Susan Hammer

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Takes Long View in Final State of the City Speech

Chuck Reed spent much of his eighth and final State of the City speech thanking his predecessors while noting that a mayor’s work goes on long after he or she leaves office. Noting that he and past elected officials in San Jose have stood “on the shoulders of giants,” Reed said the work he and the council have carried out in recent years must be viewed outside the prism of four-year term limits. “We have to think in much longer timeframes,” he said.


Bay Bridge Had to be Dedicated to a Brown

There is no question that Willie Brown deserves the honor of having a span of the Bay Bridge named after him, given his lifetime of service to the city and county of San Francisco. Considering the political heavyweights who share that last name, there isn’t an infrastructure project since 1958 that does not have a Brown imprimatur.


Why Sheriff Smith Won’t Run for Mayor

We dream of the perfect candidate in our business. The right person, at the right time, with resources to win and the perfect fit for the populace and the times. Barack Obama in President 2008, Jerry Brown Governor in 2010, Willie Brown for San Francisco Mayor 1995, and Sheriff Laurie Smith for San Jose Mayor 2014. Only the last scenario won’t happen.


Rocha Considers Calling it Quits in 2014

While everyone and their mom-in-law weighs a run for mayor of San Jose in 2014, Councilmember Don Rocha is considering calling it quits at the end of his first term. He insists no decision has been made, but the Cambrian councilmember has publicly and privately voiced his displeasure with some of his colleagues and their constant focus on pension reform, as opposed to public safety, libraries, community centers and street paving.


False Information from City Officials Kills Save San Jose Libraries Initiative

In one of the biggest blunders in recent local politics, city officials admitted this week that they provided false information to organizers of the Save San Jose Libraries initiative regarding the number of signatures needed to place a measure on the November ballot. As a result, the initiative—an effort that has been in the works for more than year—is unlikely to make it to voters.


Reed, Former San Jose Mayors Talk Shop

Norm Mineta, Janet Gray Hayes, Susan Hammer, Ron Gonzales and Reed all took part in Monday night’s installment of the Don Edwards Lecture Series at San Jose State University, and each of the current mayor’s predecessors voiced relief that never in their tenures were they forced to deal with the current mayor’s challenges. A full decade of budget shortfalls, a workforce depleted and demoralized, the loss of the Redevelopment Agency and no certain economic rebound in the future was a tall order in every mayor’s eyes. The never-ending pummeling a mayor experiences—from the press, constituents and colleagues—was reiterated consistently in the talk, which retiring SJSU political science professor Terry Christensen moderated.


Reading Rainbow

Just when things seem to be going better for Mayor Chuck Reed, with a solid council vote on his pension reform ballot measure and his first-ever projected budget surplus, his predecessors have to go and steal his thunder. Instead of waiting for Reed to follow through on his plan to open four new libraries that closed the day construction stopped, former mayor Susan Hammer and council members Frank Fiscalini and Trixie Johnson trotted out their own plans to save libraries—show-offs.

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