Attorney Lan Diep has just announced his run for the San Jose City Council District 4 seat. Diep ran for the same seat in the 2015 special election, coming in third and missing the runoff by 13 votes. The Republican, previously Chamber of Commerce backed candidate, could be a strong contender to unseat incumbent Manh Nguyen.Tweet
Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has finally made a decision we can stand behind: he has withdrawn his floundering measure that attacks the retirement security of public workers in California. Polls recently conducted showed waning support for the measure, making it impossible for Reed to drum up the $3 million dollars in financial support he needed to get the qualifying signatures. As we saw during his tenure as Mayor, Reed is hell-bent on eliminating protections for public workers, such as police officers and fire fighters, ultimately putting the safety and well-being of our city and state at risk.
While this is not the first time Reed has unsuccessfully attempted to put a pension measure on the ballot, hopefully it’s the last.Tweet
As predicted, conservative West Valley-Mission Community College District Board Member Chad Walsh has officially resigned. Walsh’s resignation, effective January 7, 2016, was received by the County Office of Education earlier this week. The Board will now vote on whether to appoint a replacement within 60 days or hold a costly election. The best bet is that the Board will appointment Walsh’s replacement on March 1st.Tweet
Today when the Santa Clara Valley Water District posted a notice of a special Board meeting regarding “Discipline or Dismissal,” it could mean only one thing: Water District CEO Beau Goldie is on his way out. Last year was filled with talk of Goldie’s mismanagement of the Water District and questionable decision-making when it came to awarding contracts. Now it looks like Goldie’s fate has been sealed, but apparently Goldie is not going quietly. Efforts to negotiate a smooth departure for the CEO have failed, and now the Water District Board is left with less diplomatic alternatives. Per today’s meeting, the Board will be moving forward with appointing an acting CEO.Tweet
City of San Jose
Agreement with San José Sports Authority
The San Jose Sports Authority (SJSA) is a nonprofit corporation formed in 1991 to promote San Jose as a location for high profile, marquee state, national and international sporting events and to develop and support existing sporting events and organizations in San Jose and the Bay Area.
The proposed agreement is a continuation of prior agreements with the SJSA. The term of the agreement is from July 1, 2015 until June 30, 2019, and is retroactive. Key activities required of SJSA include:
- Serve as the City’s primary outside organization for contacting national governing bodies, institutions and professional organizations, sports promotion and domestic and international sports organizations, to solicit high-profile sporting events for San Jose.
- Solicit funds through fund raising activities to support the SJSA and to underwrite events.
- Inform local residents of sport activities taking place in the community, answer sports-related requests, create a more positive attitude among residents toward sporting events, and in general serve as a coordinating agency with other sports & community service groups.
- Keep abreast of new marketing trends in sports entertainment which will improve San Jose’s position as a host city.
- Explore local, regional, national and international publications for publicity opportunities describing San Jose and the surrounding area as a sporting event venue.
- Maintain current active membership in national and state event and sports associations.
- Design, purchase, provide and distribute the necessary books, pamphlets, brochures, circulars and such other promotional literature and materials to effectuate and implement a promotional program of the City.
- Coordinate SJSA sponsored or sanctioned events and maintain a close working relationship with the City’s Office of Economic Development, Public Outreach Manager, Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, authorized operators of City-owned facilities, Development, etc.
The race for California’s Assembly District 24 appears set, and there are several strong contenders looking to replace Assemblymember Rich Gordon.
- Josh Becker ran against Assemblymember Gordon in 2010 when the seat was last open and made a good showing. Mr. Becker, a venture capitalist and social entrepreneur, recently sold his business and should be able to devote substantial time, effort and resources to his campaign.
- Vicki Veenker, a successful Silicon Valley patent attorney based in Palo Alto, is not only new to the political scene, but is the only woman running for the seat and is expected to raise substantial funds.
- Current City of Palo Alto Councilmember Marc Berman. Berman was the Development Director at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, but recently left his job to focus on his campaign. He has been actively campaigning for some time and already has raised a substantial amount of money.
- Mountain View City Councilmember Mike Kasperzak Jr. is well known and has a base that he does not have to split with candidates from Palo Alto.
- Menlo Park Councilmember Peter Ohtaki is the only Republican in the race so far.
- Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang is waging another quixotic campaign.
- Seelam Reddy is a retired engineer.
As 2016 draws to a close, the fields for the San Jose City Council District 2 and 6 races appear to be largely set.
Current District 2 Councilmember Ash Kalra is terming out in November 2016 and is running for California State Assembly District 27. Here’s a look at those vying to replace him:
- Sergio Jimenez, an investigator at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office. He has been an active community leader for many years and currently serves as Chairman of the San Jose Parks Commission representing City Council District 2.
- Elias Portales is a lawyer who serves on the Bond Oversight Committee for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District and has held several community positions in the past.
- Former San Jose City Councilmembers Forrest Williams and Claude Fletcher are also rumored to be considering a run.
- Finally, Steve Brown, a businessman and community activist, and Perry Henry, a System Administrator and leader of his Neighborhood Association, may throw their hats in the ring.
In stark contrast to District 2, San Jose’s District 6 has attracted a glut of candidates vying to replace outgoing Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio. Here they are:Tweet
New U.S. Census Bureau data show the Bay Area is booming, but rising housing costs and poverty rates are making the recovery a spectator sport for many people trying to pay their bills while eliminating their personal debt. Incomes have increased, but rents have jumped way more, and owner-occupied housing has dropped in the region. For most people, it’s hard to buy and keep a home.
For Californians in bankruptcy, it’s increasingly hard to hold onto a home too. The public policy reason for allowing people to file for bankruptcy is to both provide the debtor with relief from crippling debt so that he/she can get a fresh start and to pay out creditors for some of the debt owed. The goal is to make sure the debtor is not left with so little that he/she cannot pick him/herself up and recover from the bankruptcy. But while home prices have climbed steadily over the past 40 years, the homestead exemptions in our bankruptcy code have remained flat, making it more difficult to rebound financially coming out of bankruptcy.
It doesn’t need to be this way.Tweet
Rumor has it that conservative West Valley-Mission Community College District Board Member Chad Walsh’s resignation is on the horizon. We wonder why he is making such a sudden move. Just recently, Walsh campaigned vigorously for fellow conservative Steve Landau to take an open seat on the Board, turning away a more qualified candidate, Randi Kinman. One possible reason for Walsh’s departure is his inability to work with the College’s chancellor, Patrick Schmitt. Hopefully, with Walsh gone, the vacancy will attract some well qualified candidates.
When the Santa Clara County Water District Board appointed former Morgan Hill Mayor John Varela to fill the Board seat vacated by Dennis Kennedy, who is battling cancer, they probably were not looking ahead to the 2016 election, but one potential candidate was. Apparently, San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, who will be termed out at the end of 2016, is already talking about running against Varela next fall.
This could be quite a battle. Herrera opposed raising the San Jose minimum wage to $10 and championed illegal pension reform. Varela, on the other hand, was appointed by Labor-friendly Water District Board members. It is unclear where Herrera will draw support for the race, but she is known as an aggressive fundraiser, who is not shy about reminding potential donors that she has a vote on the San Jose City Council.
With Water District CEO Beau Goldie on his way out, the District could certainly use some leadership stability. Few, if any, of the District Board members want to see Rose Herrera elected. Expect to see a majority of them rally around Varela.Tweet