Some Free Advice for Mayor Reed

It has been a tough week for Mayor Chuck Reed. An enterprising investigative reporter, Jenna Susko, from KNTV News challenged the mayor’s veracity of the “fiscal crisis” and exposed his administration’s exaggeration of the unfunded liability facing San Jose

The mayor’s opponents were quick to jump on the news and quickly filed an ethics complaint. A complaint which, ironically, is justified under Reed’s own ethic reforms, which state that public officials shouldn’t lie. But the regulation—like many Reed Reforms—is unenforceable. A lawyer for the ethics commission advised the body not to investigate as they have no jurisdiction over the matter. That is lawyer-speak for you can’t do anything even if he did lie. (Editor’s note: The matter could go in front of the City Council at a councilmember’s request.)

If the people could have passed a law that made it illegal for public officials to lie, we wouldn’t need the current drug laws to fill our prisons.

But whoever advised the mayor to continue to use the number $650 million should be fired, especially after it was revealed to be a “made-up” number.  Politically, whether the number is $650 million or $300 million is irrelevant to the public. He didn’t have to over-reach.

But by utilizing the larger number the administration could justify asking for larger concessions from unions. It was a negotiating tactic, but it backfired on a mayor who is lauded for his honesty—and whoever advised it should be publicly fired to help restore that image.

Moreover, the mayor should be outraged by this predicament. Except for one unexplainable lapse of judgment exposed during his campaign, where he reimbursed himself for charitable donations, Reed has been careful to cultivate his honest mayor image and polling suggests he has been successful—until now.

That said, if he will take a little unsolicited political advice, he can reverse this blemish on his integrity and help bring about a solution for a major problem facing his city.

Having recently worked with the mayor to end the marijuana wars, I know Reed has the skills to bring diverse interests together, understand difficult issues and make a reasonable deal that is in the best interests of the city. Make no mistake, Reed is a formidable negotiator, but he is also reasonable. As a lawyer, he has tremendous skills at identifying problems and offering solutions. It is that combination of skills that can lead to a real solution on pension reform.

If Reed were to use his significant personal skills to negotiate a real pension deal, he would establish himself as a mayor who brought San Jose together at a critical time in its history.

Certainly, there are extreme people on both sides who would oppose this solution, for many have an interest in the political fight that would ensue. But both the mayor and those who represent city employees should reject those self-interested voices.

The ballot measure the mayor is seeking to put on the ballot—on a 6-5 vote of the City Council—is divisive and will lead to a court challenge. As a competent lawyer, Reed is not unaware that voter imposed solutions to employee benefit issues is fraught with peril, both from the courts and as a matter of policy.

In addition, the voters could very well reject his proposal. A defeat would leave the Mayor with little or no room to negotiate with unions, which currently have a huge interest in avoiding an expensive campaign and an even costlier legal challenge.

Moreover, labor leaders have already shown a willingness to negotiate and have made painful concessions to help solve the current fiscal problem. But they won’t and shouldn’t accept an imposed solution—especially one they feel is arbitrary and disrespectful. They also resent being cast as the sole reason for the budget problems, and they aren’t.

The mayor’s quoted desire to negotiate in good faith regarding pensions during his State of the City speech was welcome, but it was immediately followed by a call to voters to pass the mayor’s unilateral vision of pension reform. Utilizing the stick at the same time you hold out a carrot is not a sign of good faith.

But this mayor does have the skills to make a good deal for the city; to be successful he will have to be personally engage in the process. The ultimate political war, if necessary, can always take place in the future. But a solution forged from a reasonable mayor and an engaged public employee union sector would be in the best interest of San Jose and a model for other governments.

This Mayor can pull it off, I’ve seen it firsthand.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley.

100 Comments

  1. San Jose Elections Commission Refers Ethics Complaint Against Mayor Reed and Others to the City Council

    Commission cites lack of jurisdiction in its unanimous decision

    To view the NBC Bay Area Coverage of the Commission Vote go here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0U-LNgD6xk&feature=youtu.be

    To View the video portion of Chris Platten’s presentation to the Commission go here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPeWLVihAHk

    Despite a three page letter from Mayor Chuck Reed defending his continued use of the now debunked $650 million dollar pension cost projection, the independent San Jose Elections Commission voted 4-0 to refer the complaint to the full San Jose City Council.  The commission was informed by its legal counsel that it lacked jurisdiction to investigate the complaint which alleges that Mayor Reed and Retirement Director Russell Crosby violated city ethics policies, California Government Code Section 6203, and several other city code-of-conduct policies. 

    The commissions legal counsel forwarded the complaint against Russell Crosby to City Manager Deb Figone for action as per commission guidelines.

    “I think the feeling was this is a significant issue without making any judgments on the facts, it’s a significant issue and the council ought to have the opportunity to decide if they want to look at it or not”, said Michael Smith, Chairman of the San Jose Elections Commission.

    “We’re ecstatic that it’s been referred to the council for further action,” said union attorney Chris Platten, who filed the complaint against Reed and two others last week and hopes the council will vote to seek a third-party investigation. 

    “This mayor has premised his administration on a policy of honesty and transparency,” Platten said. “I expect the mayor to live up to his proclaimed commitments.”

    The ethics complaint was signed by over 800 city employees and comes on the heals of news reports that Mayor Reed was told that the $650 million dollar projection was off the top of someone’s head without any back up and was also told not to use the bogus number.

    • Heres the real reason Reed isn’t playing fair………Reed who is in charge of the RDA and the city has totally bankrupted it.  When Brown did away with RDA’s it destroyed Reed’s ability to continue to borrow (leveraging taxes) to pay for his RDA debt.  On top of that, the RDA has overall made terrible investments that have generated very little tax revenue to pay back the loans. 

      My theory is this:  Reed is trying to create a surplus in the retirement accounts which are considered an asset to the city.  By lowering actuary projections and rates of return he can paint a very gloomy picture of the retirement portfolio.  Couple this with an extra $250 million dollars UH OH (650 figure) and you have a very scary problem.  after getting the unions to voluntarily surrender their pensions he will go back and change the actuary projections in following years, now showing a surplus of funds.  With the stroke of a pen they can change the estimated rate of return and smoothing period (ie. from 7% to 8%,  from 10 years to 15 years) and make the pension funds seem overfunded.  Couple this with union pension reductions and you have a very large amount of cash freed up.  By doing so Reed will no longer have to pay the cities portion of its retirement share because they will be over funded for many years to come.  He can then take that money and try and pay down the RDA debt.  Don’t believe me look at history.  When retirement funds have out performed their projections the City did not have to pay their full contribution.  Instead of paying into the pensions the city pissed the extra profit away on pet projects. 

      This isn’t about Pensions being underfunded this is about making pensions over funded and freeing up money to cover RDA projects and loans.  Think about it….Reed was never this cut throat until Brown did away with the RDA and then everything changed. 

      The Mayor is covering his tracks and doesn’t want the public to know how bankrupt this city is.  A bankruptcy is the last thing Reed wants not just because it will stain his name, it will completely open up the books and show the world what was really going on behind closed doors.

