Jessica Fromm

Jessica Fromm

Posts by Jessica Fromm

First Amendment Coalition: Mann Violated Brown Act by Emailing Gripes to Board

By sending a series of emails regarding Schools Superintendent Chuck Weis to his colleagues on the County Board of Education, Craig Mann may have violated the Brown Act, which dictates that public officials not conduct business in private. Leila C. Knox, an attorney with the First Amendment Coalition, says Mann violated California’s open government policy when he sent off his messages to the entire board.

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Board Holds Off on Censoring Mann

The Santa Clara County Board of Education (SCCBOE) has put off voting on whether or not to sanction trustee Craig Mann for alleged ethics violations, moving the decision to a special meeting on August 25.

Mann showed up at the beginning of the yesterday’s regular board meeting with a doctor’s note. He informed board members that he was battling a bad cold and was attending the meeting against doctor’s orders. However, after the other board members went into an hour-long closed session to discuss an unrelated student expulsion matter, they came out to find that Mann had left.

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As Bobby Lopez Lawyers Up, LaDoris Cordell Plays Down IPA Spy Saga

Sgt. Bobby Lopez, the former San Jose police union president, ignited a firestorm last month when reports surfaced that he boasted of having a spy in the Independent Police Auditor’s (IPA) Office. Now he has hired an attorney and won’t talk.

Two weeks ago, the usually loquacious Lopez announced that he would run for his old job as president of the San José Police Officers Association (POA). Lopez said he believes George Beattie, his media-shy predecessor, is a weak leader.


Cordell: No Spy in IPA’s Office

LaDoris Cordell, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor, says a study has concluded that there is no spy inside her office.

“I am greatly relieved that the investigation has determined that there are no leaks of confidential information by any member of my staff,” Cordell said at a press conference outside her downtown office this afternoon.

Cordell announced her conclusions in response to a June 9, 2010 article in the San Jose Mercury News. The newspaper claimed that confidential information from inside the IPA’s office had been leaked to SJPD Sgt. Bobby Lopez, the former president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, during his tenure.


Smoke Deflector

Pierluigi Oliverio was the first person in San Jose to see the green tidal wave coming.

Last October, the number of local pot clubs could be counted on one hand. Now, medical marijuana collectives have sprung up in every part of the city—some more legit than others. One web directory currently lists almost 70 San Jose–based medical marijuana dispensaries.

With the San Jose City council finally taking a serious look at regulating medical marijuana this week, the District 6 councilmember could not be blamed for saying, “I told you so.”

“I hate to keep going back, but if we would have done this a little earlier, everything would have been fine,” Oliverio says.

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City Council Approves Mayor’s Budget

Thirty minutes before the San Jose City Council went into closed session to decide whether to impose a 10 percent pay cut on public employees, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio addressed the large group of union members and other citizens gathered for the meeting.

“If you’re angry, it’s ok to be angry,” Oliverio said, “because the system is all screwed up.”

Last Tuesday, the City Council decided to delay its vote on the 10 percent wage cut for city employees, after five unions provided a counter-offer that they claimed would be the equivalent of the proposed cut.

However, after studying the offer, City Manager Debra Figone and City Attorney Richard Doyle determined that it was unacceptable. Figone recommended the city impose the cuts and implement the Mayor’s budget proposal.

The motion passed on an 8 to 3 vote, with council members Pyle, Kalra and Campos opposing. The Council deferred action on wage and benefit concessions with the five labor unions until the Council meeting of Tuesday, June 22.


Pot Clubs Tap a Vein to Help Red Cross

The American Red Cross and Harborside Health Center of San Jose are teaming up for the first ever pot club blood drive. Next Tuesday, June 15, Harborside will host a blood donation event at its 2106 Ringwood Ave. location from noon to 6pm.

Naveen Aggarwal, the community outreach coordinator for Harborside San Jose, says that this event marks the first time ever that the Red Cross has partnered with a medical cannabis collective.

“This is completely the first time,” Aggarwal says. “I’ve heard of it attempted in L.A. a while ago. But that didn’t have much success as far as having a lot of donors, and this is definitely the first thing of its kind with the involvement of Red Cross.”


Dirty Machinations

At last April’s State Democratic convention in Los Angeles, the head of the powerful South Bay Labor Council, Cindy Chavez, called a face-to-face meeting with state Assemblymember Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles and labor leader Maria Elena Durazo. Chavez wanted to discuss de Leon’s fundraising activity for a San Jose City Council campaign.

De Leon had contributed $250 and helped bring in campaign funding for Magdalena Carrasco, his ex-wife, who was running against the SBLC-backed candidate for the District 5 council seat, Xavier Campos.


Resendez Demands Apology from Campos

District 5 city council candidate Aaron Resendez has just released an open letter to Nora Campos, demanding a public apology from the councilmember and her Chief of Staff Ryan Ford.

Last Friday, following a press conference at City Hall denouncing the malicious mailers sent out against fellow candidate Magdalena Carrasco, Resendez says Ford approached him for what can only be described as a public badmouthing. Campos’ brother, Xavier Campos, is also running against Resendez for the East Side seat.

“I am writing this open letter to you and the community to bring attention to Mr. Ford’s insulting and disrespectful behavior,” the letter reads.


Onetime District 8 Candidate Minh Duong Vies For Dist. 7 Seat

Minh Duong, a 31-year-old furniture store owner vying to oust City Councilmember Madison Nguyen from her seat representing District 7, got a huge boost last month when the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce gave him its endorsement.

Duong says that winning the ChamberPAC’s support was a huge shock, even to him. Before this election season, the ChamberPAC consistently supported Nguyen, even backing her in her 2009 recall campaign.

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Shirakawa Hosts AIDS Benefit

County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. doesn’t seem like the sort of guy to turn down a good steak, especially when it’s for a good cause. Shirakawa has invited the public to join him at Maceio Brazilian Steak House in downtown San Jose this evening, as part of the Dining Out for Life event to benefit local HIV/AIDS services.

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Unions Question City Hall Contracts

Union Leader Randy Sekany pounds the table and rails about the way the city spends money.

“I mean, $150,000 on ergonomic chairs? When you’re firing people? When you’ve cut back how many employees? There’s not a few spare chairs around? Really?”

Sekany circulated a document around City Hall headlined “City Spending Gone Wild,” which details more than $7 million worth of expenditures on a range of items and services, from hybrid Priuses to real estate assessments. The union assembled the numbers in response to City Manager Debra Figone’s request that they take a 10 percent pay cut, reduce the number of engine companies from 34 to 29 and lay off 80-plus sworn firefighters.


Newcomer Heats Up District 5 Race

Elsie Aranda has not decided which San Jose City Council candidate she will endorse. Stopwatch in hand, she sits in the front row of the second District 5 candidates forum at the Mayfair Community Center, acting as moderator.

Aranda makes sure that the four people currently battling to represent San Jose’s East Side don’t go beyond their allotted speech times. It is her job to holler at candidates Xavier Campos, Aaron Resendez, J. Manuel Herrera and Magdalena Carrasco if they take too long to make their points.


Carrasco Ahead in District 5 Fundraising

In a surprising turn of events, newbie San Jose District 5 candidate Magdalena Carrasco has proven herself a contender by pulling impressive fundraising numbers since February.
Carrasco reported yesterday that she’s raised $20,647 thus far in the race, $3,925 more this quarter than her closest competitor for Nora Campos’ soon-to-be vacant seat on city council.

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