A Conversation with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed: Part I

The following is Part I of an interview San Jose Inside editor Josh Koehn had with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed in his City Hall office Friday, Aug. 8. The second half of their conversation will be published next week.

Josh Koehn: What do you think were the political dynamics in neither a general sales tax nor a public safety tax being passed by the council?

Mayor Chuck Reed: First, most people didn’t notice that I managed to get two Republicans to support a tax increase going on the ballot. They were willing to support special tax (for public safety). They weren’t wiling to support a general tax. Needing to get to eight votes made it awfully difficult to do anything. So, the fact that we had bipartisan support for one but not the other is notable. Second, of course, you wonder why the four people who wanted a general tax wouldn’t say, ‘OK, I can't have a general tax, I’ll take the special tax, because it will fund some of the things I think are important.’ That was purely a political move, because the police union—for whatever reason—didn’t want to support, heading into the campaign, they didn’t want to do anything that makes it look like (Sam) Liccardo is doing something good.

What’s the next step then if you’re not going to bring in more revenue through a sales tax measure? How does the San Jose Police Department start bringing more officers back, or at the very least cut off the attrition?

Well, we need more money, but we have a plan that we can do. There is a plan Sam came up with in 2013—

Two hundred more officers.

Two hundred more officers. So we set aside some money in this budget cycle and we dedicated the savings from the second-tier officers for staffing. First, you got to get to full staff. You don’t work [on] expanding until you get to full staffing. And that means we need to increase the recruiting, while at the same time trying to slow down the resignations and the retirements with the pay increases. We’re trying to give them more money, but the police union refuses. …. But we’ve begun to set aside some money to (hire more officers) and I would anticipate in the next budget cycle the mayor is going to try and identify some additional funding sources to build that up, because if you don’t start committing them in small increments you never get to the big increments. … Certainly it would be quicker if you had a tax increase.

What if you said, we’ll take this $2 million and if voters approve, we can take that $2 million to Las Vegas and bet on black one time. Could you actually do that?

I don’t think we would need voter approval to do that. (Laughs)

Let’s take pension reform off the board. If there was one thing you wish you had done, in hindsight, during your time as mayor, what would that be?

The one category we really would have liked to have done more on is data analysis and analytics, the Big Data. We’re 20 years behind New York City. … It’s one of the things we would have preferred to focus on but we had to deal with fiscal problems. That’s one regret. I think there are huge opportunities for efficiencies and better service suing data analysis.

What have you enjoyed more: your time as a councilman or mayor?

My time as mayor, because being mayor is a very different job as a council member. It’s something I didn’t really understand until I was in the office. It’s a completely different mindset. … As a council member I have to focus on my district. I have this issue in front. I vote left or I vote right, whatever, issues as they come by and I don’t have to worry if we get to six votes on Tuesday. I have a different view on the world. But as mayor it’s not just 10 times more people, it’s really 10 times more thinking about the bigger picture things; things that as a council member I never even thought about, or worried about. There’s the state government, federal government, the economy—really it’s a much different level of thinking. How do you move an entire city on one or more of our issues. As a council member you don’t really have the responsibility to think globally. There are many instances where, as the mayor, I’m the only person in a position to look at all of it. The city manager always has to look pretty big, but he’s focused on that part of the organization, the administrative part. Let him handle the administrative part, but still I’ve got to think about it. I also have to think about the political part, relationships with other governments, the economy, what’s happening in China and Japan. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger with things that I never really thought about. And things I had to do whether I liked it or not.

I would think it makes your brain hurt after a long day.

There’s a lot of variables that you have to think about, that you never worry about as a council member.

How do you turn that off then?

I don’t know. (Laughs)

Sometimes stories just stick with me. Little things just irk me. And then I’m just lying awake at night and I’m trying to go to sleep but it’s not happening.

Exercise. Diet and exercise.

How drastic a difference do you think it would be depending if Sam Liccardo is mayor or Dave Cortese is mayor?