      According to the state Senate Office of Research (2009):

      San Jose has the largest RDA debt in the state.  Not only per capita but in total volume of debt.

      San Jose= 2.48 Billion dollars in RDA debt which is $2431.33 per person (population= 1023083) with just over one million residents

      That debt generates 202.3 million dollars in revenue per year which is $197.78 dollars per resident.  It costs the city 414.24 million per year to service that debt (Its probably higher now considering this was from 2009).  That means the city has to come up with approximately 212 million per year just to pay the RDA debt.

      Compare this to Los Angeles

      Los Angeles= 774.56 million dollars in RDA debt which is $189.16 per resident (polulation=4,094,764) with just over 4 million residents.

      That debt generates 265.17 million dollars in revenue per year which is $64.76 per resident.  It costs LA 347.65 million per year to service that debt.  That means LA has to come up with about 82 million per year to pay their RDA Debt.  With the size of their population that can be that hard to do.

      http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/07/san-diego-ranks-2nd-highest-redevelopment-debt/

      Ask yourself this: How is it that LA has less than a third of the RDA debt with four times the population?  How is it that LA has less than a third of the RDA debt and generates 63 million more annually from the taxes on its RDA investments?  The answer is shady deals and bad investments= poor leadership.  San Jose is the absolute undisputed king of RDA deals and the residents and employees are going to pay the price for it.

      • How is it that smaller cities are fairing better than big ol’ San Jose?  The smaller cities have not reduced their employee’s salaries or reduced their pensions and benefits. You have to know that SOMETHING isn’t right.

    • I don’t like paid political consultants or “communications managers” getting the podium with some sort of journalistic credibility when they don’t disclose the checks they’ve received and cashed from factions with an interest in the issues they are pontificating on.

      As far as Mayor Reed, he appears to be trying to do the right thing in a tough situation, and while his tact and empathy are in question, he’s doing a credible job of addressing a public policy problem rather than the usual smoke and mirrors, “kick the can down the road” approach that most SJ politicians use to placate powerful interest groups so they can move on to higher officer without offending anyone (or really doing much good either.)

      We’re talking about the future of our community, not just talking points in a briefing, but real cold, hard facts that some of the pension promises are unsustainable and we have to find a way to realign our posture with pensions and still preserve vital services.  And opinions differ on vital services, as city programs and services touch residents in different ways, so that’s open to debate.  At the end of the day, we all hope for a decent town to raise kids and grandkids in, and rhetoric that victimizes the messenger of bad fiscal news as a tactic to shame politicians into some more funny math doesn’t help anyone get there.

      • Instead of drinking Reed’s Kool-Aid and parroting the “pensions are unsustainable” mantra, do some homework like the Econ Professor did.  Reed isn’t stupid, he is cunning and knows that his track record as a council person could come to light at any time.  The pensions are not the main issue here.  For somebody that seems pretty bright, you sure seem to want to ignore the facts and keep kneeling at the feet of our foolish politicians with starry naive eyes.

        The only reason Reed is addressing the financial crunch now is because he has no choice, not because he wants to.  He didn’t address it for two terms as a council person because it wasn’t right in his face and he could just go with the flow.  Now he is on the top of the heap and he can’t pass the buck anymore.  So what does he do?  I finds a scapegoat to blame to direct the public’s attention from his own dismal record.  You, are just perpetuating the myth that Reed wants you to, along with Galt, JMO and others, of the blame laying on the evil unions. 

        The pensions would never have been an issue if the city continued to contribute their portion thereby over funding the pension system in good times coupled with acting fiscally responsible with their pet projects and not spending like a drunken sailor in port during the boom era.  Now that the cat is coming out of the bag, Reed and his cronies are pointing fingers at everybody but themselves.

    • All this puffed out chest talk will add up to nothing.  The machine is in place.  The city has crafted a very good anti police posture and the public believes it.  This is now being seen as an attack on the poor mayor of San Jose.  It’s a shame the once powerful police union is done.  Thank god for fire.  They are taking the lead.  Besides the President of the Police Officers Association is seen on video saying the Police pension 90% is excessive and he was hired at 75% that was more than adequate. Thanks POA president.

  2. This is no doubt a litmus test for the mayor and council.  With integrity and political careers (especially for those council members who hope to be re-elected or move into the mayors slot)at stake.

    The council should welcome an independent investigation to help restore public confidence and trustworthiness in our elected officials. Unless they’re culpable as hell and or believe the people of San Jose are too ignorant to recognize they are circling the wagon to save their own scalps.

    Hopefully the mayor has enough common sense to recuse from this proceeding because of conflict of interest.

  3. “Having recently worked with the mayor to end the marijuana wars,”

    Wars? Really? A tad overly dramatic, don’t you think? What the city and activists were discussing was simply regulations regarding medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. However, your use of the term only emphasizes that, according to the activists with which you worked, the issue is more about legalization than simply providing “safe access” for the ill. In other words, it’s a federal issue, and has nothing to do with the city. But thanks for wasting the city’s time and money!

    • “Having recently worked with the mayor to end the marijuana wars,”

      Rich, really???

      James Anthony, Jerry Strangis, and yourself ended “the marijuana wars”??

      How exactly is the “war” over when the Mayor saying “I think it’s impossible for local government to craft an ordinance that complies with state law and meets the needs of the business model of the industry”

      What you did is FAIL to help the mayor understand how to properly regulate medical cannabis, and successfully convinced him ALL marijuana collectives that follow the “business model” you presented are “illegal” in San Jose. Not sure how that is an “end” to the “marijuana war”…

      You are not someone who’s advice should be followed by anyone, much less the Mayor of San Jose.

      Congratulations on your latest failure.

      • The CCPC and CPA acknowledged the outcome was a success—despite your best efforts to undermine the industry.

        You will continue to have no credibility regarding this issue as you refuse to pay taxes.  The prison cells are littered with people, like yourself, who refuse to play by any rules.  Your efforts hurt the industry and I would give more free advice to the CPA to disassociate themselves with you, just as the CCPC had to oust you—but it’s their call.

        Get some therapy and I don’t mean getting high on your own supply.

        • Rich,

          Clearly you do not understand what you are talking about. Yes, you and your fellow scam artist, convinced the group you were advising that you “won”. When the crack down comes, the truth will be seen, I know where I stand. The fact is your efforts helped A2C2 out more then any other collective in the city. We are one of the few that does not follow the “business model” you presented. There for, A2C2 is potentially “legal” where the CCPC members are, in the cities eyes, clearly “illegal”.

          I pay every applicable tax I am required to. A2C2 is one of the only collectives who’s “contributions” comply with the city of SJ’s interpretation of Prop 215 & SB420 found in 6.88.440 “Collective Operations” item D.

          “6.88.440 D. In-kind contributions, monetary contributions and property contributions provided by members towards the collectives overhead expenses shall be in strict compliance with State law. ” ( http://www.sanjoseca.gov/clerk/Agenda/20110927/20110927_0202bord.pdf on Page. 30)

          Some free advice to you Rich, stop lying to people and find a new job. You are the one who lacks any credibility.

