Last week, I got a mailer from the No on V campaign railing against the decisions of past city councils about spending on the Hayes Mansion. I was elated! I felt validated in my support for selling the Hayes Mansion to stop the annual bleeding of millions of dollars. I wrote about selling the Hayes Mansion two years ago on the Council and on this blog.
I remember sitting through many long speeches from my former colleague Forrest Williams who touted that money spent on this hotel and conference center instead of spending the money on police and libraries was appropriate. So, I wonder why are the people who support the No on V campaign endorsing Forest Williams, who was biggest proponent of the Hayes Mansion, in his supervisorial race?
I am thankful that the Hayes Mansion and its $4 million a year subsidy is being brought to light to all the voters of San Jose. However, it’s dwarfed by the $52 million taxpayers had to pay just for the pension loss last fiscal year. I can’t help but wonder where everyone was when I spoke about selling the Hayes Mansion in the past? Where was everyone when the vote was taken for taxpayer subsidized golf courses and when income-producing land was converted from industrial to housing?
It was also interesting that this mailer cited—almost as gospel—the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury Report titled “Money-Losing Hayes Mansion: A San Jose City Council Responsibility.” Apparently, this campaign supports the Civil Grand Jury as a trusted and reliable source. So perhaps they would then agree with other Civil Grand Jury Reports, such as: “Cities must rein in unsustainable employee costs” or “City of San Jose Hosed by IAFF Local 230 Executives” or “Los Lagos Golf Course—San Jose’s Financial Sand Trap.”
It is difficult for policy makers and interest groups to be consistent and this to me is an example of being inconsistent.
Here are the Civil Grand Jury Reports mentioned above:
Grand Jury report on Hayes Mansion.
Grand Jury report: Cities Must Rein in Unsustainable Employee Costs
Grand Jury report: City of San Jose Hosed by IAFF Local 230 Executives.
Grand Jury report: Los Lagos Golf Course—San Jose’s Financial Sand Trap.