Cortese Disputes Latest Ethics Complaint by Liccardo Campaign

Less than four weeks to Election Day, San Jose’s political point scoring mechanism is in full swing. Sam Liccardo’s mayoral campaign sent an email blast Thursday announcing it had filed another ethics complaint against opponent Dave Cortese.

In the email, Liccardo campaign manager Ragan Henninger accuses Cortese, a county supervisor, of using up to $7,500 in taxpayer money to fund a Mercury News advertisement for the 5th Annual “Day on the Bay” event, which will be held Oct. 12 at Alviso Marina County Park. The complaint, which describes the event as a "rally," has been filed with the City Clerk's office and county counsel Orry Korb.

There could be a couple issues with the new complaint, though.

Cortese’s office tells San Jose Inside that the ad cost closer to $6,000, and it was paid entirely by sponsors and a grant from the county Parks department—not Cortese's office funds. The supervisor’s office also says the annual event—which will feature free kayak rides and barbecue, and informational booths doing outreach—is no different from the community bashes Cortese has put on the last several years, as well as during his time as a San Jose council member.

Liccardo’s campaign seems unconvinced, however, saying the event is designed, “no doubt, (for) a rousing speech from mayoral candidate Dave Cortese.”

“This is a clear misuse of taxpayer dollars made by a politician who has a history of breaking the rules to try to advance his own career,” Henninger said in a statement.

Last month, Cortese’s campaign came under scrutiny for fundraising violations based on city campaign rules. He returned $10,000 in contributions after it was found that he had received money before filing the necessary paperwork for the runoff.

Cortese’s office tells San Jose Inside that the Merc ad ran in just three of the newpaper’s circulation zones, meaning not all readers across the city would see the ad. The office does admit that there could be some costs associated with the printing of programs for the event, but it maintains that donors, the Parks department and even the supervisor himself cover all other costs. Staff also says that Cortese’s speech will be a simple welcome and thank you to donors, rather than anything resembling a campaign speech.

The latest complaint is not an entirely new gripe against Cortese. As noted a little less than year ago, his critics have seen the Day on the Bay event as free advertising for his political ambitions. San Jose Inside noted the issue in a story published Oct. 16, 2013:

Word is county Supervisor Dave Cortese will announce his plans to run for mayor in the next three weeks, but some might have thought he was already running based on signage seen around town. Thirty banners were posted around the county advertising the recent “Day on the Bay” multicultural festival, held at Alviso Marina County Park. Considering Cortese’s name and title were written much larger than any other words, it looked like a little pre-branding was taking place. Cortese’s office said small business sponsors and donations paid a total of $2,700 for the signs. “We’ve been using the same banners for four years, adding a few each year,” said a spokesperson for Cortese. “We just change the date.”

Neither Cortese nor Henninger immediately returned calls for comment on the new complaint.

Below is the email blast sent out by Liccardo's campaign:

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST CORTESE FOR USING TAX DOLLARS TO FUND RALLY

Cortese, who recently faced a city lawsuit for another campaign violation, spent up to $7,500 taxpayer dollars advertising a rally

San José – Santa Clara County Supervisor and candidate for mayor Dave Cortese spent up to $7,500 taxpayer dollars advertising a rally on the front page of the October 6 edition of the Mercury News. The event will feature free kayak rides, free barbeque and, no doubt, a rousing speech from mayoral candidate Dave Cortese. The Liccardo campaign is calling on Cortese, who has already benefited from more than half a million dollars of special interest money, to return the money to the taxpayers and pay for his campaign advertising out of his campaign budget. A complaint was filed today with the San Jose City Clerk and the Santa Clara County Counsel.

This is a clear misuse of taxpayer dollars made by a politician who has a history of breaking the rules to try to advance his own career,” said Liccardo Campaign Manager Ragan Henninger. “In just the past few months, Cortese has broken the law by inappropriately collecting campaign contributions he was forced to return and sent out campaign emails from the same email address he uses for official business. These aren’t frivolous violations – the city launched a lawsuit into Cortese’s activities and they are part of a pattern of breaking the law for his own gain.”

Section A3-50 of the Santa Clara County Code of Ordinances states that “Existing California law prohibits the use of public resources for personal gain” and that “Existing California law prohibits the use of public resources to advocate the passage or defeat of any candidate or measure.” The full section can be read here:

Sec. A3-50. Prohibitions against use of office for personal or campaign purposes.

(a)       Existing California law prohibits the use of public resources for personal gain.

(b)       Existing California law prohibits the use of public resources to advocate the passage or defeat of any candidate or measure.

(c)       Existing California law restricts the use of mass mailings by public officials.

