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Policy Watch: Week of 8/22

By The Left Hook

City of San Jose

Holding further work on North San Jose Area Development Policy pending VTA Tax Measure and City Place lawsuit

Staff recommends holding further work on the North San Jose Area Development Policy pending the result of the VTA’s November ballot measure for sales tax funding of regional transportation improvements and the outcome of the City of Santa Clara “City Place” project lawsuit.

Background: The North San Jose area plays a vital role in the achievement of San Jose’s economic and fiscal goals. In 2005, the City adopted the North San Jose Area Development Policy, which revised an established policy framework to guide ongoing intensified mixed use development in this important employment center and innovation district. (Policy available at http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/43619) The Policy provides for a specified amount of new development, including an additional 26.7 million square feet of new office/R&D development, as well as an additional 32,000 residential units, 2.7 million sq. ft. of retail development and 1,000 hotel rooms. Memo provides an update on staff’s response to the Council direction given on April 12, 2016.

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The “L” in Lie

By The Left Hook

Before wrongfully accusing South Bay Labor Council Political Director David Urhausen of lying about the reason for misspelling a candidate’s name, the Metro News tried to check out Urhausen’s explanation.  Palo Alto City Council candidate Danielle Martell had complained to Urhausen that he misspelled her name by leaving out the last “L”.  Urhausen responded by telling Martell that he had simply used the spelling of her name provided to him by the Palo Alto City Clerk.  When the Metro contacted the Clerk’s office, they were told that Urhausen had been provided with the correct spelling of Martell’s name, thus the accusation that Urhausen had lied.

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SCPEA and Santa Clara County Superior Court Reach Agreement

By The Left Hook

After nearly two weeks on strike, the Santa Clara Professional Employees Association (SCPEA) and the Santa Clara County Superior Court have reached an agreement. SCPEA, which is recommending that its members ratify the agreement, is scheduled to hold a vote this weekend. If members approve the deal, the strike will end, employees will return to work on Monday, August 15th and court processes will resume.

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The Fickle Nature of Manh Nguyen

By The Left Hook

One year ago Manh Nguyen secured his spot in the San Jose City Council District 4 runoff election against Tim Orozco by a mere 13 votes. While the margin was extremely slim, Manh won fair and square and Lan Diep, who came in third, accepted defeated and moved on.  Fast forward to the 2016 primary election and, in the most serendipitous turn of events, Lan has ousted Mahn by 12 votes. Yet, Manh isn’t going down quietly.

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Chamber Email Riddled With Misleading Information About Opportunity to Work Initiative

By The Left Hook

Earlier this month Victor Gomez, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, sent out an email containing false information about the Opportunity to Work (OTW) initiative, which will be on the November ballot in San Jose. In fact, the Chamber deliberately mislead many of the email recipients who are not covered by OTW to believe that they would be gravely impacted by the measure. Employers with 35 or fewer employees – the vast majority of San Jose’s employers – are exempt from the measure. But you wouldn’t know that from reading the Chamber’s email.

Below are some of the Chamber’s misrepresentations, followed by the truth about OTW:

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15
Aug
Businesswoman looking through binoculars

Policy Watch – Week of 8/15

By The Left Hook

County of Santa Clara

 Cortese referral to adopt support position for Opportunity to Work

Cortese memo: The City of San Jose’s Opportunity to Work Initiative, slated for the November ballot, will help to support residents by ensuring that businesses are hiring employees in a manner that better supports self-sufficiency.  Currently, some businesses will hire new part-time employees rather than increasing hours for their current part-time employees.  The businesses do this in an effort to avoid paying for benefits, such as health care, vacation time, and sick leave.  However, this practice doesn’t support the current employees in their effort to earn enough to meet their needs.  The goal of the initiative is to help currently employed workers earn what they need to survive to care for themselves and their families.

The Board of Supervisors should support the Opportunity to Work Initiative.  This initiative will reduce resident’s dependency on County services.  As more residents are able to afford food and health care, their need for County managed programs like CalWorks and CalFresh will be reduced.  As residents are able to afford health care, they will no longer be reliant on County health programs.  Residents who are able to maintain self-sufficiency will be able to go about their business with confidence and peace of mind.  By supporting the Opportunity to Work Initiative, the Board of Supervisors is promoting the value that everyone has the right to achieve a quality of life in which they live without reliance on others and helping to strengthen families in Santa Clara County.

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8
Aug
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Policy Watch

By The Left Hook

County of Santa Clara

Policy direction on pay equity, wage theft & related issues

Possible actions include: Provide direction relating to proposed amendments to Board of Supervisors’ Policy 5.5.5.4 relating to the Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination provision in County contracts.

 

Where: Santa Clara County Finance & Government Operations Committee

When:  Aug. 11, 2016, 2 pm

Link to item: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=7335&MediaPosition=&ID=82599&CssClass=

Link to agenda:  http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=7335

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5
Aug

Update: City of Milpitas Candidates

By David Urhausen

As of late last week, the City of Milpitas had eleven candidates running for office, five for Mayor and six for City Council. Those running for Mayor include Vice Mayor Carmen Montano and Council Member Debbie Indihar Giordano, both of whom are terming out of their current seats. Other candidates vying for the Mayor’s seat are Robert Marini, Voltaire Montemayor, and Richard Tran.

