A’s Not Coming to San Jose Any Time Soon

Oakland's City Council modified a lease deal to keep the A's in the East Bay for another decade, which makes relocating—to San Jose or elsewhere—a no-go for the time being.

The changes made in a 5-2 vote by the council will keep the Raiders and the A's in the same stadium—the one that is so rundown that the NFL wants to raze and rebuild it into a football-only facility.

Though A's owner Lew Wolff has long eyed San Jose as a new home for the team, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has barred the move because it lies in territory claimed by the San Francisco Giants. San Jose, which sued MLB over the delay, has included  a new stadium in long-term development plans for downtown.

Athletics owner Lew Wolff told the San Francisco Chronicle's Will Kane that's he's "comfortable" with the agreement, which came with seven modifications.

Supporters of the deal say it gives the A's time to scout out a new stadium in Oakland, according to the Mercury News. Opponents countered that it gives Wolff a chance to press for a move to San Jose.

Alameda County Supervisors are expected to cast a final vote on the deal within a month.


  1. I think this mayor and his voting block, especially Liccardo, poisoned the waters with their threats and lawsuits directed towards MLB. Maybe when Mayor Cortese is elected, Liccardo is out of office, and there are new council members, MLB and the Giants will be more willing to work with San Jose and the A’s.

    • Or maybe if you knew that Cortese and his allies actually support San Jose’s lawsuit against MLB now (eventhough they didnt in the past), and that San Jose has an actual chance to win the case and Lew Wolff actually endorsed Liccardo…you would know that Liccardo’s election would improve chances of the A’s coming to San Jose.

      I am sorry you have gotten upset, however It is comical that you call out other people on their facts without citations but when you, Anthony and others make up statistics you are somehow silent.

      • Oh, you mean the same Sam Liccardo who voted to sell Lew Woff $25 million dollars worth of property, bought for by SJ taxpayers, for $7 million dollars? Gee, wonder why he endorsed Liccardo. Here is a citation for you, and you can get back to your fantasy that San Jose may win a lawsuit against the baseball owners. This mayor and your beloved Sammy should take a lesson from the City of Santa Clara on how to cooperatively work with the owners of these teams to actually get something done, rather than through threats of lawsuits, and also in creating a great tax base for the citizens of the city.


        • The Option Agreement is the reason why San Jose has any chance at all of getting the Oakland A’a:

          Whyte (the judge in antitrust case) did rule that San Jose could continue to seek damages on the ground that MLB interfered with an option agreement between the Athletics on land for a new stadium.

          Everyone in San Jose wants the A’s to come here…Observation trying to make a wedge issue out of this is interesting as the owner has endorsed Liccardo, probably as the strongest and smartest advocate for bringing the A’s here.

          I wonder what is a better endorsement for San Jose’s future: Lew Wolff endorsing Sam Liccardo or Dave Cortese endorsing Xavier Campos????

          PS- Funny seeing you cite the Mercury News for once :-)

          • SJC…San Jose has zero chance of getting the A’s, even if Lew loves your boy Sammy. The other 29 MLB owners will never approve this move after the way Reed, et al, has handled this situation. Oh, and in your first response you stated that I do not provide citations, and in your second response you state “funny seeing you cite the Mercury News for once”. Judging by your second response, you imply I have provided citations in the past, just not the Mercury, but your first response implies I never provide any citations for anything. If you want to be credible, please consider making more accurate statements. Just FYI, I have provided many citations in past posts, including the Mercury, amongst others. Also, your statement that “Everyone in San Jose wants the A’s to come here” is another false statement, though for the record, I would like to see them come here.

          • Observation, I am sorry to upset you, but here is another example of the contradictory statements by you made just one day apart ….

            Yesterday you mentioned ” Maybe when Mayor Cortese is elected, Liccardo is out of office, and there are new council members, MLB and the Giants will be more willing to work with San Jose and the A’s.”

            Today you say: San Jose has zero chance of getting the A’s, even if Lew loves your boy Sammy.

            Let me know how the two aforementioned statements are consistent with one another. Did you have a change of heart or did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

          • Let me clarify. San Jose has zero chance of getting the A’s if Liccardo is mayor. The Reed administration, including Liccardo, has burned its bridges with the MLB team owners.

          • If Lew Wolff really believed that Liccardo was an obstacle to getting the A’s to move to San Jose, he sure as heck wouldn’t endorse him for Mayor. If you and Cortese hacks really believe that Lew Wolff is a shady businessman as you have accused him of being he DEFINITELY would not want to come to San Jose under a (pipe dream) Cortese Administration. I guess Cortese would rather align himself with Xavier Campos than Lew Wolff.

            Cortese’s view of a solid public servant is someone who votes the same exact way he does and not the actual character of the individual. So anyone’s character Cortese or his team questions including Liccardo or Reed, has to be taken with a grain of salt.

            Cortese endorsing Xavier Campos’ re-election goes to his judgment of what is good character for a public servant. If that is who he supports, I shudder to think of what his administration will look like.

  2. One of the interesting details not talked about in the press very much, concerns itself with the “Option Agreement” Mr. Wolff currently enjoys with properties bought by the San José Redevelopment Agency that are to be used for the proposed Downtown Baseball Stadium (if the A’s get to move to San José).

    The aforementioned “Option Agreement” is set to expire this November (2014).

    Will the spendthrifts on the San José City Council continue to “Gift” these public properties to Mr. Wolff, at a dramatic loss of value and other significant costs to the taxpayers, to keep the hope of a Downtown Baseball Stadium alive?

    David S. Wall

  3. Would love to see the A’s come to San Jose , But seriously don’t see it happening . San Jose has a “slim to none ” chance of wining any lawsuit . Check the City’s record on when they go to court . San Jose loses the majority of the time

  4. Observation vs SJC, can you just exchange emails or phone numbers and take to to a different site or level. A’s will never come to San Jose.