(d)       In addition to the foregoing prohibitions, it is a violation of this chapter for any Board member to

(1) Use, for personal gain or advantage, County facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel or other things of value; or

(2) Use the office to secure, for personal benefit, gifts, special privileges or exemptions.

(Ord. No. NS-19.30.4, § 1, 9-23-97)

“Dave Cortese has already benefitted from more than half a million dollars of special interest money – it’s completely inappropriate for him to use taxpayer dollars to stage this kind of event,” Henninger said. “We’re calling on him to return the money to the taxpayers and pay for his rally out of his campaign budget.”

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.

84 Comments

      • Actually it says NO SUCH THING! What it does say is that you’re reporting that it’s ok to break the law as long as it doesn’t go over a set amount that YOU think it should be. In other words, IT’S OK TO BREAK THE RULES according to Sham Liccardo and his team of imbeciles and backed up by your publication to the hilt because you’re in the bag for this clown.

      • It’s called good reporting. Just because Josh doesn’t kiss Cindy’s ring, it doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, actually just the opposite.

  1. Wow, just like the Chuck way, Sam is trying to dig up so much dirt. Thank you SJI and Mercky news.

    Josh I really thought you were better than this.

    Vote Dave for a better San Jose.

    Are we going to see the same ole thing up to election day?

    • “Wow, just like the Chuck way, Sam is trying to dig up so much dirt.”

      It’s the “lawyer’s game”. Smoke, mirrors and deflect. liccardo, I was going to tell you to clean up your district but then I realized that you will be out of office, soon, so no need to bother. Where does the time go? Looking forward to your replacement. Hope he comes in and shows you how a REAL councilman takes care of his district.

  2. Actually I do not blame Sam, he is a flat out liar, but I am so disappointed in SJI for false posting information, your true colors have come through. Hope to see you soon Josh on the Merky news editorial page.

    • Retired,

      Whether you like it or not, one campaign accusing another of violations and making a formal complaint is news. Both sides were given a chance to comment. Cortese’s office said that no taxpayer money was spent on advertising the event, which could very well mean it’s a baseless complaint.

      JK

      • Josh,
        I don’t think it is so much that you are publishing articles regarding this, but more that SJI has been very one sided in choosing what to publish, and which mayoral candidate to put in a positive light and which to put in a negative light. There is plenty both positive and negative to put out about each candidate, yes we only hear the positive about one and the negative about the other, and gives the appearance of your objectivity as being compromised. This is what is killing the Mercury; their lack of objective reporting, and frankly their omissions in not publishing articles on important issues, because it would negatively impact their agenda.

        • That is my primary objection as well. With the MN having completely abandoned the principles of journalism, I held out hope that SJI would provide the objectivity to somewhat counter-balance the MN’s blatant bias. Instead, we seem to be getting more of the same here. I’ll point out two obvious examples.

          Whether one believes that the drastic reforms of Measure B were needed or not, there can be no disputing that the policies of Reed and Liccardo have driven hundreds of police officers away from SJPD and have severely hampered the department’s ability to hire and retain new officers. That is simply fact, not opinion. Yet the MN and SJI allow Liccardo’s ridiculous campaign lie that his policies will result in increased public safety and restoring police staffing to go unchallenged. Given that public safety is acknowledged by both sides to be the #1 campaign issue, this failure to seriously challenge Liccardo’s outlandish claims is a violation of the public trust which goes hand-in-hand with the Freedom of The Press.

          Further, where is the story about how Reed and Liccardo went forward with Measure B despite the fact that existing legal authority made it clear that the most significant portions of its pension reform had little chance of surviving the court challenge? This fact is especially relevant given the fact that San Jose is now on the hook for millions more in plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees, all because of Reed and Liccardo’s arrogant approach to this important issue. I knew that the MN would never take a hard look at Liccardo’s cynical attempt to fool the public. I held out hope that SJI might. It looks like it was false hope.

          • Josh, take their critique with a grain of salt – these are the same people that cite Daily Fetch articles as gospel!

          • SJC,
            Please name one Daily Fetch article I ever cited, that was not backed up by a link to an independent source. I anxiously await your response, which will never come, because I never have, you liar.

          • Pete: I am with Cortese and not with Liccardo. I also support law enforcement and leaving public pensions intact. Hard working officers need incentives to keep working hard. However, Cortese’s repeated references to diminished public safety are starting to look insincere — quite frankly. In general, crime is down. Homicides are way down from last year. And overall, San Jose is still a fairly safe city. We must acknowledge that if we are going to look honest. There is no clear and immediate correlation between law enforcement compensation and crime rates. The factors influencing crime rates are complex and multivaried. So I am not sure law enforcement pensions are a “public safety” issue. They are a fairness issue. That’s how I think Cortese needs to pitch it.

