May 14, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture Comments (15)
Mayor Chuck Reed and Councilmember Sam Liccardo authored a memo last week that would give high-rise builders in downtown San Jose new incentives to start constructing towers before the end of next year. At its meeting Tuesday, the City Council will discuss the incentives as well as last week’s budget hearings, restricting payday lending offices, targeting parents who let their teenagers throw parties with alcohol, and a potential park expansion that could alter the view from San Jose Inside’s office.
May 11, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business Comments (20)
Internal polling numbers show Measure B passing in next month’s election with more than 60 percent of the vote, according to sources at City Hall. For that reason, it seems that unions and labor-oriented Political Action Committees (PAC) plan to fight the “pension modification” measure after it passes in court. But on the flip side, the committee “San Jose Fiscal Reforms, Mayor Reed, Chamber PAC and IMPAC Proponents” shot out of the fundraising gates in the first three months of the year, hauling in more than $200,000 in contributions—$202,275 to be exact.
May 09, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (33)
Rose Herrera, right, says labor unions—often organized by South Bay Labor Council CEO Cindy Chavez, left—want to distract voters from issues currently facing the city by raising concerns about Herrera’s past.
Less than a month until the June 5 primary, labor unions fired off several accusations Tuesday that Councilmember Rose Herrera lied to voters during her 2008 campaign and may have even committed perjury in the mid-1990s. Herrera responded by calling the unions “bullies” using “misrepresentations and lies.”
May 04, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture Comments (0)
A new phone poll in San Jose wants to know exactly how you feel about card rooms. More specifically, the poll, paid for by Bay 101, wants to know how receptive you are to the city’s two casinos increasing card tables to 98 apiece and potentially incorporating Indian casinos’ modern-day 40 acres and a mule: slot machines.
May 04, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics Comments (17)
Put on your budget caps, because the study sessions start in earnest next week. The first in a series of budget meetings and public hearings takes place Wednesday, with final adoption of budget for the next fiscal year scheduled for Tuesday, June 19. Currently, the city projects a $9 million surplus for 2012-13, about one percent of total expenditures. But some city employees could still lose their jobs as staff continues to look at increasing efficiency. Overall, City Manager Debra Figone said the city will add a net 70 positions.
May 03, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture Comments (4)
Eric Swallow currently owns the city’s oldest card room, Garden City Casino, with partners Peter and Jeanine Lunardi, and they want nothing more than to shut down the aging facility and replace it with a 21st-century gambling establishment. Casino M8trix is a $50-million, 16-story highrise alongside Highway 101 near San Jose’s airport. The casino’s owners are in a standoff with San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore and some members of city staff.
May 01, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture, Media Comments (26)
Are San Jose’s graffiti clean up crews padding the stats to make more money? That’s the question our favorite investigative crew over at NBC is asking. Last June, the city laid off employees and outsourced its graffiti abatement program in an attempt to cut down on expenses to the General Fund. Graffiti Protective Coatings (GPC), a Los Angeles-based private contractor, signed a five-year contract with the city worth $3.1 million. But only nine months into that contract, GPC told the city that it has already exceeded its yearly quota.
Apr 27, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business Comments (1)
Payday lending offices offer immediate financial relief to many of San Jose’s most cash-strapped citizens, but the high interest rates can leads to crippling debt when more loans are required to pay off the first. It’s a vicious cycle that brings interest rates to as high as 460 percent in some cases. This week the city’s planning commission made new recommendations on how to curb the proliferation of offices that many view as predatory lenders.
Apr 26, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Culture Comments (15)
Dysfunction within the Gay Pride Celebration Committee of San Jose could put the city’s annual LGBT Pride parade in jeopardy, according to a report published Thursday by the Bay Area Reporter. Meanwhile, a key issue in the fight for the District 6 City Council seat revolves around the fate of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center. Incumbent Pierluigi Oliverio put out a memo the same day as the report asking that the city-owned property be listed as the last sold by the successor agency of the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.
Apr 26, 2012, by Josh Koehn Politics, Business, Culture Comments (10)
Jeff Rosen, Santa Clara County’s District Attorney, and his deputy John Chase announced charges last week against two former MACSA executives for embezzling more than $1 million in employee retirement payments. (Photo by Jessica Shirley-Donnelly)
Lupe Nunez, a vice principal for two years at one of two charter schools formerly operated by the Mexican American Community Service Agency (MACSA) school, says she’s not sure if Xavier Campos was involved in the disappearance of funds from the teachers’ retirement accounts, “but you kind of wonder.” The question weighs on the minds of many teachers who worked for below-market wages at charter schools in Gilroy and San Jose, operated by MACSA, as executives raided $1 million from their pension accounts to pay other expenses, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office.
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