Pete Campbell

Pete Campbell

Posts by San Jose Inside

Old City Hall Could Have Saved Jobs

On June 26, in the “Internal Affairs” column, the Mercury News reported on the San Jose City Councils’ decision to approve the transfer of the old city hall property site to Santa Clara County. Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio was the only member to vote No.  He said, “‘The old City Hall could have been sold to benefit the general fund.’”

Several weeks prior to the council vote, and after having learned that the City of San Jose was planning to eliminate a $106,000 subsidy to the Health Trust’s Meals On Wheels Program for needy seniors, I sent a letter to the Merc in an effort to bring attention to the fact that the money could easily be found if the city would simply re-examine the land swap deal with the County of Santa Clara.


Stopping San Jose’s ‘Death Spiral’

“We must stop this death spiral of increasing pension costs and decreasing numbers of employees,” wrote Councilmembers Nguyen and Herrera in an op-ed published last week by the Mercury News. Nguyen and Herrera explained their reasons for supporting Mayor Reed’s push to confront the city’s runaway pension problem. In terms of the pension problem, the residents of San Jose also get it.

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City Hall Land Swap and Jobs

A couple of weeks ago, the San Jose city government sent out hundreds of layoff notices to city employees. KRON 4 News reported that 25 percent of the city’s librarians received notices that their positions could be eliminated. The Mercury News reported that the San Jose police officers’ union has offered to cut their salaries by 10 percent in an effort to reduce the number of layoffs. Even with this last-minute concession, San Jose’s police force may still be reduced by 106 officers.


The City Hall Land Swap

The intent of San Jose voters (and Measure I) was clear: trade in the old city hall for a new one downtown. Are the citizens of San Jose to be governed by the expressions of the people, or by local politicians’ interpretation of that expression?


Walk Now for Autism – San Jose

Today, almost 1 percent of children (1 in 110) are diagnosed with Autism. Autism is a growing epidemic, and the American medical industry and educational system is behind the curve. In an effort to help meet the challenge, the local chapter of Autism Speaks is hosting a Walk-A-Thon here in San Jose next month to raise money and awareness for the cause.

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Is City Hall Land Swap Legal?

Press reports indicate that San Jose’s old city hall property site, with an assigned value of $10 million, will be transferred to the Santa Clara County Government as part of a debt settlement between the county and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.  But the old city hall property belonged to the city, not the RDA.  Is the plan to transfer the old city hall complex to the county government a lawful action?


Remembering Doug McNea

Mr. Doug McNea passed away last weekend. One headline read, “San Jose Tax Activist Doug McNea Dies At GOP Convention.” The label, “Tax Activist” doesn’t do the man justice. Doug McNea was a man of principle who stood up for his ideas. He also stood up for others. Doug was active in the fight to save the Tropicana Shopping Center when the city tried to take it over through eminent domain.

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Why the A’s Aren’t Coming to San Jose

By now, the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig, could have, and many say, should have, made a decision as to whether or not the A’s should be permitted to move to San Jose.  The A’s ownership group wants to make the move, and San Jose city officials have been working to assemble the land for a new stadium.  What’s the hang up?


San Jose’s Pension ‘Cancer’

Last week, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown offered stark comments and opinions on the subject of runaway public employee compensation and pensions.  In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Reed suggested that the “seeds” of the problem were planted almost 30 years ago.


The Fight For San Jose

With their city facing a $110 million budget deficit, more and more San Jose residents are weighing into the budget debate. In a recent letter to the Merc, San Jose resident Robert Lindley argued that San Jose residents should be “ashamed” for demanding that their public servants should “give up pay and retirement security so that those citizens will pay no more taxes.” Lindley goes on to say that “the city’s budget shortfall is the responsibility of all residents.” Really?


Should California End Redevelopment Agencies?

Last week, RDA director Harry Mavrogenes and the San Jose City Council said they would work to keep the Redevelopment Agency going despite Gov. Jerry Brown’s intention to shut down agencies statewide.

An article in the Mercury News closed with the following paragraph: “The governor’s finance office said Brown has not wavered on his position and cited a study released Tuesday by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office. The report offers support for Brown’s plan to eliminate the agencies and replace them with other ‘tools to finance economic development.’”


Mall Security Coming to San Jose’s Airport?

San Jose officials are looking into the possibility of replacing 41 police officers and 12 firefighters currently stationed at the airport with a private security firm. An estimated $10 million could be saved if such a switch were to be made. Airport officials have invited outside companies to submit proposals.


More on the Battle for San Jose’s Redevelopment Dollars

As San Jose city officials scramble to convince Governor Brown to not shut down its redevelopment agency, more and more information is coming to the public’s attention that speak to the value and effectiveness of the redevelopment system.  San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders offered the following argument in a recent column, “The Future Of California-Jerry Brown Takes On The Redevelopment Agencies.”