writes.
(On a side note, Shikada has probably never written these words on city letterhead, so forgive him if he seems to be relishing it a bit.)
The spat started months ago when library workers found Mou arranging toilet seat covers in some incongruous part of the building and using other patrons’ library cards. Mou then started asking the city for records on library employees, patron suspensions, work schedules and other documents. To date, the city granted her more than 1,000 pages of documents, but has had a tough time interpreting many of her queries.
- It turns out those expansive windows in several urban high rises threaten the local avian population. Birds fly into glass all the time—up to 1 billion a year die in North America after hurtling into windows and other structures, according to councilmembers Kansen Chu and Sam Liccardo. They say the city should factor in bird safety as it considers plans for new development. It’s a fine balance, though, since the same wide windows that let in natural light and reduce electricity bills are a death knell for unsuspecting birds.
- Lisa Taitano, one of two city employee members of the Federated Retirement Board, left for a job in Cupertino. Now the city needs to facilitate an election for her replacement.
- Pierluigi Oliverio thinks the city should make all union negotiations public. In 2010, residents voted to make arbitration meetings open to anyone, to put them on the public record. “I believe we should follow that example, and allow voters to do the same for union negotiations,” he writes in a memo. And, no, this will never happen. At least not in this administration.
- Taking a cue from Santa Clara County, the city may explore the idea of forming a wage theft task force. Councilman Ash Kalra says that even though San Jose voters upped the minimum wage in 2012 to $10 an hour, more than 300 workers every month file enforcement complaints alleging their employers cheated them out of their fair earnings. From 2012-13, 2,000 workers who filed claims in San Jose were awarded $8.4 million. That’s an average of nearly $5,000 per workers—a quarter of their annual income. But only one-third of that $8.4 million has been collected. A wage theft policy would give workers more recourse, Kalra says.
- At the urging of environmental groups, the city will look at forming a downtown parks district funded by developer fees.
WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260