Measure V & W Opponents Confront Councilman Over Campaign Sign Removal

Note: the caption at the top of this video was written by the parties who edited it for YouTube posting and is not the editorial opinion of San Jose Inside.

Tensions are running high over municipal measures V and W, which would limit arbitration awards in city labor disputes and reduce pension benefits for new city hires.
On Saturday, members of the San Jose Fire Department and San Jose Police Department confronted Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio at his Willow Glen home after political consultant Tom Saggau of the Saggau and DeRollo political consulting firm spotted Oliverio removing signs.
Saggau says he was driving his son to soccer practice when the alleged sign theft occured. “I was on my way to Gilroy. I saw him and confronted him. I called and filed a police report,” Saggau says.
Saggau says volunteers followed Oliverio and staked out his car behind La Villa Delicatessen on Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen, video camera in hand.
In a YouTube clip released by Saggau and DeRollo, linked here, Saggau’s voice is heard requesting his property back and declaring that he wants to make a citizen’s arrest. SJPD Captain Eddie Garcia walks up and speaks with Oliverio, who opens his trunk and turns over three signs.
Oliverio says the signs were illegally placed and that he removed them consistent with city ordinances designed to address election season visual blight. “It would be nice if code enforcement removed the signs, but they don’t have enough resources,” he said.
Oliverio also said it was intimidating to be followed by burly off-duty fire fighters and arrive home to three marked police units in his front yard. Police and fire fighters’ unions are leading the opposition to Measures V and W.
Oliverio says he has been a strong supporter of public safety workers as a councilman but the measures have elevated emotions in this election season.
Oliverio said that City Attorney Rick Doyle assured him that the removal broke no laws.
Acting SJPD Police Chief Chris Moore says that his units responded to “keep the peace” and that “an informational report,” was taken.
“We’re playing it right down the middle,” Moore said. “We’re not sure there was any crime.”
Under city code section 23.02.880, “any illegal signs in the public right-of-way may be removed by the City.”
The code section goes on to state that, “any illegal sign of de minimus value in the public right-of-way may also be removed by volunteers on behalf of the City.”


  1. Over the years, I have taken dozens of signs down from political opponents which were placed on public property – right of way areas, etc.  I loved to do this.

    I never put up signs for supporters on these and rarely saw any as we always placed by the rules.

    Good for Pier for taking matters into his own hands.  Maybe Pete Constant will organize an illegal sign removal day!

  2. I am outraged that the video shows that he had vote yes signs in his trunk yet he removed only the vote no signs.  As an elected official I believe voters have a right to an explanation with honest!!! Answers.

  3. I think it’s wrong to pull down someone else’s signs just because you disagree with them. To see a city official doing this is very disappointing

  4. Citizen code enforcer

    Let’s be honest please. This is not about code enforcement. It’s a clear example of an elected official violating the Free Speech rights of others. I personally don’t care about the issue. However as a voter I am deeply offended and concerned about the disregard for the rights of others.

    I think our news media needs to fully investigate these allegations including the role if any other city officials may have had.  Why did this councilman threaten to call the city attorney? Why did a police captain show up and let him go? Something just isn’t right.

    • Priszilla,

      Free speech? Rights violated?

      Sorry you got that wrong. Nobody has a right to illegally put signs up on public property.


      Find someone who supports your cause, and have them put up a sign on their lawn. Funny, haven’t seen many No on V signs on any lawns. Saw Yes on V literally popping up in my ‘hood (on lawns).

      Given the opportunity, I always pull illegal signs down, but I do take a picture first on my cell phone.

      I took down at least 20 CIndy Chavez for Mayor signs 4+ years ago, some Cortese for Mayor as well.  (these were probably put up by the same people)

      • “Citizen Code Enforcer” – With all due respect, Piereluigi removed a specific sign from PRIVATE Property, which was witnessed. The placement of this sign was with the permission of the property owner. Oliverio thinks that he is above the law because of his position. This is clearly abuse of power and must not be tolerated. God forbid that Piere is on the other side of an issue that you care deeply about and he again abuses his power to manipulate the situation. He is “POND SCUM”!

        • The median in the middle of the road are public property, as are the offramps. Signs here are illegal, the people who put them up know this.

        • You have specific knowledge that the four signs taken from his trunk all came from medians?  Or was it that he made the statement that he got them from a median and you buy that line without any corroboration?  I know you can’t be that gullible.  Then again, Mayor Reed has most of the city buffalo’ed…

  5. Shame on you councilman….. Your a disgrace.  You really should question your integrity on this one.  Whether you agree or not with the opposition you should at least allow them their First Amendment right to free speech.  This will not bode well for you as it shouldn’t.  You should be summarily reprimanded for your actions….!

  6. PLO,
    Looks like you got caught red handed playing dirty underhanded politics and now your worried about the truth getting out and thats why you’ve deleted all the post on your Facebook page…  Your supposedly “public” page.

    Censorship is what you believe in.  I thought you were big on open government and public negotiations but the minute somebody tried to have an articulate conversation with you, you deleted it and banned them from your page. That is NOT Honesty and Open Government and does not follow the Sunshine Reform that was supposed to be the city’s platform. 

    Whether you thought you were doing the right thing by pulling signs from public land is irrelevant.

    You sir, are a city council-member of the 10 largest city in the nation and your stooping so low as to steal the oppositions signs and stuff them in your car??  I wonder if you would have done the same if they were Pro Measure V ?  Fact is if any other city employee were caught doing the same they would be investigated and most likely brought up on charges resulting in termination.  Something along the lines of “conduct unbecoming a city employee”.  Are you above that ?? 

    Now, on Facebook, your advocating that residents run out into dangerous medians on a rainy day a “clean” off any illegally posted signs…  ??!?!  I pray that someone is not hurt or killed as a result of your sudden crusade to clean off political signage.

    I have lost all respect for you, We may have disagreed on numerous occasions previously but this was over the top.  You are an elected official and as such should act in a manner consistent with that of your position and by your actions yesterday you have betrayed any trust put in you by your constituents.

    Shameful !!!

    I guess Arthur Miller was right … ““Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.”

  7. WOW P.O.

    That worried that you have to take down signs. Some integrity there. I would say that is a conflict when you are pro V & W. How many others signs have you taken down on other issues. Let me guess, zero. I bet if you saw an officer or firefighter take a yes on V & W you would demand some type of punishment. Your credibility went to zero like Reed. Shame shame on you.

  8. I have no skin in the Measure V and W and could not care one way or the other. At the same time, I loathe some of Labor’s tactic during the last part of any elction cycle.

    Having said that, I have genuine concern for Perluigi’s action. The issue is whether the sign was posted illegally or not and is this a conduct unbecoming of a councilman. 

    If it the No on V and W proponent clearly has permission of the property owner creating a landlord/tenant relationship with the sign and the councilman took it down, that is outright theft of private property and he should be cited by the officer.  Furthermore, the fact that he is a No on V and W opponent with stacks of lawn signs in his car trunk, the other three signs should be investigated for theft as well.  Last, the council should censure him as a city official for violating someone or some organization’s civil right of free speech expressed through their political lawn signs.  He is held to a much higher standard of conduct when it comes to this subject.

    If he is simply taking down a sign at a median, then the next questions asked should be where is the median where the sign were removed, where is the remaining metal stand to the sign to prove he did take it down there and where did he take down the other 3 signs. The police captain certainly shown a rush to judgment by letting Perluigi go immediately.  The mininal investigation should have been an interview with the eyewitness, a drive to scene where “alleged theft” occurred, a conversation with the property owner if it is private property and queries on where the other 3 signs were taken from.