    Vote Dave

    • Sorry Retired. SJC is a Reed/Liccardo shill, and if he responds with the usual rhetoric to my posts, I will respond back. Cortese is the only hope this city has of turning things around.

      • And since Observation is a Cortese / Xavier Campos hack, I cannot refrain from calling Observation out on the garbage that permeates from his/her posts, especially when they contradict one another.

    • I dont work for any campaign retired. I have my preferred candidate and observation has his / hers… one difference – the candidate i support didnt endorse Xavier Campos. The candidate you and Observation support did. Have you asked him why he endorsed Xavier Campos reelection bid?

  5. Conversation over on this blog. I am voting for Cortese, no one can do worse to distroy this once great city than Chuck!

    Sam hates city employees and public safety just the same.

    Sorry time for a major change in the city council.

    And forget about A’s ever coming here.

    • SPOILER ALERT: Re “Vote Dave” Tired is Voting for Cortese… I expect Retired’s endorsement of Dave will be as “helpful” as Cortese’s endorsement of Xavier Campos’ re-election bid.

      • @SJC, repeat, repeat, repeat ad nauseum. Dave endorsed Campos. So what??? Wolf and reed endorsed liccardo. So what??? To each his own. A person may endorse a candidate simply because they don’t like the other candidate, for what ever reason. What IS important is who will be able to lead this city out of the mess that it is in and start the healing process. We are all adults. Everybody has a right to choose who they want to be mayor or who they want to see in a certain position, but repeating this over and over and over again has become a little sickening. Guess I’ll start repeating, too: If liccardo can’t run his own district, how can he even begin to run an entire city? His district is a mess. The citizens in his district are not happy. It’s very telling. I think I will make this my signature.

        • Wow if you hate repeating show me the post of you condemg Retired’s “Vote Dave”…oh wait, we dont call out people who support our candidates do we. Also if Sam was so unpopular, how come he was re-elected convincingly, while Dave’s preferred candidate in District 5 Campos couldnt make it to a second round….as an incumbent?!?!?! Why would Dave support someone knowing they were despised that much by their community not to even make a runoff…as an incumbent?

          • People could put “Vote sam” in their signatures and I could care less. What is sickening is your repetitive questioning of why and how Dave endorsed Campos. You have so many questions as to why Dave did such and such–Why don’t you ask Dave. Nobody here knows. You can also do a little research on how happy liccardo’s district is with his performance. They have voiced it. Oh…here’s my signature, again:
            If liccardo can’t run his own district, how can he even begin to run an entire city? His district is a mess. The citizens in his district are not happy. It’s very telling.

          • Liccardo was re-elected overwhelmingly as an incumbent…Cortese endorsed an incumbent who couldnt even force a runoff… Liccardo obviously has more D-3 support than you think and Dave has as little an understanding of the pulse of D-5 as you do of D-3 :-)

      • Yes, liccardo was re-elected as an incumbent, but do you remember how long ago that was? That was before he got down to the nitty-gritty of being instrumental in bringing this city to its knees; before we could understand the damage he was capable of doing to the city. I don’t give a rat’s you know what that “Dave endorsed an incumbent who couldn’t even force a runoff”. That has nothing to do with Cortese effectively being able to repair the damage that liccardo did. Just about every person that reed endorses loses, so what is the big deal??? The only way this city will start to heal is when liccardo is voted out. Otherwise, this city will be trapped and spiraling down the same sewer drain it has been swirling around since reed and the clown council decided to tear it apart. Why are you so hung up on Campos? It’s starting to border on weird. I’m sure liccardo has SOME support in his district but that doesn’t make up for the fact that he was/is a lame D3 council person who’s district is a mess coupled with the fact that he was one of the council persons who effectively tore this city apart and made it the mess that it is, today. Many, many residents of his district will be glad when his watch ends there. New blood…and that is what this city needs, not the same ole crap that brought this city down in the first place. Everybody has a right to their choice for mayor. You have yours for your reasons and I have mine for my reasons. No big deal. That’s the way the game works.

        • Liccardo was reelected simply because the majority of San Jose voters are too lazy to research for them selves or just blindly follow elected leaders because they THINK elected officials are honest individuals instead of Politicians , big mistake.

          • Wow…by that rationale do you think Cortese was reelected to City Council because voters were lazy too?

            Also do you find Cortese to be lazy because of his support for the incumbent Campos? And were District 5 voters not lazy by conparison because they voted out an incumbent (against Cortese’s endorsement)?

          • Well it certainly doesn’t help when the internet is used to disseminate untrue information, like when you falsely claimed that the majority of Liccardo’s campaign contributions came from out of state.

      • and same goes for your endorsement mr irelevent – SJC….but my taxes pay for everything and everyone in the nation because he makes so much money lol

        • What I think is that voters should do some research . This City belongs to the residents , NOT the Politicians . People shouldn’t complain if they are not prepared to do something about it , and that means getting educated on the topics and issues facing San Jose

  6. You can tell someone has stopped thinking rationally when they become convinced that their political opponent “hates public safety”.
    Of course it’s not like Cortese and Liccardo have different ideas of how to promote public safety, it’s merely a philosophical disagreement on whether or not people should be safe. (/sarcasm)

  7. Cortese made a bad endorsement. Liccardo helped dismantle the best police department in the United States, due to the ballot measure he helped write, then ruled by the courts to be mostly unconstitutional. I will take my chances with Cortese.

    • If you think Liccardo or any mayoral candidate wants increased crime in the city you are delusional.

