Hope Amid the Gloom

In the midst of the city’s worst budget crisis and a worldwide recession, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed headed a panel yesterday that focused solely on the city’s upside, and new efforts to stimulate local business. “This is a no-bad-news zone,” Reed announced to a crowd of business leaders, investors, building owners and realtors gathered in the San Jose City Hall Rotunda for lunch.

Members of the panel included the city’s Director of Planning, Joe Horwedel, Chief Development Officer Paul Krutko, Chief Economic Strategist Kim Walsh and Assistant RDA Director John Weis. They explained the city goals of expanding the region’s business sector, and praised past city projects that stimulated business development.

During the question-and-answer period that followed, audience members applauded some changes Downtown, including the sidewalk cafes in the SoFA District and the push to develop new entertainment venues. Others touted the efforts to build a major league baseball stadium and the mayor’s green-tech crusade.

Robert Jacobvitz, the executive vice president of Silicon Valley’s Building Owners and Managers Association, said he is particularly pleased with the way San Jose city officials are helping businesses.

“San Jose has a friendly administration, where there’s a continuation of growth in the city,” Jacobvitz said.

Now that the city has approved a budget, Reed said, he hopes to work with businesses to make San Jose a major competitor among innovative metropolitan cities.

“We need to be the best place in the world to grow business,” Reed said. “Each year we continue to get better.”
Laura Fishman


  1. “‘This is a no-bad-news zone,’ Reed announced….”  I wouldn’t be counting the chickens just yet.  With California’s $25B budget deficit, I’d lay 5-1 odds that RDAs will soon go the way of dinosaurs.

  2. #1,
    I think the RDA will soon go the way of humans; in other words, they aren’t going anywhere! 

    I think your negative outlook regarding Reed and our city should go the way of the dinosaurs.

    I commend our mayor and the business community for their positive outlook on our city’s future.  San Jose is on the right path and will only get better…naysayers be damned!

  3. There is a HUGE disconnect between the rhetoric of the mayor and council re how business-friendly SJ is, and the fact of how they are great at putting impediments in place for the entrepeneur.  But if you’re some chain restaurant with bullsh*t food, you get a subsidy from either the city or the RDA.

  4. 10th Largest,

    Exactly my sentiment… the RDA has never gone anywhere.  They’ve wasted billions of dollars Downtown, yet Santana Row beats it all to hell and not a dime of our tax money was spent on it!  Looks like you and I agree after all.

  5. Could #2 & #4 provide some examples, please, of businesses “forced” out of DT; other than Casa Castillo, many years ago. 

    The county and state budgets are overloaded with programs for “the disadvanataged”; what we used to call “poor people”, before PC talk took over.  But so many of those “disadvantaged” are illegals, that it’s causing major cutbacks in other areas.  We can deal with every problem pregnancy north of Honduras, but we can’t give decent, afordable medical care to our own citizens.

    Am I the only taxpayer who is sick and tired of all these programs for illegals?  My Mom is 88, born in USA of immigrant parents who took the time to learn English, and who never took a dime, even during the Great Depression.  She was one of 10 kids, all of whom grew up to be productive people. She worked all her life, and paid taxes.

    But can she get any help from any level of government now?  NO FRIGGIN WAY!!  It all goes to folks who weren’t born here, never took the time to learn English, many of who are non-productive.

    I for one am damn sick and tired of paying for the education of illegals IN THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE, with free breakfast and lunch @ School, with Medi-Cal, etc., with government programs explained in their numerous languages, with folks there PAID BY us TAXPAYERS to help them cash in on the freebies; when folks like my Mom—and there are millions of them throughout the USA—can’t get decent health care or any of the other benefits available to illegals, because they have worked too hard, saved a little money, and supposedly (but not really)can afford all the things the illegals get for free (well, free to them, but we all pay for it in the end).

    AND, Obama & Pelosi say this isn’t enough—we must take more from those who work and spread the wealth to those who don’t.  Will we have to become like former Argentina, printing money like mad, with an inflation rate in the stratosphere, before Obama & Pelosi get thrown out?  Even Bernancke admitted recently on 60 Minutes that what the USA under Obama/Pelosi is doing is just printing more money to pay for all these B.S. programs, while our infrastructure deteriorates, and people who worked hard all their lives get sh*t, while illegals and lazy American-born folks get taken care of.