    So, yes, this looks like shoddy police investigation to exonerate the councilman. If this were not political signs, but say some other personal property, would the police captain personally show up, a City attorney making judgmental comments, disrespecting the eyewitness and the private citizens making citizen’s arrest (their constitutional rights), a quick confiscation of the property and letting the suspect go?

    The No on V and W proponent certainly can get some declaration from private property owner(s) whether or not Perluigi is telling the truth or is using Code section 23.02.880 as an excuse for his bad intent of stealing an opponent’s sign. 

    Either way, with a stack of Yes on V signs in his car trunk, it will be hard for him to argue his way out of the public perception of “theft” by pretending that he is “rightous” and is working overtime for code enforcement and there were no “quid pro quo” between him, the police captain and Rick Doyle.

  9. The Video doesn’t lie.  He’s a punk.  Immediately he says I’m gonna call the City Attorney,I’m gonna call the Police Chief… Sounded like a Little School Girl when he said that… Dude you got caught doing something stupid that amounts to a crime like stealing gas from someones car.  And the officer let you go, which was a mistake to do so. 

    As for Murcy News Article this morning(No Longer a COP,Never was a good COP)Constant… FYI-Pete,When a citizens arrest is effected a person “CAN BE” detained until the authorities arrive.  Please check laws of arrest-penal codes, please stop making stuff up. 

    I have nothing to do this morning, I think I’m gonna drive around looking for signs to pull out of peoples yards and off medians.  Because I’m a taxpayer,I can get away with this activity just like the Councilman.  It’s correct to do this right????? 

    I know it’s wrong to do this kind of thing… but I’m above the law just like the Councilman.  I think I’m going to start at the Councilman’s house first!

    As for “TOM TOM Club” grow up,We all know your really Oliverio posting.

    What an Ass Clown!

    • I absolutely think you should pull all yes on v signs!! If you get caught, say “PLO told me it was ok, I’m acting as volunteer on bealf of the city.” Then, pout and threaten to call   the city attorney and chief of police!

  10. The point here is not whether or not the act is illegal. The point is that it is in bad form and shows to what extent the city management will go to, to silence labors voice. Notice that the No on V signs he removed from his trunk were underneath the Yes on V signs he had in his trunk so as to try to hide them. It’s bad enough if some campaign worker was doing this but for a City Council member to be doing it, it just goes to show you the lack of professionalism he has. Maybe now people will start to understand what we in labor have been dealing with………. a smear campaign organized from the top!

  11. Looks like PLO thinks he’s above the law, taking the law into his own hands. 

    Why was a Police Captain dealing with this?  Why did the officer tell the onlookers they have to stand back?  If “no crime was committed” and it’s public parking lot why do they have to move back?  What a bag of crap!

    An Admin Cop helping City Administrator get away with a crime is what’s happening, and the Jack Ass Councilman was laughing the entire time.  Smug PUNK! 

    If that was you or me we’d be there for about 45 mins. and it wouldn’t be a PD Capt. talking to us and kissing your ass, it would be a regular beat cop doing his job and citing you or me for the violation.

          HEE HAW

  13. He should be ashamed of himself. Instead he paced around smirking. It shows the type of person that he is. He has no morals or ethics and should not be allowed to represent us any longer. Hopefully the DA will pursue charges.

    Good for Mr. Saggau to get this on Youtube. The Merc has it so far buried you can only find the article if you know to search for it. I applaud Silicon Valley Newsroom for posting this.

    The public has a right and a need to know what our elected officials are doing. I seem to remember another past council member who was caught breaking the law. Maybe we should give Pierre a case of Opolo. Hopefully he’s headed in the same direction….to jail!

  14. Doesn’t matter if what he did was legal (if it was)—it was foolish and unbecoming of an elected official. His story might be slightly more believable if he had a trunk full of signs for other measures and candidates that were supposedly posted illegally, but of course, he did not.
    Just plain dumb. What in the world was he thinking?

    • I agree its a bit unseemly, but I don’t think a person can really be blamed for not wanting to go to the effort to tear down illegally posted signs with which he agrees.  I was sorely tempted to tear down the illegally posted “No on V” signs I saw yesterday (and if I’d been the one driving, I probably would have), but if those had been “Yes on V” signs, I would have limited my action to merely commenting to my wife something like, “Wow, they really shouldn’t be posting those there.”  I am also more likely to make the effort to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on nuns, as opposed to convicted serial killers, all other factors being equal.  Its human nature, in other words.  And Mr. Oliverio is a human.

      • Kevin, you are perfectly correct that it is human nature.  But, when you are a city council person the bar is raised much higher.  There is an expectation that you will control your urges and act professional.  Nobody can blame somebody for having the thought, but we can certainly blame him for acting on those thoughts.

  15. “You had them all over the medians”  Really?  Does anybody really believe that the four signs were removed only because they were supposedly on city property?  And, will the next argument be that although Code Enforcement or the Police Dept. would be the proper channel to contact for this violation the city is so understaffed that a city council person needs to do the job himself?  The absolute arrogance of this city council person is just flabbergasting.  Clearly the city will stoop as low as needed to impose their will on what they believe to be an uneducated gullible public.  Also, the police say it was handled like any other call but a Captain was the contact person.  If I need police services I hope I rate a Captain coming to my home to take a theft report too.

    • If one has a legal pretext to do what one wants to do, its perfectly legitimate to act on that pretext.  I think its silly to suggest a person has to take the trouble to tear down every illegally posted sign he sees, in order for such actions to be legitimate.

      • Sometimes just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right thing to do.  This shows incredibly bad judgment on the part of the city council person.  Let me give you another situation.  It would be perfectly legal for a police officer to issue a citation in every single vehicle stop where they witness a violation.  However, there are many circumstances where the officer could use discretion and still accomplish the same results.  Our public servants are expected to use their brains and decide when albeit an action is legal, it isn’t a good idea.

        • I must admit, this whole event does call into question the intelligence and/or judgment of Mr. Oliverio.  I don’t have a problem with what he did per se, but it was inevitable that many other people would.  Unless he was making a courageous stance based on principle (doubtful, at best), it seems like a very ill-considered move on his part.

  16. Having a bunch of hired thugs and off duty thugs intimate a council person who was not breaking the law has helped me decide to vote yes for both measures! 

    I am sick of the over paid roid rage cops and fireman crying because they like everyone else need to take a pay cut.  EVERYONE in the real world has had to take a pay cut; so deal or find a new job.

    Piere, please post how those who want to help support these measures can help.  I for one am going to do my civic duty and take down any signs that are on public property.

  17. This shows the extent to which the police and fire unions will go to in order to protect their 90 percent pensions, age 50 retirements. Stalking, chasing and blocking the movements of a popular elected official in order to intimidate and create a YouTube-able incident shows the desperation of this self-interest group.
    Not only should Measures V & W be voted into law to protect San Jose’s financial solvency, the city needs to get control of these thugs with badges and their political consultants. They have guns and vehicles and obviously don’t respect the representatives who people put into office.
    Thanks P.O. for the courage to take on these out-of-control guys.

    • So you think it is perfectly acceptable for Oliverio to trounce on the constitutional rights of a political foe? He was treated as police would treat any other thief and criminal who got caught red-handed stealing and committing a crime in progress. He actually got preferential treatment as he was not placed under citizens arrest after he called the chief directly, thus violating the rights of the person placing a criminal under citizens arrest.

