Supervisor Mike Wasserman Prefers Status Quo, Rural/Metro

Mike Wasserman’s special brand of milquetoast conservatism has made him the Ray Romano of local politics. He’s beloved for his affable nature, frequent banquet and ribbon-cutting attendance and unwavering commitment to ensuring no boat is rocked unless steady to sleep. But in his quarterly meeting earlier this month with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the president of the county Board of Supervisors made a surprisingly spineless admission. Wasserman, who was joined on the call by his chief of staff John Gibbs and Reed’s right-hand-man Pete Furman, indicated to the mayor that he has no plans to put the county’s ambulance contract out for bid, despite some blood-red flags being raised about EMT provider Rural/Metro. Gibbs told Fly that the Wusserman has “been pleased with the performance of Rural/Metro” ever since it stopped arriving late to the scene of emergencies. He did not mention the supervisor’s feelings about Rural/Metro’s recent bankruptcy filings, or ex-Supervisor George Shirakawa’s still unexplained 2009 “From Dusk till Dawn” adventures down by the Mexican border with the company before casting a deciding vote in favor of the contract, or that the FBI was investigating Rural/Metro just this last year. Gibbs hedged by saying that Wasserman, who voted in favor of the original contract, could always change his mind by early September, when county staff is expected to present its recommendation on whether to stick with Rural/Metro. County executive Jeff Smith admitted to Fly that Santa Clara pays far less for ambulance services than neighboring counties, and the company signed a contract that goes against its own interest. Rural/Metro has been losing millions due to strict penalties assessed. Apparently, some county officials now feel bad for Rural/Metro. But Smith doesn’t seem to be one of them. “We have no obligation or great interest in making sure anybody makes a profit,” he said, “but on the other hand we’re quite concerned that if we have an ambulance service that is financially unstable there’s a risk that it could be operationally unstable.”

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5 Comments

  1. > He’s beloved for his affable nature, …

    > the president of the county Board of Supervisors made a surprisingly spineless admission. Wasserman, … indicated to the mayor that he has no plans to put the county’s ambulance contract out for bid,

    This is a really weird story.

    “Nice guy admits to not doing anything.”

    So, this story is more significant to the local community than the local political elites colluding with human traffickers and smuggling illegal alien children into the city and dumping them on the overburdened foster care system? And then hiding it all from the public?

  2. “…Gibbs told Fly that the Wusserman…” Since “a” and “u” are not close to each other on the keyboard, may we conclude this was neither Freudian slip nor a typo?

    • This is very typical the “edgy/hip/avant-garde journalism” SJI/Metro prides itself in. Be careful not ro call the editors out on the “standard” or you (as many of us can attest) will find your comments don’t appear on the page. That Fly is just a level or two above JR when it comes to snark.

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