Measure B Off the Ballot … For Now

Nevermind. Just when it looked like Measure B was good to go, an appeals court had to throw a monkey wrench in the city’s plan for pension reform. On Monday, Councilmember Pete Constant’s lawsuit got beat down. On Tuesday, the ballot question was heard, and a judge made revisions that mostly favored the city. On Wednesday, an emergency appeal was turned in by labor attorneys, and on Thursday a three-judge panel for the 6th District Court of Appeals ordered a stay of printing any ballots. The judges also told the city not to submit the ballot question as written, pending further order of the court.

The city has until Monday to respond, and labor’s attorneys will have until Tuesday to counter that response.

“We are pleased that the 6th District Court of Appeal will consider our emergency writ seeking to ensure that the ballot question for Measure B is impartial and complies with California election law,” said Robin Johansen, Lead Attorney for City Workers.

Three judges participated in Thursday’s decision: Wendy Duffy, Nathan Mihara and Franklin Elia, the acting presiding judge.

Several scenarios are now at play regarding the ballot measure. First, the court could change the ballot question’s language; second, the court could ask for more time and delay action on a ballot measure; or third, the court could deny Thursday’s writ and the ballot measure could go forward as currently structured.

Click to read Thursday’s 6th District Appeals Court Ruling.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. How incompetent do the City Attorneys have to be to write an initiative that does not pass muster in terms of official language? ”

    Again, the responsibility falls on the leadership. Slash salaries and benefits and even the rejects from the public pretenders office won’t work at the city attorneys office.

    Who will take these jobs? Someone you say, and I agree. However, not someone the citizens can expect to be competent and engaged.

    Perhaps one of SJI’s famous bloggers will apply. He’s already proven his abilities in the field of incompetence.

  2. This seems to be the year for improper petitions.

    First, a group in Santa Clara which included a person who lost a mayoral election by the widest marging in the city’s history puts on a illegal petition that is thrown out in fifteen minutes by a fairly conservative judge.

    Second, Chuck Reed, supposedly a lawyer, puts together a ballot measure that attempts to violate pension vesting rights.

    Third, a candy salesman in Milpitas, who has never managed to get public support, throws in with the boyfriend of Debbie Giordano, and puts a recall petition against city council members who want lobbyists and consultants to disclose their acitivity.


  3. Hahahahahahah. Judge Mckenney, you got served. Smacked in the face. 3 smarter people than you saw the truth. Don’t worry, you’ll still make plenty o’ cash when you come back to private practice to work on Mayor Madhoffs crazy ideas. Just watch out for the big hand of KARMA again.

  4. Seems to me a fair reading of the issue is that Constant’s claims regarding ballot arguments were without legal merit, while claims against the ballot language have legal merit.

    Further, if the Court ordered a rewrite of any part of the ballot measure wording then the City Council, logically, they would have to vote to approve that new wording for the measure to be valid.  Having waited until the last minute to put it on the ballot, they probably have missed the June window. 

    We will see how the appeals court rules, but there are several issues that must be decided and the clock is ticking.

    How incompetent do the City Attorneys have to be to write an initiative that does not pass muster in terms of official language?  They should have hired Peter Bagetellos, he is one of the best.

    On the upside this could save the City a lot of money by jettisoning this measure.

    Just an opinion.

  5. Well, see what happens when objective people not associated with the Mayor or City Manager get involved.  People actually start to do the right thing.  The unhonorable, dirty, lying, snake in the grass Mayor pushed so hard for some of that wording in the ballot measure.  Let me remind you he is a lawyer by trade.  Any competent lawyer knew that some of the wording the Mayors proposed ballot measure was illegal.  But the unhonorable Mayor wanted to see how far he could “BULLY” the unions.  The City Manager is just as much to blame.  Oh, and let’s not forget Alex Gurza.  Yes, another puppet who was questioned about the ballot measure in regards to the wording of the disability retirement wording in the ballot measure.  And last, but not least, Constant.  Cried and wined and lost in court.  WHO PAID FOR CONSTANTS COURT FEES IN REGARDS TO HIS LEGAL CHALLENGE TO STRIKE LANGUAGE IN UNIOIN’S BALLOT ARGUMENTS THAT HE BELIEVED WAS FALSE AND MISLEADING.  Was that tax payer money you used Pete?

    The Mayor is out the door.  Those that are left behind and who are supporters of his illegal ballot measure will never be forgotten.  You 8 that voted for the ballot measure will go down with the Mayor’s sinking, if not already sunk, dirty ship.  You 8 deserve every bit of the fallout that will be coming as a result of this illegal ballot measure and the waisted tax payer money. 

    We must all remember, respect, and honor those on the city council who voted “no” on the ballot measure.  They did what was right even though they knew the emotional, public perception, would view them as pro labor.  They are not pro labor, the are pro “what is legal and what is right.”  Those are the type of people we need on our city council.

    • It’s not accurate to say that eight council members supported Measure B.  The second vote was a question of whether to let the original, more drastic version of the ballot measure go forward, or the revised, slightly less drastic version.  To vote no the second time was to support the original version, which had already been approved.

  6. We just filed a complaint with the San Jose Elections Commission citing Victor Ajlouny, an out of state consultant, making at least 100,000 dollars on this measure, with bullying and intimidating public employees in Milpitas claiming that he will set up a Measure B campaign to go after Milpitas employees.  Cited as witnesses are Mayor Reed, the City Clerk of Milpitas, and Pierluigi Oliverio.

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