Pat Dando, Former Vice Mayor of San Jose, Remembered for Her Straight Talk, Tireless Work Ethic

Pat Dando, the former vice mayor of San Jose and CEO of the South Bay chamber, leaves a legacy of championing local businesses and Almaden.

Fight Breaks Out over the Future of Filthy, Polluted Waters of Almaden Lake

Almaden Lake, one of the filthiest bodies of water in the Bay Area and possibly the state, is steeped in elemental mercury and polluted by blue-green algae blooms and bacteria from bird droppings. But how to clean up this community cesspool has raised a fair bit of controversy.

Three Ways to Improve Electoral Math

In a state of more than 18 million registered voters and a city of nearly one million people, it’s easy for any one person to feel insignificant. That’s why it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together; that our collective opinions add up to something greater than ourselves; that this grand experiment called “democracy” works best when we all stand up to be counted.

Bitbadal Weighs Recount Request

Edesa Bitbadal says she has not decided if she will ask for a recount of the primary results for San Jose’s District 10 City Council seat. However, Bitbadal, a San Jose planning commissioner, did say several community leaders in Almaden have contacted her to do so and she will weigh her options this weekend. The deadline is Tuesday.

Braunstein Gives Back Bumb Money

Robert Braunstein, a TV sports broadcaster and candidate for District 10’s City Council seat, returned a $500 contribution from Brian Bumb this week, after San Jose Inside notified his campaign that Bumb and his company, Bumb & Associates, hold a management stake in Bay 101 Casino. According to ethics provisions listed in Title 12.06 (Municipal Campaign and Officeholder Contributions) under the city’s code of ordinances, candidates for elected office are not allowed to accept money from San Jose’s card rooms, as well as anyone in a management role in those businesses or their spouses.

Bitbadal Labor’s Best Bet in District 10?

Labor gave two endorsements for the District 10 City Council race, but unions’ preferred option is burning up dollars while their second choice took the lead in campaign fundraising. Campaign finance forms made public Thursday show planning commissioner Edesa Bitbadal, who received an open endorsement from labor, raised $86,765. Meanwhile, Brian O’Neill, who received the primary endorsement from South Bay Labor Council, raised $27,233 in this time period. Most of that money didn’t last, though. O’Neill spent $17,498 during the first 11 weeks of the year.

Fast Start to City Council Campaign

Some people can’t wait to start campaigning. Case in point: Leslie Reynolds, a District 10 City Council candidate in San Jose. On a hot summer day last August, Reynolds erected a booth at the “Grande-licious” event in Almaden put on by 95120 Magazine. Her booth included a banner declaring her intention to run for Nancy Pyle’s termed-out seat in 2012 as well as free glasses of lemonade featuring her campaign logo. (See Facebook for photos of the good family fun.) A couple months later, Reynolds says a friend of her son designed her sleek campaign website pro-bono. While Reynolds, a San Jose Unified school board member, says she has tried to comply with city rules by not accepting contributions until Dec. 9, that might not matter.