San Jose Mayor’s Race Heats up as Candidates Debate

Five weeks from Election Day, the San Jose mayor's race—expected to be the most expensive race in city history—is ramping up. Attack ads are in the mail, media attention is intensifying and candidates are squaring off in public debates.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who placed first in the June primary, wants to restore police staffing, which dropped from more than 1,400 to fewer than 900 street-ready officers since the Great Recession. Sam Liccardo, San Jose’s District 3 councilman, touts a platform of fiscal responsibility and upholding pension reforms championed by terming-out Mayor Chuck Reed.

The candidates share some similarities. Both are Democrats and hold similar views on the environment, transportation, housing and parks. Both are Italian, Bellarmine grads and attorneys. The contest pits Liccardo’s views about public spending against Cortese’s message of investing in public safety to reduce crime.

Their endorsements blazon different shades of Democrat. Liccardo has won support from four former mayors—Reed, Ron James, Susan Hammer and Tom McEnery—scores of CEOs and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Cortese is backed by every major public employee union in the region and five former San Jose police chiefs: Rob Davis, Lou Cobarruviaz, Tom Wheatley, Chris Moore and William Landsowne.

Mail ballots will be sent out Oct. 6 to some of the city’s 413,000 registered voters. In case readers would like to see the two candidates debate the issues in person, here’s a list of upcoming mayoral forums (feel free to add events in the comments section if we left any out):

WHEN: 7:30 to 8:30pm Oct. 1
WHERE: Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
HOST: CommUniverCity

WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30pm Oct. 2
WHERE: Starlight Banquet Room, 680 Minnesota Ave., San Jose
HOST: Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, League of Women Voters, United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County

WHEN: 6:30pm Oct. 6
WHERE: Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose
HOST: People Acting in Community Together (PACT), Rocketship

WHEN: 12pm Oct. 8
WHERE: Fourth Street Summit Center, Fairmont, 170 S. Market St., San Jose
HOST: Rotary Club

WHEN: 6 to 7:30pm Oct. 9
WHERE: Morris Dailey Auditorium, San Jose State University, 1 Washington Square, San Jose

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Jen,

    The candidates share many similarities.

    Not really. One was born and raised here, and knows first hand everything San Jose has lost. The other was raised in Saratoga.

    If you don’t know what we’ve lost, then how can you restore it?

    • One graduated at the top of his class from Bellarmine, Georgetown, and the Harvard. The other one, not so much.

      • JVJ’s comment reflects a degree of intellectual elitism which is all too common nowadays. It is a form of prejudice which assumes that there is this sort of intellectual food chain on which everyone lives and that the more grandiose the education, the more qualified the person in question is to pursue whatever interests or hold whatever office they want. The reality is that there are a ton of people out there who are highly educated and don’t even have the sense that God gave a duckling. Furthermore, it assumes that, by default, the persons education automatically gives them some sort of insight into what is best for the community. Again, this is untrue. Everyone, every politician, every voter has a particular set of biases and insights which form their public persona and pursuit of policy. In this case, Liccardo is very much the candidate of corporate interests, developers’ interests, crony capitalists, and corruptocrats.

        He is not supported by public safety as a whole, which, it is important to note, view him as a liar, a corrupt politician, and a back-stabber. They also are aware that his plans for resolving the current issues with public safety have absolutely no chance of coming to fruition because, if he is elected to office, police officers (and probably firefighters) will leave at a rate that is even more accelerated than current trends.

        • > because, if he is elected to office, police officers (and probably firefighters) will leave at a rate that is even more accelerated than current trends.

          And, how do you know this will be the case? Are you suggesting or implying that there is a “conspiracy” (in the legal sense of the word) to undermine or obstruct law enforcement in San Jose? Are you hinting that the police union or other collaborators will take actions that will “encourage” or coerce officers to leave the force?

          In a lawful society, this is something the grand jury would be looking into.

          • I know for a fact that police officers do not trust Sam, with the exception of a patlry handful such as A/C Eddie Garcia and Officer Tam Truong. There is non conspiracy at work. It’s marketplace economics. If you don’t create a competitive compensation package for police officers (which is the case with San Jose’s compensation package) they will go elsewhere, to other agencies which pay better. There are a lot of officers who’ve stayed because they have a lot of history with the PD and are reluctant to leave out of that sense of history and a sense of loyalty to those with whom they work. The election of Liccardo would undoubtedly represent the final nail in that particular coffin.

            Of crucial importance is the fact that at no point in time has Liccardo ever articulated a meaningful and acceptable proposal to resolve the issues created by Measure B and has never addressed the fact that every other agency in the county and most throughout the bay area compensate their police officers better than does San Jose.

          • As to ‘encouragement’ or ‘coercion’ Measures V and W created the coercive environment affecting collective bargaining and Measure B created all the encouragement officers needed to leave in droves. This is exactly the outcome the POA leadership and others predicted prior to the passage of Measure B.

          • I know this because I work there. There is no conspiracy. It’s simply that many young officers who don’t want to have to leave have held on, working for sub-standard pay and benefits in the hope that things will change and they can make their careers here. If Liccardo is elected, it will be the final signal that no change is coming and there will be no reason to stay. These young officers have families and futures to think about.

