Council to Talk Team San Jose, Art

Nothing as contentious as last week’s vote to put a pension reform ballot measure to voters is featured on this week’s San Jose City Council agenda, but there are a few items of note in the final meeting of the year.

Team San Jose received a hefty amount of criticism under the direction of former CEO Dan Fenton, but several members of the council are now giving their seal of approval to current CEO Bill Sherry and Chairman Chuck Toeniskoetter.

A memo signed by Mayor Chuck Reed and councilmembers Sam Liccardo and Pete Constant suggests staff “discontinue work on a Request for Proposal for management of the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities.”

“The results are already impressive,” the memo states of the current management. “The Fund 536 balance increased by more than $2 million, which staff indicates is a $3.8 million net improvement of the FY 2010-11 Adopted Budget. Trade shows and conferences like BIOMEDevice and Embedded Systems Silicon Valley as well as summits and meetings of companies like LinkedIn, Adobe, Seagate, Xilinx, PwC, Intel, eBay and Mozilla have resulted in more than 70,000 attendees coming downtown this year.”

The city also intends to start the transition process of ending lease payments for incubator programs, which were funded through the Redevelopment Agency. Incubators received scrutiny over the summer, when Liccardo called for an audit of the city’s incubator programs after a critical report surfaced.

“The Transition Plan focuses on strategies that allow the three incubators and Entrepreneur Center programs to continue to exist without Agency support beginning July 1, 2012,” a memo states. “The transition strategy for the BioCenter recommends assisting the San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) to negotiate a new master lease with the property owner before the Agency lease terminates on August 30, 2012.”

Also, a comprehensive report will be delivered on the city’s finances and debt for 2011. No action is expected. Additionally, several water-related agreements are likely to be extended or altered, including the “cost sharing of water conservation and wastewater flow reduction programs” between the city and the Santa Clara Valley Water District through June 30, 2013.

And among other decisions Tuesday is an item that could leave a lasting impression on future visitors to San Jose. The city is expected to authorize City Manager Debra Figone “to negotiate and execute an agreement with Soo-in Yang for the design, fabrication and installation of a public artwork at the McEnery Convention Center in an amount not to exceed $480,000.”

According to a city memo, “Yang is an artist and architect, and is cofounder and director of the Living Architecture Lab at Columbia University in New York City. He has completed large scale new media-based public art commissions in New York City; Seoul, Korea; Linz, Austria; and Hong Kong.”

Selected from a large pool of applicants that was whittled down to four, Yang impressed a panel of experts who used some interesting criteria to make their selection. In addition to wanting the artwork to be “thought provoking” and have a “day and night presence,” the first requirement on the list was that the artwork be “perceived as must see and magical.”

According to a website detailing Yang’s work, the artist is responsible for creating Living Light, which “is a permanent outdoor pavilion in the heart of Seoul with a dynamic skin that glows and blinks in response to both data about air quality and public interest in the environment. Citizens can enter the pavilion or view it from nearby streets and buildings, and they can text message the building and it will text them back.”

Click Here to See the City Council Agenda for December 13, 2011.

Josh Koehn is the managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.

12 Comments

  1. “… fabrication and installation of a public artwork at the McEnery Convention Center in an amount not to exceed $480,000.”

    Looks like the City still has plenty of dough if they can waste a half-mil on this project in lieu of investing it in public safety or road repair.

  2. On the council today is a proposal to pay an artist half a million dollars for the convention center….that is insane!!

    • It’s not just any convention center – it’s the “McEnery” convention center.  You know, the one with ambiance that makes Costco feel like Bloomingdales by comparison.

      Did you see this one?

      VTA approves 772 million for BART extension to Berryessa.  http://bit.ly/vjwjx3

      So just to recap…
      – we just can’t seem to build taxpayer subsidized low income housing fast enough
      – A’s stadium land giveaway
      – fancy art for our McCostco convention center
      – 770 million plus annual BART operating costs. 
      – And now Team San Jose crime syndicate is back in business

      Did I miss a memo?  Are we now swimming in cash? 

      PS.  Ron Gonzalez is looking like a piker compared to our current council.

      • Novice young man you are spot on with your ASSesment of how the City of Mayor Greed works.  They have money,money,money for things that don’t mean anything to you and I, but have nothing but B.S. Comments when the taxpayers ask why they are spending like drunken gamblers in Vegas in a “Fiscal Emergency”.  Truth be told that Reed, Constant,Grandma Pyle, and the rest ARE dirty with MOB money.  Hell just look at the Garden City stuff going on and the Mayor and Council are friends with these guys.  Garden City has been a noted Mob facility long before any of the Council had lived here, or were even born, they have been in business longer than the Mayor has been living here. 

        But yet the City continues to befriend and approve of organized crime using our tax dollars such as noted about Team San Jose being back in business.  This City is about ready to do a Hindenburg and catch fire all on it’s own… What a Nightmare for us citizens, I bet the city employees are in worse shape with all this criminal activity going on around them.