        • I knew why I didn’t like you Rich.  Even without knowing the entire story, you just called this guy crazy in front of the world.

          Watching you slide down the slope to name calling doesn’t surprise me.  I knew I had your lack of character pegged.

        • Rich, I’m pretty well known in this scene now.  A few people talked to me over the weekend and wanted me to leave this here for you.

          Dave Hodges pays sales tax on any non-marijuana related items.  So why doesn’t he pay tax for marijuana?

          Governor Jerry Brown himself said, “NO MARIJUANA SALES”  He made it clear to the scene that the current model of clubs and collectives are doing business just fine.

          By collecting sales tax on marijuana, you’re admitting a sale.  If you’re admitting a sale, you’re breaking the law and opening yourself up to liability.

          The other thing is, there’s no tax on prescription medication.  So by taxing it, you’re not only admitting a sale, you’re also moving it from the realm of “medicinal” to “recreational” which again, is against the letter of the law.

          This is the reason clubs have stayed small, mom and pop operations.  Rich and the people paying him are trying to open up the equivalent of “fry’s electronics” of marijuana clubs.

          For anyone familiar with our electronics scene in the 90’s, we had JDR, Quement electronics, and Heath/Zenith.  All of these stores went away when the walmart of electronics opened up.

          The major complaint I’ve heard about Mr Rich Robinson and his cronies is they pushed the exact opposite of what’s crafted in the law.  They’re pushing for more “walmart” style (like the little mermaids) stores.  These types of operations, with the volumes they sell, are totally against what’s written in the law.

          In other words, they’re bringing attention to the wrong people.  The feds are turning a blind eye to what’s going on, but as soon as San Jose has a few of these walmart style clubs, things will be broken up very quickly.  Camala Harris even gave some statements related to this earlier this year.

          So Rich, I don’t know why you’re telling Reed he can collect tax on it.  Maybe you’re the one that needs therepy, or needs to quit medicating on product because you obviously either don’t understand why Dave isn’t paying marijuana tax, or you just don’t care.

          Sit and spin on that Mr Spinmaster.

          (PS Dave, we have some mutual friends, one of whom you BBQ with on Saturdays.  Hope to meet you soon.  Here’s a hint, you once said to this guy “49 days”)

        • Oh one other thing while I’m here..

          Most of the clubs were in favor of the new San Jose MM laws.  Why?

          San Jose would have been the first city with laws resembling the same type of regulation found in the state prescription and alcohol boards.  Why was that important?

          With that type of regulation, the city holds an obligation to protect these businesses.

          The clubs you represented Rich (like the little mermaids) would have been shut down.  While you’ve been screaming at Reed like little chicken “OH THE BUDS ARE FALLING” the real truth is..

          This would have thinned the herd.  Much like wolves thinning buffalo herds, this would have taken out the weak clubs run by unsavory characters that are no better than the scumbags who beat up Atul Lall.

          Rich, by defending them, you also defend their actions.  You defend a guy that beat me up over nothing.

          Trust me, I savor pointing out your character flaw on this.  I live for this kind of thing.

  4. Jurisdiction or no jurisdiction, why wouldn’t the Mayor Reed and his Council cronies support an investigation if they’re so confident they did nothing wrong?

    I really hope something gets done on this issue and that the people of San Jose -taxpayers who have seen all kinds of services stripped from them while centers, stadiums, airports, and a City Hall palace are built- get an independent look at the City’s actions.

    I moved to San Jose from Santa Clara a few years ago.  I really wish I hadn’t.  San Jose has tons more crime, worse streets, and public officials who seem to not care about us at all.  I want to know what’s really going on behind that ugly building San Jose citizens spent so much money to build.

    • Abe,

      I can empathize with your about moving to San Jose.  Santa Clara is a reasonably well run municipality, while San Jose has become “the armpit of the Valley.”

      Your average resident gets just about nothing for all of the taxes he/she pays here in SJ.  Closed and short-hour libraries, streets worse than those in most combat zones, no fixing of sidewalks or trimming of trees, police and fire headcount levels so low that crime is ever-increasing and fire response times are eroding, etc.

      Mayor Reed and his band of idiots, the Council, (and Mayor Gonzales before him) have just about sacked SJ’s budget by diverting billions from direct services into the greasy hands of big developers, immoral lobbyists and the now defunct – thank God! – Redevelopment slush fund… er, I mean Agency.

      Well, all you can do now is make the best of it until you move back to Santa Clara or Sunnyvale or Campbell – anywhere beyond the SJ City limits.

      • “Mayor Reed and his band of idiots, the Council, (and Mayor Gonzales before him) have just about sacked SJ’s budget by diverting billions from direct services into the greasy hands of big developers, immoral lobbyists and the now defunct….”

        Somebody needs to do jail time.

      • Greg: you forget that the unionista past councils lead by Cinday Chavez—now running the South Bay Labor Council—engineered and approved the unsustainable perks for the public employee unions that have added to our fiscal woes.

        This “crisis” didn’t happen overnight.

        • John,

          Chuck was on the very same councils you talk about before becoming 2 time mayor.  He is as much to blame as anyone

        • JMO you just can’t help yourself can you?  You want to boil down all of San Jose’s problems in to one tidy little package called pension reform.  You are incredibly naive, or possibly Reed’s closet attorney, if you think that the pensions caused the problem, and can fix the problem.  Bad investments, RDA shenanigans, entitlement programs, excessive building, a pullback of city retirement contributions, kickbacks to developers, and the list of city malfeasance goes on and on. 

          Wake up and smell the coffee JMO, the unions are only a small part of the picture.  And, your dogged refusal to accept anything less than disbanding of all the unions is leading to a mass exodus of the city employees, only to be replaced by less qualified desperate bottom of the barrel replacements.  I cannot believe that you can be so shortsighted.

        • Chuck Reed voted for each and every contract that you try and lay on the doorstep of the unions, Alex Gurza negotiated every contract you try and lay on the doorstep of the unions..Reed has lied, period.

          This has nothing to do with pensions and everything to do about trust and credibility.  Reed has lost both in my view.

        • “Greg: you forget that the unionista past councils lead by Cinday Chavez—now running the South Bay Labor Council—engineered and approved the unsustainable perks for the public employee unions that have added to our fiscal woes.

          This “crisis” didn’t happen overnight”.

            Incredible.  Perks?  What perks?  The private industry has LOTS of neat little “perks” that the public sector will never see.  When the fat cats were getting free stock options, new Porche vehicles, bonuses, Christmas bonus checks, sales perks (the list goes on and on)I didnt hear any complaints.  Just a steady, sustainable increase in wages and benefits tied to the market for the public sector.  When the economy folded, your choices to spend all your money, invest in luxuries the public sector will NEVER enjoy, turned out to be poor ones.  And now you have the audacity to blame the public employees for YOUR woes?  Grow up, take responsibility, and stop blaming others for your own mismanagement.