          • its a fact simply because any body in Public safety knows what they have to look forward to , under the Reed/Liccardo regime. Liccardo has proven himself to be a liar and a cheat , who simply can not be trusted. He is absolutely despised by all San Jose Employees. There is no Conspiracy , People just know that there best chance of being happy is working for another better paying and better benefitted , more appreciative City .

      • One may have graduated at the top of his class but he was at the bottom of the class as he helped decimate this city. Evidently, his smarts didn’t serve him too well as councilman. Look at his messed up district. Look at this messed up city. Look at the messed up decisions, financial and otherwise.

      • one was a council member , when San Jose was “one of the 10 safest big Cities” and a County Sup . the other a hand puppet for Mayor Reed

  2. I agree with Robert that they don’t share many similarities…

    One has fought against corruption, the other endorsed Xavier Campos who still campaigns on his behalf…

    One does not make promises he cannot pay for, one is Dave Cortese who thinks San Jose has an infinite amount of financial resources…

    Also, I was actually laughing out loud when you called Cortese an attorney… as long as you have a pulse, you get into Lincoln Law School, it is about the size of the nearest Starbucks – but congrats to him if he passed the bar exam on his 10th try.

    On the plus side, if Dave is elected mayor we will know where all the corrupt officials will be….they will be on the 18th Floor of City Hall lining up for handouts.

    • SJC you and other bring up Lincoln Law School and disparage graduates who become lawyers. All attorneys have to pass this thing called the BAR EXAM… Boalt Hall, Hastings, Stanford, Harvard, Georgetown, Santa Clara….. Lincoln… one and all must pass the Bar. So the Bar exam standard and not the institution where one studied.

      There are plenty of grads from top tier elite schools who take the Bar and FAIL… some take it many times and fail many times until either they pass or give up. We never hear them or their champions saying, “but he graduated top of his class at _______, let him practice!!!”

      We get it Sam is your guy you believe it is shady that he supported Shirakawa fine Sam has skeletons that have been brought to light that neither you nor his apologists are willing to touch. He went to Bellarmine, Georgetown, Harvard… any blueblood elitist would chose that over a Lincoln Grad warts and all.

      • I think there’s something to this law school business.

        Barack Obama went to Harvard Law School, got us into a war with Khorasan in the Middle East, wrecked the health care system, and let global warming get worse.

        Bill Clinton went to Yale Law school and got caught in the Oval Office rest room with Anthony Weiner in one hand and a White House intern in the other.

        No graduate of Lincoln Law school has EVER been accused of this kind of unconscionable behavior.

        I’m changing my vote to Cortese.

        • So is this called the political science thought process? Genius, to the average layman it would appear to be madness, yet in that single misconception you disguise it’s true purpose, which is to take over office, to take over the world.

          Glad you’re on board with the family now.

        • EDUCATION
          University of Alabama, Hofstra University, Far Rockaway High School, Brooklyn Law School…Care to guess who this is?

          Bernie Madoff I guess the parents cant be embarrassed by the kids, but the kids can turn in the parents for securities fraud.

          Maybe we can find some more well educated criminals….shall we play that game?

        • likewise said no parent ever, “my son the lout graduated from Lincoln…” How conflicted you must be. How do you internally reconcile your screen name with the values espouse in your posts?

          • This easy. Labor and its machine espouses an altruistic agenda, but at its core it is a dirty boss tweed-style political machine. They’re just like Javert, single-minded, uncompromising, and out for anyone who disagrees with them.

      • Citing The Daily Fetch lol…what next, will you cite reddit as well or your friend’s Myspace post from 1999?

        • Instead of deflecting by attacking the source (similar to your Lincoln Law School attack), why don’t you address the substance? It appears Liccardo took money from people shortly before voting to use city funds to pay them substantially more than the appraised value for their land. The information wasn’t printed in The New York Times, but you haven’t claimed that it’s not true. Is this your supposed corruption fighter?

          • Haha Fetch “exclusive”…….you know the reason why that is, because it is fiction. It’s like reading an Onion article…The reason why they probably call it fetch is because if it were a newspaper it would only be good for rolling up and throwing so your dog can retrieve it.

        • Fetch sourced it’s story with official City Memos …. can’t shoot the messenger on this one .

          • Haha you citing the Fetch Bureau of Investigation (FBI) takes your credibility down to ZERO…I know you don’t take their site seriously.

    • Are you kidding me? Referring that Licardo is not completely corrupt? He and his cronies sold public land at half its value, pushed through a ballot measure that he was told was illegal and confirms so im court, blatenedly has told the citizens incorrect information regarding the diar state of public safety he caused.

      If Licardo is elected expect an increase in te mass exodus from San Jose PD. He should be ashamed of what he has done to this city.

      • 300 left before pension reform was even passed..and the fact that SJPOA does not want police officers in San Jose is ironic as well….they are the epitome of ‘my way or the highway’ philosophy.