  18. The citizen who demanded a citizens arrest had his rights violated by nothing being done to Oliverio. The police, having had probable cause that a crime occurred, needed to take Oliverio into custody per the citizens arrest, just as we do all the time to shoplifters arrested by security at a retail store. The suspects, in this case Oliverio, would either be released with a citation or booked into jail. Oliverio received preferential treatment after he call the chief and city attorney. This is flat out wrong and a violation of a private citizen who placed a suspect under citizens arrest.

  19. Obviously a Saggau-DeRollo stunt. They should disclose how much they are getting paid by unions to stage guerilla media events like this then post comments under pseudonyms.

    • “Obviously a Saggau-DeRollo stunt. They should disclose how much they are getting paid by unions to stage guerilla media events like this then post comments under pseudonyms.”

      Must have cost them a fortune to find an actor that was willing to have plastic surgery to mimic with perfect accuracy the city council person’s appearance.  Not to mention buying the identical car that he drives and forging the same license plate.  Then to obtain Yes on V signs along with some No on V signs and place them in the trunk. 

      Your comment is laughable.  The PD and fire folks knew somebody was stealing their signs and they suspected who it was.  Then somebody saw the city council person doing it and followed them.  If it weren’t for those persons doing what they did, PO would still be out stealing signs.  I bet this wasn’t the first time.

  20. I’m glad someone is doing something about signs being posted on median strips and public spaced. Everyone knows the only sign that means anything is one that’s on someone’s lawn.

  21. This is just a sideshow. The real issue is fiscal responsibility and whether taxpayers can afford to pay $5 billion in future pensions to cops who retire at 50 and other city workers who retire at 55.
    Highly paid political consultants seeking to demonize the fiscal responsibility advocates with YouTube stunts should not sway voters from doing the right thing: keeping the city from spending within its means.
    Please vote yes on V & W!

  22. 23.02.440 Public right-of-way.
    “Public right-of-way” for purposes of this title means a public street, alley, or other public outdoor area such as a plaza or a park.
    (Ord. 24201.)

    23.02.445 Public property.
    “Public property” for purposes of this title means any property owned or controlled by a public entity, including but not limited to:
    A. Recreational areas such as public parks, playgrounds, and gardens;
    B. Public buildings such as libraries, fire stations, auditoriums, theaters and City Hall; and
    C. Public rights-of-way and structures on public rights-of-way, including but not limited to lampposts, utility poles, utility wires, street signs, traffic signs, benches, hydrants, fountains, trees, bushes, public bridges, sidewalks, park strips and curbstones.
    23.02.820 Conformity required.
    A. No person shall erect, maintain or suffer, or cause to be erected, maintained or suffered, any sign except in strict conformity with this title.
    (Ord. 24835.)

    23.02.880 Authority to remove illegal signs in public right-of-way.
    A. Any illegal signs in the public right-of-way may be removed by the city.
    B. Any illegal sign of de minimus value in the public right-of-way may also be removed by volunteers on behalf of the city.
    C. No notice shall be required prior to removal of illegal signs, including without limitation elections signs, in the public right-of-way.
    D. Any sign removed by the city, except any sign of de minimus value, shall be held in storage and the owner or other person in control of such sign, if known, shall be given written notice and ten days to reclaim such sign.
    E. Any sign held in storage by the city may be destroyed by the city if not reclaimed:
    1. In the time period set forth in subsection D. above; or
    2. Within ten days after removal if the owner or other person in control of such sign is not known.
    F. In order to reclaim a sign removed by the city, the owner or other person in control of such sign shall first pay to the city a fee as set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by resolution of the city council.
    G. Any illegal sign in the public right-of-way of de minimus value shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be destroyed by the city after removal. No opportunity to reclaim such sign shall be given by the city.
    H. For purposes of this section, any sign made of cardboard or other nondurable material shall be deemed to be of de minimus value.
    (Ords. 24201, 24835.)

    • Glad to see that someone finally posted the real rules here.  Most of those who wrote in above probably won’t take the time to read these, unfortunately.  People really shouldn’t jump to condemnation without knowing the facts.

      The Buena Vista Neighborhood Association takes this ‘sign’ issue very seriously.  As a neighborhood district that encompasses parts of West San Carlos, we’ve seen our fair share of illegally placed signs.  We have educated ourselves, and worked with both the county and the city to identify signs, remove the signs, and fine repeat violators.  If you happen to drive down West San Carlos on your way to Santana Row, hopefully you’ll enjoy our little area that is free of offending signs, political or otherwise.

      We applaud Pierluigi Oliverio for removing these signs, though in the future we’d recommend the following additional actions to prevent this kind of misunderstanding:
      1 – Print/store a copy of the pertinent portions of the sign code on your phone or keep it handy.  It goes a long way towards educating those that may object.
      2 – take a picture with your cell phone of the sign before removing it.  This will likely settle any contentions as to where the sign may have been placed

      (we use Flickr to document violations – see )

      3 – If the sign is of de minimus value (i.e. “.. any sign made of cardboard or other nondurable material shall be deemed to be of de minimus value. Ords. 24201, 24835.) Then you don’t have to store the sign.  Throw it away immediately.

      Finally we’d **love** to see the city start enforcing its own ordinance regarding illegally posted signs and start fining repeat violators on a routine basis.  Given the state of the city’s budget, I’m sure that several thousands of dollars – if not ten’s of thousands – could be recouped fairly easily.

      FACT – 23.04.780 Liability for Election Signs.
      Every person who undertakes an election campaign shall be responsible to ensure that all signs posted in furtherance of that campaign are posted in full accordance with this Title and shall be presumed responsible, as set forth in Section 23.04.840, for any illegal election signs posted in furtherance of the campaign.
      FACT – Did you know that the city is supposed to keep a list of violators and make that list public?
      23.04.770 Removal of Election Signs from Public Property.
      B. The Director shall cause a list of election signs removed from public property to be filed with the City clerk, for public information.

      Back to Pierluigi – Tom Saggau of the Saggau and DeRollo political consulting firm has challenged that the sign was on private property.  If this is indeed correct, let Tom Saggau provide evidence that he had the property owners’ permission to post.  See, Tom hasn’t, because it was either on public property OR he didn’t have the landlord’s permission.  Either way, this is simply a political stunt meant to get Proposition V more airtime.

  23. I am and have been very concerned about the way both City and Labor are acting over this campaign. Debra Figone was subjected to harassment during lunch and now a Council Member particpates in sign theft. Where will it end? Have we become so intolerant of respecting one another’s beliefs that we are now attacking innocent people just trying to their job and stealing other’s property?

    I am very disappointed in Council Member Oliverio for doing this. I like the guy but I think as an elected official he has a responsibility to act with integrity, and respect. If he felt these signs were put on public land illegally, he should have contacted Code Enforcement and requested that THEY remove them, or sent out an email to his district asking for volunteers to sign up, take a training by Code Enforcement on sign removal laws, and spend the day removing ALL illegally placed signs under the guidance of Code Enforcement.

    Also, he could have placed a call to the City Attorney’s Office asking them to contact the No on V and W campaign and ask THEM to remove the signs, but instead he behaved in an arrogant, and unbecoming manner.