  5. The Mayor’s likes to portray himself as a problem-solver, but he has an animosity towards the City’s unions that is tainting his judgment about ethics and even about sound fiscal policies. Pensions needed reigning in, but even the unions agreed with that. According to reports I’ve seen, the unions offered proposals that met the needed numbers. But the mayor turns out to be more interested in fostering an image of someone who successfully beat back overreaching unions than he is in solving the pension problems. Not as virulent and radical as the Wisconsin governor, but some of the same hues nevertheless.
    This may turn out to be his downfall. He thought he could play fast and loose with numbers to achieve his political objective of defeating the unions, but the numbers cannot be as subjective as he now tries to portray them. If the numbers were as fuzzy as he claims, why would the City, and all similar pension plans,  pay a lot of money to actuaries every year to come up with something concrete?

    • that they were given rules to go back to 2010 and to use those old numbers to come up with the dollar amount, which raised the forecast an extra $31 million. The email shows that it was done on purpose and it was done for the purpose of deception. Everybody who was in on it needs to go. Crosby, you are going to lose your retirement. How does that feel? Were you the one who called half of the employees useless? Who is TRULY useless? It’s not half of the employees. Guess who.

    • If prior mayors (read Hammer and Gonzales) and councilmembers (led by Cindy Chavez) hadn’t given away the store to the unions and spent $500 million and committed another $500million in debt service to build that ugly city hall and rotunda, it is unlikely that we would be in the fiscal position that we find ourselves.

  6. If your jealous…go to an Academy (if you can pass the background), strap on a vest and a gun, and risk your life every single day. Kiss your family goodbye each night, not knowing if that is the last time you’ll see them. Anyone can apply for law enforcement…so when you choose not to, not get mad at those that felt the need to protect the public..even if it means sacrificing their own lives. Police Memorial week is in May at the Capitol…go tell the families of those that were killed in the line of duty that their husbands/wives were overpaid! Otherwise you should just be thankful that someone else felt the need to keep you and your families safe each day. Don’t sleep under the blanket of safety that we provide and then question the way that we provide it or how we are compensated…I’d rather you just say “Thanks”…otherwise go apply and we’ll see you out on the streets. To quote the Bible…“Blessed are the peacemakers…for they willl be called the sons of God” Matthew 5:9.

  7. What I see is a Mayor that is smart, capable and yet he chooses to be DISHONEST.  Reed knows exactly what he is doing.  This is a negotiation tactic that has backfired on Reed.  He knew he could get the unions to negotiate pension reform by throwing (650mill) wild numbers out there.  The problem with Reed is that he is greedy.  When police/fire offered pension concessions that would be enough to take care of the problem he went for more.  He refused to negotiate with them telling them it wasn’t enough.  The question is what is enough and what is his motivation.  If what PD/FD offered would have bridged the gap why does he demand more?  I am opened to conspiracy theories here. 

    What motivates this man?  Is it a ballpark?  Is the city truly devastated by bad investments through the RDA and is trying to cover it’s tracks by making their employees pay?  Is the city truly on the brink of BANKRUPTCY and doesn’t want the public to know the real reasons their money has been squander?  Does Reed have a second career lined up as a union destroyer when he leaves the city?  Is Reed just so vindictive that he wants nothing more than to leave office and see his workforce in a heap of smoldering ashes?

    Enlighten me>>>>

    • You assume the savings presented by the unions were real, it was not really 500 million which is why it was not accepted.  The change to PERS would not save money and may even cost more.  Lets get both sides to address the pension with real numbers, not the smoke and mirrors both sides seem to want to use.

        • It was not accepted because Reed said it wasn’t enough.  Well-respected, independent actuaries came up with the projection.  It was as real as honest projections can be, and about 200 million more than the amount needed to solve the problem.  Additionally, the PERS option was not the only option put forward by the bargaining units that would solve the problem.  Reed is just hell-bent on putting the measure on the ballot.

      • “You assume the savings presented by the unions were real, it was not really 500 million which is why it was not accepted. The change to PERS would not save money and may even cost more”
        Are you getting your information from our liar mayor? Because along with the mayor saying our $500 million offer was not enough he also stated what you stated above.
        The Fire & Police Unions hired an outside, independent actuary who confirmed our numbers were correct. CAL PERS would not cost the city more money. Fire & Police also offered to pay the 5000.00 fee for CAL PERS to come to San Jose and show the council & mayor their numbers.

    • Don’t they appear dead to you? That is because there is no soul. That should give you the jist to all of your questions. Cold, rigid, vindictive, hellbent, hellbound.

  8. First of all, what the hell are you talking about when you state he fudged the numbers while in negotiations with the unions. There were never any “negotiations” that you elude to, the cities version of “negotiation” is “here is what we’re going to take from you, what do you think?” and we say, umm, that’s pretty severe how about we compromise on your deal?”, then the city says, “no. here’s the same deal, how do you like it now?” well, ummm its still the same sh*t deal???? then the city says “oh, I see you don’t want to negotiate, we’re at an impass.”, then the city comes out with their last best and final, which of course is the same sh*t deal from the start, and proceeds to “impose” the deal on us…..that’s some negotiation eh?
      second of all, let me get this straight, you’re crediting Chucky and his minions for settling the pot club debacle?? Seems to me it was the common sense of the 650,000,000 San Jose citizens that signed the petition against what he wanted that is due credit…..Oh, sorry about the 650,000,000 figure, it was “of the top of my head” which should be acceptable for the mayor, since “of the top of the head ” figures are completely defensible.

  9. Well this is no fun. No sarcastic retorts springing to mind. Robinson’s finally written something reasonable.
    I’d go along with just about everything Rich wrote. The people need a strong negotiator to represent our interests. And in the matter of dealing with the unions Chuck Reed IS representing the peoples’ interests. He hasn’t backed down- the political equivalent of paying protection money to thugs- and I commend him for his courage.
    Unfortunately though, he gives ammunition to his critics by pursuing this baseball stadium. He may think he’s representing the peoples’ interests here, but he’s wrong.

    So dealing with the unions is a necessary evil… THIS time. Go ahead and placate them I guess. In socialist San Jose we just about have to. But as we do so, komrades, let’s ask ourselves if it really IS written in stone that a City’s employees have to be unionized. Why?  Where did this come from? I submit that it doesn’t have to be this way.

  10. Reed specifically said, “no lying, no cheating, no stealing.”  Who cares about reimbursements?  Victor Ajlouny was paid over 38 grand from a city contract to do “community work,” from his office in Omaha, Nebraska.  Work product:  Ajloung took one page of notes for Reed’s installation.

    Ed Lee

    Said he would not run for election, and he did. 

    In August and December, Ed Lee said no city contractor would continue to spend city funds attempting to continue to lure the 49ers.  He said in January the effort was over.

    From his office, we found two pages of a contract for the Treasure Island Development Authority for August 2011.

