Well, the time we have all been waiting for has arrived—a wait of nearly eight years on some of our calendars. The long, dark reign of Ron Gonzales is over. It has been a dismal period for our community. Yet, the pivotal questions are: will the damage and offense against San Jose’s reputation of good government and good planning persist? Or, is the nightmare over?
The answers depend on who is the successor. The wise guys and City Hall hangers-on have been certain that one of the candidates from the council will be the ultimate winner, and Chavez, Reed and Cortese, captured the early publicity. The latter two have been active critics of the status quo and ready to offer ethical change; Chavez has been late to reform, but certainly has now made her lead in the censure of Gonzales, and her tardy push with council allies to set the agenda, the central focus of her campaign. Many think that it is too little and too late. I am one of those.
Of the remaining aspirants, Michael Mulcahy has impressed voters with his personality and charm, but is clearly not ready for prime time yet. He must develop a philosophy for the city beyond the Gavin Newsome warm-overs of his consultants. He might be able to achieve it if he really works.
Finally, we have David Pandori. As the Mercury News has observed in its editorial favoring him, he is the only candidate with a clear vision and understanding of what to do as mayor. This is the key. The new mayor must know what to do, not wait to be told.
San Jose needs a radical change. This new mayor must drive the money changers from the temple and set a clear and unambiguous agenda to move our city ahead. The course must be charted with a firm and fair hand. Time is not on our side; the clock is ticking. Come next Tuesday, the most critical election in the modern history of the city will occur. I trust we will all be counted