  3. It’s gotten to the point that no matter which lizard wins the mayoral run-off vote, the citizens and taxpayers of San Jose will be screwed.

    I’m putting my vote in a lockbox.

    If there is any way I can write in Sarah Palin, Clint Eastwood, or Sheriff Joe Arpaio, I’m going for it.

    Obama can have his dreams (like the “Dreamers” who beat up people in the restroom are 49er games).

    I have my dreams. I dream of a grinning trial lawyer and a sleazy union fixer wearing pink underwear, eating bologna sandwiches, and busting rocks in the hot sun.

    • With your latest running theme that you will be withholding your vote from the SJ Mayoral race I am beginning to wonder if you are “withholding” because you really can’t support either or aren’t a resident or if a resident of SJ somehow ineligible to vote….

      Anyone who has ever voted knows that it is possible to “write in” any name/ anything one chooses on the ballot.

      • Mr. Wheedle:

        Wonder no more. I am a fully taxed and regulated legal citizen of San Jose (but who knows what “legal citizen” means anymore.

        And, FYI, only hardcore political junkies (e. g., you) think that voting for one problematic “Progressive Democrat” over another problematic “Progressive Democrat” is normal and somehow related to constitutional self-government.

        A great many “eligible voters” (usually a majority) keep their votes in their personal lockboxes.

        Whichever candidate wins, it will undoubtedly be four years of unrelenting “political correctness”: help the homeless … affordable housing … diversity … diversity … diversity … women and minorities hardest hit … outreach to this group … outreach to that group … homophobia … xenophobia … guns are dangerous … guns kill people … make the rich pay their fair share … fight global warming … get people out of their cars … transit villages … blah … blah … blah….

        We’ve seen this movie before.

        • One good thing about reading Anthony’s comments. They always make me feel a little less gloomy about the prospect of a mass extinction event.

          • oh brother, don’t tell me you are one of those doomsday preppers lol some people just think a little too hard hahaha

  4. liccardo is starting to look really petty. Voters will notice this because it is becoming tiresome and we/they will began to ignore. You can tell that he is so afraid of losing he has to try to find any grain of dirt. Just anything. In a way it’s funny and then again it’s sad, as in pitiful. No matter what you come up with, liccardo, you’re going to lose. Voters want their city back. Watch and see.

    • Ironic that Liccardo, who is riding puppet master Reed’s coattails for “transparency”, is so afraid of dissenting opinions that he deletes even well written negative comments, then bans those making the comments, from his Liccardo for Mayor Facebook page. If this guy is so thin skinned and insecure that he can’t respond to negative comments, and maybe turn them into positives for his position, and actually bans that person from further comment, that does not bode well for him being an open minded leader who is willing to listen to all sides of an argument. It does indicate someone who is petty and vindictive, and would be a very polarizing leader, ie more of the same.

  5. I saw Liccardo as a rising star. Then he got involved with the A’s litigation. Down town became a festering drug hiphop location for the bayarea..
    Downtown became a place where urination was a way for the visitors into downtown was a way of life after hours.
    The guy that endorsed him, Mayor Reed , did as much as George Shirikawa. Now a 2 term mayor, When do we as the public began to say , Enough!!!!
    With all of the ball players being struck out of the league for abuse, why did we allow Gonzo to surface after what he shamelessly did as a leader of Silicon Valley.
    The merc and the Metro have given up any leadership after the support of RO, and the critisisum of our humanitarian, Mike Honda.

  6. I have to admit I am very distressed by some of Mr. Liccardo’s actions. I am leaning towards Mr. Cortese. I really wish a civil / criminal grand jury would be convened to look into some of the activities of this council and of this mayor.

    • Brian, as you talk about criminal grand jury’s. what are your thoughts about Cortese’s endorsement of 5th Amendment Xavier Campos for reelection….a corrupt politician who couldn’t even make a runoff in his district he was so corrupt and not only does Cortese endorse him…….he has Xavier campaign for him.

      • SJC….Did you know that Xavier Campos is also responsible for starting the Ebola epidemic, and Dave Cortese knew and didn’t tell anyone? Your fixation on Xavier Campos is bizarre. Almost every one of your posts contains Xavier Campos.

        Brian, I totally agree a grand jury needs to be set in motion to investigate this mayor and most of the council. They will be politically influenced, of course, but it still should be done. If we had an unbiased news source that did their job, this would not be necessary, but the Mercury is politically deep in bed with those in office, and can no longer be trusted to uphold their journalistic integrity.

