Jose Esteves

Story of the Week: Milpitas Councilmember Steals Ex-Husband’s Mailbox?

Gadfly
noun ˈgad-ˌflī
1: any of various flies (as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock
2: a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism

This story involves definition No. 2, but we’re not here to make fun of a strident citizen in the snarky manner you might expect. No, this Story of the Week focuses on a gadfly getting the best of an elected official. The whole deal is pretty absurd, so, of course, it happened in Milpitas.

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Election Rejections

Iowa just held its Republican Primary to ring in the New Year, which means two things: It’s officially election season from now through Nov. 6, and the opinions of Iowans no longer matter. Much was made about the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which, according to the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment, means the government can’t limit spending on elections by companies and nonprofits. A battle is now being fought at the local level in Milpitas, where community activist Ed Riffle is challenging the constitutionality of a new ordinance passed by the City Council that limits campaign contributions to $500 per election.

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Milpitas Mayor Working Double Time?

The winter of discontent continues unabated for the Milpitas Monarch, Jose Esteves, who complained at last week’s City Council meeting of feeling harassed by Public Records Act requests. (Message to Mayor Esteves: If you already feel harassed, stop reading here.) It would be one thing if the PRA requests were coming from an angry citizen, but almost half of the 66 requests—which ask for phone records, emails, video surveillance, and dates and times the mayor used a key card to enter City Hall—came from Councilmember Debbie Giordano. It turns out the mayor, whom critics accuse of holding an unauthorized wedding on City Hall property earlier this year, may be up to more than just connubial biz.

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Milpitas Mayor Making Bold Moves

Back in August, Fly detailed the sordid tale of fear and loathing taking place within the Milpitas Planning Commission. Mark Tiernan, a veteran in organizing local campaigns, felt he was kicked out of his commission chair position in a coup partly orchestrated by fellow commissioner Noella Tabladillo. Tiernan said loudly in a commission meeting that Tabladillo couldn’t be trusted, and she in turn called him an asshole. Tiernan then made a bold claim to Fly that he thought Mayor Jose Esteves was behind the whole thing. Esteves is now having Tiernan removed from the commission, but there could be an even bigger things happening behind the scenes.

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