Liz Kniss

Accountability Mailer or Hit Piece?

(There's a difference between an accountability mailer and a hit piece. Photo by Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Here comes the clutter of political advertisements. The public’s least favorite time of year, when mailboxes are full of negative mailers and television ads assault the senses. First rule to remember: there is nothing that can’t be said in politics, no matter how outrageous the claim.

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Rural Metro Financial Woes Put County Ambulance Contract in Jeopardy

Rural Metro has failed to come through on some of the promises made when it signed a contract with Santa Clara County. Now the company could be facing bankruptcy.

The company that provides Santa Clara County’s ambulance services is in need of rescue. In December 2010, the Board of Supervisors contracted with Rural Metro, which missed an important bond payment last week, leading industry insiders and county officials to worry that the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company may be headed towards bankruptcy. So what do the elected officials who supported the Rural Metro contract have to say about the current mess? Nothing.

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Supervisors to Discuss Immigration Reform

With upcoming drafts for immigration reform coming from a bipartisan group in Congress and President Obama, the county Board of Supervisors plans to discuss the issue at its next meeting.

Santa Clara County, inextricably defined by its immigrant population, has long been touted as one of the best places for foreign-born to become successful, engaged members of society. So, as the country tackles comprehensive immigration reform for the first time in decades, the county has a lot to add to the national conversation. The county Board of Supervisors will discuss this topic and others at Tuesday’s meeting.

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Board of Supervisors to Discuss P-Card Audits at First Meeting of the Year

In a bid to move on from the scandal ignited by county Supervisor George Shirakawa abusing his taxpayer-funded credit card, the Board of Supervisors will discuss P-Card audits Tuesday morning instead of later this month. Also on the agenda for the first meeting of the year, the supervisors will discuss $15 million in bonds for YMCA, low-income childcare, a new farmers market, ridding the county of illegal pot and a commendation for outgoing San Jose Police Chief Chris Moore.

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County Updates P-Card Policies; Alvarado Moves to Shirakawa’s District

Supervisor George Shirakawa, right, oversaw his last meeting as president of the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. His political future remains in the air as investigations continue into the supervisor’s campaign files and charge card purchases. (File photo)

While the District Attorney’s Office and Fair Political Practices Commission continue their investigations into Supervisor George Shirakawa, the county has moved forward with updated policies on P-Cards and expenditures. Also, sources have confirmed with San Jose Inside that Teresa Alvarado, a potential candidate to replace Shirakawa if he is forced out of office, is moving to District 2.

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Shirakawa Promises Explanation in the Future, Blames Media for ‘Political Lynching’

Supervisor George Shirakawa says he doesn’t want his board colleagues, county staff or the community to be distracted by the “political lynching” taking place in regards to media coverage of his fraudulent expense reports. At its bi-monthly county Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Shirakawa tackled the issue head on by saying he would release a formal statement sometime in the future.

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Animal House

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently passed its $4 billion annual budget, and in one of her last meaningful acts, Supervisor Liz Kniss, who will be termed out at the end of the year, recommended that the county give $47,000 to Palo Alto Animal Services. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal—the amount accounts for .001 percent of the budget—except for the fact that the animal shelter is in no way related to county business. Oh, and there’s one other important detail: Kniss is running for a seat on the Palo Alto City Council this fall.

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Where Did All the Women Go?

The number of high-powered women in elected office in Santa Clara County has seriously diminished in what once was the Feminist Capital of the World. This dearth of women holding office has led to a decline in the quality of our policies and the ability to provide consensus that leads to progress.

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