  7. I have noticed two large blue banners announcing Mr. Cortese’s appearance for several weeks. The two I saw were attached to a fence at Curtner and Old Almaden Road above Guadalupe Creek, and the Meridian Avenue crossing over Ross Creek. According to SJI, there are 30 of these banners placed throughout the County. Josh Koehn wrote above: “Cortese’s office tells San Jose Inside that the ad cost closer to $6,000, and it was paid entirely by sponsors and a grant from the county Parks department.” Why is the County Parks Dept. paying for ads for Mr. Cortese? Both of the creeks are public property, so the fences enclosing them at the two locations I have seen must be public property as well. My recollection is that it is illegal to post such signs on public property. So, how has Cortese gotten away with it for at least the last five years without a peep from anyone?? Shades of Shirakawa.

    • Why is the County Parks Department paying for ads for Mr. Cortese?
      Because our local government has become a growth industry that is more devoted to serving itself than serving the public.
      County Parks “grants” funds to County Supervisor.
      County Supervisor supports higher pay for County Parks employees.
      Public oblivious.
      Racket thrives.

    • I would also ask why is the City of San Jose making direct contributions to the San Jose Chamber of Commerce with taxpayer money who then in turn funnels it to the Liccardo campaign?

      All I have ever heard from SJI and the Mercury on this issue are crickets

      • On the one hand we have the Cortese campaign which stands for government devoted to serving the government.
        On the other hand there’s the Liccardo campaign standing for government devoted to serving corporations and developers.
        And in this land of diverse, enlightened “progressives” there’s no more than a smattering of voters who give a s**t about integrity in government.

      • And how the legal consultants to Reed, such as Joe Crotchet, receive City money for their services (no matter how poorly they perform them) and then turn around and donate large portions of it back to Liccardo. Landing a lucrative City contract seems to be the vehicle in which to move taxpayer money out of the City and into the candidate’s campaign.

  8. A recent campaign piece from Mr. Cortese arrived at my home the other day. It features a graph of the number of SJPD officers from 2006-2014. In mid 2006 there were about 1400 officers. Starting mid-2008 the drop began. It hit 1300 in late 2009, 1200 in late 2010, and 1100 in mid-2011. When Measure B passed in June 2012 it was around 1080, according to Mr. Cortese’s graph. So, the SJPD ranks were reduced by 380 BEFORE measure B passed and only about 180 since Measure B passed, according to Mr. Cortese’s graph on his campaign piece, despite the best efforts of Jim Unland and the SJPOA to discourage academy graduates from joining SJPD.

    • Only 180? Is that all? First of all, that is obviously an extremely large number and includes numerous recent academy graduates, all of whom couldn’t envision staying in San Jose under the conditions created by Reed and Liccardo. Leaving with them was the $180,000 the city paid to train each one. Further, many officers left in the two years leading up to the passage of Measure B because they saw the handwriting on the wall.

      Almost all of the officers who left prior to Reed signaling his intentions left by way of retirement. No hiring was happening during this time. I believe SJPD went about two years with out a police academy. Prior to the policies of Reed and Liccardo, it was unheard of for a SJPD officer to leave the department for another local agency. To the contrary, numerous officers chose to come to SJPD from other agencies. Reed and Liccardo changed all of that.

      Also keep in mind that, if Liccardo is elected, what has come before will pale in comparison to what follows. For another few hundred officers, this election will determine their future. They’ve been waiting to see what will happen. If Liccardo wins, they’ll know there is no hope and no reason to stay. Despite his bogus campaign claims, a Liccardo win would be disastrous for SJPD and public safety.

    • Mr. O’Connor,

      What you’ve failed to realize is that Measures V&W had been being rumored since roughly 2009, then passed in 2010. These measures were extremely divisive and all SJPD officers knew they were a power grab to set the stage for Measure B. Retirements, (as Pete Malloy stated) accounted for a large chunk of the attrition you read about in the mailer. Keep in mind, from late 2009-late 2012, there was no hiring going on.

      Following a 2008 memo from former Chief Rob Davis, which set forth a Five Year Staffing Plan to increase the department to roughly 1,800 sworn officers, (go look it up) the city chose to ignore his recommendations and, in the years that followed, they allowed the SJPD southern substation to be completed and sit vacant.

      I do acknowledge, the economy was already poised to take a nose dive, and there wasn’t much that could be done to avert that course, but Mr. O’Connor, the nail in the coffin to SJPD staffing was swiftly delivered upon the city deciding to lay off roughly 60 officers in 2011. This was completely unnecessary. This was evident by the city’s turn around, less than 6 months later, offering all of the 60 their jobs back (roughly 30 refused the offer). Deb Figone even acknowledged that the city could have tapped a small amount of its emergency reserves, but she did not feel it was warranted. What Deb found out was, this was possibly the most serious managerial gaffe of her entire career. The flood gates proceeded to burst at the seams and were nearly ripped from the hinges and swept to sea.