    While watching the video above, I felt that Pierluigi was taunting these justifiably angry owners of the signs. It reminded me very much of this kid in grade school who would punch us and then run to the teacher claiming we hit him, and would laugh and smile while we were getting in trouble for something we didn’t do. It is shameful to say the least. 

    Pierluigi, I hope you have the integrity and decency to own up to your bad choice and apologize for your actions. This in unbecoming behavior for an elected official and certainly doesn’t make you look very much like a leader. You have a wonderful district with caring, civic-minded citizens in it and they deserve a representative who acts accordingly. Do the right thing here and apologize, stop hiding behind the City Attorney’s skirt, while laughing at the people YOU harmed.

  24. Oliverio better damn well have theft and possession of stolen property charges filed against him, just as he would insist be done if an officer was caught red handed stealing Yes on V signs.

  25. Nobody is arguing that PO may have technically had a legal right to do what he did.  What is clear is that he showed stupendously bad judgment.  Let me tell you about what happened at the police department.  An officer started to put a No on V sign on his patrol car.  The administration immediately reminded not only that officer, but the entire department, that advocating for a political measure or a candidate while working as a city employee is a violation.  Officers were told not to have any signs or stickers and not to discuss the measure at work even socially in the break room.  This is the high standard applied to the officers and applies to all city employees.

    Can you imagine though if somebody from the Yes on V campaign posted video of a police officer removing Yes on V signs and putting them in their trunk?  Even if the signs were technically posted on public right of way and fit the sections posted, people would be having a field day and the video would be on YouTube as well. 

    City council persons are also in the unique situation of essentially being on duty at all times.  PO attends meetings at all hours so one has to wonder if he was really working when he removed the signs.  If so, doesn’t that call into question the lack of good sense in spending compensated time as a city council person to remove political signs of a measure that the city council person actively opposes? 

    I also think it laughable that people are now trying to spin this event as some kind of union stunt.  PO was caught because No on V signs were coming up missing right and left and the proponents of the No on V folks suspected somebody was stealing the signs.  Now when PO is caught on video with the signs it is some kind of setup?  I suppose some “union thugs” pried open his trunk and placed the signs in there. 

    Again, legal or not PO showed unbelievable bad judgment in doing what he did.  If any other city employee would have been caught taking Yes on V signs, even if legal, they would have been crucified, especially if it was a cop or firefighter.

    • Response to City Code for Signs,
      I commend the PD for taking such a professional, and hard line with Police Officers on campaigning while on duty. I also thank the POA and its members for negotiating in good faith with the City and coming to an agreement, thus avoiding arbitration and lay offs. Those good faith efforts on behalf of the POA are deeply appreciated by me and other members of the public. I know the financial hit to their wallets are tough, especially in these rough fiscal times. Please stay safe out there!

      Having said that, there are several vital facts people are missing here:

      The first is that many homeowners have been reporting missing or vandalized signs from/in their YARDS! Pierluigi was CAUGHT taking a sign off of PRIVATE property. That is ILLEGAL and is THEFT. If a citizen were caught doing that, we would have been cited, and the City Attorney wouldn’t be defending us on the taxpayer’s dime. We’d have to hire and pay for our own attorney, so be outraged that he got a way with this and not punished for it thanks to the protection afforded him as a taxpayer representitive of the City.

      Secondly, to cover his butt, Pierluigi went on his
      “City Council Member” Face Book account, and urged people to follow his lead and remove signs they thought were illegally placed. I find that behavior to be irresponsible and is pitting normally decent citizens against one another.

      People are already very heated and angry over money, and the Unions, so I don’t believe that they will stop at taking signs JUST from public property. Many private landowners give campaigns permission to post signs on their property, and given that some are PRIVATE vacant lots, people could be stealing signs that are LEGAL without knowing it!

      I think Pierluigi is feeding anger and hate and that is dangerous! Pierluigi needs to re-think his behavior before someone gets hurt. I have mediated neighbor/neighbor cases where people have physically harmed one another over LESS! 

      And finally, let’s not forget two very important things, those signs cost money! Citizens donated their hard earned cash to pay for them. How dare a Council Member steal a sign owned and paid for by this homeowner off their yard, and then instruct citizens who do not know the law on proper sign removal to do the same?

      And secondly, Pierluigi could have avoided all of this by simply placing a call to the City Attorney, or Code Enforcement, or the NO on V and W campaign asking that the signs be LEGALLY removed.

      In my opinion, Pierluigi’s actions in a nutshell are simply irresponsible, shameful, and dangerous.  He needs to be brought before the Ethics Commission to face the same kind of discipline you and I would if we behaved like this.
      I am asking all of you to take a deep breath and look at this realistically, and respect one another’s opinions without resorting to arguing, fighting, finger pointing, and removing lawn signs. Follow proper protocol and phone in, or email Code Enforcement with the address of where you believe illegal signs are posted. But PLEASE don’t take part in vigilante behavior like Pierluigi did and take signs yourself! Thank you for your king consideration.

    • “Officers were told not to…discuss the measure at work even socially in the break room.”

      I’m a supporter of Measures V & W, but I think telling city employees they can’t discuss election issues while on break is a violation of their 1st Amendment rights.

  26. If the city council member took signs from private property then he should apologize and throw himself on the mercy of the DA and ultimately the voters for this digression.  It would be clearly wrong.

    However, if he was taking signs down from public properties, which are clearly illegally placed, then that’s another matter. 

    Its an old campaign trick to put signs up in illegal sites on Friday afternoon, knowing that in many jurisdictions code enforcement won’t get around to clearing them until Monday or Tuesday (or even later). 

    The question is, can citizens ‘volunteer’ themselves to remove signs that are clearly on public property?  That is sort of like a citizen’s arrest.  You’re volunteering yourself to enforce a law.  The ordinance seems to suggest if not encourage that type of action.  The ‘volunteer’ part is was to fuzzy.

    I would probably recommend against it, but if you do volunteer yourself—in this day and age of technology—it would be wise to take photos of the signs and their location before you remove them, tag them with tape and write on the tape when and where they were taken down.  Then bring them as quickly as possible to the city. 

    Of course in the heat of a campaign, people get carried away and dots and dashes are sometimes missed and confrontations can occur, which is why it’s best to leave it to code enforcement to do the work.

    In this case I’m more worried about the police officers and fire personnel acting as a political campaign posse, then a city council person perhaps acting impulsively.  I think everyone should be.

  27. I personally saw two illegally posted “No on V” signs at Jeffrey Fontana Municipal Park, in District 10, yesterday (Saturday, October 23rd).  I was going to take them down myself, since its pretty distasteful for signs pertaining to a city measure to be posted on city land, but my wife and I were just driving by at the time.

    • The problem with removing campaign signs is that unless it is abundantly clear that the sign is in violation, you risk trampling on one of our most precious liberties, that of freedom of speech.  Do we really want No on V, Yes on V, vote for so and so X, vote against so and so measure etc. campaign workers trolling the city seizing signs that they believe might be in violation?  Do we then have counter-patrol members following the sign brigade videotaping them removing signs just waiting for a mistake?  Then perhaps counter-counter-patrol people watching the counter-patrol people.

      Is that where we are going here?  Brownshirts in packs making sure every rule is obeyed to the letter?  I see hundreds of campaign signs during the voting season and quite frankly I have no idea most of the time whether or not the sign is legally posted.  I pass them by and don’t give them a second thought.  After the polls close, most are picked up and taken away.  I think it highly dangerous and smacks of vigilante censorship to encourage citizens to go out and remove signs unless they are rock solid on their knowledge of a violation.  The down side for me is just too great.  In this case, it is really unbecoming for a city council person to selectively enforce what they think might be a violation that just happens to disadvantage the opposition and benefit a cause he is fighting for.

