Don Rocha has oftentimes been the decisive swing vote on the San Jose City Council these last four years, showing a willingness to break ranks with labor supporters over pension reform at the behest of his constituents. While he demurred early in his first term, citing a lack of experience, he has grown into the job and become one of the more interesting councilmembers.
Rocha’s memos of late have exhibited a nuance and sophistication that would have seemed far-fetched just a couple years ago. He is correct that Measure B should be tweaked and he’s articulated these points better than just about everyone.
His challenger, family therapist Lois Wilco-Owens, has taken a strong stand against increasing municipal taxes, which admittedly is a revenue crutch for officials who lack imagination. But the incumbent has shown nothing that warrants removal from the council.
Rocha said repeatedly last year that he was unsure if he would run for re-election, and while we never expected him to follow through on such statements, his dissatisfaction has translated into a willingness to challenge colleagues. It’s a welcome development. Too many elected officials would rather congratulate one another than debate the issues with vigor.
We’ve poked fun at his modeling gigs, but Rocha has proven to be more than just a pretty face. His impatience for political games appears genuine.