      Mr. O’Connor – I assure you, if Sam is elected, a second mass exodus will ensue. If anyone believes the status quo is bad, prepare for a complete melt down if Sam takes office.

    • I personally know a number of SJPD officers who left after Measures V and W were passed specifically *because* those measures were passed. They saw the writing on the wall. Still more left after Measure B was proposed and placed on the ballot. I personally spoke with many of them and they left because they believed there was a high likelihood that Measure B would be passed. They, too saw the writing on the wall. Furthermore, the graph only tells a part of the story. The more complete story would disclose how many officers retired earlier than they would otherwise have intended prior to Measures V,W, or B. That story would disclose how many officers left SJPD to work for other agencies or to work in the private sector after the passage of these measures. The story would also examine how the recruiting for and retention in the most recent academies held: how many have were hired vs. available positions in the academy, what percentage graduated and made it through the Field Training Program, how many from each academy remain after a year? Two years?

  9. To SJC above, because there is no reply button under your comment, the fact that The Daily Fetch has to be cited at all proves my point. Sadly, it’s the only place that much of the truth can be found, which is a telling indictment of the other, more prominent, “news” sources. Also, you never address the truth of what is cited there; you only deride the source of the truth. And when it comes to the truth of why so many SJPD officers have left, and what will happen if Liccardo becomes the next mayor, I don’t need a source. I work there and see the repercussions of what Reed and Liccardo have done every day. I work with the young officers who will be leaving if he wins. I know what has happened to a once great organization and the further devastation that awaits. All of this makes the fact that Liccardo’s lies go unchallenged especially galling.

    • > And when it comes to the truth of why so many SJPD officers have left, and what will happen if Liccardo becomes the next mayor, I don’t need a source. I work there and see the repercussions of what Reed and Liccardo have done every day.

      So, all the police union hottentots will leave if:

      A. They don’t get their big retirement pensions;
      B. LIccardo is elected;
      C. All of the above.

      Got it!

      It’s amazing how lucky San Jose has been. ALL of the people good enough to be San Jose Police officer just happened to be already working for San Jose.

      If we don’t pay them what they think they deserve, they’ll leave and get fat jobs in Bell, California AND WE’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO HIRE ANYONE TO REPLACE THEM!

      OMIGAWD! WAKE UP PEOPLE!

      THIS IS WORSE THAN GLOBAL WARMING!

      • They will go to places where they receive competitive wages and benefits and where they are treated with respect. Under Liccardo, that won’t be the City of San Jose. And if you haven’t been paying attention, San Jose is having a very difficult time replacing those that have already left.

        • > They will go to places where they receive competitive wages and benefits and where they are treated with respect.

          I’m sure that San Jose cops believe they will be paid LAVISH wages and benefits by Mayor Cortese.

          No paycheck too big, No benefit too splendid for our wonderful and deserving copsters.

          Got it!

          Will protect and serve … for money.

          • It doesnt have to be lavish , it just has to be comparable and provide a Disability clause that will protect workers. it seems as if you are angry that Public Safety receives salary and Benefits that were NEGOTIATED. Individual workers are not to blame , it was the city who offered up the increase in pension benefits in lieu of raises , be mad at the city , be mad at the Mayor who personally approved all increases for the last 15 yrs. , be mad at the Mayors many lies lies regarding taxpayer monies , pension , illegal money and land transfers , taxpayer paid incentives for Reeds Buddies , Illegal campaign contributions ,stealing of funds .

  10. No tax payer money was spent? How is the County Parks department funded? It is funded with your taxes! Please people. Cortese is corrupt. Vote no on Cortese,

    • Cortese’s part of that corrupt labor cabal led by Cindy “Boss Tweed” Chavez, Ben “Disgraced Attorney” Field, and Steve “The Puppet” Preminger. If you don’t kiss the ring, you don’t exist to them, you’re a threat.

      • so where do you lame brains want grant money to go…..NRA? lol friggin’ teabagging whiners!!

        • Anthony are you still angry that Cortese pushed out your preferred candidate Forrest Williams?

          • no but i sure am happy that he pushed out your preferred candidate Reed err i mean Liccardo hahaha Reed still trying to be relevent hahaha and trying to pass sunshine ordinances in his last weeks in office what a friggin’ insincere douche!!

  11. Let me see. Chuck Reed spends countless tax dollars traveling the country to preach his hate against public employees in the form of “constitutional reform” on vested rights, but not a peep about using public funds for campaigning. Now SJI reports on a practice that all the councilmembers have engaged in: holding community events during campaign seasons. How about a little perspective here? Meanwhile the Merc has still not reported that the City is now on the hook to pay the employees’ and retirees’ attorneys fees in the Measure B litigation. The death of responsible journalism is a clear and present danger to the proper functioning of local democracy.