(Walks over and grabs a sheet off his desk)

Budget-deficit

 

Dave says he wants to go in a different direction. So those are the choices. The path we’re on is seven years of relatively flat and modest improvements in services. We’re back to cutting services to balance the budget in Dave’s case. Because of his close relationship with public safety unions, I guess they’re going to close libraries and community centers and give all the money to cops and firefighters. I don’t know how he’s planning to do it. We’re on a fiscally sustainable path. There’s not a lot of money there but we can restore services a little bit. It’s drastically different than it was and we paid a very painful price to make this shift, but it would be disastrous to go back. Sam will keep us on a path of fiscal sensibility and David has made some pretty big promises to a lot of people that will be very costly. I think that’s the difference. I like Dave, personally. He was my vice mayor. I got to know him pretty well. Affable guy. But I think he’s made some promises that will be pretty difficult for the city.

Mayor, you probably read all my articles.

I do read a lot of them. Whether it’s all of them I don’t know.

Well, I did write one about getting a parking ticket I didn’t deserve.

It happens.

It was a malfunctioning Smart Meter. And it made me think Mayor Ed Lee, up San Francisco, he gets quite a few tickets. He just kind of parks wherever he wants. And I was curious, in your time as mayor have you ever received any tickets aside from the one that went viral?

I have received two overtime parking tickets for not putting enough money in the meters, I think. Maybe two.

Did you just blow them off?

I paid them. I have the receipts just in case they didn’t process it properly. That’s been it other than the famous one.

What kind of dance did you break out in when you found out Xavier Campos was not re-elected to the council?

I don’t think it has a name. (Laughs) It’ll make no difference to my term, because we’ll both be leaving office at the same time.

Yeah, but I think we can both agree that the city is better off.

It’s an important difference to the next mayor.

It was reported that you recently met with Lew Wolff. Did he tell you in that meeting that he plans to stay in Oakland?

Well, he plans to stay in Oakland until he can move to San Jose.

So, he’s still actually open to it? Because the reports I’ve been reading, he’s meeting with an architect over there.

Lew is still optimistic that the commissioner is going to give him the green light to move to San Jose, and I’m optimistic that the next Circuit Court of Appeals is going to make the commissioner do that. But Lew and his team need a place to play and they’ve got provisions in there that basically would make them continue to pay the rent during the course of the lease, OK, a million dollars a year or something like that. If we can get a new stadium authorized for San Jose, built in San Jose, the A’s will make money in San Jose.  They’re a drag on Major League Baseball now and they’d be profitable here, and Lew recognizes that.

How much longer could the city realistically hold on to that property over there by SAP (Center), for that stadium? Is it beyond five years?

It’s in the Successor Agency, so we have a plan that has to be approved by the state, a property management plan, and the plan is to hold it for future development. We could sit on it for quite some time.

I wouldn’t think you want to (do something), because it is such a good property and the sooner it’s developed the sooner you can start bringing in revenue.

If you want to have a baseball stadium, you probably are going to have to hold on to it for a while. How long could that be? I don’t know. Until people get tired of it. But ultimately you don’t get very many opportunities for something like a baseball team. You have to be prepared for it, and we’ve been working on this a long time. I would say we can hold it indefinitely. What happens though at the end of October or November—I can’t remember exactly—when the option that the A’s have on [the land] expires, so that price and those terms go away unless the option is exercised, which means you’ve got to renegotiate the deal. But depending upon what the state says about our long-range property management plan, there isn’t an outside date on when you’ve got to be done and sold everything.

Who’s the tenant of the Peery Arrillaga site?

Company X. Brand X. They do Brand X.

If it’s Google wiggle your ears.

It’s Brand X.

Brand X is like the worst brand. That’s the brand that they compare to the better detergent.

Just Company X.

OK. When do you think that will be announced?

I don’t know. They’re intending to file lots of plans for the next phase of construction of their buildings. Probably the first of September. But that doesn’t mean they’ll have to put a name on the building.

What advantages are there to not naming the tenant?

Well, I don’t know. I’ve never had that conversation with the tenant. … [Peery Arrillaga] said they don’t want the name out there and I said fine. I wont tell anybody. That’s the only way to keep a secret—not tell anybody. There’s many opportunities for people to decide there’s a project moving and they should get something. … I wish they would [announce the tenant] today. The sooner they get the name out the better. But that’s their call.

Changing gears a little bit, you recently endorsed (Ashley) Swearengin down in Fresno (for state controller). There’s always consistent talk about your political leanings. I wanted to offer you the opportunity to finally admit you voted for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 and even worse you actually thought Mitt Romney had some charisma.

Neither of those is true. Well, charisma is not the right word for Mitt.

Money is the right for word.

There’s an aura.

Yeah, and the aura is the glow of cash.

It’s not charisma.