    The board of the Authority

    Kofi Bonner, Lennar
    Darius Anderson, Lobbyist for Lennar

    Legal Counsel

    William J White
    Shute, Mihaly, Weinberger

    Law firm for Santa Clara Plays Fair
    SHUTE, MIHALY, WEINBERGER:

    Matthew Zinn, whose direct supervisor

    WILLIAM J WHITE, Lawyer for Ed Lee and the Treasure Island Development Authority

  11. “Politically, whether the number is $650 million or $300 million is irrelevant to the public. He didn’t have to over-reach.”

    I disagree. Reed did more than just float a phony dollar amount; he linked that frightening $650 million figure to another, equally unsupported figure: a barebones city workforce of 1600.

    Irrelevant? No. Reed understood that, with mega numbers be splashed about by every arm of our irresponsible government, his political aims could be enhanced by feeding the already underserved public a second doomsday image: that of even fewer cops, more crime, worse streets, closed libraries, and no parks. That 1600 employee figure—which he projected just as often as he did the Big Lie, was vivid, frightening, and hardly irrelevant.

    Reed over-reached because over-reaching served his purpose, and his purpose was to deceive.

  12. Reed is not going to negotiate. The unions should plan their court case, since it’s obvious where this issue is going. My guess is that his measure will pass and the courts will support the union position.  Why waste any more time, since it’s clear Reed holds his employees in contempt, and they dont believe anything he says.

    • Everyone will lose in the courts.

      By going to court, Reed rejects all union offers. When the Unions win, the City saves nothing. Because it saves nothing, the City will either stagnate or be forced into further cuts, so the residents and employees lose too.

      By instead working out a deal, the City can capture the savings that are in the current Union offers. Based upon *real* pension cost forecasts, these offers could avoid further cuts, benefiting the City, its residents, and its employees.

  13. This fiasco has once again proven the theory: 
    The upper floors of City Hall lack the proper amount of oxygen required for concise thought and normal brain function.

  14. The problem here is that Chuck Reed got angry about some kind of deal that fell through between him and the SJPOA during early contract discussions. Somebody lost their cool, ill-spoken words were uttered and Chuck lost his temper. He therefore set out to destroy the SJPOA and used these exaggerated numbers in public in order to pry concessions from the SJPOA. Despite changes in SJPOA leadership, he has continued full on with his attempts to emasculate the union. He was advised by his own city attorney that the ballot measure was doomed to be overturned and that the city would be liable to pay all court and attorney fees. But Chuck doesn’t care because whatever was said or implied has gotten him so angry he can’t see straight. For a tough negotiator and attorney, he has allowed his personal feelings to affect his judgement. This will only cost the citizens of San Jose millions of their tax dollars. In the end Chuck will have gained a pyrrhic victory but at the same time it will have resulted in the destruction of any trust that may have remained between the unions and the city. In the future, every union will be playing hardball and the numbers of strikes, work slowdowns, and blue flu will a direct result of the seeds sown by Chuck Reed.

  15. I too have some “free advice” for Mayor Chuck Reed: Stop lying to the people that you took an oath to serve! You expect your city employees especially your police officers and firefighters, to serve with integrity and trust. Why is it okay for you to lie and cheat? Your arrogance is disgusting and I feel a need to take a shower after I hear you speak! Please do the honorable thing by admitting that you were wrong and step down from your position as mayor. You have disgraced the Office of the Mayor as well as the United States Air Force, by your actions. As a taxpayer and voter, I’m asking that you cut our losses and run!

  16. It’s clear Mayor has an agenda and he is after getting it one way or the other.  Ethics and others are for public speeches and to gain gronds publicly.  Hopefully our council when they hear to this matter not shy away from doing the right thing.  Either independent audit of the whole thing or for a change to stand up to the mayor and say we wont nod for your talks and dance for the numbers that came out of no where. Time to have real leaders don’t you think?

    • It will separate the men/women from the boys/girls. Those who stick up for and fall in behind mayor reed, will be the boys/girls and those will be the politicians you DO NOT want to see in office. If they support fraud and dishonesty…we do not need them, nor do we want them. Crosby needs to be fired.

      • The council is going to sit on this issue for as long as they can hoping the public gets bored and goes away.  Then if the issue is forced upon them, they will come up with some limp waste of a response like a verbal hand slap to Reed and then move on.  Nothing is going to come of this unless the Grand Jury or another agency does a full investigation.  Assigning the city council to investigate themselves, what a crock….

        • If you allow it to go away. I really don’t think those who filed the complaint and signed it will let this die easy. Keep it in the public eye and bring in another, neutral government agency who can do something about it.

  17. I expect my elected officials to govern with a cool head, using facts to make their decisions, and taking the time to explain their decisions to the public.

    I do NOT expect them to make up numbers in order to scare me into doing whatever they want for their little political schemes to play out.

    I do NOT expect to be manipulated just so you can make a name for yourself, so you are put on the cover of magazines, so you can run for higher office, so you get a nice consulting gig after you leave office, etc.

    In my humble experience, lying and cheating to get what you want ends up biting you in the end. I expect my officials to be successful by working hard and long – not trying to lie their way to shortcuts.

    Let’s see if my Mayor and Council will fess up to what they did and let’s see if they have the skills to work out a real deal with the unions.

  18. “If the people could have passed a law that made it illegal for public officials to lie, we wouldn’t need the current drug laws to fill our prisons.”

    If there were a law that if a public official were caught in a material lie, she/he would immediately forfeit her/his elected position, every city council chamber, legislative chamber, and executive office would be empty in a week.

    • “If there were a law that if a public official were caught in a material lie, she/he would immediately forfeit her/his elected position, every city council chamber, legislative chamber, and executive office would be empty in a week.”

      This is why it’s highly unlikely any member of the city council will be willing to pursue this complaint. What’s the old saying about people who live in glass houses?

      Also: a question for the Editor: You say this will go before the council.(“Editor’s note: The matter will go in front of the City Council.)”  Really? It’s not an any agendas for the council or rules committee. So far as I have seen and read no councilmember has been on the news saying that he (or she) would take up the issue. (See comments above regarding glass houses.) But perhaps you have additional information? If so please share. A lot of people might be interested in attending that meeting!

      • Just talked to the mayor’s office and it will require a councilmember to ask that the matter is put on the agenda. Sorry for the confusion.

        • Right. But has it happened? If not, or until it does, the most accurate thing you could say is that the complaint “could” go before the city council.

          So far as I know NO member of the council has said that he or she would take Reed on with this issue, and I’m not holding my breath that this will change. The rest of the council has been uncharacteristically silent on this issue.

          Who would do it? You would expect such an action to come from the council’s union bloc.

          Kalra? It’s not likely Kalra would raise an ethics issue after his DUI arrest. The man’s not dumb.

          Pyle? Possibly, but when has termed-out Pyle been a force for anything important on the council?

          Chu? Maybe, but probably not. He’s too busy banning plastic bags. If anyone on the council would pursue an ethics complaint it would likely be Chu, but if he did those issues from his campaign would re-surface. Don’t bet on Chu.

          Campos? A councilman with his own murky ethical past that Reed would be quick to point out.