  28. Looks like Tom and Dustin were busy posting under multiple pseudonyms on Saturday!

    Saggau-DeRollo were working overtime because $1 million is being spent to keep the 90% pensions for cops who want to retire at 50. They are getting paid well to post placards for this special interest campaign in illegal places.

    They seem to be desperate because the measure is going to lose big. That’s why they chased P.O. with a video camera to his home, then waited for him while he was having lunch. Look how quickly they got it up on YouYube and followed with comments on SanJoseInside.

    • The fact that Saggau-DeRollo are involved in this certainly raises the stench level, but that doesn’t excuse PLO for his stupid stunt.
      He played into their hands and they gladly jumped on it. There is plenty of stink on both sides to leave the environment fouled for quite some time.

    • So, that excuses the council persons behavior right? Since one side of a political argument caught the other side stealing their signs, that is desperation?  Have you considered that perhaps the No on V folks have had their signs taken repeatedly and were out looking to find the culprit?  Low and behold, they did find the thief, and it is a city council person with a clear motive to find an excuse to remove the signs.  Even if the signs ended up on public property, which does happen on both sides of various political races, it is unbelievably bad form for a city council person to decide to handle it themselves.

  29. Oliverio you have officially shown your true colors to the citizens of San Jose.  You are EXACTLY why the police and fire need binding arbitration.  Your tactics are disgraceful.  Worst yet you can’t even admit your mistake and apologize to the citizens of San Jose.  Moreover you should apologize to the men and woman who risk their lives daily for this city.

    Your actions have demonstrated your own standard of ethics.  Your lack of impartiality and accountability to the members of the public.  You have violated the Code of Ethics.  I request removal from office under SJMC section 12.18.320

    City Council Policy

    In order to best serve the citizens and customers of the City of San José, the elected and appointed officials, and employees of the City must act individually and collectively to create a City government that is responsible, fair, honest and open. City employees and officials are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, honesty and conduct in all activities in order to inspire public confidence and trust in City employees.

    As stated in the City Charter, “The citizens of San José expect and must receive the highest standard of ethics from all those in the public service. City officers and employees must be independent, impartial and responsible in the performance of their duties and accountable to the members of the public.”

    Elected and appointed officials and employees of the City of San José at all levels are guardians of the public trust. City officials and employees are required to be impartial and responsible in the fulfillment of their duties. The citizens and customers of San José expect and must receive the highest standard of ethics from all those in public ser vice, regardless of personal consideration.

    General Rule with Respect to Conflicts of Interest
    City employees and officials are expected to avoid any conflicts of interest. Further, employees should avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest in order to ensure that City decisions are made in an independent and impartial manner.

    In addition to any other penalty as provided by law, employees who violate the Code of Ethics will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The violation of this Code of Ethics by a City official, elected or appointed, constitutes official misconduct.

  30. Our streets are crumbling, our trees need maintained, our sewer system is irroding, graffiti is rampant, library hours are limitted, shall I go on? And yet people are up in arms about some political signs wrongly posted in public spaces that were taken down?

    I wish this same amount of energy could be used toward volunteer activities for the greater good of the people of San Jose.

    My .02.


    • Tina,
      It is a huge deal when a council member, someone we ostensibly hold to a higher standard than the rest of society, trounces on the constitutional rights of another with impunity. Oliverio was not merely cleaning up illegal signs as he claims, he was targeting those in opposition to his stance, and trying to silence the other sides voice. It is a very, very big deal, despite the spin Pier is trying to put on his Facebook page.

      • Hi Tom,

        “…and trying to silence the other sides voice.” It would seem then that the other side’s voice should be coming from (or posted on, as the case may be) private property vs. public property.


        • Tina,
          I seriously don’t know how anyone can defend this behavior by a City Council Member. This has now gone from a campaign issue to one of ethics and how a Council Member SHOULD behave.

          He STOLE a sign off of private property. He then went on a public Face Book account under the title of “Council Member Oliverio, and encouraged people who DO NOT know the law on LEGAL sign removal to do the same. He is using a TAXPAYER PAID City Attorney to defend himself, and was smirking and laughing when caught. This is not acceptable on any level. He is pitting decent folks against one another AND he has a VESTED INTEREST in the out come of this race. That is clearly what motivated his actions.

          Further, I saw him insult former Council Member John Diquisto on the news by comparing his theft of lawn signs to John’s demonstration of cleaning a bathroom in less time than a cleaning crew the City kept hiring, while they ignored cheaper bids for the job. This was unbelievable to me, as not only did the Mayor and full Council know about John’s actions he wasn’t doing anything ILLEGAL!

          It’s time to hold Pierluigi to the standards cited in the City Charter and he blew it!

  31. While pro V/W Oliverio forces would like to minimize this it is NO LESS THAN A FOOLISH CRIME committed by a sitting Councilman. The Mercury, burying the story, is complicit, and for all of these bedfellows, the ends justifies the means. Unfortunately, for the spoiled brat Pier, he was CAUGHT and now there is a price to pay. As a citizen of San Jose I DEMAND HIS RESIGNATION and a stoppage of his ridiculous whining excuses. The more he crys the worse he makes this situation. He was observed committing a theft and caught red-handed with said stolen property. He is no less than a well heeled theft who is filled with excuses after a theft. Well done Pierlugi Oliverio,…you just committed the worse mistake of your political career and thank you for reminding us all how important it will be to VOTE NO on measures V and W. This rainy SJ weekend is very symboLic for you and your staff. Well done.

  32. Speechless, shocked,…well on second thought you ARE a politician. Talk about getting down and dirty Mr. Councilman. The adjectives that come to mind to describe your actions are plentiful. First and foremost I find your actions repulsive, and at the very least, unethical of a sitting councilmember. Your actions should be cause for review for disciplinary action. I suppose we will hear be hearing from the City Attorney, under oath, if in fact you and he spoke about this before YOU took action. The conflicts of interests related to your actions are absurdly plain to see. Shame on you.

  33. This incident has served as an education to many of us who had been ignorant of this particular section of the city code. Upon learning the rules I immediately went into my frontyard and moved my “Meg”, “Carly”, “Sahagun”, “Yes on V”, and “Democrats Keep Your Cotton Pickin’ Hands Off My Wallet” placards out of the parking strip, which is City property, and onto my own front lawn where they belong. I know it’s not much but it’s the least I could do.
    Thanks Pierluigi for going the extra mile and donating your own valuable time to clean up not only your own property but community property as well. This volunteer spirit is exactly the sort of thing that several regular contributors to SJI often claim is needed in our community. You are to be commended and you’re an inspiration. I’ll be sure and keep my eyes peeled for placards which are illegally placed in the public right of way and, like the esteemed and honorable firm of Saggau and DeRollo, I’ll call 911 immediately to report myself when I remove them.

  34. PO –

    We elected you to help run the city. You should stand proud and tall. You were elected for your ideals and vision, and should be proud of them while you serve in office!

    So suppressing your critics by such childish tactics is far, far below what I expect from my elected officials.

    If your ideas are so strong and right, why are you resorting to this behavior? If what you did is so right, why didn’t you instruct your staff to do it so you could focus on more important City matters?

