Ballot measure

NRA Fires off Letter for Rules Committee Discussion on Local Gun Control

The National Rifle Association heard about a local attorney’s idea to crack down on assault weapons in San Jose and hired a law firm to write up a disapproving missive to City Council. Other items going before the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday include support for a Constitutional amendment acknowledging companies aren’t people, a report on how transparent the city is in holding meetings and disseminating information and more rants from City Hall critic David Wall.

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How to Make, Change Laws in San Jose

New laws pass almost every week in San Jose, often several of them at a single City Council meeting in the form of an ordinance that revises municipal code, enacts a ban, raises fees or changes policy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how anyone—even you—can take a good idea from the concept phase and make it a reality.

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Mayor Concerned Police Profiling Drivers

Remember when Mayor Chuck Reed received a traffic ticket for not using his turn signal? It seems that story refuses to die a timely news cycle death, as the mayor said in a radio interview this week that he’s concerned police officers are selectively enforcing the law.

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Mayor Joins Republicans, Backs Khamis

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed decided to endorse Johnny Khamis for the District 10 City Council seat in November’s election. Reed, who was joined in supporting Khamis with former San Jose Councilmember Pat Dando and State Assemblymember Jim Cunneen, both of whom are Republicans, called Khamis “a long time friend and a loyal supporter” in a press release sent out Tuesday morning. His selection is interesting on a number of fronts.

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Council Talks Pawn Shops, Ballot Measures

Tuesday’s City Council meeting will feature a fight over the city’s pawn shop ordinance, unforeseen expenses for the Environmental Innovation Center and some political gamesmanship on upcoming ballot measures for the November election.

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Changing My Mind on Proposition 35

Last month, I wrote that I was supporting . But now, after speaking with others working in the field of preventing human trafficking, I have changed my mind. The polls on Proposition 35 show almost 90 percent of the people will vote for it. Who wouldn’t vote for a ballot measure that increases fines and penalties for human traffickers? Proposition 35 seeks to alter current state laws regarding human trafficking by expanding the definition and increasing the punishment for those convicted of human trafficking crimes. On the face that sounds like a great way to increase the penalties for terrible crimes against youth and adults forced into prostitution or slavery. However, the devil is in the details. 

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Q&A: City Manager Debra Figone

San Jose Inside’s Josh Koehn sat down with City Manager Debra Figone for a rare extended interview in late August. The following is an excerpted transcript of their discussion, which touched on Measure B, Figone’s relationship with the mayor and council, her thoughts on the performance of Police Chief Chris Moore, crime in San Jose and when she plans to retire. It should be noted that this interview took place before Moore’s announcement that he will retire from his position at the end of January 2013—Editor

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Marijuana Tax Returns to Rules

The city collected more than $3.5 million last fiscal year through taxes on medical marijuana collectives. Some city officials want more. Councilmember Sam Liccardo, along with Rose Herrera and Pierluigi Olivero, put forth a plan Monday to put all medical marijuana collectives not paying their Measure U taxes out of business. According to the city’s Department of Finance, in the past fiscal year, 80 of the 158 medical marijuana dispensaries have “never, or only sporadically, paid the medical marijuana tax approved by voters in 2010 through Measure U.”

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Minimum Wage Effort Dealt Setback

Groups hoping to increase San Jose’s minimum wage in November through Measure D lost a court fight on two fronts Thursday. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Mark H. Pierce ruled that a line about costs from Measure D’s ballot statement must be taken out because it is misleading. He also rejected arguments that opponents of Measure D should have to change their ballot statement because minimum wage backers “failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the subject arguments are false and misleading.”

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You be the ‘Judge’ on Water District

UPDATE: Due to technical difficulties this post and all reader comments were dropped from the site. The post has been restored in its original form as we work to resolve all outstanding issues. Thanks for your patience.—Editor

Living up to its reputation as the county’s favorite whipping boy, the Santa Clara Valley Water District repeatedly botched its ballot measure language to extend property taxes. A judge recently ruled that multiple mistakes on the ballot measure to extend property taxes won’t stop it from going to voters. That’s a good thing. Despite the drama, most of the money will go toward cleaning up creek beds, ensuring safe drinking water and providing flood control. We say “most” because some of it could go toward providing elder board members of the Water District board, a golden parachute. A recent board agenda item to give appointed board members health insurance for life was pulled at the last minute by Water District CEO Beau Goldie. Both Goldie and Olga Martin Steele, the district’s interim chief administrative officer, and other board members admit that the idea has been on the table for years and was recently resuscitated. The question is why? The timing is obvious.

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Council Meeting Focuses on Ballot Initiatives

The first City Council meeting of the 2012-13 fiscal year Tuesday will feature votes on approving language for three major ballot initiatives for November: a sales and use tax increase, a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage, and an increase in the number of card tables at the city’s two casinos.

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A Lesson from the Past

From 1976 to 1991, I served as police chief of San Jose. I was never a member of, nor represented by, the Police Officers Association and was not included in the Police Retirement Fund. I do not collect a pension from San Jose and have no vested financial interest in whether or not the Pension Reform Ballot Measure passes. I do firmly believe, however, that the issue of pension reform has been unfairly framed for discussion against the legitimate interests of the police and the public.

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Got Signatures? Go to the Ballot

An explanation of how the ballot initiative process has affected the local political landscape—including a breakdown of four initiatives created in the last year—and an update on the $1 million check submitted by a developer to the city last week.

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