    • corrupt officials? you mean Reed, Liccardo , Constant, Hererra, Oliverio and Nguyen . Im sure they will try to be the first in line

      • Wow you refer to all city council that endorsed Liccardo…but you didnt even bother mentioning the proven corrupt XAVIER CAMPOS WHO IS STILL ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING FOR CORTESE. Thata what true labor hacks do – if they vote the way you want you will ignore any impropriety.

  3. The Oct. 2nd event is in Willow Glen, but it is hosted by the District 6 Neighborhood Leaders Group (D6NLG), established a decade ago and comprised of a over a dozen local neighborhood associations (including WGNA).
    The event is co-sponsored by United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County (UNSCC) and moderated by League of Women Voters

    • > and moderated by League of Women Voters

      Lose the League of Women Voters. They’re really partisan.

      It undermines the credibility of any forum where they’re allowed to put their finger on the scale.

    • I hope they ask liccardo how he expects to run a whole city when he can’t even take care of his own messed up district.

  4. Sam lived on daddy’s silver spoon all his life. Now he wants to pay his cronies buddies with more city money. Hopefully Liccardo loses and goes back to chasing ambulances for a living

  5. Liccardo is a Saratoga man who rode daddy’s coat tails and lived on his silver spoon. He will continue to fill the pockets of his development buddies like former Mayer McEnery. Hopefully he loses and goes back to chasing ambulances for a living.

    • You realize the Cortese family made all their money selling and developing land and that Dave’s been endorsed by the Developer’s PAC, BIA. Now think for a second, where is there more money: developing land or practicing law? You just described Dave’s background with your whole post. Dave used Dom’s land money to never do any real work in his life.

      • So I guess we should outlaw leaving things to our children, because god forbid! They might actually have an advantage over other people in life! I’m sure Daddy Liccardo gave Sam nothing! Sam had to get a paper route and hustle for that Bellermine money!

        Take your socialist commie contrived and contradictive attitude elsewhere.

        • I knew you were a teabagger as soon as you started defending teabaggers lol but you are not the Cortese that we are supporting so not mad at you – teabagger

  6. A great expose by NBC and reporter Damian Trujillo on Mayor Reed charging over $2,300 on his city credit card, including $700 worth of booze, to take the Irish Delegation out to a fancy dinner in 2013. This included several unnamed council members. No doubt fiscal conservative Johnny O’KHamis was one of them, as he just got back from his political junket to Ireland. City Auditor Sharon Erickson should get a pat on the back for unearthing this. This mayor is a disgrace, and the San Jose Mercury is more of a disgrace for turning a blind eye to his hypocrisy. Liccardo is cut out of the same cloth as Mayor Reed.

    • Interestingly enough you forget to mention that UNION MEMBERS (fire fighters) ALSO spent thousands of dollars to buy “leather chairs” and rent a “BMW Sports car” for 2 WHOLE WEEKS (think about about…that’s half a month, in case you’re wondering). TAX PAYERS money being misused…

      • Here comes the broad brush….two feckless firefighters tainting all union members. ..

        Ps. Reed sought a waiver for his alcohol purchases AFTER he purchased.

        Who is dirtier? I think it’s a draw.

      • Get it straight…the rank and file dont get credit cards. Only Chief Officers, and Captains with a tightly controlled budget. All of this Horse…. from the bashers is getting a bit thin. The only people your silly Measure B has hurt is the actual rank and file who respond to your families….not the appointed Chief Officers.
        On the contrary…EVERY City Council Member, the Mayor AND the City Manager get Credit Cards. Chew on that for a bit….Hater.

      • leather chairs are for a fire house . And like any house you can purchase quality goods that will last awhile or you can purchase Ikea quality and have to purchase new ones every year.

  7. I support Sam’s common sense proposals – crime in San Jose is not spiraling out of control. All county employee pensions, with exception of law enforcement and fire, should be replaced with 401(k) type retirement plans.

    • hey if you are on board with regulating wall street and shareholder profit drain on said 401k fund values I’m on board too

  8. > It’s marketplace economics. If you don’t create a competitive compensation package for police officers (which is the case with San Jose’s compensation package) they will go elsewhere, to other agencies which pay better.

    Exactly so!

    Which is why this problem will solve itself, notwithstanding the whining, complaining, bellyaching and foot stomping of the police union.

    I am confident that the new mayor (even Liccardo) and the City Council can offer a compensation package that will staff a police department at a level that voters will be satisfied with.

    It just may not be the police officers that the police union wants on the police force.

    • The current mayor and council could already have done this now but have chosen not to. What is filling you with this confidence for the future?

      • > What is filling you with this confidence for the future?

        The employment market will work much more effectively and efficiently in staffing the police department than a back room negotiation between a monopoly union and a union crony politician.

        Everybody knows this.

        But the police union cronies keep making the same stupid — and self-serving — argument that THEY are the only people who can staff the police department otherwise we’ll all go to hell.

        It’s all explained in the story of the little boy who cried wolf.

      • Where were you when Vice Mayor / Councilman Cortese was on the Council……the current city council is busy fixing the mess that his tenure got us in. What I find the most ridiculous about Cortese, is he never paid much attention to San Jose’s fiscal situation until he took his golden parachute to his County Supervisor seat….he could have done something about it before it became a bigger issue but he chose not to.