    I realize there is a sign ordinance… and I like the idea of clean public areas without signs. You should have issued the directive to your staff that all signs in any public areas are to be removed and proudly state your reasons for doing so. All council members could have signed on to a similar effort.

    But instead you sneak around with a trunk full of “Yes on V&W” signs, pulling the opponent’s signs and hiding them in your trunk? Really?

    And this is just what was caught on tape? Would you have denied it if there was no video… It really makes me wonder what other tactics you have resorted to in order to pass this measure – or accomplish your other agenda items.

    Is this what things have come to? I’m embarrased for San Jose.

  35. He took the sign from PRIVATE PROPERTY.  Not public property, not a public right of way, it was private property.  As such he is a thief.  Period.  Since the cost of the signs he gave to the police from the trunk of his car probably did not cost over $400 dollars then the crime he committed is:

    § 484. What constitutes theft; Determination of value of property; Presumptions

    (a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft. In determining the value of the property obtained, for the purposes of this section, the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test, and in determining the value of services received the contract price shall be the test. If there be no contract price, the reasonable and going wage for the service rendered shall govern. For the purposes of this section, any false or fraudulent representation or pretense made shall be treated as continuing, so as to cover any money, property or service received as a result thereof, and the complaint, information or indictment may charge that the crime was committed on any date during the particular period in question. The hiring of any additional employee or employees without advising each of them of every labor claim due and unpaid and every judgment that the employer has been unable to meet shall be prima facie evidence of intent to defraud.

    Cal Pen Code § 486 (2010)

    § 486.  Degrees of Theft

    Theft is divided into two degrees, the first of which is termed grand theft; the second, petty theft.  [if signs valued less than $400]

    § 487. Grand theft

    Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases:

    (a) When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding four hundred dollars ($400) except as provided in subdivision (b).

    (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), grand theft is committed in any of the following cases:

    § 490.  Punishment for petty theft

    Petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.

  36. I voted for Pier, and for the most part have been supportive of him until now. Taking your opponents signs was flat out wrong. I do not think you were doing this to clean things up even though that is what you are saying now. Everyone is entitled to voice their voice. That is what is so special about our country. I think what you have done Pier really insults what our country stands for. I also watched the video of you Pier, and you seemed like it was a joke to you. I saw you smiling the entire time but it seemed pretty smug, kind of like you were above anything happening to you. I also lost respect for you when you called the city attorney and police chief. Between that and having the signs buried in your trunk, you seemed pretty guilty. Like I said, I had a lot of respect for most of your positions, but what you did was really wrong.

  37. I’ve read the campaign sign laws.  Thing is people always cheat.  I see signs from most other political campaigns breaking the law. 

    All I see is.. Signs in the trunk of PL’s car, I have no idea where they came from…..

    Perhaps the law so that any citizen may remove a sign on public property provided they take pictures/videos with their cell phone first to prove they’re in the clear. 

    By not covering your own ass while removing these signs in this way, well.. It comes down to your word against theirs.  A councilmember vs. a cop and firemen. As my grandmother has always preached to me, stay above reproach. (a nice way of saying cover your ass)

    Definitely hands in the cookie jar(because signs were found in the trunk), but at the end of the day there is no clear way for either side to prove where the signs were pulled from.  No need for this to escalate any further, anti prop w-v got their signs back, and PL will probably stay away from them (right PL? you should stay MILES from signs from now on.)

    As the karaoke king of D9 I will allow both sides to battle it out in a sing off, since that would be just as productive as giving a shit about this lapse of judgement on PL’s part any further.

  38. > Oliverio also said it was intimidating to be followed by burly off-duty fire fighters and arrive home to three marked police units in his front yard. Police and fire fighters’ unions are leading the opposition to Measures V and W.

    This is getting too crazy!

    So the police union with intense interest in the outcome of an election ballot measure is arranging for city police units (manned by union members) to selectively harass and intimidate a prominent legislator who opposes their interest.

    This is banana republic stuff.

    The Police Union is way, way out of control.

    They seem to think that they work for the city only when the city supports their politics, but otherwise the police takes its orders from the union.

    It is time to DECERTIFY the police union.

    If the police officers themselves don’t recognize the problem and initiate the decertification, then the voters will have to do it for them.

    By the way, would any of the night school lawyers on this forum care to offer an opinion regarding Obama’s “Cardcheck” initiative and whether or not it enables union members to DECERTIFY without an election merely be signing a decertification card?

    • Again with the speculation driven by an obvious dislike for police officers.  A simple review of the event shows that union members who support a measure, who are well within their rights as private citizens, found that somebody was taking their election signs.  One member saw a city council person removing a sign and followed them.  These union members confronted the city council person, as they should, about his conduct. 

      The city council person calls the chief of police and the city attorney.  A captain no less, responds to handle the event.  Not a normal patrol officer, but a captain most likely at the direct request of the chief of police, who by the way is not a union member.  The captain lets the city council person go without so much as a citation, nor does the captain call for a normal beat unit, at least on video.

      And, speaking of selective enforcement of which you accuse the police, isn’t this exactly what the city council person did?  Didn’t he selectively remove campaign signs that he claims were in violation of the law?  I would bet that this city council person didn’t go around removing other signs for other measures or candidates that were also in violation, just the ones he disagreed with.

      Bronco Bummah your credibility is shot.  When you are in a hole, stop digging.

      • > Bronco Bummah your credibility is shot.

        Hey! Thanks for explaining this to me.  I didn’t realize.

        Thanks, too, for taking time out of your busy day to work on my case.

        Do you have any ideas how I can get my credibility back?

        By agreeing with you, perhaps?

        Would that make me more credible?

        Do you have any references I could check to be sure I would be credible if I agreed with you?

        • Glad to open your eyes finally.

          No problem at all, I have some free time when I’m not doing research on actual facts instead of just posting based upon an irrational dislike of one particular group or another.

          Credibility recovery? I would recommend that you actually do your own research such as reading the measures completely, speak to the unions regarding what they are really about, question your elected officials about their motives and goals to make sure you truly understand their reasons, and most certainly set aside your obvious bias against the police when analyzing the pro’s and con’s of the issues.  This will help restore some credibility instead of just sounding like a broken record repeating the same tune over and over.

          References, sure.  As state above, try the actual measures, the SJPOA website and even a physical visit to their offices, interview your city council person with a specific list of hard questions, submit public records act (PRA) requests for arrest, staffing, response times, and labor statistics from the police department, submit PRA requests from the city budget office regarding investments, spending, and prior labor contracts, go to your library and read prior news articles on actions taken by former city administrations, take a police ride-along, and for Pete’s sake, quite drinking Reed brand Kool-Aid.

  39. A lot of folks are saying “call Code Enforcement,”  so out of curiosity I called them and was told that for what they consider “routine” calls, the response time is about 15 days and the resolution date can be 30 – 90 days. Emergency calls such as a non-secured refrigerator on public property get priority. This confirms what I suspected, that our Code Enforcement team is totally overwhelmed.

    The City has allowed citizens to help out with graffititagging blight by handing out anti-graffiti kits and encouraging them to take action. This seems to be similiar in nature to taking down private opinion signs littering public places. A different, personal example of taking action was during a Friends of the Library meeting in the East SJ Carnegie branch, a patron had posted a sign on a public computer in the public computer room: “Reinstate Prop 8—Say No to Gays.” I had the sign removed immediately (I was going to do it but was told it was being handled already) and as it turns out the patron was belligerant and police had to be called.  These are a couple more instances where I don’t think calling and waiting for Code Enforcement to take action is appropriate.