  3. Why are our civic leaders spending one second of their time on our dime whittling down to four the finalists for any art installation when San Jose is in a fiscal crisis?  This is ridiculous and irresponsible.

    Lest you think I’m some suit not interested in art, you’d be wrong.  In fact, If I had a chance to live life over again, I’d have danced ballet professionally and be an artistic director somewhere today.  That said, one additional penny should not be spent on public art until the city council can get San Jose out of its fiscal fiasco.

    • Why do they do it? Because they can, and because out of the entire population of San Jose, only a couple of hundred protesters ever show up for demonstrations to show their dissatisfaction with the local politicians. I’m wondering if it will EVER be financially bad enough for san Jose citizens to participate in protests with a decent turnout.

  4. “to negotiate and execute an agreement with Soo-in Yang for the design, fabrication and installation of a public artwork at the McEnery Convention Center in an amount not to exceed $480,000.”

    I’d rather have three more cops.

    • For 480,000 I’ll take 5 cops. Maybe 4 cops and 1 pothole filler. Or maybe 3 cops, a pothole filler and a street tree trimmer. But 3 cops? For half a million? For one year? No thanks. The cops are supposed to stop the crimes, not perpetrate them.

  5. I thought the council and mayor just voted for a ballot measure based on financial emergency?  I guess it’s not so bad they can spend $500,000 on public art.  Anyone wonder why the city is going broke. It’s because these dip $&8)(  spend and barrow like a Bernie madoff.  One day maybe some of them can have sleep overs with him.

  6. My GOD!  The lies! 

    The city is bound by law to continue RFP Process… The addition of Bill Sherry & Chuck Toeniskoetter doesn’t mean squat! 

    It is interesting that these two guys who belong to the San Jose Downtown Rotary Club, just like Reed, Sam, Constant… Hmmm?  No RFP so the Club buddies can continue to mismanage the Convention Center. 

    Plus Team San Jose with the “WINK” from the City, Has laid off ALL of the City Employees from the Convention Center and have replaced those City positions with Contract Labor from Rotary Club members with businesses.  They have businesses that range from Custodian services to security and other same type of services and worked a deal to contract with Team San Jose. 

    This illegal activity violates all of the bargaining units union contracts with the city of San Jose. 

    What I find Really amazing is the Mayor and Council continue to trust TSJ’s Accounting of City monies when they hemorrhaged over $20 million worth of Taxpayer money without so much as a simple receipt for what and why the money was spent.

    Again I bring up the 3 Grand Jury Investigations pointing out many inconsistencies and illegal business practices.  which of course the city ignored ALL of the wrong doings by TSJ…

    Again another STUPID move on Council and Mayor Know It ALL’s part.

    I would like to know what Fund 536 really is?  Hmmm sounds like a “SCAM” that Council and Reed are running to help TSJ stay afloat to save their own butt’s from prison.

       
    ————-
    What a JOKE!  Nothing but CORRUPTION for City of San Jose!

    Team San Jose received a hefty amount of criticism under the direction of former CEO Dan Fenton, but several members of the council are now giving their seal of approval to current CEO Bill Sherry and Chairman Chuck Toeniskoetter.

    A memo signed by Mayor Chuck Reed and councilmembers Sam Liccardo and Pete Constant suggests staff “discontinue work on a Request for Proposal for management of the Convention Center and Cultural Facilities.” 

    “The results are already impressive,” the memo states of the current management. “The Fund 536 balance increased by more than $2 million, which staff indicates is a $3.8 million net improvement of the FY 2010-11 Adopted Budget. Trade shows and conferences like BIOMEDevice and Embedded Systems Silicon Valley as well as summits and meetings of companies like LinkedIn, Adobe, Seagate, Xilinx, PwC, Intel, eBay and Mozilla have resulted in more than 70,000 attendees coming downtown this year.”
    ———————-

    Wow!
    TSJ has had shows with, “no shows” listed on the TSJ Calender of Events… How does that happen?  I have a friend who happens to work across the street from the Convention Center and said they have not had any shows at all!  Amazing that TSJ has invisible shows!  Wow!!!

    Oh yeah one more thing SJI….  Stop Deleting my post’s!

    Old Frank

    • surprise surprise!? not really- for years, Team San Jose has been going to council hat in hand for more money and for this not only do they get more subsidies, now they are praised and council gives them kudos for their failures?!! wot’s wrong with this picture? why doesn’t murky news do its job and report on this fiasco….that would be asking woolfolk to get off his duff and earn his pay!

  7. The sad part is this isnt surprising news. When it comes to Public Safety there is a Financial emergency that is crushing this City , But when it come s to mr Burns pet projects there is found monies.  Such as Art for the Ugly buildings around town , getting rid of golf courses to allow for rezoning to put in EVEN MORE LOW INCOME HOUSING ( This only helps Reed help the developers , but is a HUGE drain on City Resources) How about shifting RDA debt to general fund , Or Giving away valuable real estate to a billionaire , the list goes on and on . The agenda is clear crush City workers at all cost……………….Pathetic!