          Rocha? Possibly, but he seems to be more of a fence-mender than a rabble rouser.

          The rest are in Reed’s corner on pensions, so don’t look to them for a council-initiated ethics complaint.

          Or so it would seem.

        • I don’t see Pier or Sam asking that the matter be put on the agenda.  They, along with many of the others, suffer from a severe testosterone deficiency.

      • Mr. Chu should bring it before the council. Reed is not endorsing him, so he has nothing to lose. It will boost him up in the public ratings, for sure. I don’t think any other member would do if for fear of reed’s reprisal. Go Mr. Chu. The public is counting on you. You are an honest council member. You can do this.

  19. With all of the documented lying and inaccuracies and nothing has been done?!!! Why does Russell Crosby still have a job?  A director of a retirement service uses number of top his head?!!! Chuck Reed and Debra Figone: is that the standards of which you allow your directors to operate under? Can we trust your budget director, or finance, or the City auditor?  Who else is making stuff off top of their heads and both of you Figone and Reed are using it!!!!! Wom 10th largest City—OFF TOP OF THEIR HEADS……..

    • Crosby serves at the pleasure of the city manager and the manager serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The mayor told Figone what he wanted done. Figone directed Crosby to have the books cooked. Crosby told the actuary to use corrupt “rules” and pop goes the weasel. Crosby is a puppet of Reed and Figone. And there is another puppet/co-conspirator, the city’s chief negotiator, Alex somebody.  Once this all goes to court, hopefully with the Feds, these co-conspiring city bosses will all be put in separate rooms and squeezed. Then lets see who will fall on the sword for who. In the mean time I say again, watch for these city bosses to start abandoning ship/retiring in an effort to keep their ill gotten retirement benefit.  The council should look at freezing the distribution of any retirement benefits to these city bosses should they choose to retire before a thorough investigation is complete. If they are found not guilty, pay them interest. No harm no foul. If they are found guilty use what would have been their benefit to pay the catastrophic legal fees, fines and awards the city will be encumbered with paying as a result treachery of these city bosses. God Bless the citizens of SJ they’re are going to need it.

  20. Mayor Reed history on the issue of pension reform shows that he doesn’t negotiate in good faith, that’s one of the problems here.  Police and fire made an offer that would have saved up to $400 million dollars, an offer that would have saved costly litigation if the mayor’s ballot measure is to pass, and it would have saved him from this embarrassment.  But Mayor Reed and the council refused that offer because they wanted more. 

    Maybe is is an excellent negotiator with the skills of bringing people together, however, on this issue, he has failed miserably.

    • Jeff so true.  If your talking about police and fire going to another retirement system, the very system council is in and save up to $400 million dollars!  How can he ethically turn that down?  This is what the public needs to here.  Maybe NBC needs to get ahold of this???????

    • He doesn’t negotiate AT ALL. He lied when he told the media that the city has been trying to negotiate with “those” unions, for four months, when, in fact, they had not tried to negotiate, at all. How many lies can this man tell with a straight face? That looks like sociopathic behavior to me. He lies to the citizens of San Jose and they eat it up. I don’t know who to feel more sorry for…the employees or the citizens of San Jose, both of whom have been duped.

    • Chuck why do you feed us this crap!

      This is some much hog wash.  If your public safety you have to do 30 years to get 90, and less that 10% do that much time unless your a lazy Chief who just has to sit at a desk.  Second most of the last 10 years are back loaded so to come close forget about max. out.

      The mayor is about to take sick time payouts off the books for forget about that.  The city limits the hours you can build up sick time, which is not that much.  And with time off almost impossible employees are taking a sick day to get an extra day off. Policy now use it or lose it!  Getting comp time now is almost impossible without approval, build up to much and get sent home to it gets lower.

      Free medical is BS, even Kaiser the lowest is going up.  I paid almost 2500.00 last year and that was just for check-up and prescriptions with no issues.

      So I do not want to hear his inflated 650 million dollar costs when he uses projected numbers for officers who are no longer even on the payroll due to layoffs or fleeing to other departments.  Won’t see this coming out of the mayors mouth or in the Merky News.

  21. Good advice!  The Mayor needs to come clean, the City Council needs to fix the pension ballot measure, which appears to be based on funky figures and an objective investigation will show what happened.

    San Jose is a great place and we need to address this before it grows even worse.

    • San Jose is not a decent place to work anymore, people have been leaving in droves from the sewage plant for the last 2 years, our retirement/leaving BBQ celebrations have included up to 12 people at a time,  just the last week, there has has been another forced retirement, and one just plain quit. These people are some of the best and brightest and with the most experience in technical fields that required decades to achieve proficiency in. I feel sorry for you San Jose, through your narrow sightedness focused on $, you are at risk of disasters of unimaginable proportions. And the cities answer it to this is?  They just rehire guys that recently retired so they can double dip….so, citizens of SJ, what do you think of double dippers??? The city likes them.

    • Grows even worse? I can hardly imagine it being worse than it already is, but then, that’s the area of expertise I can not under estimate the mayor in,,,making things worse.

  22. First he reimbursed if you wish to call it that 38,000 dollars. How many checks did the this very smart intelligent lawyer have to write?  Let’s not forget he also took money for travel that was not allowed. A man who was twice elected to city council, twice as mayor, a lawyer and owner of a law firm.  How does a smart man who is sucessful make these type of errors or are they errors? On a larger scale should we just unlock the cell door and tell bernie madoff to give back the millions he stole and now work a little harder?  We want people to be nice. We want them to be honest, we want them to always do the right thing but reality is what it is they are not.  Reed has skills, he has the ability and experience but he made a clear choice to reimburse himself several times. One would have to have a very flawed sense of the use of public funds to believe what was doing was in the interest of the community he is serving.  Now we see the mayor telling stories that he knows are not true. Do I believe the mayor that knowone ever told him 650 was not a real number? Or do I believe a man who has a habit of taking money that is not his would lie if the lie was for his pursue?  Maybe Reed is not honest and worse at being a crook because he keeps getting caught. If going to choose to keep calling a man who lies cheats and steels a good leader please go find one that is good at so we all are ignorant to the fact that a very dishonest con man is mayor ! Reed do the right thing just once fire figone and step down. Madison step down with Reed and let someone honest run San Jose.

    • If the mayor was subject to the discipline policy of the city of San Jose and brought before his own city manager and/or her designee with the uncontested evidence that exist in either the case of his mis-use of office holder account dollars or his $650 million misrepresentation relative to the pension fund he would be FIRED. This manager has fire many city employees for the same or lessor violations of the ethics policies. But then again if NBC or others continues to investigate and do a thorough job we will find out that the city manager and other city bosses have committed equally unethical acts of deceiving the public. Consequently the citizens of San Jose cannot trust any of the city bosses to work for an open and thorough investigation because it will uncover their guilt for which they must be fire. There must be an INDEPENDENT investigation. And, while that comes forth, watch for guilty city bosses to try and retire in an effort to avoid losing their pensions and payoffs (worth 500-700K each) when they are found guilty of defrauding the citizens of San Jose and the city workers. The bosses will say (or someone for them)  “oh no, the investigation has nothing to do with my retirement, it has been long planned”.  Right!!!  If you believe that I have a ball park I want to sell you.  Just watch!!!!