Those running for the two open City Council seats are Gunawan (Gwan) Alisantosa, Evelyn Chua, Bob Nuñez, Anthony Phan, Jennifer Strohfus, and former planning commissioner Mark Tiernan.

The nomination filing period ends on August 12, giving potential candidates a little over a week to submit their paperwork and declare their candidacy.

1
Aug
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Policy Watch

By The Left Hook

City of San Jose

Approving Ad-Hoc Council Committee on Development Services to facilitate private sector development; Mayor Liccardo to chair

As recommended by the Rules and Open Government Committee on July 27, 2016, approve the creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Development Services and setting the following dates for the meetings to be held in the City Manager’s Conference Room.

August 25, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

September 29, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

October 27, 2016 9:00 – 10:30am

November 18, 2016 10:30 – 12:00pm

December 15, 2016 9:00- 10:30am

The Agenda for the meetings will address: (1) Key Process Improvements, including updating performance metrics, creating a development services dashboard, and implementing change management, cost of service study adjustments, and code reform programs; (2) Update on Development Services staffing, filled positions and vacancies; (3) Status Report on Major Development Projects in Entitlement and Construction Process; and, (4) Customer/Public Feedback.

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26
Jul
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The Latest on Who Is Running for Which City of Santa Clara Council Seat

By The Left Hook

As of 5 pm yesterday, all candidates who had filed to run for Santa Clara City Council had officially selected the specific seat for which they would be vying. Below is the breakdown of the current candidates and the Santa Clara City Council seats they are running for:

Seat 3
*Debi Davis
John McLemore

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25
Jul
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New Poll Shows Honda Holds Considerable Lead over Khanna

By The Left Hook

A new poll released earlier today shows that, among likely general election voters, Congressman Mike Honda holds a considerable lead against Ro Khanna in California’s 17th Congressional District race. The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners, shows that Honda heads Khanna 41% to 35%, with 23% of voters undecided.  Additionally, Honda leads Khanna in favorability and name recognition, with 52% of voters viewing him favorably.

19
Jul
sunnyvale

Election Craziness In Sunnyvale

By The Left Hook

Political insiders are rolling their eyes at the strange and costly turn of political events in Sunnyvale.  Dave Whittum resigned from the City Council even though only a few months of his term remained.  He would have been termed out at the end of this year.  His resignation was early enough to force the City Council to call a special election to fill his seat for the remainder of the year, instead of filling the seat in the regularly scheduled general election in November.  The special election on August 16 will cost Sunnyvale $767,600.  Since Whittum is an outspoken fiscal conservative, the costly timing of his resignation seemed strange enough.  But the story gets stranger.  Whittum’s resignation was late enough to force the candidates to file for the November election before the special election takes place.  The filing period for the November election to fill  Whittum’s old seat ends before August 16.  If Whittum had planned it out, he could not have made these elections more confusing or costly for his Sunnyvale neighbors.

14
Jul
San Jose City Council District 4 candidate Lan Diep speaks during a candidate forum for San Jose City Council District 4 at the Berryessa Community Center in San Jose, Calif., on Monday, March 9, 2015.  (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Lan Diep Beats Manh Nguyen…AGAIN

By The Left Hook

The official recount is over and Lan Diep has been named the winner of the San Jose City Council District 4 race, again.

But the news of a confirmed defeat has not stopped Nguyen and a voter from requesting yet another recount, this one at their own expense.  The recount will cost approximately $20,000 and take one month.  The general consensus is that Diep’s margin remains and, in what will be a long, drawn-out race, Diep will, for the third time, be named the new City Council Member for District 4.

 

12
Jul
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Advice To The San Jose City Council: How To Deal With The Chamber Of Commerce’s Lies

By Bob Brownstein

Now that the Opportunity to Work Initiative has been placed on the November Ballot, I’d like to make a prediction. San Jose’s elected leaders are going to hear from outraged business owners who will argue the proposal will do them grievous harm. The source of their information will be the Chamber of Commerce, and the information will be a disgraceful pack of lies. Some might say, lying is to the Chamber as swimming is to a duck. It just comes naturally.

Since I’ve been involved in local government for nearly four decades, I have a solid historical perspective on this issue.

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11
Jul
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Policy Watch

By The Left Hook

City of Sunnyvale

Placing Users Utility Tax measure on November 2016 ballot

City Council sponsored a Study Issue to evaluate the potential of a Utility Users Tax (UUT) ballot measure for the November 2016 election. On December 1, 2015, a Council Study Session was held to discuss the City’s current UUT regulations and ways to prevent UUT revenues from declining due the fact that significant portions of the current ordinance have not been updated for virtually four decades, during which time technology and telecommunications have changed dramatically.  It is important to note that this is an existing revenue stream and the City Council is not creating a new tax. The options for updating the existing ordinance included potential rate increases, broadening the base against which the tax is collected, and ways to address modern telecommunication services that didn’t exist when the City’s UUT regulations were adopted. Council comments favored staff returning with an ordinance modernizing the telecommunications UUT without broadening the base or increasing the rate. Council also supported conducting community opinion research to evaluate the public’s potential interest in, and the viability of a UUT update.

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