      My second point is Cortese and Liccardo has made policy votes on unknown entities that have both succeeded and havent succeeded. As a public servant you lay out plans whose outcomes are unknown. The focus of my critique on Cortese’s endorsement of Xavier is Campos was a known entity….and he endorsed him regardless. Inhave asked his campaign why he endorsed him via email on multiple occasions – no response… because it is indefensible.

      • Of course they don’t want more crime. However, not all were the authors of the plan that led to the destruction of the best police department in the United States. Unfortunately, Sam was one of the authors of this plan, even after he was warned by experts it was likely illegal and unconstitutional, and former police chiefs, including Chief MacNamara of the Hoover Institute, warned that officers would flee this department. Rather than admit a mistake, he has doubled down, pushing this forward in court at great cost and the continued loss of the few officers left. Finfan correctly stated that the SJPD is a decimated police force on the verge of physical and psychological collapse.

        • You constantly repeat two contradictory statements:
          1. Measure B was ruled unconstitutional (which means it is not in effect)
          2. The effects of Measure B have destroyed San Jose

          The truth is that 70% of voters approved Measure B, a court ruled a portion of it unconstitutional, and now Dave Cortese wants to roll back its completely legal and constitutional provisions. You can say “it’s illegal” however many times you want, the courts have ruled otherwise and you’re intentionally blurring the policy aims of your candidate because they are 100% out of line with the will of the voters.

          Furthermore, the exodus of police officers began before Measure B was ever implemented, and resulted from the concerted efforts of union leaders who held job fairs for competing agencies in order to weaken SJPD to win a political battle for more generous benefits. That’s called extortion, and if it sounds too ugly to be true, it’s true:

          • Twist words around however you want. Officers have fled this department for the parts of Measure V, W, and B that were implemented. That is a direct result of Liccardo. Hundreds of millions of dollars of training these officers, as well as irreplaceable institutional knowledge, and hundreds of years of cumulative experience, have left, due to Liccardo’s policies. Also, the job fair the POA held is not responsible for the 300 plus officers that have lateraled to other departments. You truly don’t understand the dynamics. These officers are actively sought after by other cities, including out of state cities, because of the skill set and qualifications they possess. The internet has made this quite simple. These officers are extremely intelligent, and can actually network and research info all on their own on where to work. You are an idiot if you think this was some extortion effort by the POA for more “generous benefits”, as the officers will be making in 2015 what they were making in 2009.

          • So this isn’t even about rolling back Measure B, but V and W as well? The truth comes out.

            And no, Liccardo is not directly responsible for any of those measures passing- the voters of San Jose are. Liccardo was indirectly responsible in that he enabled the citizens to make their own decision about how their tax dollars would be spent, a rather novel idea that you take great umbrage with.

          • “The truth is that 70% of voters approved Measure B”

            Sorry, that’s not the WHOLE truth. The WHOLE truth is that 70% of THOSE WHO BOTHERED TO VOTE approved measure b. I think it was something like 12-16% (can’t remember, exactly) of the city’s total population who approved measure b. That is not much. Not at all.

          • So are you saying that unions did not do any work to get out vote against Measure B???? WAKE UP! Thats how elections are done, you need to get voters to the polls and not just making noise.

            I know that you and other Cortesians despise these things called elections but if there was this outcry against Measure B or the other measures that you speak of – why was this not reflected at the polls?

            The fact that you and others Cortese supporters fail to have the pulse of San Joseans…accusing Liccardo of being disconnected while he gets reelected overwhelmingly, meanwhile Cortese supports an incumbent…shows how out of touch Cortese and his supporters are from San Jose and reality.

            Cortese has the same level of support after first round that he and Cindy got combined in 2006 when she whooped him to be labors candidate in runoff – so go ahead and tout your round one percentage :-)

          • Voters = people who vote, so yes, my sentence was the complete truth. The people who were against Measure B turned out and voted against it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of the democratic process with speculative claims that somehow there is a significant number of citizens who opposed Measure B and didn’t turn out to the polls is 100% unsubstantiated. If they don’t care enough to vote, they’re not trying to participate in civilian governance.

          • theres a reason why a REED would want a vote in june v november….less voters!!!

  8. Were it not the case that Sam Liccardo played a big part in the most dishonest and disastrous political campaign in this city’s history, his proponents would be so busy touting his council record they would have little time or interest in referencing his opponent’s endorsement of Xavier Campos. But Liccardo’s record — a disgrace to both the Ivy League and silver spoon set, is one from which his proponents must run and hide. With a decimated police force on the verge of physical and psychological collapse, and the safety of a concerned and endangered public being treated with nothing more than sleight-of-hand “fixes,” who can blame Team Liccardo for its obsessive efforts to misdirect their man’s handiwork and marry the opponent’s name to a local pariah?

    God help his team should the public ever remember Sam’s willingness to dishonor contracts (revealing his disrespect for the law), stand by a demented liar (Mr. $650 million), endorse lunatic promises (about what qualifies as adequate police staffing), and squander valuable time and a small fortune in wasteful litigation. Maybe a few political signs on East Hedding will allow the commuters crawling by to remember Sam’s handiwork?

    Now that I think of it, Sam’s record is so embarrassing that his team is going to need a bigger scoundrel than Campos. Anyone got any snapshots of Dave Cortese with Dr. Evil?

    • Is Cortese’s record a disgrace to Lincoln Law School? Or is it impossible to be a disappointment to an “institution” that has less square footage than the super market across the street? Also, what is considered a disgrace to wealthy people – please regail us in your version of class warfare.

      So its just now you thought Sam’s record is more embarrasing than Campos endorsement…this means that at one time you thought Campos endorsement was liability to Dave…how come you tbink he hasnt acknowledged his CLEAR lack of judgment. Everyone proposes policy ideas without knowing outcomes, few endorse corrupt candidates whose misdeeds are well known and have the gall to question their opponents ethics. No wonder Cindy trounced Dave in 2006 to make the runoff.