        • I thought the mess was wall street meltdown…..hmmmm, why is the sky still not falling in the rest of the bay area? only in the capital of silicon valley? … grows on trees here, it’s just well hidden!! valley of hearts delight!!

        • The current city council has fixed nothing. As a result of their abysmal policy failures, and intransigent, blinded by pride unwillingness to negotiate and compromise, 450 officers have the best SJPD officers have left the department, in the past few years, not counting almost 90% of the new recruits who have left. Each of these officers represents at least $200,000 worth of training, and probably much more. THIS REPRESENTS $90,000,000 (YES…90 MILLION DOLLARS) WORTH OF TRAINING THIS MAYOR AND MOST OF THE CITY COUNCIL, INCLUDING LICCARDO, HAVE CAUSED TO LEAVE SJPD. This does not include the millions of dollars now being paid in overtime due to the short staffing. Oh, and by the way, boy wonder Mayor Rufus Reed was on the city council with Cortese, and voted for EVERY increase as well. You speak of a “golden parachute”, ie double dipping. What do you think about Reed, Khamis, Constant, and Liccardo, authoring a memo to employ a DROP program for retired officers. This is a program THEY ARE PUSHING, THAT ENCOURAGES OFFICERS TO DOUBLE DIP, and work as police officers after they retire, collecting both a pension and salary at the same time. Please wake up and see the damage they have done and the hypocrites they are. The have solved nothing, and created this crisis.

  9. For all you Liccardo supporters citing the man’s academic background as if it guaranteed good decision-making I’ve got some bad news: it doesn’t, and for proof one need look no further than the ignorant agenda he’s endorsed.

    Measure B has been a disaster. It was a disaster on its face and has been one in its execution. Oh, I know, many of you believe your candidate’s claim that “it’s the union,” not working conditions, that’s caused the mass exodus of our police officers. If you listen to Sam and his groupies at the Mercury News, it’s all little more than politics as usual.

    That’s perhaps one of the dumbest arguments ever foisted on a trusting public. Why, because there exists not one credible scenario in which the POA could muster the persuasive power required. Not one. Put yourself in the position of the POA hierarchy and I challenge you to come up with a campaign that would convince cops who otherwise want to stay here to leave for the greater good of the POA. Your first hurdle is that not one cop owes his/her position to the POA: they all got their jobs by obtaining the qualifications, passing the exams, and surviving the training regimen. They are indebted to no one. Second, to even consider leaving every cop must face what he/she would leave behind (friends, reputation, seniority, etc.), what he/she would be facing (earning trust, adapting to a new environment, starting again at the bottom), and what can’t be known (the policies/methods/politics that define working conditions). It is a huge decision. Third, the POA would have to sell the idea that the only way these employees (remember, they don’t want to leave) can help the POA’s political cause is by leaving the police department.

    Absurd. Sam Liccardo wants voters to believe that hundreds of SJ cops have been so mesmerized by the POA that they’ve surrendered their own self-interests. Exactly what does he think he’s dealing with here: Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple? His is the kind of theory that gets lawyers laughed out of court.

    Here’s the reality without the Kool-Aide: the POA hasn’t caused anyone to leave or stay, all its done is keep its members informed of the ramifications of the city’s actions/attitudes and their affect on their futures. As an organization serving its members, the POA is obligated to educate them regarding their options so that they, as individuals, can serve their best interests. Labor organizations don’t gain strength by losing members.

    Sam Liccardo is either a liar or has horrible judgment, and whatever the case, he’s no credit to Bellarmine, Georgetown, or Harvard.

    • Of course the POA couldn’t force members to quit SJPD and seek employment elsewhere- nobody thinks that. But POA’s “informing and educating” it’s members is perceived by many as evidence that they feel more loyalty and more of a sense of duty toward their colleagues than they do toward the citizens who hired them, who pay them, and whom they swore to protect and serve. If POA will encourage skilled, courageous officers to leave SJPD, thus weakening it, many of us wonder what other destructive actions WON’T POA resort to in pursuit of advantages for it’s members.
      As someone who’s against the whole concept of collective bargaining for public employees, the very existence of an employee organization called SJPOA seems preposterous to me, but even so, it’s not generic POA. It’s SJPOA. If anything, it should be concerned with serving it’s members’ interests WITHIN the constraints of their employment as members of San Jose PD and always respecting the oath they swore to that organization.
      Measure B passed. Overwhelmingly. Measure B so far has had exactly the effect that I expected it would:
      – Due to the tier 2 provision we’ve managed to stop accumulating unacceptable levels of future pension debt.
      – San Jose is not being overwhelmed with crime.
      – San Jose’s structures are not being consumed by fires.
      – Many employees have left.
      – Some remaining are still grumbling.
      – San Jose firefighters continue to enjoy their days working out and cooking chili.

      This was not an endorsement of Sam Liccardo.

      • “…perceived by many as evidence that they feel more loyalty and more of a sense of duty toward their colleagues than they do toward the citizens who hired them, who pay them, and whom they swore to protect and serve.”