People continue to challenge if you are truly a Democrat, and I think you told me—in this room—I think you said that you were a Kennedy Democrat?

A John Kennedy Democrat.

A John Kennedy Democrat. Yeah, (not) that hippie Bobby.

I have been around. There was a Kennedy Democrat group and I found out they were all Teddy Kennedy Democrats. There weren’t many John Kennedy democrats in that group. Although the democratic group I am a member of, the Santa Clara County Democratic Club, many of them are Kennedy era Democrats. And older.

Explain that to people. Because when you look at our politics in the South Bay, there are two very distinct brands of Democrats down here. Is that what we’re talking about here when you say Kennedy Democrat?

No, I say Kennedy Democrat because I became part of the Democratic Party because of John Kennedy. And his aspirational goals for the country and what people ought to do was a way of public service. That’s why I joined the Democratic Party. I’m stubborn and I’m not leaving.

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.

35 Comments

  1. “We can’t hire more cops because no one wants to work here, so our solution is to set aside more money to hire cops”

    Cool story bro. Good luck with that.

  2. I’ve read better interviews in jr high school news papers. But then again this rag is run by a bunch of fools.

  3. While taking the city on a path toward fiscal sustainability was a noble, wise and necessary goal, the problem, in my opinion, was Reed’s whole approach. He went about achieving his goal in an almost tyrannical way, and a great deal of what he claims as successes-such as pension reform-are stuck I court or dead in the water. The stadium? Ain’t gonna happen, but you bet some developers are going to make a ton of money anyway. Pension reform? He got a little done there, but the biggest items of measure B have been struck down.

    On his way toward fiscal sustainability he’s demonized his employees and made many of them unhappy to work here, and many have left. He’s decimated public safety. The roads are in horrible condition…I could go on.

  4. Reed’s underlying contempt for City Employees and especially the police come through loud and clear in this interview… Thanks JK for giving folks who believe that he “loves” the cops a glimpse at the real Chuck Reed.

    The way the interview is presented captures the “Liccardo” affect that Reed has adopted these days – you know the feeble attempt at quippy, off the cuff humor , the short shrift , don’t waste the effort to complete the thought because we are all on the same page/speak the same language style… THIS CLOWN NEEDS TO GO AND SOON ISN”T SOON ENOUGH!

    • There is no Honor or integrity In Reed or what he has done to this once proud City . He is a confirmed Liar , cheat and thief . Even when he leaves office , he will still be here in the form of Liccardo (also a confirmed liar and cheat) . This insanely arrogant , elitist man , has done a masterful job of misinforming and misdirecting facts to the public . He put all the problems of the city , on its very workers . Spewing lies of being overpaid and over benefitted , even though he personally approved all increases within at least the last 12 yrs. pensions amount to no more than 10% of San Jose’s TOTAL budget . While the the combined debt of the Airport and RDA is at least $7 Billion Dollars , but its the $250 Million dollar pension debt killing San Jose??? Reed chaired the RDA and lead the push for the waste of monies to the airport. Make no mistake , San Jose will NOT be able to attract and keep the best public safety candidates until measure B is Fixed . Simply throwing money at the issue , will not solve the problem . The best qualified people DO NOT WANT TO WORK IN OR FOR SAN JOSE , ESPECIALLY UNDER THE REED/LICCARDO REGIME.

  5. This interview was nothing more than a campaign push for Sam for mayor. SJI is just a spin off of the Mercky News. But it did give more incentive to Vote for Dave.

  6. Reed has been the worst mayor in the history of San Jose, if people want more of the same incompetence vote for Liccardo as your next mayor.

  7. typical reed – disingenuous……why was he adamant about no tax increases or increases in service fees at the beginning of his push for measure B, he has turned into one of the worst political hacks in san jose history

  8. this mayor seems to glance over the fact that it’s not just police and fire, but city management, water,communications, and many other city departments that are leaving in droves because of the poilicys he and liccardo have put in place. He seems to blame all the citys money problems on the pension issue, but what about the billions on the airport, half a billion on city hall, millions on the convention center, not to mention his RDA debt. Yea, blame the Police Union for everything… same old story, nothing new here, move on folks..

    • Because he doesn’t want the public to see the truth . That he , Mayor Reed has destroyed this city and its work force . There is absolutely nothing that is better today , because of Reed . Everything is worse.