    • Cortese chose to marry his name to Xavier Campos when he endorsed him despite the wealth of information about his corruption, from the election he stole with fraudulent mailers to the money he stole from the Mexican American community in his role with MACSA. Integrity is important, and so far no one who supports Cortese has offered any sort of explanation for why he might endorse such an openly corrupt politician other than “he must not of liked Carrasco”.

      Meanwhile, Liccardo helped halt the City’s rapid decline into debt by putting Measure B before the voters (They were the ones who approved it, not Liccardo- 70% in favor). A rapid decline which Cortese put the City on through his fiscally irresponsible behavior as a Councilmember- and a rapid decline which the County is on, right now, thanks to his “leadership”.

  9. I suggest that Liccardo’s supporters are running from his record and look at the response. SJC puts together a few clever lines and well-worn accusations, but not a word about Sam’s council record. Then Carthagus, who apparently can’t keep his finger off his “Xavier Campos” keyboard hotkey, finally owns up to Sam’s record, sort of, by falsely depicting Measure B as fiscal salvation, but, in acknowledgment to the calamity it has caused, points out that it was voters, not Sam Liccardo, that approved it.

    Run faster boys… the stink of your candidate’s record is overtaking you.

    • Nowhere did I “acknowledge the calamity” of Measure B. It was the police unions who took on a concerted effort to push officers out of SJ, if you think that pointing out that the public overwhelmingly shorted Measure B is an attempt to shift blame, it is because it never occurred to you that the public has a right to decide how their tax dollars are spent. You might not care about putting SJ on the path to bankruptcy, but the voters have consistently shown that they do.

  10. Carthagus,

    If you don’t think Measure B caused a calamity then why the need to offload the responsibility for it on the voters? I interpreted your little dodge as a tacit acknowledgment of that. By the way, it was Mr. Liccardo who helped make it possible for the voters to have the choice to demonstrate their gullibility.

    Path to bankruptcy? Upchuck Reed puts B’s savings at 25 million dollars per year. Do you really think that in a city of this size 25 mil is all that stands between solvency and bankruptcy? This exchange has become a joke.

    • Yes, because referencing the demonstrated democratic approval of a policy is an attempt to shift blame. (/sarcasm)

      Once again, conflicting arguments regarding Measure B- it’s either “draconian austerity” doing far too much or weak and not doing enough to solve San Jose’s unfunded liabilities, depending on what’s convenient.

  11. I’m quite surprised by the level of ignorance displayed by so many of those looking to blame the SJPOA for the unprecedented exodus of SJPD officers. If you’re going to point fingers at an organization you should at least know something about it.

    First of all, the POA does not exist to serve the interests of the police administration or the city. The administration’s interests are served by a well-paid chief and command staff, and the city’s by a well-paid manager. The POA exists to serve the interests of its members, a responsibility that sometimes means the membership as a whole (e.g. bargaining), and sometimes the individual (e.g. supplying legal defense). Any failure to carry out these responsibilities exposes the POA to legal action (and members have sued for just this reason).

    When a policy is proposed, by the chief or city manager, that represents a fundamental change in the workplace or pay scale, the POA is obligated to do two things: alert the membership and offer whatever assistance it can. Thus, when Mayor Reed launched a full scale attack against this city’s police officers the POA was obligated not only to resist the mayor’s efforts (serving the membership as a whole) but to assist those individual officers who’d made the very personal and enormously difficult decision to leave and find a position elsewhere. Hosting job fairs, as a method of exposing these dues-paying POA members to the best jobs available, was nothing more than the POA fulfilling an obligation.

    Anyone who believes that even one police veteran would base his or her decision to leave the department on the POA’s politics or job fairs is an idiot. Police agencies hire born decision-makers, not Chicken Little’s. Furthermore, anyone who publicly attributes the departure of the hundreds of officers lost to the actions of the POA, as opposed to the actions of the mayor and council, is either a fool or a liar.

    Not one of the 1500 or so Titanic passengers who froze to death in the North Atlantic died because someone helped them get over the side of the sinking ship; they died because the incompetent captain and his crew ran the great vessel into an iceberg they should’ve seen coming. Chuck Reed, Sam Liccardo, and the rest of the incompetents were full speed ahead when it came to recklessly navigating through dangerous waters, but now that they’re taking on water fast, these cowards are desperate to make someone else to go down with the ship.

    • You are absolutely right, the POA does not exist to serve the interests of the city, but the interest of their members. That is why they have intentionally diminished police staffing through their job fairs- as a negotiating tactic to try to help cops continue to retire at age 50 earning 90% of their salary. Yes, they are motivated by self interest, and in November they will realize that their is a mandate from the citizens of San Jose for sustainable public employment benefits.

      I’m sorry Councilmembers like Cortese made promises to them that could not be kept- even he has acknowledged the need to reform the pension system he helped design. When it comes to actually doing something, however, he would rather kick the can down the road and stick the debt with our children in order to win a union endorsement, and that’s why Liccardo has overwhelmingly beat Cortese with young voters.

      • Carthagus,,,,I promise to believe everything you said is 100% correct, and I will even for for Liccardo, if you can provide a link to show one SJPD officer who has ever retired at 50 years old at 90% of his/her salary. That shouldn’t be hard, since you referred to multiple “cops” retiring at 50 years old with 90% of their salary.