  23. why would an honest man have nearly every word about his passsed thefts of City funds removed from the internet? How much do you want to bet every web agency received a letter from a law officer instructing them to remove items about Reeds reimbursement( a new work for stealing) problems from their web pages or face legal issues. I simple decission from a legal depart said remove them and avoid a law suit. a brother in law with influence of the local media could get the much of the reports to dissapear.  I wonder were these lawyers paid with City dollars? Hidden under the sceam of attorney client privilage used to remove the stories?  still think Reed is honest? Rupert Murdock and Bernie Madoff would have done well to hire Reed as their advisors at least when he gets caught stealing and lying he gets away with it.

  24. SO even after Crosby told him not to use the 650 million dollar number. Reed used it anyway. AND now after being caught by NBC using this 650 number that there is no DATA to back up he continues to use it.  What does that say about this person?

    • “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

      I’m sure that’s Reed’s hope at least. After all it’s worked for him this far.

  25. There are not enough educated voters in SJ due to the Merky News.

    But I cannot totally blame them because who wants to pay 75 cents daily for toilet paper.  Second, most do not watch the news, because there is nothing about the problems we face on TV, Oh, but the door to door flyers will be coming!  As will the BS from the other fab five liars!

    “Then most voters will feel – hell I have never been attacked, robbed or my house has never been broken into so all must be good.  I don’t go downtown at night so I will be safe in my Willow Glen home”. So why are we paying pensions?

    This is what Chuck wants, and it will be a sad day years later when the tax payers will have to pay more when this illegal ballot measure is over turned in the courts.

    God bless you when you are the few that are assaulted and the case is not investigated due to lack of public safety numbers.

    • The message by “sad to say” included, “There are not enough educated voters in SJ due to the Merky News.”

      How true.  One example is the financing of the new City Hall.  That was accomplished with a series of three very expensive lease-revenue bonds the last of which will not be paid off out of the general fund for another 20 years, and will be a drag on the city budget and the economy of the city itself for those two decades. No report yet by the “Merky News” on this financing debacle.

      Don’t forget that these bonds end up costing approximately twice the dollars that were borrowed, an argument for “Pay As You Go” that the “Merky News” always fails to educate voters about.

      It is weird that the “Merky News” has stonewalled reporting the financing details of the new City Hall at all, but the newspaper ignores its responsibility to voters, residents, and taxpayers in many, many ways.

  26. Will never change the ballot language or even attempt to sit down with the unions.  He has drawn the the sand. Chuck will lie to get whatever he need to crush the unions because he wants to further his political goals.

    This lawyer is the biggest lier I have ever seen.  I have not checked but are you a defense attorney?

  27. City Manager Deb took out her broom at the request (order) of Chuck and this whole thing has been swept under the big dome at city hall.  This is how this city council rolls.  Get rid of the dirt and cover your behinds because “the six of us are so smart, we can make this city believe anything.  We just have to keep lying”.

    This is so yesterday, that the Merky News again at Chuck’s request will not even cover it, not one peep about the POA press release and God forbid they allow a negative comment to be posted on their opinion page!

    So poof, just like that it is gone!  Chucky just smiles and thinks negotiate in any faith (no way) see you at the ballot box in June, then he will ride off into his new political job while we spend millions fighting it in court for years.

    • Doug Figone and company can “Fake the Funk ” all they want , Fact is San Jose Residents have already seen their true colors. As far as ” The Mercury News”  that rag isnt fit to line the latrine floor! Never has there been a more biased Paper in the Valley . they are in Reeds pocket and of amount of Denial, or lack of reporting , or fully slanted reporting can change that fact . San Jose is waking up (Slowly) and beginning to realize how Corrupt this Mayor , City Manager , and their (6) minions are.  they all need to be recalled /or replaced.                                       

      “Character is all there is , Character is all its ever going to be about”

      Traits neither the Mayor , City Manager , (6) council members seem to possess.

  28. Lying, cheating and stealing is not punishable in San Jose city Municipal Code, because there are no penalties unlike other city’s municipal codes

    Ron Gonzales was charged but charges dismissed not because he was innocent but because there were no penalties in city Municipal Code  

    Same will happen to Chuck Reed   Nothing will happen

    Mayor and Council will continue to lie, cheat, steal and give millions city taxes, sell city property at undermarket prices to their friends and future clients until city Municipal Code has very strong penalties – removal from office, criminal misdemeanors or felonies and heavy fines

    No Penalties = More Lying, Cheating and Stealing

    • Most allegations about prosecutions of the mayor for his malfeasances focus on his personal culpability, but the key state statute that could net him and his cronies would be the criminal statute on conspiracies.

      The word “conspiracy” has acquired a bad odor during the last decade and has become a kind of derogatory slur, but in fact a potential criminal conspiracy between and among the mayor, the city manager, Crosby, Ajlouny, and others could be investigated by our new DA and taken to a criminal grand jury for indictment.

      Under state law, the crime of conspiracy to violate the law is a far more serious crime than separate small legal malfeasances, especially in the context of abuse of power by governmental officials.  The DA’s office has an entire section dedicated to this type of crime, the Governmental Public Integrity Unit.  Email at   ombudsman@da.sccgov.org

  29. Now the Pension number is down to $235 million? And I am hearing even that number is inflated! That is now close to 1/2 Billion dollars overstated! PLO HAS BEEN VERY QUIET ON THIS? What’s the matter does the cat have your tongue or are you in bed with Reed?

    • The numbers need to put in context of when they are commpiled and using what data points.  The new numbers will be less, because there are less employees due to the layoffs so that means less money going in.  The unions use their acturaries who will come in wiht low numbers, the City will use ones that come in high.  These are just best guesses, the REAL number is the the budget number whih is what the City and we taxpayers actually pay.  Both sides have blame in this and need to sit down and come up with a workable solution.  This weak attempt to try to manufacture a lie and manipulate numbers is a lame attempt to distract from the real issue.  Both sides need to get to the table and find a workable solution and stop making non issues stories.

    • Our proliferate blogger on SJI from the city council has been completely absent on this topic.  I suspect the City Attorney has told all of them to keep their mouths shut and hope it just goes away.  I guess the specter of a prison cell is enough to force all the City Council into silence.  As so many others here have stated, this issue is going to die.  The City Council will ignore any investigation and the public, in their typical ADD “hey look, a bird” fashion will find some other distraction to hold their attention.  I’m sure most are watching Whitney’s funeral about now and this issue is already passe.

