Chuck Reed’s about to sunset his final term as mayor of San Jose, and he’s inviting the public to a farewell celebration. What’s that? You have plans? Oh, come on.
Residents are welcome to attend and commend the mayor on a job well done over the last eight years—or come stocked with insults to express their outrage one final time. Either way, the event takes place from 5 to 7pm Wednesday at the City Hall Rotunda. You can RSVP here.
Reed’s legacy is sure to be a mixed bag, and this is by no means a comprehensive biography. He oversaw the Great Recession, mass layoffs, a building freeze and development thaw, and then there were a few disagreements with unions. Something about pay cuts and pension reform.
He worked his way into politics by way of various community boards and committees, from the planning commission to the San Jose Downtown Association. Then he won his first City Council election from the Berryessa district in 2000, and secured a re-election bid with 86 percent of the vote in 2004.
In 2006, Reed trounced labor-supported Cindy Chavez, 59 percent to her 41, succeeding Ron Gonzales to become the 64th mayor of San Jose. His platform relied on bringing sunshine to city business, through his Reed Reforms, but opponents would argue there have been more than few cloudy days during his time in office. Feuds with police included Reed saying that officers were riding a "gravy train" to retirement, as well as officers sharing a traffic ticket the mayor received.
Reed won a second term in 2010 with nearly 77 percent of the vote. And then he got voters to pass pension reform through Measure B, and everyone got along. Or something like that.