        • Observation,
          I fulfilled your request, but it posted to the bottom of the thread as comments sometimes strangely do. Don’t try to pretend like I didn’t beat your challenge just because it’s not hanging off directly from your comment. =)

  12. Well stated Finfan…. It is comical to read what some of the Liccardo/Reed shills love to spew, namely that the POA is pushing officers to leave. Are you serious? Carthagus you are desperate to shift blame on the POA when it sits squarely on City Hall… There are critical staffing levels in briefings everyday with detectives and officers from special ops being pulled back to patrol. This has a direct result on the solve rate of reported crimes as well as the inability to be proactive. Proactive policing is what kept this city ranked so well in the crime index. This cannot happen when proactive policing disappears. This has been a conscious decision that this counsel made. I don’t know how Liccardo can sleep at night knowing that he contributed to a skyrocketing crime trend…. Carthagus would love for everyone to believe that officers who went to college and took a lengthy written test, physical agility, background check and then went through a para military police academy and then a lengthy FTO program would just leave because the union leaders told them they should. Yes Carthagus keep beating that drum. The majority of citizens who did not vote are tired of being victimized and not having a proactive police force. The true majority are the other 600,000 plus voters who DID NOT CAST THEIR BALLOT! Barely over 100,00 voted and out of that was 70% Do you really believe that is a true representation of the SJ population? The public was snowed once I wonder if they will take charge and show up at the polls. Hopefully they will ignore the constant shill rhetoric from people like you and the corrupt bunch on the current council.

    • Informer, I am not a shill. Why can’t you accept differing opinions as legitimate? In reference to your comments on the legitimacy of the Measure B vote, see my comments above. Yes, I think it was a representative vote, considering the rest of San Jose either wasn’t paying attention or didn’t care enough to make the very minimal effort of voting.

    • I find it interesting that you think these things called elections are not important. You blame others for measures that were put up to the entire votinf population of San Jose for a vote…and those who made the effort to come to the polls voted overwhelmingly in favor of Measure B – are you saying that this vote was illegitimate? Are you saying that people as impassioned as yourself were not allowed into the polling stations? Anyone in San Jose who wants to vote can vote. It makes zero since that those who feel “victimized” DON’T take advantage of their right to vote – in the history of the modern world, in democratic societies elections are used for people who feel as victims to effect change.

      You obviously do not have a pulse of the city and in doing so you are in the same boat as Cortese. It has been claimed on this site that Liccardo is hated by his district, however if thats the case why did he get re-elected, and if Cortese has such a pulse of the city why did he back an incumbent who couldnt get out of the first round?

  13. I only know a handful of cops, and they’re all active duty. However, as you can see below, at least prior to Measure B the minimum age of possible retirement for a police officer was 50 years old, and the maximum benefits were 90% of their salary.

    Now keep your end of the bargain, Observation.

  14. Carthagus,
    You are a fraud. You stated, “cops continue to retire at age 50 earning 90% of their salary”. You provided no proof of just one officer who was 50 years old and received a 90% retirement. That is what I told you to do. How do you know these officers? Did you personally meet them? I don’t want a link to some generic city website. I want a name or a link to some particular individual that you speak of. You know why, you fraud? Because there are none. NO officer can retire at age 50 with a 90% retirement. The absolute earliest an officer could retire with a 90% retirement is 51 years old, and even that is an extreme rarity. You are a liar, and pulled that number out of your ass, and you will never be able to provide me one officer who retired at 50 with a 90% liar. You pulled that number out of your ass, just as Reed and LIccardo have done, and folks like you have blindly repeated.

    • Observation, if you’re accusing anyone of fraud, it should be the San Jose Retirement Services Department, because it is their information on a “generic city website” which says that a police officer who has served 25 years is eligible to begin receiving benefits at age 50, with a maximum amount of 90%. To say that I pulled that number out of my ass could not be farther from the truth.

      I don’t know how you expect me to name a specific officer who has retired with those figures, as I am not familiar with any publicly available list of all SJPD retirees. I don’t believe such a list, and without such a list, the request you are making is impossible to fulfill. If YOU could provide me with such a list, it would vindicate the statements you have made regarding the feasibility of an officer retiring at age 50 and earning 90% benefits. Until you do that, however, I think my official city figures trump your assertions.

      I am not sure why there is so much anger in your post. You called me a fraud (twice) and a liar (twice- in the same sentence) who blindly repeats numbers ‘pulled out of my ass’, all in response to my very straightforward use of a factual authority to resolve a factual disagreement. What about my post made you so angry?

      • It could be that Observation is right about there not being any 50 year old police retirees getting a 90% pension. Not yet anyway.
        Like most people I don’t keep historical records of the contracts negotiated by our city with the various unions. I don’t know when the 3% per year deal came in but if it was less than 3% for any of the time since 1984 then it would be impossible for anyone to accumulate a 90% pension by age 50. (Unless the new contract retroactively upped the rate for prior service TO 3% )
        Measure B was in response to concerns about *future* pension obligations, which WILL, starting 30 years after the date of the 3% contract, include many 50 year old police and fire retirees getting a 90% pension. WITH COLAS. WITH medical benefit.
        I, and most who voted for Measure B, were concerned about this situation long before Mayor Reed started talking about it.

        • In order for an officer to be eligible to retire at age 50 and to receive 90% of his * base ending salary* (which is the maximum retirement benefit) that officer would have to have been hired at age 20. Now, since the minimum hiring age to get into the academy is age 20 and that hypothetical 20 year old would have to turn 21 before they complete their probationary period, it is, quite literally, impossible for a 50-year-old to retire with the maximum benefit. As a practical matter, the number of 20-year-olds hired is so vanishingly few that I don’t know of any with SJPD at this point. Most are hired in their mid-to-late 20’s or older and, again, in order to receive the maximum retirement benefit, they must still work the full 30 years. I furthermore submit to you that with the accumulated physical and psychological stresses of the job, it is not advantageous to anyone to expect a police officer – or firefighter, for that matter – to work more than 30 years. I can assure you that there are few officers who make it through even a portion of their career without developing PTSD to one degree or another (http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/74485/annals.1364.00?sequence=1) and that, statistically, about 40% of police officers develop one or more sleep disorders (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111220172618.htm). The bottom line is that the community NEEDS officers to retire after a given period of time because there is an upper limit to how long the vast majority officers should reasonably stay on the job.