  9. “Well, we need more money, but we have a plan that we can do. There is a plan Sam came up with in 2013—two hundred more officers. So we set aside some money in this budget cycle and we dedicated the savings from the second-tier officers for staffing. First, you got to get to full staff. You don’t work [on] expanding until you get to full staffing. And that means we need to increase the recruiting, while at the same time trying to slow down the resignations and the retirements with the pay increases. We’re trying to give them more money, but the police union refuses.”

    What an unmitigated and total bunch of nonsense. Sam could have a plan to hire a thousand officers, yet the SJPD is continues losing many more officers than they can hire. Measure B has been a disaster, of which Reed and Liccardo were the authors. Don’t look at the plans and promises, look at the results and the damage of what they have done.

  10. About the sales tax increase the mayor of the 10th largest city in the nation wants us to believe the council vote was the work of the police union? Absurd. First of all, the police association is not a union, which means its influence begins and ends with it own political and financial capital, of which its cupboards are bare. With the manpower cut by a third, the troops demoralized and marching toward the exit sign, the POA’s only political capital is the public’s concern about crime, and its only cash is being spent on lawyers. No, the sales tax vote failure was directly related to a dearth of leadership — by the mayor. His bungling of that issue is consistent with the entirety of his administration.

    Next he mentions the need to hire cops but skips right over the city’s recent, colossal failures in that effort, as if there is no connection between the solutions he offers and the facts on the ground. And in this, for once, the man is right. He is either delusional or a compulsive liar.

    Reed says if Cortese is elected he’ll “give all the money to cops and firefighters,” — money he elsewhere claims he’s trying to give them but the police union is refusing. But if he thinks it proper to give them more money now, how does he explain his opposition to Cortese doing it in the future? This guy needs to forget buying vowels and work on solving the puzzle in his own brain.

    Lastly, in regard to the valuable real estate now in ball park limbo, Reed says the city can hold it indefinitely, which means it can go without its cash value and tax revenue stream forever. And here I thought the city was in dire financial straits.

    • Should the minority San Jose voters who believe the lies that emanate from City Hall vote for the minnion LIccardo, all San Jose residents will pay for this monumental mistake in future decades to come.

  11. Can we move on! The more I read about the OAKLAND A’S, and Reed and Sam Licardo, the more I am getting to miss George Shirikawa. At least George got the P Cards straigtened out.
    JMO, where the hell are you when we need your kind of bamboozle enlightenment..

  12. You really should turn in your journalism credentials for this feeble attempt at an interview. Hopefully part II next week will be better.

    Maybe you can clarify what Reed meant by Big Data. He wishes that he had more time for data analysis and analytics. Of what? What does this mean? The reader is left to assume that Reed wanted much more analysis regarding the effects of the State shutting down the City’s $3 – 3.5 billion Redevelopment Agency, which led to the disastrously near collapse of the City’s General Fund in 2011 to cover bond obligations that couldn’t be covered by the RDA, due to the huge drop in property values, and the resultant loss of the property tax increment or REVENUE, to the RDA that would normally have been used to cover those obligations.

    The only way to cover those unplanned, but now on-going expenses, would be to make more room on the General Fund budget. The single biggest use of GF monies is employee expenses, which is normal, but those needed to be cut immediately.

    So if this is what Reed referred to as wanting Big Data, and the need for much more data analysis, then I agree, that crisis in 2011 really required more analysis, and time, which would have allowed the City to make better decisions on how to proceed.

    Instead our local media stood mostly silent, for reasons unknown (complexity of topic perhaps, or something else?) and allowed this Mayor and council to spin that crisis as having been caused solely by City employee costs, which was ultimately causing degraded service to San Jose residents, in the form of closed libraries, poor streets, and the usual list of other shortcomings.

    • Yup , Reeds fabled IBM report has SJPD at its “Optimal number of Officers ” right now , Hows that working out ?

  13. Having only lived in San Jose for a year, I can’t speak to Reed’s long term plans, but this situation with the police is ridiculous. The crime rates in San Jose have risen substantially, we’ve lost a third of an already small police force and Reed seems to live in some delusional dream land thinking that pay raises, that are mostly sucked up in obscene California taxes, are an effective means of hiring and stopping attrition, which has already proven to be false. One more politician using double speak and misinformation to cover his colossal failures.

