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County to Discuss Measure A Spending

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will decide how to allocate a third of this year’s Measure A revenue, or $15.3 million. They’re expected to spend the bulk of it on affordable housing and healthcare for the uninsured. Other items on the include guidelines for a 55-acre civic center in downtown San Jose, rapid re-housing for the homeless and downsizing a tobacco prevention and control program.

County Has $9.7 Million of Measure A Revenue up for Grabs

After spending most of this year’s anticipated Measure A revenue to pull out of a deficit and boost some service levels, Santa Clara County officials are looking for ways to spend a remaining $9.7 million of the 1/8 cent sales tax. Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include the county picking up the full cost of the Healthy Kids program—rather than getting a little help from San Jose, a plan by Supervisor Ken Yeager to save a Santa Clara library and Supervisor Joe Simitian looking to grade local restaurants.

Family Health Fiasco: Kathleen King Wanted Better Push Polls for Measure A

Push polls are a common occurrence in campaign season. They are designed to leave voters with a more positive or negative reaction to topics and/or individuals after answering questions. Political consultant Rich Robinson recently wrote a column on San Jose Inside about his distate for the leading questions, which are often asked without proper context, he argued. Based on email records obtained through a court order last week, it can be said that Kathleen King, executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, does not share this opinion about push polls.

Yes on Measure A

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren led the effort to create the Department of Corrections when she was a county supervisor in 1988. The move took the jails away from a sheriff who didn’t manage his budget well and saved the county millions by replacing expensive sworn sheriff’s deputies with correctional officers. Two years ago, the County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to return to greater oversight by the office of Sheriff Laurie Smith. She’s better at managing a budget and the move eliminated redundant management overhead. An influx in inmates created greater security threats as well, requiring trained law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the cost-saving measure—estimated at $5 million already by County Executive Jeff Smith—might not have been legal, according to a lawsuit filed by San Jose attorney James McManis. A “yes” vote on Measure A is the equivalent of approving something everyone already agreed is a good idea.

‘Pension Modification’ Ballot Measure a Go

The Sixth District Appeals Court sided in favor of labor unions Tuesday, ruling that Measure B must change the term “pension reform” to “pension modification,” and also alter the way the ballot question is worded. Unless the city appeals the ruling to the California Supreme Court, the ballot measure is set to go before voters June 5.

Ballot Measure a Political Disaster

Mayor Chuck Reed called an audit requested by local state legislators “politically motivated.” He is correct. But calling a fake “fiscal emergency,” exaggerating the size of the problem and calling on voters to pass a pension reform ballot measure that most attorneys, including myself, believe won’t stand a court challenge is also “politically motivated.”