          With respect to the COLA issue and retiree medical, you need to understand two crucial points:

          1. The Police/Fire pension system has traditionally performed well in excess of targeted rates of return. Even in the worst performing years there was still a 4% rate of return and, in other years, the fund has seen up to a 20% return. It has been exceptionally well managed and has averaged a return of roughly 8% (actually a bit more, if I recall correctly) year over year. Clearly,. this is well in excess of the 3% COLA and, if you account for how the interest is compounded, it should be sufficient to sustain retirees. Part of the reason why the city is having to pour additional funds into the system is because there were a number of years when, because the the fund was performing in excess of targets, the city took pension holidays and did not put any money at all into the fund for their required contributions. I don’t know exactly how much they neglected to contribute in those years, but I do know it was many tens of millions of dollars. This is where the (lack of) compounding interest really hurt the fund with respect to those tens of millions of dollars.

          2. Lifetime medical is not a ‘free’ benefit. Retiree medical has been pre-funded by plan participants and current participants have paid extra into the fund to ensure that it is healthy enough to cover current retirees. We have been committed to seeing the benefit well-funded and healthy but it is not a ‘free benefit’ and, to my knowledge, never has been.

          • And, I realized this comment needs a clarification: Recruits in the academy do NOT participate in the pension plan so the six months they spend in the Academy does not count towards their years of service for the purposes of calculating their retirement benefit. So, since years of service cannot begin to be counted until a *minimum* age of 21, the minimum retirement age that is possible and still receive the full 90% benefit is 51. And, again, as a practical matter, I know of very few recruits hired at 21, if any at all.

      • “If YOU could provide me with such a list, it would vindicate the statements you have made regarding the feasibility of an officer retiring at age 50 and earning 90% benefits. Until you do that, however, I think my official city figures trump your assertions.”

        Your OFFICIAL CITY FIGURES??????????? Is that anything like your “TRUTH” regarding the voters? You evidently don’t know what you are talking about, AGAIN, and you prove it more and more. No police officer can retire at age 50 with a 90% pension. SMH. Also, very few officers retire with 30 years, thus very few officers get a 90% pension.

        • “No police officer can retire at age 50 with a 90% pension.”
          Dude, I just linked to a city website saying the exact opposite, yes, with official city figures from the San Jose Retirement Services Department. I don’t know how I can be any more straightforward, but I’ll link it again.

          • DUDE…you’re not understanding it correctly. The 90% maximum benefit they are talking about means that even if they work for 40 years, they will never accrue anything more than a 90% benefit. It is not saying that if they retire at 50, with 25 years service that they will get a 90% benefit. San Jose does not even hire officers until they are 21 years old. It says that if they are 55, they can retire with 20 years service. If they are 50, they can retire with 25 years service…and if they have 30 years of service, they can retire at any age. The minimum age, with 30 years will be age 51. You have to go by the formula on that page. Reread it and to the math.

  15. Because the minimum age is 21 for police officers, and because 30 plus 21 can never equal fifty, the straw man that Chuck Reed and the SJ Mercury used to help sell Measure B never existed. That they couldn’t use the truth tells you a lot about the value Mr. $650 million places on sound bites.

    And, for the last time, the 90% maximum came into being about a decade ago (under Ron Gonzales) when the POA unwisely allowed the city to use the then-flush retirement fund (instead of its own budget) as a bargaining chip in salary negotiations.

    By the way, there is no 3% a year… the bump-up comes during the final years.

    • “Because the minimum age is 21 for police officers, and because 30 plus 21 can never equal fifty, the straw man that Chuck Reed and the SJ Mercury used to help sell Measure B never existed.”

      Finfan, as I have already stated, and as is provided in the link before, prior to Measure B police could retire at age 50 after 25 years, not 30- that’s according to the San Jose Retirement Services Department. Is nobody even bothering to actually look at the page I linked to?

  16. So little time… so much ignorance.

    Traditionally, police retirement systems have been tied to three factors: employee age, length of service, and fund performance. Retirement age determinations are based on common sense knowledge of the job demands and the human body; length of service minimums and maximums are based on the job’s physical and psychological toll; fund performance dictates the employer’s fiscal ability to make the most of the first two factors, as it is always serves the employer’s interests to move spent veterans from the payroll and into the fund and replace them with vigorous (and lower earning) new hires.

    On paper it’s easy to imagine a new hire working the streets for thirty or more years, as a teacher works the classroom or a politician works the public. In practice, however, thirty years of urban policing takes a tremendous toll on the mind and body, even if that mind and body is “only” 51 years old. Thirty years on the street represents an allostatic load (chronic neural/neuroendocrine response) that alters mind and body in measurable and frightening ways.

    One study, involving Buffalo police officers (where 934 officers police a city with one-quarter the population of San Jose), testing for post traumatic stress symptoms found hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal irregularities (due to loss of the body’s natural shut-off mediators) that can manifest themselves as over-reactivity, exaggerated startle response, sleep disruption, and nightmares (impairing health even into retirement). Any 20 year veteran officer reading this will have probably experienced one telltale symptom of a compromised endocrine system, that being an unpleasant, unwell feeling in reaction to a stress situation of a type that you once took in stride (or even enjoyed).

