Debra Figone

City Council’s Campos, Kalra Say Fire Department Analysis Incomplete

An audit of the San Jose Fire Department didn’t include enough analysis of staffing, councilmembers Ash Kalra and Xavier Campos argue in a memo. They want to look into whether the shorter staffing levels are what led to longer response times and loss in overall service. Other items on the council agenda for Tuesday include a settlement with the family of a young child killed by a falling tree and a proposed ordinance to allow street vendors to sell fresh produce in low-income neighborhoods.

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A Compilation of San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel’s Best, Worst Tweets

Larry Esquivel inherited San Jose’s chief of police position without ever putting his name up for consideration. In fact, none of the San Jose Police Department’s deputy chiefs showed a genuine interest in the job, leaving the applicant pool to some uninterested and/or unqualified candidates outside of the area. But Esquivel is learning the ropes, and a perusal of his Twitter account shows a man who loves emoticons, classic cars and ... the Mercury News? Yes, the Mercury News.

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Mayor Reed Not Interested in Yeager’s ‘Deal’ on Healthy Kids Funding

Call it a preemptive strike but Ken Yeager deserves a little credit for trying to get something while knowing he’d probably get nothing. Last week, the president of the county Board of Supervisors sent a letter to San Jose Mayor, Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and the City Council proposing a deal on how to continue funding the Santa Clara Healthy Kids Program. There’s just one problem. San Jose is broke and has no interest in giving another dime now that the county got Measure A passed.

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Rules to Consider Tax Amnesty Program, Adding Guadalajara to Sister City Program

The city of San Jose may cut small businesses a few more breaks under a tax amnesty that sunsets this spring before doubling down on enforcement. The deal—if moved on to the City Council’s March 5 meeting by the Rules and Open Government Committee on Wednesday—allows businesses to pay what’s past due through March 29 and, in exchange, the city will forgive any interest and penalties. Another item going before the Rules committee Wednesday is Councilmember Xavier Campos’ proposal to add Guadalajara, Mexico to San Jose’s Sister City program.

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Show Me the Money: City Employee Salaries for 2012

San Jose released its annual list of city salaries late last week, reminding us once again where the bulk of the municipal budget goes. Like most municipalities, payroll accounts for the city’s single highest expense. San Jose shelled out $596 million, or 62 percent of this fiscal year’s budget, on payroll for its 5,500 employees. This year, retired Sgt. John M. Seaman topped the list, receiving total compensation in the amount of $308,345.

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City Hall Takes San Jose Inside off of Prohibited Website List

To keep people on task, the city’s IT department developed a prompt back in the Internet’s toddler years—circa 1997—to notify workers that they may be attempting to visit websites prohibited by city policy. Fly was then dismayed and downright harrumphed when it learned last week that the Metro-affiliated political website San Jose Inside provoked the prompt for city workers as if it was some sort of personal blog about cats and the things they fancy.

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