    • Nor did the Mercury publish that 4 former police chiefs came together to blast Reed and Liccardo’s failed administration, and the need for change if the city wants to have a viable police department. The Mercury is a newspaper that collapsed because it lost any semblance of objectivity, and worse yet, has completely omitted extremely important information from the community, information that is really crucial to being a well informed society. It is frankly immoral that a news source turns a blind eye on critical news to report because it doesn’t meet the agenda they are pushing. The quicker the Mercury goes out of business, and more credible news sources fill the void, the better we all will be.

      http://abc7news.com/politics/former-sj-top-cops-say-departments-in-turmoil;-city-leadership-to-blame/305260/

  12. Ragan Henninger is nothing more than a P.O.S . doing Liccardo’s Bidding. Funny how they never mention the 40% raise that SAM LICCARDO gave her , all while Public Safety took a 10%(totalComp) PAYCUT

  13. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if that P.O.S. ex Fire Chief D. Von Raesfeld Is in the mix somehow. On account of him being such a Big Sam Liccardo supporter . No wonder he is the most hated person to ever work for SJFD

    • Disgusted, thanks for the title “person of status” (P.O.S.), but I’m just a regular guy and one of hundreds of retirees who have provided quality service to this City, in my case about 33 years. You are wrong as I have nothing to do with this issue but you are also right; I have supported Sam Licardo with a modest contribution, because I feel he is the best choice for the City. Regardless of all the rants, name calling and pure hatred I see in some sites regarding Sam, I personally know he respects and admires the work of the Fire Department and as the budgets hopefully get better we will see the needed improvements in both Fire and Police. Haters hate, that’s just the way it is. However, when you scrutinize my service as Fire Chief based on propaganda, please recall that during my tenure the Department reached the highest level of staffing in its history, even with the difficult budget times and a very contentious union leadership. Also recall, that this level of staffing could have been maintained with an 8.9% pay reduction in 2010; however the union chose against the reduction and let the layoffs occur only to take a 10% reduction about a year later, I believe the last bargaining group in the City to do so. I am grateful the current City Council was able to obtain and fund the SAFER Grants for some Fire Department staffing, which is sorely needed. I greatly appreciate the service of all public safety personnel, San Jose has some of the best there is. The anonymous name you hide behind fits you as it is easier to hate than negotiate with the facts.

      • Get a clue , P.O.S. doesnt stand for Person of status . Seems as if your “buffalo size” head won’t allow you to understand its true meaning. You are as clueless as ever were. You brag about the Maserati that you bought with your sick leave payout , right after you fired an incoming class of firefighters. The very ones that you swore to their faces would NOT be let go. Propaganda? its a fact . Iwas there i heard you tell them “they would not be let go”. big deal you increased staffing levels , THEN you dropped it . half of the candidates never returned . don’t get it twisted it was a 10%(total comp) pay cut .As far as Sam goes , yeah its obvious how much he values Public Safety. He is just like you , out to get his and to hell everybody else . Heters also recognize absolute failure in leadership , yours and his . Sam had many opportunities to try and work things out with city workers , but chose the “illegal Measure B instead.Your gratitude for public safety means less than squat , because we see you for the 2 face , talking out the side of your neck , wanna be politician . San Jose HAD some of the best , they are leaving now thanks to incompetent leadership such as yours, Reed’s and Liccardos

        • I fully understand what P.O.S. meant, just trying to clean it up a little for you. Glad you acknowledge that it was big deal to secure the highest level of staffing, it was not easy during those budget times but the daily staffing was somewhere around 205. As the Fire Chief, dealing with the real budget numbers, there was an option on the table to secure all the Fire Department positions and Stations in 2010, the wild card was the union leadership who did not accept the 8.9 % pay reduction to keep the staffing. I still think that is one of the worst decisions they ever made. By the way that is 1.1% less than what they eventually accepted along with the loss of valued firefighters and the long process to get back the needed levels of staffing. Stay safe.

          • Thats right put it on “the Union” its easier for you that way . a Union that you were a part of and you used your knowledge of the inner workings to your advantage. Honor , and Integrity are NOT words that will ever be used with the name Von Raesfeld . You are a Liar , true leaders lead from the front not from the rear .

          • Disgusted; proudly served three elected terms as Secretary for the Union and paid 28 years of union dues. I also did a god job there. I see you have the union talking points about inner workings, all a lie by the way. As the Chief I did come up with a way to save all the positions and did everything with the power of the Chiefs office to try to make it happen. The facts remains if the 8.9% cut was accepted, all the positions would have been saved. The Union leadership chose otherwise.