    Even before Chuck Reed scapegoated the cops and firefighters for what was in reality a Wall Street/Government financial debacle, a sizable percentage of police officers opted to leave after 25 years (at 65% or less of their salary) not because they wanted to stop working, but because they feared what the job was doing, or about to do, to them.

    In the world of Chuck Reed and Sam Liccardo, their own pompous political mandates about the nature of police work trump professional expertise, historical evidence, common sense, medical science, and the realities of the economy and job market. This makes them dangerous and destructive, for idiots in power are.

  17. ff,
    So leaving value judgments aside and using your firsthand expertise of the retirement system- enlighten us. Is it mathematically impossible for a 51 year old to retire with a 90% pension? If so, then what IS the youngest age at which this plateau can be mathematically reached?

    • Never mind, finfan. I did the research myself. You might be interested in the results.
      Let’s say a police officer was hired in December, 1984 at the age 21. He worked for 29 years and retired in December, 2013 at the age of 50. As this guy is a Tier 1 employee, his pension would be calculated thus; 50% (2.5% X 20(for the 1st 20 years of employment)) + 36% (4% X 9(for his last 9 years of employment)) = 86%. In February 2014, while still 50 years old, he receives his 1st annual 3% COLA which brings this 50 year old’s pension to 89%. So you guys were right after all. It’s not 90%. It’s 89%. I must have been crazy to think it could be 90%. Of course, he COULD have kept working another year. In that case, for most of the calendar year 2015 we’d have a 51 year old retiree getting a 93% pension! Pretty good huh?

      Fire’s different. Once past 20 years of service, the pension rate for previous years kicks up to 3%. So 29 years of employment CAN, with the 3% COLA, give a 50 year old retiree a 90% pension. And as far as I can tell, there is no 2nd tier so we WILL be paying these pensions for all firefighters, even new hires. As compared to firefighters, it seems like police are getting a raw deal. Fire seems like an easier, less stressful gig.

      • Thanks for researching this issue and confirming Carthagus told a blatant lie when he stated, “cops continue to retire at age 50 earning 90% of their salary”.

          • They are official, actual numbers. I don’t know why everyone is pretending like I didn’t provide reference to an official source, but I’ll screenshot the page you either didn’t look at or are ignoring and attempt to use my shoddy-at-best html skills to try to present it directly to you, since apparently asking you to click on a link is not enough.

        • It is not as bad as saying that Liccardo is despised by his District that overwhelmingly re-elected him and supported his run for mayor, whereas Cortese endorsed a corrupt politico who couldnt make a runoff… what you said was a LIE. Saying a man is despised by his district eventhough they come out to support him.

          Also saying Measure B was not chosen by San Joseans…even though the “lazy” ones as you call them, had enough energy to vote, while the energetic ones decided to stay home. :-)

          • Yes, the folks in Sam’s district just love him. They love him so, so much, and are just so fond of the fine job he has done, that the person he endorsed and campaigned for to take his downtown city council seat, was overwhelmingly trounced by a political newcomer, Raul Peralez. Oooops…..

          • By your rationale,.are you saying County Supervisor Cindy Chavez was DESPISED because Liccardo succeeded her…please explain.

            Also, as Cortese endorsed a corrupt politico who couldnt make runoff would you say Cortese was quite hated in District 5….a district that has ALWAYS been strong labor, where as Sam won a swing district twice after a likeable incumbent.

            Btw, send me the press release where Cortese explains his support for corrupt politicians.

        • Observation, I am not going to post the same link again and again. I have provided proof that the City of San Jose has publicly stated, prior to the passage of Measure B, that the minimum age of retirement for a police officer was age 50 making 90% of benefits. For you to characterize my statement as a “blatant lie” is ridiculous.

          • It is a complete, absolute, total blatant lie. Do you fricking understand the very minimum age an officer can get hired is 21, and they mathematically can’t serve 30 years until they are at least 51. For you to state “cops continue to retire at age 50 earning 90% of their salary” is ridiculous, and more-so a boldface, mathematically impossible lie. You don’t think your lie is a big deal because you think you were not off by that much. Just admit you either lied or made a mistake, instead of making it worse defending your lie.

          • Just my observation, but with you wanting to admit people making mistakes… why dont you admit that Cortese made a mistake by endorsing Xavier Campos re-election and furthermore the fact that he has yet to even explain his rationale for endorsing Campos in the first place.

            What do you think was going through Cortese’s mind when he weighed his support for Cortese…i can tie this in to police officer and crime reduction because Cortese wants to create a safe haven for corrupt thugs influenced by union LEADERS to conduct business at City Hall. There are some labkr backed candidates like Peralez and Chavez who are decent – who i have voted for and worked for…and there are others like Cortese and Campos who are corrupt hacks.

            No wonder Cindy trounced Cortese in 2006.

          • “and they mathematically can’t serve 30 years until they are at least 51.”

            You must be trying really hard to ignore me, but I’ll say it for the third time: the San Jose Retirement Services Department said that prior to Measure B, an officer can retire at age 50 after 25 years. Here is the proof, which I have submitted to you again and again:

          • Ok, Cathargus, I see where your misunderstanding is. An officer MAY retire at age 50, with at least 25 years of service, but that does not give him/her a 90% pension. The only way an officer can get a 90% pension is with 30 years of service and an officer cannot even be hired until they are at least 21 years old. An example of what you are speaking of…an officer may have joined the force at age 25 and when he/she reaches the age of 50, they have 25 years of service and can retire. If that officer joined the force at age 21, even if he/she puts in 25 years service, at age 46…they still are not eligible to retire until they hit age 50. So what they are saying is that if an officer is 50 years old and has a minimum of 25 years of service, he or she is eligible for retirement. If they are 47, with 27 years of service, they still can’t retire until they turn 50. Hope this makes is a little clearer.