        You mean those same citizens who turned their backs on them and call them greedy and put them down every chance they get? Not all, but many. With the way they have been treated by the citizenry, don’t you think that loyalty would wane a bit, though they still protect and to serve? Doesn’t mean they have to stay and take it.

          • again… SJPD blows another aspect if the thesis out of the water. SJPD has always paid and benifits have always been below market rate yet officers did what you would expect professionals to do – their jobs. Now that pay and benefits have been reduced even further belie market rates to the point where the SJPD “market” no longer supports employment here officers are leaving and SJPD cannot attract enough replacements to staff the department at its budgeted strength of 1109.

            It’s simple fewer, officers even with a relatively stable work load means less work can be accomplished.

          • Sam Liccardo supported (against the city attorneys recommendation as well as the SJPD):

            1. Measure B;
            2. Marijuana dispensaries;
            3. M8trix.

            Measure B hasn’t fixed the problem, Marijuana is illegal so they don’t pay the city their taxes, and M8trix is playing slight of hand with their money. Yo Sammy, let’s legalize prostitution while you’re at it. Just kidding. Sam must not have gotten out much during college.

            So far 0/3. Can we give him the keys to the city now?

            Any coincidence that his supporters (look above) are businesses? I would prefer to vote for the guy that has the support of the residents of San Jose. P.S. Most people overwhelmingly support the SJPD over other city services.

            Talk about a “no-brainer.” Let’s not over think this decision. It is very obvious Cortese is the choice.

      • Mr. Galt:
        I don’t think a police officer swears an oath to an organization. I believe they swear an oath to the people and to support and defend the United States Constitution. They are required to do this and will do this even if they work in the next city over.

        On the other hand, I believe an organization such as the SJPOA has a duty to inform their members of the facts. You are correct, they are loyal to their members.

        It is to bad that the employer isn’t loyal to their employee and vise versa. You can blame the current council for that.

        Let us not forget that Measure B passed overwhelmingly by an underhwhelming amount of votes. Less than 10% of the citizens of San Jose voted for it. A shame.

        I believe San Jose is overwhelmed with crime and YES many employees have left.
        This was not an endorsement for Cortese (I just threw this in because do did).

      • “informing and educating” it’s members is perceived by many as evidence that they feel more loyalty and more of a sense of duty toward their colleagues than they do toward the citizens who hired them, who pay them, and whom they swore to protect and serve”.

        You are 100% correct. I wouldnt trust the likes of you to help ME if my family was in trouble. In the truest sense of the word, we are paid to provide a service, not lick your boots. You seem to think Police Officers are OBLIGATED to make you feel better about yourself. Wake up, you dont pay us nearly enough to feel that way about you, and you dont feel the need to compensate them for what you demand…..makes perfect sense to me.
        Besides, if you only believe what you read in the papers, or what you hear from the politicians….you are woefully uninformed.

    • Dear Mr. FinFan:

      > because there exists not one credible scenario in which the POA could muster the persuasive power required.

      Not your best stuff.

      If the POA were so powerless and useless, it wouldn’t exist.

      I’m sure the POA never misses an opportunity to tell their members how much clout they have and how much they have done for members.

      I’m also sure that if the POA manages to drag Cortese’s carcass over the finish line, there will be a lot of spiking the football. excessive celebration, and chest thumping.

        You couldn’t be more wrong. Contrary to your belief, the POA and it’s members feel virtually powerless. We have fought this battle every step of the way and have lost in nearly each instance. Measure V, W and B passed easily. Reed, Liccardo and their cronies have been re-elected. Our only win has come in court, but that was a foregone conclusion, given that most of a Measure B was illegal on its face. The POA, which is simply the men and women of San Jose and doesn’t include any professional labor leaders, has claimed no such power.

        Police officers are independent thinkers who question everything. Our job teaches us, if we didn’t know already, to look for the truth and not simply accept what someone says at face value. As FinFan explained, leaving SJPD is a major life decision. No officer has made that decision because they were told to do so or encouraged by the POA. They’ve made it because they concluded that it was the best decision for their families and futures. Most have come to this conclusion very reluctantly.

        You’re right about one thing. If Cortese wins, there will be celebration. Why wouldn’t there be? A Cortese win would mean that, for the first time in years, there is hope for a once great organization and the community it serves. That’s worth celebrating.

          • What is your position on the absolutely blatant lies LIccardo spews from his always open mouth, that he has a viable plan to increase the staffing and pay of the police department, the very department he has helped decimate and destroy? How do you deal with the moral dilemma of supporting a liar that gives even snake oil salesmen a bad name?

  10. JG,

    If “nobody thinks that” the officer exodus is the result of the POA playing politics then what is it that Liccardo and his camp followers are claiming? I’m not arguing with a straw man here, POA politics is EXACTLY what they are blaming for the exodus.

    As for the POA “encouraging” anything, that presumes the POA to be a body distinct from its members, which it is not. Every idea considered, every effort undertaken, is the product of one or more members. The POA was formed to serve the self-interests of its every member, not to gain power over them. If a single member thinks the organization should provide free movies, a dance hall, or hiring information from other departments, the membership, either collectively or through its directors, will consider the feasibility and value and go from there.