  6. Man! All this drama with Government agencies and their budgets. It’s pathetic. So predictable. So avoidable.
    The State and the City are equivalent to the stupidest, greediest, most irresponsible citizens who went nuts with their credit cards and their giant mortgages, dug themselves into a financial hole and now defiantly demand pity from the rest of us who had the sense to show some restraint.

    And we pay Figone et al big bucks for their expertise? Jesus.

    You liberal voters may be the nicest, decentest, most compassionate, most conscientous, lovingest, most socially responsible, most environmentally aware, most diverse, most tolerant, most ethical, most generous, most super duper doubleplus perfect people on the planet, but you haven’t got a clue about economics.

  7. >> “The mayor is doing AWFUL on my one single personal issue and therefore HE MUST GO!”

    Sometimes I think Iran is more ready for democracy than we are. Listen to us: naming shopping malls, youth hostels, downtown redevelopment, police profiling. I guess that’s what political blogging does to people.

  8. Where is the Reed Boot Boy Peter Campbell?

    Given Campbell’s disdain for the Irish, and his desire to live off a trust fund, we should wonder where he is at.  Not really, maybe the PuGUglies finally had a task force meeting about Campbell’s writings.

  9. JMO,
    Have you checked with senior programs/agencies like the SALA, or AARP to see if there are any services available for your Mom that you don’t know about? I feel terrible that your Mom is going through this. I’d be happy to help you with some referrals if you’d like.

    I completely understand your frustration. Last Friday, my dear friend of 23 years died at the tender age of 59, after a three-year struggle with a rare form of painful intestinal cancer. I attended her funeral today and was thinking about the struggle she and her husband had with health insurance. Her husband, he is 70, and struggling with Prostate Cancer, had to take a job at Target to get her health coverage, until she became eligible for her Medicare benefits THIS March. (Two years ago, I took her into the Social Security Office so she could apply for her benefits because she was too ill to work any more. I was just furious when I heard the Rep say that there was a two-year waiting period.) I was further infuriated when she busted into tears and thanked the guy saying now she knew her husband could finally retire once her Medicare came through. I asked him if he was joking and he said no. I explained that she had cancer and so did her husband, and that they had worked all their lives. His face turned red and he told me he was sorry but those were the rules. 
    One cubical over I listened to a Rep telling an immigrant that had just arrived that they would get their benefits in 30 days, Medicare included. I wasn’t angry with the immigrant, but I was sure angry about the way this country treats its citizens who have worked and paid into the system. It is unfair to blame immigrants they don’t make the laws. We must hold electeds accountable for this miscarriage of justice.

  10. Yeah, Kathleen, I’ve checked with the county where my Mom lives, and have been told that unless she has less that $2k in the bank, she doesn’t qualify for sh*t!  Folks who worked hard and saved get squat.  Folks who sneak minto this country and don’t speak English get everything.

    I blame the Obamas and Pelosis of this country who give away the store to illegals and American-born slackers, while hard-working folks who have saved and done “the right thing” get the shaft from our government.  And when people I consider to be intelligent, like Larry Stone, condone this bullsh*t I get positively apoplectic! 

    Larry just emailed me about Obama’s approval rating as some sort of proof that all is well in America.  How he can be so deluded stuns me; except that I do realize that for him politics is everything, and if a Dem. is in The White House, all is well in his world.

    This country is drowning in programs for non-productive people, and putting a knife in the hearts of those who work.  How long will it take for The American People to catch on?  OOOps, The American people live on so-called reality shows, Dancing With The Stars, inane sitcoms, and other useless crap.

    #13—Stay in Iraq, and keep your love there, too.  Damn right my delivery is disconcerting.  That was my intent.  I am FED UP with paying for the slackers of this world, and their apologists, such as you.  I can understand them—they are just trying to get by, and have no clue, nor would they care if they did, that someone else’s hard work is keeping their sorry asses alive.  You, however, should know better.

  11. Mr. O’conner,
      Even if all you smash is so! Your delivery is very disconcerting.
      The world is awash with agony and denial. It is not enough to throw gasoline on a fire that is already raging, within yourself.
                From Iraq With Love

  12. #14
      Who appointed you “The Dooms Day Man”? Stop picking on the small fry! Go for the big fish!

  13. “We need to be the best place in the world to grow business,” Reed said. “Each year we continue to get better.”

    What a crock, Chuck!  Perfect 1984 doublespeak.

    Of course, when you start from an extremely business-unfriendly position, every tiny Delta appears to be some monumental gain.

    #15—and who would the “big fish” be?

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