          • I have to fix typo. Not sure why this blog doesn’t have editing features. Anyway, I initially said, “If they are 47, with 27 years of service, they still can’t retire until they turn 50.” It should state, If they were “46”, with 27 years of service, they still can’t retire until they turn 50″. When they turn 51, they would then be able to retire with 30 years.

          • What you have failed to understand is that SJPD hasn’t hired any 20 year olds since the 70’s so there haven’t been any 50 year olds retiring with 90%of their salary in more than a decade. When Reed or Liccardo or any person says that they are trying to fix a system that is broken because ” a 50 year old can retire with 50% of their salary” they are not being honest – that “brokenness” was fixed when the City of San Jose made it a requirement that the minimum age for applicants 21 years.

            So many posters have tried over and over again to educate you on this matter yet you continue to repeat this false hood… Now you are backtracking in your comments to say that you link clearly show that a “50 year old can retire with 25 years on the job” – Funny no one is challenging this assertion because it is a fact – it is also a fact that a 50 year old retiring with 25 year on the job is gong to get 70% of their base salary (NOT 90%).

  18. John Galt,

    Let’s say that 50 year-old EMPLOYEE of yours, earning $100K per year, retires. Using the formula you supplied, his 86% rate will equal a pension of $86K. Now, no matter what happens subsequent, this fellow retired at a rate of 86% notwithstanding the Measure B propagandists desire to depict it as 90%.

    If, as you say, this PENSIONER becomes eligible for a cost of living increase in February, the 3% will be based on his pension of $86K, thus, at the conclusion of his first year of retirement, and concurrent with his 51st birthday, he will have been paid either $88.3K or $88.1K (depending on whether the COLA was first included in his February or March check), with every penny of that pension coming out of the retirement fund (and not the city budget). It will not be until his second full year in retirement, when he is 52 years old, that his pension will total the level of 90% of the salary he was earning two years earlier.

    Once again, the 90% at 50 year retiree is a falsehood created by Chuck Reed and company, and enthusiastically peddled by the Mercury, for the express purpose of duping the public. The truth was there to tell (I expect most taxpayers view 90% as excessive under any circumstances), but these people, including Sam Liccardo, have demonstrated that when an effective lie is there for the taking they can’t help but to throw themselves down on it and roll like a dog in stink.

    • “Once again, the 90% at 50 year retiree is a falsehood created by Chuck Reed and company”

      Then why did the San Jose Retirement Services Department say otherwise?

      • It is possible if and only if the officer was hired under the provisions of the “Tier 1” pension AND was 20 years old at the time of hiring AND that officer worked 30 years. ONLY IF ALL 3 conditions were met can the officer retire with “90% at age 50.”

        SJPD has not hired 20 year olds in more than 40 years so is simply is not possible for there to have been any retirees getting 90% at 50 in more than a decade – that’s more than 10 years – 10 years is longer than Chuck Reed has been Mayor or Sam Liccardo has been a councilmember – so when they say “90% at 50 years old” they are not telling the truth (lying?) about what current employees could conceivably get.

        Your link supports the theory that one could get 90% at age 50″ but again it isn’t possible because SJ doesn’t hire 20 year old police officers – since SJPD doesn’t hire 20 year olds it is safe to say that there are no 20 year old hires who are working towards 30 yeas of service and since there are no 20 year old hires working towards 30 years of service who would be eligible to retire at age 50 there are no current employees who could ever get or even expect to get 90% of their salary at age 50.

        Since there are no current employees who will ever get 90% of their salary when they turn 50 you, Reed, Licccardo and anyone else who feels the need to continue to spread misleading false information can stop wasting their time and energy worrying about it and start figuring a way to implement all the empty plans to restore staffing.

        Now, would you like to post your link again?

  19. Carthagus,

    Did Retirement Services really say otherwise, or are you continuing to base your argument on the chart to which you’ve twice linked? If the former, I can’t explain why you were given incorrect information. If the latter, then the explanation is simple: you misinterpreted the information supplied. The “90% of final compensation” is to the right of the words (in bold print), “Maximum Benefit.” Using the “Benefit Formula” box above one can compute that maximum, using basic arithmetic to realize that 30 years of service are required for the maximum benefit.

    • SJ Police and fire Tier 1 pensions are simple to figure out (if one can perform some simple math) the info that Carthagus continues to link to (http://i.imgur.com/e3r0iW9.png) provides us with the “Benefits compensation formula.” and says:

      (Tier 1) employees earn 2.5% of their pensionable BASE PAY for every year they worked through their 20th year.

      For the 21st through the 30th year worked the Tier 1 employee earns 4% per year (additional maximum of 40%)

      So using the formula: that officer who retires at age 50 with 25 years service earns (20 years x 2.5%) + (5 years x 4%) = 70 %!!!

      Sure the “maximum” benefit is 90% but that would require the 50 year old who retired after 25 years (hired at age 25) would have to work another 5 years to age 55! her is the formula: (20years x 2.5%) + (10 years x 4%) = 90%

      In theory an officer could retire at age 50 with 90% of pensionable “base” pay (Overtime is not pensionable) but that would mean that the officer would have had to work a total of 30 years and mean that he/she would have been hired at age 20. SJPD has not hired a 20 year old in at least 40 years – so the last group of officers who retired at 50 with 90% of base pay has been gone for at least a decade.

      When some politician says a SJ police officer or fire fighter can retire at age 50 with 90% of their salary they are misleading people by leaving out very pertinent facts. Sure the table Carthagus provides says the max benefit is 90% but that 90% isn’t an arbitrary amount that is simply awarded for cause. It is awarded based on set specific criteria.

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