  14. Mayor Reed is at least partly blaming the San Jose Police Officer’s Association (comprised of almost all of the San Jose police officers) for himself and the city council incompetence in getting a sales tax initiative of some sort on the ballot? The sales tax initiative they paid tens of thousands of dollars to a pollster to find out had 65-70% of the support of those polled? Hey Mayor Reed, maybe if you and the city council did not take off the entire month of July, you all could have come to a decision to get this on the ballot. Instead you waited to the latest possible council meeting it could be heard at, and failing to come to a compromise, failed to get it on the ballot. In other words you failed the citizens of this city, and further compromised public safety, both to the citizens, and to the police and fire personnel. Maybe the city council should meet more often, instead of taking political junkets to Copenhagen and Hawaii. Our police department has less than 1/2 the officers it should have for a million people. The police department has been perennially hundreds of officers short for decades, and thus saved the city hundreds of millions of dollars. Our officers have 24% of their gross pay deducted and put right back into their own retirement system (other departments in this area range from 0-11%). Officers took a 10% TOTAL compensation cut, and come July of 2015 will be making the same as they were making in 2009. Patrol officers are working themselves to the bone, and a great deal of them are sleep deprived, fatigued, and under a great deal of stress. Mayor Reed, you should read the copious studies that have been done on the health and mental effects of sleep deprivation and constant stress on police officers, and how destructive it is. Officers are breaking down physically, yet you have also gutted the disability safety net. You and your cronies on the city council have done a masterful job at gaming the system, no doubt of that. The investigative units have been cut to almost nothing in some units, and those officers are working many extra to work cases, and are also now working patrol as well. The traffic/motorcycle unit, directly responsible for saving lives by enforcing traffic laws, is apparently on the chopping block. All this, yet you continue to blame the police officers for the woes of this city. You never mention the billions owed for redevelopment, the airport, or the half billion dollar city hall, etc etc, and all the tens of millions that you have forgiven real estate developers from paying, or the millions you have paid for a ballpark that looks like it will never be built.

    • Lets NOT forget that the POA and Local 230 both came to terms with Shikada, and Reed and his Regime vetoed the agreement

      • Just so some of the other readers can better understand your comment Disgusted, I’ll clarify.

        Ed Shikada (SJ City Manager) and someone from the city attorneys office sat down with both the SJPOA and Local 230 (SJFD) for many meetings for months.. I believe close to 6 months. They NEGOTIATED comprehensive fixes for the issues in Measure B which continue to proliferate the public safety crisis. Rick Doyle and Ed Shikada, arguably the two people who have to clean up the city council and Mayor gReed’s jungle gym and sand boxes, BOTH KNOW THIS IS A CRISIS THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED!!

        When said “comprehensive fixes” were brought forth to the council, they were immediately dead in the water, hijacked, had their slates wiped, and turned into a terse sh*t storm of legalese which boiled down to a big protruding middle finger at the cops & fire fighters.

  15. Journalists writing about San Jose always fail to ask our leaders why San Jose does such a poor job on the income side of the ledger. According to a recent presentation by our city manager, San Jose’s sales tax income is $137 per capita while all the surrounding cities do much better with Palo Alto topping the chart at $366 per capita. Same with property tax income. San Jose’s jobs ratio is also the worst with 86 jobs per 100 residents while Palo Alto again tops the chart with 290 jobs per 100 residents.

    The bottom line: San Jose is poorly managed from top to bottom. Too many bad developer friendly planning decisions have left San Jose as the only city in the region without the economic base to pay for basic police and fire services.

    • And in the last 8 years, what has this alleged leadership group of the Mayor and council done to correct this? That should be a question for the Mayor in part II. Not what are they planning to do later, but what have they done? Or are they kicking the can down the road, as this mayor has said we should never do?

    • Hmmmm….perhaps the Merky News inept journalists will read these facts and publicize them so the residents can intelligently decide who to vote for in the upcoming elections. Perhaps NBC Investigates will check on these facts and report them…..

  16. Kohen should be ashamed of that interview, truly ashamed. No tough questions were asked and Koehn failed to challenge Reed on any of his ridiculous statements. Most glaringly, Reed was not asked to explain how he expects to return SJPD to full staffing when so many officers continue to leave because of the effects of Measure B? We’re on a path of seven years of “modest improvements” to services? Really? How can this be when SJPD continues to cut units and other city departments are at bare bones staffing levels? The tone of this “interview” suggests that Koehn may have actually been giving Reed a neck rub while throwing out his soft ball questions. Disgusting.