  30. As a citizen of San Jose, I am appalled at the amount of cover up that goes on within City Hall. Mr. Crosby does not deserve to keep his job. It is your responsibility to do what is right. Mr. Crosby needs to be terminated. I have watched the video over and over regarding the part where he was sitting in some type of meeting and made the statement about the extra $250 million. No way did it sound or look like it was coming off the top of his head. He sounded like it was fact and like he knew what he was talking about. Straight forward. He lied to NBC. The mayor lied to the people. Watch the video again. Then there’s the emails stating damage control is necessary…collusion. Rules for using the old 2010 figures…collusion. Mr. Crosby does not deserve to keep his job. He and the mayor…and others are all culpable.

  31. Tough week for Mayor Reed…yes. Enterprising investigative reporter…yes.

    Yes, this week’s revealing investigative report about Mayor Reed using a false $650 million number to sell impending City budget doom to the public resulted in an ethics complaint because he lied.  What a stark contrast to his Reed Reform #6, and thank you Mr. Robinson, for recognizing that.

    Allow me to point out that the Elections Commission was advised that the ethics complaint was not within the purview of the Commission’s role.  However, counsel to the Commission indicated that the complaint could be referred to another governmental agency or official.  The Elections Commission believed the issue significant enough to warrant a unanimous vote to send the complaint to Councilmembers.

    Your confidence, Mr. Robinson, in the Mayor’s skills to bring people of diverse interests together seems mis-placed…at least in the labor negotiations realm.  His behavior with regard to labor negotiations has been arrogant, cunning and disrespectful.  Even though I would invite his contrition, I don’t expect it.  Beyond that, he has no reason to fire anyone for the direction that has resulted in his predicament, because he has brought it upon himself.  He may be dismissive of the ethics complaint as a stunt, but the truth is that he has been untruthful. 

    You are also absolutely correct Mr. Robinson in saying that when you utilize the stick at the same time you hold out a carrot, it is not a sign of good faith.

    • I certainly wouldn’t let this be swept under the rug. Don’t mess around with the people who will gloss over it. Get the “big boys” involved. That’s how you fix that. Maybe they will start investigating why this city is so poor when smaller cities are fairing just fine. Maybe they will find out what REALLY happened to all of the money.

  32. Kevin Riley O’Keeffe,

    Here’s how you responded to my dissection of the incident:

    “Whatever – if some some punk thinks he has a right to lead a group of his buddies in kicking someone’s ass over some non-verbal staring behavior, then I want that guy & his associates in jail too.  We’re living in a society here, you know.  Its not OK to beat people up merely because you can make some quasi-plausible claim that it wasn’t a “hate crime.”  Personally, I wish all laws pertaining to so-called “hate crimes” would be repealed.  But the group of guys who beat this Middle Eastern man, to the point of breaking his jaw and knocking out several of his teeth, for no relevant reason (staring doesn’t count), ought to be jailed (or perhaps imprisoned) for their disgusting behavior.  No First-Amendment-questionable “hate crimes” statute should be required in order to achieve such a worthy goal.”

    Clearly you misunderstood my post. Assuming the victim has honestly reported this incident (an assumption I entertain reluctantly*), I too would like to see these thugs go to prison, but for the crime (assault with a deadly weapon) supported by the evidence, not the crime conjured up by activist political parasites like LaDoris Cordell.

    We also agree that “hate crime” laws are a scourge; a political concept that assumes there exists within the judicial system the ability to do what the behavioral sciences have yet to prove is possible: identify an individual’s motivations to a scientific certainty. The only role certainty plays in hate crime prosecutions is the certainty that somebody’s flexing their political muscles.

    *If the victim actually claimed, as was reported, that his plight was ignored by numerous onlookers at the shopping center, then that part of his claim is hard to believe (thus impugning his overall credibility). The people in this city—the majority with cellphones, do not ignore violent crime, are not without compassion, and would not accept that anyone deserved to be beaten because of his race, creed, etc. That kind of indifference and prejudice might suit the imaginations and needs of somebody’s agenda, but it is not to be found at any shopping center in this city.

  33. I am tired of all of this.  I don’t want to be in a fight with my employer—I want to focus on doing my job and providing service to our community.  There is way too much opportunity out there to waste any more time and energy trying to get this city’s leadership to do the right thing.  Every day one of my coworkers gets a better job in a neighboring city.  These other cities have better tax bases, have better leadership, and work cooperatively with their employees to solve problems.  “Employer of Choice” is just another tired old saying at San Jose.

  34. “A complaint which, ironically, is justified under Reed’s own ethic reforms, which state that public officials shouldn’t lie. But the regulation—like many Reed Reforms—is unenforceable. A lawyer for the ethics commission advised the body not to investigate as they have no jurisdiction over the matter.”

    This is the biggest joke yet, it will go to the sub-committee that decides if it will go to the full council.  Guess who sits on this council, Chuck and his other four fools.  They will all get a good laugh and the issue is dead.  Then they will discuss how to get the others (considering the truth) off the council.

    This city is so going down the tubes, I am saddened to live here!

  35. Wow…the mayor got caught embellishing the facts.  Does it matter?  Absolutely!  He has taken his embellished story on the road with him (Vanity Faire, etc.) and used the reaction he got from his BS story to get his employees to make concessions on pay and benefits.  They made those concessions in good faith…too bad the mayor lacks good faith.

  36. Good to see they finally came out today to defend Chuck like they always do and blast to unions for not attempting to bargain in good faith.  Who the heck do the thinks keep giving up concessions and begging the city to come back to the table.

    Good to see Chuck has them in his greedy little pocket as well.

  37. Please concentrate on downtown only.  Make it the best downtown in the country by building all the housing/office downtown-mostly high-rises.  Forget N. San Jo completely and the rest of the city and just focus on the city’s investments-downtown.  You should make it very lively and something for us to be proud of.  San Jose shouldn’t take a back seat to Downtown Seattle,  SF and Denver.  If it wants to be the “Capital of Silicon Valley”, it must act and look that way.  Otherwise, right now, San Francisco is the region’s capital.  You must change that!  From now on, you should just hone in on downtown!

  38. Mayor Reed here’s my free advice.  These unconvincing written obviously collaborated newspaper articles and editorials only exacerbate a negative persona and lack of credibility. 
    You were exposed, just tell the truth and move on.
     
    * “protest too much” is to insist so passionately about something not being true that people suspect the opposite.

  39. I saw on the news yesterday that was a major rescue off of Mt. Hamilton Rd. So I just wanted to say “Congratulations ” to the Mayor………….since he likes to credit for everything!  I wonder if the citizens of San Jose realize that during this rescue , 6 different areas of the city went unprotected because of the manpower needed for a rescue .  so for about 4 hours yesterday 1/5 of the city was not protected and the rest of the units were busy beyond comprehension trying to cover the rest of the city. how does that make you feel Mayor??? what would you use as an explanation? what is someones life worth? Obviously not much to you! thanks for decimating our Police and Fire Dept.s. but hey we are getting more low income housing(That We Dont Need) , hiding money for a supposed ballpark , lets not forget the “illegal ballot measure ( that will cost residents millions only to lose in court) and thanks for coming clean about the $650 million dollar(FALSE) deficit. you are and always will be remembered as “The worst Mayor in San Jose History”