Business

City May Weaken Living Wage Policy

San Jose may weaken an ordinance that guarantees a living wage to anyone working for a private tenant of a city-owned property. The 16-year-old living wage policy requires commercial and other private tenants on city leases to pay above the minimum wage, at least $15.78 an hour with benefits or $17.03 without. Other items on Tuesday’s City Council agenda include changes to the city’s cardroom ordinance, an audit of employee travel expenses and a six-figure contract for new art and light displays.

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FPPC Investigates County Bar Association President-Elect John Mlnarik

Last month Fly delved into the litigious world of John Mlnarik, a local attorney and former candidate for a seat on the Santa Clara City Council. Mlnarik had open lawsuits against three four separate parties connected to his abysmal 2012 campaign, and an interesting countersuit coming back his way. Elena Rivkin Franz, a former employee of Mlnarik’s, accused him of using staff and resources from his law firm—The Mlnarik Law Group—to assist his campaign under the table. Fly did a little digging and found that the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has had an open investigation since September into the campaign of Mlnarik, who is currently the president-elect of the Santa Clara County Bar Association.

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Neil Struthers out as CEO of County Building and Construction Trades Council

Neil Struthers is out as CEO of the powerful Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, a source tells San Jose Inside. The circumstances of his departure from the labor organization are unclear. The Building and Trades Council oversees the training and representation of 23 craft unions and more than 30,000 construction industry workers employed in Silicon Valley, according to the organization’s website.

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Xavier Campos Cuts off Interview after Questions about Unusual Business Filings

For nearly two months, San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos has repeatedly refused to talk with Metro/San Jose Inside about fictitious business filings he and incarcerated former county Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. initiated for their past political campaigns. The business filings had identical names to their political committees. An experienced political consultant described the filings as “somewhere between suspicious and corrupt,” as they could have been used to cloak a duplicate, secret bank account. On Thursday, however, Campos finally addressed the unusual fictitious business filings, when Metro/San Jose Inside sent reporter Stephen Layton to the councilman’s public office hours at Mayfair Community Center. Registered for the event under his own name as a San Jose resident concerned about crime, Layton recorded the brief conversation, which took place in a public facility, with Campos and the councilman’s chief of staff, Nicole Willett.

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Cortese, San Jose Mayors Split on Walmart

Last month, Fly broke the Earth-shattering news that county supervisor and San Jose mayoral contender Dave Cortese isn’t too fond of Walmart. He refused to mention the store by name in an invite to his campaign kickoff, instead noting that the party was near a “Big Box” store. Crazy, we know. But just when the Internet was nearing recovery, a couple of mayors decided to reignite the fight.

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San Jose Marijuana Initiative Aims for 2014 Ballot

A group of dispensary owners filed an initiative to bring a full set of marijuana regulations to San Jose voters this fall. The “Medical Marijuana Regulation for San Jose Act of 2014” aims to set a minimum of 50 pot clubs. It also asks the city to form a cannabis commission similar to the advisory boards it has for libraries and parks, land use and transportation, among other interests.

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KaBOOM! Helps Bring Play to San Jose

I first heard of KaBOOM! a few years ago, when I began the San Jose Parks Foundation. The nonprofit works to ensure kids get the play they need to become healthy and successful adults. KaBOOM! elevates the conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives, while also creating great spaces. And with the nonprofit’s help, a new project should be coming to San Jose.

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