Budget

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Takes Long View in Final State of the City Speech

Mayor Chuck Reed said Thursday that many of the projects started during his two terms as mayor of San Jose will be finished by the next mayor. (San Jose Inside photo)

Chuck Reed spent much of his eighth and final State of the City speech thanking his predecessors while noting that a mayor’s work goes on long after he or she leaves office. Noting that he and past elected officials in San Jose have stood “on the shoulders of giants,” Reed said the work he and the council have carried out in recent years must be viewed outside the prism of four-year term limits. “We have to think in much longer timeframes,” he said.

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The False Narrative in Assemblymember Nora Campos’ Damage Control

Inter-office dysfunction has been a hallmark of Assemblymember Nora Campos’ time as an elected official.

Assemblymember Nora Campos is apparently that rare politician who just knows what the people want without asking. So, when she relinquishes half a million dollars to the state, rather than having a properly staffed office or conducting outreach services to her constituents, she’s bucking her budget allotments out of a noble sense of duty. That’s the message Campos’ communications director, Steve Harmon, trotted out during an interview with local radio station KLIV 1590 in response to a report Metro/San Jose Inside published last week. A closer inspection of Harmon’s comments, however, show that they don’t pass the smell test.

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2013: The Year in Review

There was no bigger story in local politics this year than the sentencing of George Shirakawa Jr., the top elected official in Santa Clara County just a year ago. He was sentenced to a year in jail for stealing campaign funds, and a new trial on mail fraud begins next year.

The year 2013 will be remembered for its political turmoil, local and nationwide. A former county supervisor went to jail and the spotlight subsequently landed on his political buddy, a San Jose councilman. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married, and the president lied to the nation about domestic spying. San Jose Inside runs down the list of stories that caught our attention this year.

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Early Education on the Way?

Gov. Jerry brown could include funding for preschool in next year’s budget. (Photo by Sarah Gilbert, via Flickr)

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, recently wrote a column for Huffington Post, arguing that America has “a moral obligation to provide a great education to each and every child, and we must create a new majority to make this happen.” I couldn’t agree more, and the time is now. We cannot afford to wait another three decades. Waiting patiently for change will cause the US to become a second-tier nation.

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Team San Jose Doubles Revenue Goals

A new report says that Team San Jose, which operates the McEnery Convention Center, vastly exceeded revenue goals for the last fiscal year.

Team San Jose, the city’s tourism and facilities management agency, vastly exceeded gross revenue goals last year. In 2012-13, the decade-old nonprofit generated $23.8 million—more than twice the projected target, according to an annual audit up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Also on the agenda are plans to bring a music stage to St. James Park, a citywide financial audit and a discussion about changing building height requirements around the San Jose airport.

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County Child Abuse Hotline Still Failing

The county continues to drop or not return calls made to its child abuse hotline. The Department of Family and Children’s Services has blamed budget cuts, but a recent audit said that is no excuse.

Despite calling it “a humanitarian issue,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said he doesn’t want to assign blame to the the county’s Department of Family and Children’s Services, which has failed to answer thousands of calls to the local child abuse hotline—the public’s first point of contact with welfare services.

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San Jose Rep Rights its Course, Again

The Rep’s One Night with Janis Joplin set a ticket sales record for the San Jose theatre company. (Photo by Kirk Tuck)

Ever since Rick Lombardo took the reigns and imprinted his vision on the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the performance center has had excellent seasons. But until recently, a behind-the-scenes drama was playing out—one that would test Lombardo, Managing Director Nick Nichols and the Rep’s Board.

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