          • For Disgusted in the post below, I proudly served three elected terms as Secretary for the Union and paid 28 years of union dues. I also did a god job there. I see you have the union talking points about inner workings blah blah blah, all a lie by the way. As the Chief I did come up with a way to save all the positions in 2010 and did everything with the power of the Chiefs office to try to make it happen. The facts remains if the 8.9% cut was accepted, when all other bargaining groups had already accepted a 10% reduction, all the positions would have been saved. The Union leadership at the time chose otherwise, just a fact that people can look at and make their own conclusion.

          • maybe it wasn’t just about the pay reduction chief…..you know what you can do with your 1.1% – maserati huh lol

      • If you’re anything like the current Chief of Police, all you really cared about was getting yours, which you no doubt did. From the comfort of your office, you obviously had no worries of being injured, so the fact that firefighters’ and police officers’ disability protections have been taken away I’m sure means little to you. The lack of competitive pay and benefits must also be irrelevant, since you receive a huge pension. I have no doubt that you really are the most hated person ever to work for the SJFD, and it sounds like a distinction you richly deserve. The fact that those you claimed to lead feel that way about you says everything about you as a person. That you can support Sam Liccardo after everything that he’s done to public safety and other city employees is truly disgusting.

        • Pete Malloy, you don’t know me from Adam, yes a One Adam 12 reference. I served just under 33 years in San Jose Fire, about 24 years on the line and held every rank from Firefighter to Fire Chief with the exception of Arson Investigator. Retired 4 years ago at 56 and just had me second full knee replacement 3 months ago along with several other ailments from the job, so I do understand the dangers and toll the Firefighting profession takes on one’s body. The lack of pay and benefits does concern me, but it is not only relegated to San Jose or public employees. Look around at other cities and counties in the state and the private sector. Economic times will change one way or the other, hopefully for the better and the pay and benefits can be restored to sustainable levels. I also firmly believe public safety has the credentials to back up real negotiations without the political favors and gamesmanship that was done in the past. I would ask before you jump on the propaganda bandwagon of hating, take some time to hear my side of the story, then feel free to criticize or write anything you like about me. Be glad to treat you to a “10-7” lunch, Jim Reed out.

          • but you are perfectly ok with your own propaganda bandwagon huh chief lol and regardless of your take…..your side of the story is already being told, not held in high regard!!

          • Says Anthony, the person who likes to troll people who disagree with him….the guy is such a teabagger and the way that Anthony has criticized Cortese…its so sad to hear that although Anthony supports labor he makes personal attacks at Cortese the way he does.

          • Darryl keep tooting your own horn if it make s you feel better . Everyone at SJFD see’s you for the two face joke that you became . Liar , more than a few people heard you brag about the Maserati you were going to buy. Just like you never told the academy that their jobs were safe until you laid them off.nothing you say now can change any of that . you can’t be dense enough to see , hear and feel how SJFD feels about you. do yourself a favor and just stay away . why don’t you and Liccardo walk off into the sunset

          • Disgusted……atleast Darryl isn’t hiding behind an alias like you and I are – why not tell us who you are….it is easy to sling arrows at someone in broad daylight while you are hiding in the dark. Do you always need to have the last word….we get it, you disagree – move on :)

          • To Disgusted for his Oct 17 post, I’ll just keep putting the facts out there. I hope everyone has dreams for their retirement and most of us either get a nice car (including your old union president), a vacation home or travel once retired. Never bragged about my car but it was goal of mine I was able to achieve and I hope all retirees can achieve their goals. Also, please read the other posts, there was a way to keep all the recruits, but it takes two to make it happen and the union chose not to. It only takes one to hate, two to negotiate. You can keep spewing the hate but it won’t get the staffing level back where it needs to be. I hope Sam will be taking a walk, from his current office down the hall to the Mayor’s office once he is elected. SJC, thanks for your supportive posts, as a Chief you must have a thick skin, I am just amazed how they just republish their inaccurate talking points and name calling.

        • Ask anybody at SJFD if he was any good at those jobs he held , or if he was respected by anybody ? He applied for Disability after riding a desk for years . He talks about “other Cities” , How is it that all other city’s have been able to work with their public safety regarding salaries and pensions , but San Jose can not? he doesnt want people to jump on the”Propaganda of hating” , but what else can you expect when you screw over those you worked side by side with. AND THEN brag of buying a Maserati , while those still working are getting let go , and taking pay cuts. Ask him how many other dept heads are Backing Liccardo , the answer is NONE . he’s just another 1%er helping another 1%er , and that means “to hell” with the working man/woman

          • Disgusted, get your facts straight. I did not apply for a disability retirement. I have a couple of issues covered by workers comp but did not file for a disability retirement. I pay full taxes. I served my last six years at a desk you are right, and two year stint managing the Training Division and two years as a Captain in training teaching 5 recruit academies and a year in Fire Prevention. The rest was all on the line in all the ranks. I would encourage you to talk to those people still working or those retired that I worked with on the line, the Captains in Battalion 10, the Captains who supervised me and the many firefighters that went through training academies and even one current Union leader who I helped out when he had an issue during his probation as just one example of my compassion and helping fellow firefighters. Have never bragged about my car, you guys keep bringing it up though, not sure if your old Union President bragged about his new Mercedes he got when he retired while still serving as your Union President. You ask how many other Department Heads are backing Sam, there are a few listed on his web site. I believe both Mayoral candidates are probably 1%’s. I am also a graduate of Bellarmine as they both are. Go Bells.