    All citizens have the right to help clean up our fair city as long as the rights of others (in this case to post opinions on private property) are not violated. Sitting and waiting for a team of City staff who are overwhelmed to begin with does not seem like the right thing to do.


    • Tina,
      You know I think the world of you but, being properly trained to remove signs PAID for and OWNED by a campaign seriously differes from picking up trash. Please stop defending Oliverio’s actions by using lack of services as an excuse for his shameful behavior.

      I pick up trash whilst walking through the neighborhood, but I don’t steal signs asking me to vote for Pegram, even though I can’t stand the guy! He has LOTS of illegally placed signs all over the place as well as the YES on V and W campaign does. That doesn’t give me the right to steal them LEGALLY or not. We’re in America and have right to voice our opinion. Once the election is over if they don’t clean them up themselves, they should be fined. That’s how law breakers should be dealt with.

      Or they can do what responsible campaigns do and make you sign something to get a sign, or deliver them to you with instruction on placement…

    • First of all how many campaign signs have you seen left around months after an election? Now, where was Pierre Oliverio back then? Oh, that’s right he really didnt care until now.
      If you really want to clean up the City, start picking up the all the trash that really matters

  40. As a resident of San Jose I am saddened that the discussion isn’t about the actual ballot initiatives.  As a D6 resident I’m dismayed that my councilmember was attending the opening of a community center that day in another district while steadfastly refusing to champion the opening of a newly built community center and library in his own.  A facility that was designed to actually bring in revenue through a commercial operation.  A facility that would have provided services to residents who have never had access to city services, services that might have encouraged the kids who set fire to Trace Elementary School to become productive young citizens.

    The question is, did he or did he not remove legally placed signs.  Thus far, he hasn’t answered that,  he has only quoted ordinances and complained about illegal sign placement.  And he evidently only cared about one campaign’s signs, not all of them.

    He has deflected the question with statements that he feels intimidated by police and fire personnel.  Really?  A white man from Willow Glen feels intimidated?  If this is true, I hope it gives him insight as to how people of color in his district might feel.

    The D6 residents I know work hard to keep our district, all of it, not just the attractive areas with big homes, parks and community centers, free of graffiti, crime and blight.  We work hard together, collaboratively and with the full understanding that along the way mistakes will be made.

    If our councilmember has made this mistake,he owes it to us and the rest of the city to put this issue to rest so we can actually discuss issues.  I and many D6 residents would respect “I blew it, I thought it was legal to remove it, I apologize and I will replace it immediately” from him even if it came with a big showy press conference.  If he wants respect he has to be respectful.

    I am a sign puller and sign remover.  I will not be rehabilitated from this and there is no phone pole or public right of way safe where I walk.  With that said, I cannot endorse the idea of people without appropriate gear working in medians or on unsafe right of ways.  One act of stupidity shouldn’t be followed by another that could get you injured or killed.

    I hope that the firefighters who are willing to give up $10k for a reward on this issue are also willing to spend this reward money (if not claimed) on helping the citizens of this city organize clean up efforts.

    In the meantime I will continue to be bemused by folks who mix their support of one side or the other of the actual ballot issue with whether or not what happened was right or wrong.  I will continue to shake my head in wonder when people accuse those on one side of stalking one person…really, you don’t think they have better things to do, like talk to voters?  And I will continue to be disgusted with the fact political discourse in this city has been reduced to name calling, rhetoric and grade school behavior.

    • D6 Diva said, “As a D6 resident I’m dismayed that my councilmember was attending the opening of a community center that day in another district while steadfastly refusing to champion the opening of a newly built community center and library in his own.”

      Madison Nguyen needs his support because she might LOSE her bid for a 2nd term. Surely you don’t expect your neighborhood’s needs to come before the re- election of a much needed Council vote do you? (Sarcasm)

    • The real issue is the unfunded liabilities that will put us into bankruptcy.

      What I see here are people posturing, and it didn’t take long for failed candidate Clark Williams to show up along with Kathleen and Christian.

      A D6 resident lamenting on their community center not opening has chip on their shoulder.  Pier asking for forgiveness with a press conference? What pant are you from?

      The police and fire held a press conference across from this Councilmember’s home!

      They should be ashamed of themselves.  Talk about the issues, and don’t litter our neighborhood with signs, either for or against

      • Get Real,
        To deflect Pierluigi’s behavior to continue Union bashing is a disservice to citizens who want a representative to behave with integrity.  All we want is Oliverio to stop bringing innocent citizens into a fight he has no business starting and to DO HIS JOB.

      • Kathleen, when a councilmember takes a stand that no new facilities should be opened because of budget issues, he shouldn’t be attending opening day of any facility.  I think it was more about him than her.

        Seriously, Get Real…get real.  There were cost effective ways of opening the new center that were never discussed because on ground breaking day he made it clear it wasn’t a project he supported.  The cost effectiveness can be examined this way:  the cost of detering crime (like the Trace fire) vs. programs.  Or how about the ability of residents to get to a library and look for jobs so they can return to the work force?  Or how about just opening up the portion of the facility that actually GENERATES REVENUE FOR THE CITY?

        There’s no chip on my shoulder, just resignation and sadness that Willow Glen has seen an increase in services while the rest of the district gets nothing.  Even though we pay the same taxes.

        Grown ups admit when they’re wrong and apologize.  Being a grown up should be a prerequisite of holding office…I know it’s not, but it should be.  As for what pant I’m on?  Right now it’s a black capris pant based on planet reality.

        • D6 Diva,

          Sounds like your refining your campaign speech.

          It’s tiresome. This forum is filled with failed candidates, who check in hourly and spout their dribble.  As a self destined DIVA, I’m sure yowled make a great Councilmember. Engaging in class warfare is unbecoming.

  41. I agree with Kathleen. Mr. Oliverio should apologize to the property owner(s) and to the residents of the city for showing poor judgment. We’re never too young, too old or too powerful to learn valuable lessons from our humbling mistakes. 

    But, by encouraging vigilante enforcement of a city ordinance, the councilmember seems to be avoiding responsibility for his series of bad decisions by engaging in the unseemly politics of distraction. If residents believe that a sign could be in violation of the city’s sign ordinance, they should contact Code Enforcement at 535-7770. Our city’s fine code enforcement inspectors are well trained to investigate these complaints and to take action, if necessary.

    Unfortunately, this entire incident highlights how city leaders have led our city into a disintegration of healthy political discourse. My hope is that the councilmember will learn from these errors in judgment and will pursue a new political strategy based on collaboration, participation and respect for competing viewpoints.

  42. Mr. Oliverio,
    I have tried to keep an open mind through all of the back and forth stuff between the Union and the City but when you take actions like these and then try to put a spin on them, that really says it all. You argue that you were just being a good citizen by taking down illegally placed signs. My problem with that argument is that why would you not just call Code Enforcement and let them do it? How do you know what is public and what is private property for sure? It seems there is some question as to if you did take a sign from a private business so this goes to my point. Why put yourself in this position. Second, you were one of the main proponents of the Yes Campaign so going out and taking the No signs down just is bad form and looks bad and simply is not professional. As for you feeling threatened by “big burly firemen”, really? One of them was an averaged sized retired Chief and the others were also relatively averaged size, not big and burly. The only reason to use that type of statement is to further demonize the Union for trying to defend itself and its membership from the obvious full frontal attack on its membership. Its shameful to see the leadership of this city so intent on destroying the very workers that are out there protecting it and or educating its children.
    What is needed to get this negotiation settled is everyone to realize they need to get back to business and act professionally and stop the petty personal attacks and demonization of each other. I mean this for both sides. So the question is, are you going to be the leader or are you going to continue the status quo?