    Question: If the POA announces that Anaheim PD will be in town to hire laterals on Monday and discounted flu shots will be available on Tuesday, does either announcement qualify as “encouragement?” No. They simply represent the POA reacting to a suggestion by one or more members.

    I understand you’re against collective bargaining for public employees and rather than argue the issue I will simply point out that collective bargaining did not create a crisis in the pension fund, that was the work of Wall Street and Washington, DC (just as sure as they put millions out of their homes, sent the world economy in a spin, and almost returned Las Vegas to the barren desert).

    As to the matter of the officers loyalty to the city, cops take an oath to serve with honor and courage, not to serve without conditions. Historically, most who’ve left the department did so to get out of the business — police work, or the pay, wasn’t right for them. Would you brand such people as disloyal? If not, then why castigate those who love the job but refuse to work for substantially less than the market value of their labor?

    To date, Tier Two has done little more than save staffing costs. Half-full academies have become the rule, as have the post-training bailouts of Tier Two employees. Hip, hip, hooray… the beats are empty but we saved some money!

    By the way, a small fortune has been spent on police overtime by a city desperate to hide its grievous error. If the cops would stop volunteering for overtime the staffing collapse would’ve already occurred (funny how the POA hasn’t played politics with that issue?). Come January, expect another ten percent reduction in the force and more overtime (probably mandatory, from which older officers will likely disqualify themselves). The department is bleeding to death and, with the council still cheering Measure B, fresh blood will not be forthcoming.

  11. I’m beginning to suspect that all the people complaining about low pay and low pensions for cops and constantly threatening to go to other PD’s are, in fact, unemployable.

    As Tuco says in “The Good, Bad, and the Ugly”: “If you’re going to shoot, SHOOT! Don’t talk”.

    • What make you think that? Officers are in fact leaving for other agencies, in fact being paid more for doing so… pretty tortured logic to conclude that those “threatening” leaving are in actuality stuck at SJPD and using the circumstance as an opportunity to strong arm a raise…. they continue to leave.

      What would YOU do if all 900 or so decided to prove to you that they were employable and ended up walking off to leave folks like you to fend for yourselves…???

      • > What would YOU do if all 900 or so decided to prove to you that they were employable and ended up walking off to leave folks like you to fend for yourselves…???

        That’s not a hard question.

        We would hire 900 different cops.

        • “We” can’t hire 60 right NOW! Jobs were offered to 29 “qualified” candidates for the next academy that is budgeted for 60.

        • “We” aren’t able the 209 right now that would bring SJPD up to its budget authorized strength of 1109. Were are “We” going to hire the Different “900” from?

        • Bubble,

          Let’s just say by some miracle this actually happened.. (There is no possible way this city could hire “900 different cops” with the current minimum qualifications, background and academy).

          1/3rd wouldn’t make it through Field Training, (down to 600) 1/2 of the 2/3rds left would leave to other departments once they made it past probation (down to 300) and the remaining 1/3rd would be eating up more overtime than the city could afford just to respond to priority 1&2 calls.

          • > There is no possible way this city could hire “900 different cops” with the current minimum qualifications, background and academy….

            Well, duh!

            Change the “current minimum qualifications”. Cops do not need to have law degrees, MDs, social work degrees, or whatever. Over qualifying a job is a sneaky way of creating a false labor shortage.

            The Army changes their qualification levels all the time.

            If the current 900 officers on the police force all get unhappy at the same time, there are 900 other officer candidates in the 90 million person U.S. labor force that can replace them.

            The notion that the 900 officers currently on the police force are the only persons in the cosmos that can do the job is cuckoo.

            NO ONE is irreplaceable.

          • Sorry SJOutsidethebubble – your changing the qualifications theory does not meet the needs of the real world…. at this point in the real world of SJPD staffing we aren’t talking about finding people who “can do the job” we are talking about finding and hiring people who “WILL do the job” at SJPD when so many other better paying options exist.

          • Bubble, your suggestion that minimum qualifications be ‘changed’ (and here, we must assume you mean that the standards be lowered) is a perfect example of your rampant and relentless ignorance. There is a lower threshold below which hiring standards CANNOT be lowered simply because it is the State of California which establishes those standards. Your comparison to the Army doesn’t hold water because we’re not talking about SJPD hiring standards alone, but about State standards which control all law enforcement agencies throughout the state. JD’s, MD’s, Master’s degrees, etc are not prerequisites for hiring and never have been. ‘Overqualifying’ as you put it is not leading to a labor shortage. Sub-par compensation packages ARE. Of course no one is suggesting that the 900 officers currently with SJPD are the only ones who CAN do the job, and your hyperbolic comment to the contrary is, again, a cover for your ignorance – or, perhaps a didactic adherence to your peculiar – I mean ‘particular’ – belief system.