          • Darryl, Don’t mind Disgusted – he thinks the Daily Fetch is a more credible source than SJI and ignores the vitriol coming from the headlines of the articles and that site in general. He loses ALL credibility in my book

          • SJC – feel free to climb off Darryl’s bag . You don’t know him or me . I speak from the many many meetings and contacts with the guy. you are just a nobody trying to get into the conversation

  14. > it seems as if you are angry that Public Safety receives salary and Benefits that were NEGOTIATED.

    Call it anger. Call it disgust. Call it helpless exasperation at watching con men trying to put their greedy con on a simple, trusting, but unsuspecting public.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt was against public employee unions because it would create a special class of citizens and weaken democracy.

    Walter Ruether was against public employee unions.

    Public employee unions have put themselves on par with the government of the people.

    Governance is a privilege reserved for the people. It is NOT up for negotiation.

    We the people will offer willing candidates the privilege of serving the people as police officers on terms deemed prudent and responsible.

    The officer candidates will accept the terms or they will not.

    The people will move on.

    • Shortly, only glorified rent-a-cops will be the only people accepting the terms offered by San Jose. You fail to realize that quallifed candidates are, indeed a scarce commodity. Between 1-5% of applicants are typically actually offered positions in any given academy. The backgrounding process is quite rigorous. I don’t think a single member of the City Council would pass the background process. The president clearly would not. Nor would the USAG with his multiple citations for contempt of court, etc. The very great irony of being a police officer is that they are held to standards which virtually few others in society could attain, both during the recruiting process and throughout their careers. The job of a police officer is, frankly, incomprehensible to most, unattainable to most, undesirable for many more than most.

      And, police officers don’t tend to see the job as ‘the privilege of serving the people’. Frankly, ‘the people’ are secondary. Police officers don’t swear an oath ‘to the people’ or ‘for the people’. Police officers swear to a higher power to uphold and defend, first and foremost, the Constitution of the United States and secondarily, to the Constitution and laws of the State of California. ‘The people’ are protected by the Law and the Constitution. But they are not what police officers serve. Police officers *serve* the law. They do so because they believe in the rule of law, that the rule of law is the barrier between order and chaos or savagery. We’ve met all kinds of people. I assure you: there are very few of whom it’s a privilege to serve as police officers. Don’t believe me? Go take a tour of the jail and see what I mean.

      • Thanks Serpico! And you bash rent-a-cops, but where the heck did you get your start…interning at Scotland Yard???

        • Applied for the job, passed the background, passed the academy, passed the FTO program, Passed probation, then passed more than 20 years of BS from the administration, the crooks the ingrates who reminded us every time they didn’t like the reality I was serving them with that “they paid my salary” …. and then ? I dealt with there spoiled rotten kids and grandkids. Not to mention two faced politicians and commie judges and a whole lot of nights weekends and holidays working while my family waited and worried that I might not come home.

          What have you EVER done?

          • Look at you throwing out the martyr card…..YOU CHOSE THE PROFESSION……..Stop trying to pretend you are a saint amidst a bunch of sinners. If you didn’t like the job, LEAVE!

            I am in a job where I work hard, and know that if I didn’t like the job, I wouldn’t make it a nightmare for my coworkers…..I would leave. If you didn’t like the job MAN UP and leave – you were probably a miserable coworker, but were possibly rewarded so you would just shut up and stop complaining.

      • > The backgrounding process is quite rigorous. I don’t think a single member of the City Council would pass the background process. The president clearly would not.

        True dat!

        Former President Billy-Bubb Clinton, “with a nose like a Hoover”, a fondness for sexually harassing female interns, an impeachment by Congress, and a suspension of his law license SHOULD NOT pass a background check for school crossing guard.

        Current President Barack Hussein Obamba, with a history of unexplained, undocumented travel to radical Pakistan, association with the Choom Gang, admitted use of cocaine, and frequent lying to federal officials, likewise SHOULD NOT pass a background check for Secret Service agent, let alone president.

        So, what’s your point?

  15. Voters these days must be very much like Diogenes–searching for an honest man.