Ever since Rick Lombardo took the reigns and imprinted his vision on the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the performance center has had excellent seasons. But until recently, a behind-the-scenes drama was playing out—one that would test Lombardo, Managing Director Nick Nichols and the Rep’s Board.
Every winter, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane has one hand perpetually tied behind his back, as he tries to rebuild his rosters for the following season. Frugal ownership, a decrepit stadium, and multiple run-ins with raw sewage make the A’s one of the least desirable Major League Baseball landing spots for top free agents. So, Beane, the man profiled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball, does his best to cobble together lineups with bargain basement prospects and aging journeymen. And because he’s exceptionally good at his job—and a little lucky—he manages to field competitive teams year after year. The city of San Jose faces similar obstacles in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest minds to run the day-to-day operations of America’s 10th largest metropolis.
Following a closed session meeting for the City Council on Tuesday morning, San Jose City Manager Debra Figone announced that Ed Shikada will take over her role when she retires in December.
The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will decide how to allocate a third of this year’s Measure A revenue, or $15.3 million. They’re expected to spend the bulk of it on affordable housing and healthcare for the uninsured. Other items on the include guidelines for a 55-acre civic center in downtown San Jose, rapid re-housing for the homeless and downsizing a tobacco prevention and control program.
The government shutdown may be over, but the Republican-fueled hits keep on coming—especially for Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable citizens. Starting Nov. 1, extra funding provided by the American Recovery Act, President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package, expire. As a result, people who rely on rely on food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or CalFresh in California, will see their benefits decrease. In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill last month that would cut $40 billion from the program over the next decade—resulting in 3.8 million people getting kicked off the program next year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.
CFOs are dropping like flies—well, not this Fly—over at the County of Santa Clara offices. Last Friday marked the final hurrah in the tenure of Dave McGrew, the chief financial officer of Valley Medical Center (VMC) since August 2011. Word is McGrew was placed on administrative leave a couple weeks prior to his sayonara. While McGrew trotted out the boilerplate goodbye in an email to staff, citing a need for more time with his family, his admin leave was not voluntary, according to sources in the county. David Claude, the director of general accounting, will take over as interim CFO, which means the county now has temps staffing its two most important finance positions.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Tuesday filed to put a polarizing state constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would allow government agencies to dial down public pension benefits. If voters OK the Pension Reform Act of 2014, it would change the state constitution to empower government agencies to negotiate existing employees’ pension and retiree healthcare going forward.
Almost two weeks into the federal government shutdown, there are still 800,000 employees sitting at home, waiting for Congress to approve a budget and allow them to get back to work. Meanwhile, members of Congress have not had any hold placed on their paychecks, and a growing number of people are not happy about it.
The Emerald Isle is calling. Ten San Jose officials will fly this week to Dublin, Ireland, for the bi-annual “Sister City” trip, which is basically a pub crawl disguised as a city-sponsored economic development junket. Among the lucky 10 are four councilmembers (Xavier Campos, Rose Herrera, Ash Kalra and Johnny Khamis); three department heads (budget director Jennifer Maguire; Joe Hedges, of economic development; and environmental services’ Kerrie Romanow); two council chiefs of staff (Shane Patrick Connolly, for Khamis; and Mary Anne Groen, for Herrera); and one soon-to-retire city manager, Debra Figone. If that seems like overkill, well, it is.
City Manager Debra Figone’s annual budget performance review, which will go before the City Council on Tuesday, shows that 2012-13 revenue totaled $2.29 billion, about 1.2 percent ($28.6 million) below the budgeted estimate. Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include Xavier Campos hosting a gun buyback at a District 5 church, Kansen Chu pushing a solar panel incentive program and a semi-annual review of city audits.