  17. Mayor Reed,

    Here is just one of hundreds of scholarly articles on the effects of constant chronic sleep deprivation, fatigue, and stress on police officers, and the damage it does to their minds and bodies.This perfectly describes what the officers at SJPD are going through on a daily basis, due to your policies causing the SJPD to be at less than half of what their staffing should be. Please quit blaming the officers of the SJPD for the woes of this city.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926105029.htm

  18. It’s next week, Josh. Where is Part II? Or, was the response decrying the cream puff quality of Part I sufficient to convince you to table Part II, as Mike Honda has apparently tabled debates?

  19. Back with a Galactic Vengence
    by Bob Brownstein
    jumping fishv2 copy
    The Whopper of the Week is back. I admit one reason I’ve returned to the Left Hook is that San Jose Inside’s interview with Mayor Chuck Reed provided such an irresistible target.

    First, let’s check out the whoppers in the Mayor’s discussion of the City Council’s deadlock on the sales tax issue. Chuck and 5 Councilmembers including Republicans Constant and Khamis voted for a special tax. Four relatively liberal Democrats voted for a General Tax. What political dynamics, the Mayor was asked, explain the deadlock?

    “Needing to get to eight votes made it difficult to do anything,” Reed commented. But he also emphasized he had managed to get the two Republicans to agree to some kind of tax. Simple arithmetic reveals the whopper here. Without the two GOPer’s, there were 4 Democrats, including Reed. who could have voted for the General Tax. Add those 4 to the 4 who originally supported the General Tax and you get 8, the magic number. Essentially, Reed is saying he deliberately gave up the votes of the 4 General Tax Democrats to pick up the two Republican votes, and then he blames the inevitable failure on his inability to get to 8. Either Reed chose a strategy designed to fail or he really believes 4 plus 2 equals 8?

    But wait.

    The Mayor wonders why the four councilmembers who genuinely wanted the General Tax wouldn’t just go along and vote for the Special one. Maybe they read the memo that Reed, Liccardo, Constant and Herrara submitted. This is some of the language that the four would have had to agree to:

    “Passage of a general tax does little to address our residents’ needs.” This statement is preposterous and untrue. Most of the city’s current revenues are General Tax revenues. If those revenues are providing useful services, why would additional general tax revenues suddenly be of little value?

    “Our taxpayers have no assurance that additional revenue from a General Tax will actually improve police or fire services as opposed to paying for more government bureaucracy.” This statement is phony and misleading. Even a Special Tax will pay for clerks, administrators, secretaries, finance staff and managers (aka bureaucracy).

    “…we refuse to authorize any potential ‘bait and switch’ on voters by having them impose a higher sales tax on themselves, only to see the new revenues used to justify a rollback of pension reform.” In other words, the city budget should be kept unnecessarily tight to avoid having the voters decide they really can afford the modifications of Measure B that will lead to recruiting more cops and reducing crime.

    Think about the tone of the above statements. Would anyone have put them in a memo if they actually wanted supporters of a General Tax to join them in a compromise?

    Secondly, let’s review Reed’s comments on the race to succeed him. The Mayor says of Dave Cortese – “Because of his close relationship with public safety unions, I guess they’re going to close libraries and community centers and give all the money to cops and firefighters.” This accusation is made right after Cortese supported the General Tax proposal in San Jose – the proposal that would allow new revenue to be spent on libraries and community centers as well as public safety. At the same time Reed backed the Special Tax – which would allow none of the new $35 million to be spent on libraries or community centers or anything but public safety. Moreover, if another recession and budget shortfall were to occur, the requirements of a Public Safety Special Tax would politically and/or legally (depending on ballot language) direct budget cuts away from cops and firefighters and overwhelmingly towards other services (libraries and community centers).

    Josh Koehn from Metro listened to this galactic whopper. His outraged follow-up question is listed below. (Hint – don’t bother reaching for a magnifying glass. You still won’t find it.)

    Bob Brownstein is Director of Policy and Research for Working Partnerships USA

  20. This Mayor is an idiot!!! This interview solidifies his stupidity. I think Chuck Reed is up there with the most selfish politicians I have ever known. The decisions he has made for this city has been solely based on himself and not of others. And the sad part is, is that He doesn’t even care. Cant wait for this waste of a city leader to leave!!!