            And, if SJPD were somehow magically able to force the state to lower hiring standards, how low would you prefer the bar to suddenly be set? The Army has been accepting people with criminal records and gang members for years – much to its disadvantage. And it is looking like the White House is going to force the DOD to start accepting illegal aliens into the armed services. Do you think that’s the kind of standard the City of San Jose should be force to accept? Or do you prefer to set the bar just low enough that SJ is able to field a police force of a quality equivalent to Katrina-era New Orleans?

            SJPD – under the guidance of SJPOA – set national standards for hiring and training. They established the *NATIONAL!* model for the Field Training Programs which cities around the country now use. In decades past, the POA expended considerable political and financial capital to force the city to improve training, equip officers with better safety equipment, and has established and maintained a system of best practices that were national models.

            And now, you and others like you – to include all too many on the City Council – propose to throw all that away. And the tragedy of it is that it is all so unnecessary. If the council was honest about how the pensions got in the bad shape that they were (stock market crash, irresponsible fund management on the part of the city) and would admit that fiascoes like the Airport expansion, the current city hall, a golf course that sucks down money like a vacuum, the Hayes mansion etc. are the real reason that the budget has been so imbalanced over the years, if the council proposed responsible remedies which didn’t sacrifice employees on the altar of political expedience, the city would not be in the mess it currently enjoys (tongue firmly in cheek here).

  12. Galt,

    POA Board Members are elected by the union members as a whole, not the citizens. Furthermore, Police officers are not hired by citizens either. Thus, POA Board Members serve the officers who elected them. The mere fact you assume the POA Board would serve the interests of the public is idiotic.

    What you don’t seem to understand, is that no officer at anytime, ever takes an oath to the citizens of any particular city. The 14th Amendment tends to state that there is equal protection under the law, and the reciprocation of officers taking an oath to serve the citizens of a single city, in any specific capacity, would be in conflict with this.

    What you also don’t understand is the city of San Jose has been taking lateral officers from other departments for DECADES. Officers used to come here because of the positive working environment and the prospects for career advancement that many of the smaller, neighboring agencies could not offer.

    Now, let’s fast forward to today. Years ago, Measures V & W were quickly unleashed and intended to set the stage for the tyranny contained in Measure B. Regardless of Measure B’s controversial passage (70% of only 10% of the city’s voters), the writing was on the wall and the administrations intent was clear. Now, as a result of the blatant dishonesty of this city administration and complete disregard for its officer’s safety and well being, there is zero trust. Add in an extremely racist IPA with an extreme political agenda, and it’s easy to see why, sans a shred of the compensation debate, there are substantial reasons to go elsewhere.

    Galt, Tier 2 has not fixed a single thing in regard to unfunded liability. The economic recovery of the major pension funds has turned that around.

    The city has been and is definitely overwhelmed with crime. The FBI’s UCR is not an accurate reflection of crime. There is a lot of “quality of life” type crime which doesn’t get reported, but is a strong visual indication of a police department’s reactive vs. proactive abilities. Crimes such as prostitution (currently blatant and rampant), graffiti vandalism (increasingly blatant and rampant), and general vagrancy (trespassing, recycling theft, public drug use & intoxication, panhandling, etc. ALSO blatant & rampant). Galt, you must work from home and strictly stay in the Almaden Valley.

    Structures aren’t being consumed by fires, yet. Politicians and the FD brass are struggling to meet medical demand (recall Rufus’ european side car idea)?

    Employees have left, will continue to leave and the city is having extreme difficulty replacing them. Spoiler alert – the search for a new chief will be one to watch. Over/under on an external hire? 1/100?

    Any rank and file employee is still grumbling.

    Fire fighters are still working out. They have to be twice as fit these days in order to do the work of all the vacant positions in their company. Chili is all they can afford.

  13. > POA Board Members are elected by the union members as a whole, not the citizens.

    If the “union members” work for all citizens and are paid for by the citizens, citizens SHOULD vote for POA Board Members.

    • Bubbles, has your bubble burst again?

      Union members pay dues.
      Citizens pay taxes.
      The POA or any union is not paid by the citizens.

      Now of course, if one is a union member paying dues and a citizen paying taxes then he/she could in fact vote for Board Members. How’s that for bursting your bubble?

      Please read what you write before sending it. You sound like an elitist.

      • > Please read what you write before sending it …

        if you had followed your own advice, you would have known that I wrote … “If the “union members” work for all citizens and are paid for by the citizens … ”

        News bulletin: union members are paid for by the citizens.

        > You sound like an elitist ….

        Maybe to you it sounds “elitist”. To normal people, it sounds like a grown up.

  14. Imagine that San Jose cops had no association and no collective bargaining rights…

    A perfectly peaceful scenario, I’ll admit, right up to the point where the force expands from one officer to two, at which time those two officers will share with each other their unique perspective on the job, on the working conditions, and the pay. But wait; isn’t their exchange of information an association of a primitive sort? What if Badge #1’s view has changed Badge #2’s thoughts about his pay? Does that make him guilty of “encouraging” Badge #2 in some way… perhaps to start looking around at other police departments? What if both officers let their employer know they were job-shopping due to their low wages? Would that constitute arm-twisting? Does their “union” need breaking? Would Chuck Reed or Sam Liccardo have to step in to save the city from those greedy cops?

    In case you numskulls don’t get my point here it is: humans associate; it’s natural behavior and unstoppable. It would be safe to say that 99% of the knowledge the average SJ cop picks up by way of associating with coworkers has nothing to do with labor issues and nothing to do with the POA. They talk guns, side jobs, cars, boats, motorcycles, spouses, mortgage rates, kids, politics, investments, schools, and a thousand other things — all without encouragement or the aid of a conspiracy. And when they do talk POA, it’s a coin flip as to whether they’ll be praising it or criticizing it, so they themselves are very much aware of the need for democratically elected representation.

    By the way, the city needs the POA so it isn’t faced with satisfying the expectations of every individual officer. Having a representative organization with whom to settle wage and working condition issues is the only way a city can achieve the required stability. If you want to know what it looks like to try to satisfy every individual just look at the current situation. The city, handcuffed by both a sitting mayor and a mayoral candidate desperate to cover up for their own incompetence, hasn’t a clue how to stop the mass exodus of unsatisfied cops, while the cops themselves seem quite capable of negotiating on their own — on the open market.

  15. At Saturday’s mayoral debate, Sam Liccardo repeatedly stated, “violent crime is down across the board” when asked about police staffing levels and crime throughout San Jose. According to SJPD’s own statistics, rapes are up almost 20%. As a woman, I am livid that Liccardo would make such a broad, flippant and ridiculous statement. Rape is a very violent crime on a variety of levels and the fact that it is on the rise should be cause for his concern, not to be swatted away because the statistic is bad for his campaign. Perhaps since Liccardo doesn’t consider rape a violent crime, if defeated by Dave Cortese, he should apply for NFL commissioner?

    Robbery is up just over 7%. Often times, robberies involve a weapon, which most victims perceive as a violent act. Violent crimes overall are up nearly 4% and that number is likely low as the numbers on SJPD’s site are from June.
    Over the weekend, the 29th homicide of the year occurred and with two full months left in the year, we are likely to meet or surpass the total number of homicides for 2013 which were 38. Again, this is a direct contradiction of Liccardo’s statements and I’d like to know what he’s basing his claims on.

    He also said that Measure B was not the reason for the mass exodus of police officers, citing reductions prior to Measure B as the real reason for the reduced numbers, not officers fleeing the city after Measure B was placed on the ballot and later passed. Whether you believe the facts or Liccardo’s assertions, by all estimates, we’re down at least 500 officers from our highest staffing level, the city refused offers of assistance from the sheriff’s department and violent crime is NOT down across the board.

    As a constituent of Liccardo’s district, I can tell you we’ve had our share of homicides that we certainly didn’t have a couple years ago. We’ve also had incidents in the past few weeks where several people called 911 at 4:30am and were told there no available officers. Conversely, the number of officers that responded to the naked guy on my street was about equal to the amount of former SJPD officers now employed in Redwood City (nearly 20). It also seemed to be about every officer on duty.

    With the recent ruling regarding the fire fighters and their pensions, I have grave concerns that we will soon be talking about shuttering fire houses due to a lack of staffing, slow response times, decreased recruiting, etc. And if these scenarios happen, they will be another direct result of the passage of Measuure B which Liccardo championed. Perhaps the real violent crime here is that Measure B was passed, causing our police to flee and allowing our crime rates to soar while our politicians spin tales Pinocchio wouldn’t dare.

  16. > P.S. Most people overwhelmingly support the SJPD over other city services.

    Clever sophistry.

    Most people support the “rule of law”.

    Most people don’t support police unions.

    Police unions getting their way, is not the same as “rule of law”.

    Even if former mayor and union crony Ron Gonzales agreed to give the coppers gold plated pensions, the people are not going to stand for insider dealing at the expense of every other city service.

    The police union whiners should pay attention to today’s court decision relating to Stockton’s bankruptcy. City pension obligations do NOT supercede debt obligations for city bond holders.

    MESSAGE: When greedy unions and crony politicians create crazy, unsustainable levels of spending, EVERYBODY gets to share in the haircut. EVEN THE COPPERS.

    Coppers should be thankful for what they’ve got. There is no upside.

    • “Coppers should be thankful for what they’ve got. There is no upside.”

      Rather, there is no upside to staying and many are not. More will continue to leave over the next year or so. Retirements are inevitable and I see very few retirees participating in the DROP program which Reed and others have promoted. Just accounting for retirements, nearly 200 will leave. Another four are currently in backgrounding with another local agency that I know of. I feel certain that there are more than that. I know of a pretty senior sergeant who is likely to go to a state agency. There are others who are going elsewhere. And the paltry couple dozen recruits with which we’ve been filling academies don’t seem inclined to stay very long. In fact the current academy – which started with 29 – is now down to 21.

      The mathematics of current attrition are just not in favor of folks like Bubbles or Galt.

    • Bubbles,
      Because of your constant display of resentment towards police officers, proposing hiring standards be lowered, and your constant off the wall comments and strange writing style, leads me to believe you at one time applied and were subsequently disqualified during the background phase, most likely failing the battery of psychological tests which are administered, and the subsequent interview by the psychologist.

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