  43. With all of this Sound and Fury over political signs, here’s a question: Has a political sign ever influenced your vote? (Yeah, I thought so…)

    That said: Oliverio used very poor judgment in removing political, even if he was legally in the right. there is something very unseemly about an elected official removing opponents signs. What a dork!

    But Saggu and his angry mob were wrong to involve the (on-duty) police in their political dispute. Police ahve better things to do. Did the alleged crime really require 3 police cars to go to Oliverio’s home? (Who at the PD made that decision?) It’s a little silly to hear cops complain about their limited resources when they can spare 3 units for an alleged petty theft!

    Conclusion: All sides look bad on this one.

    • Reader.

      ‘With all of this Sound and Fury over political signs, here’s a question: Has a political sign ever influenced your vote? (Yeah, I thought so…)”

      The issue is not the degree to which the casual passerby might be influenced by a lawn sign. The issue is that PLO took it upon himself to muzzle the opposition and, in doing so, trampled on the 1st Amendment, violated the City’s code of ethics AND, in all probability, committed a theft.

      Theft is a crime. The investigation of a crime is the proper domain of the Police. So, of course, on-duty police will be dispatched. And, part of the reason for the presence of a Police Captain, Lieutenant and officers, is, in essence, to ensure transparency and thoroughness of the investigation when a public official is involved.

      As to your claim that it’s silly to hear cops complain about limited resources, I would simply say this: do you want the PD to investigate crimes or not? Sure, they could say, ‘Hey, it’s just a petty theft, we’ve got bigger fish to fry.’ but a victim of a crime is just that – regardless of political affiliation or background. If they are going to be impartial, then this investigation required that response. Sadly, the air of impartiality may have been diminished by the fact that PLO wasn’t cited as may have been appropriate if probable cause to believe that the crime of petty theft occurred.

  44. > Oliverio also said it was intimidating to be followed by burly off-duty fire fighters and arrive home to three marked police units in his front yard. Police and fire fighters’ unions are leading the opposition to Measures V and W.

    And how many times does the understaffed, underpaid, under-benefited, overworked San Jose Police Department send THREE, count ‘em, THREE marked police units to investigate election sign poaching, and more specifically, poaching of election signs in which the police union has an official institutional interest?

    The San Jose Police Department and every officer and staffer work ONE HUNDRED PERCENT for the San Jose City government. 

    If any police officer thinks that he or she works for the police union, or favors it’s interests at any time in the performance of his or her duties,  that officer is acting OUTSIDE of their lawful authority.

    The definition of an armed group, organized for a private purpose without a formal government charter is a “militia”.

    When the San Jose police union selectively harasses a political opponent by dispatching armed officers for a trivial matter like election sign poaching, it is acting, unethically and unlawfully, as a private militia for the SBLC.

    This is a completely unacceptable state of affairs for any community that values open government free of harassment, intimidation, and threats.

    ANY police officer working for the City of San Jose AND also associated with the police union MUST recognize that this is an inapproapriate and ultimately civicly dangerous state of affairs.

    This is an unacceptable conflict of interest for police officers. 

    “No man can serve two masters.”

    Every ethical and honest San Jose police officer must recognize this dangerous and compromising state of affairs and act decisively to correct the situation.

    Every ethical and honest San Jose police officer must act to DECERTIFY the San Jose police union, or resign from the union and separate themselves from the union’s lawless and corrupt political practices.

    • FYI,…all police are armed and most calls require two officers, LOL. Let’s ask the city to require all “burly” firefighters to immediately go on strict Pete Constant diets so they can be skinny and non-intimidating to Mr Milktoast Councilman Pier Oliverio. The third officer likely appeared to be a witness in the event the VIP made some outlandish allegation, such as he was in possession stolen “NO on V” signs. Oops! He was,….LMAO…come back to Earth.

  45. Smooth move on the taking of “No on V” signs. I guess you (Mr. Olivera) have anointed yourself as a code enforcement officer.

    The sound bite on TV and radio that he keeps referring is a muni-code that should be enforced by code enforcement or police officers.

    Just because you are an elected official, does not give you the authority to enforce the law, you are to represent the people and make laws that you see fit.

    There is a process and that process should be respected. If you are not satisfied with the code enforcement division process or response, fix it. You were elected to address those issues in the proper format. Allocate funds for the staffing and set some priorities.

    The removing of signs was childish and disgraceful to the democratic process. I hope this is addressed in the appropriate manner (formal censure). My feeling is if you caught any city off-duty employee removing “yes on V” signs you would demand their job.

    I will be sure to call you when the next fire, car accident or domestic violence incident since you have seem to have promoted yourself as a member of public safety.


    Man steals sign, gets jail time

    Updated: Friday, 22 Oct 2010, 6:25 PM EDT
    Published : Friday, 22 Oct 2010, 6:25 PM EDT

      * Louisa Moller

    CLAY CO., Ind. (WTHI) – A Clay County, Indiana man was arrested for stealing political signs.

    Police say Reynold Blunt took a sign off a lawn in Brazil.

    He was spotted by the owners of the property who wrote down his license plate and called police.

    Blunt told police he took the sign because a child in his car wanted to play with it.

    Stealing a sign is considered a theft. That is a felony charge that could result in a year in prison, plus fines.

    Blunt was initially charged with theft as well as a probation violation.

  47. Wait!  What’s this?

    Pierluigi was accused by the SJPD of illegally removing illegally posted signs?

    Isn’t it the SJPD’s job to cite people for illegally posting signs?

    So, the SJPD is mad that Pierluigi was doing THIER job, but one that they DIDN’T WANT TO BE DONE?!!!

    This is a very dysfunctional system.

  48. As joefire posted above, the councilman had the “No” signs buried beneath a fresh stack of “Yes” signs, a noxious fact his advisors will have a hard time spinning free of stench. How might his team go about claiming the moral high ground for an act that Mr. Oliverio viewed as so questionable that he labored to conceal it? Without even addressing the legality of his behavior, I know consciousness of guilt when I see it. Mr. Oliverio strongly suspected that what he was doing was wrong.

    As for the councilman’s pathetic defense of his actions—that it was the shortage of Code Enforcement officers that motivated him to take action and restore the sanctity of the traffic median, are we really expected to believe that a man who has, as indicated by his own words and actions, the city attorney and chief of police at his beck and call, is powerless when it comes to summoning Code Enforcement? Nonsense. Council members snap their fingers at department heads all the time, often for the most trivial of matters. Mr. Oliverio could’ve snapped his fingers and made those signs disappear; of course, had he done so, speculation about his motives might have made its way into the newspaper.

    But ask yourself this: why would Mr. Oliverio need to call the city attorney? If, as he seems to claim, he was aware of the rules governing sign posting and removal before he acted, what possible advice would he need from the city attorney? Cops and code enforcement personnel—professionals paid to apply the law, are frequently challenged in response to their enforcement actions (as was the councilman by the firefighters), without ever having to consult the city attorney. The only reason for him making that call was so the city attorney could provide him what he otherwise lacked, specifically, a legal justification for behavior that was unwise, unethical, and politically motivated. To put it in mob terms, the councilman placed a call to his mouthpiece.

    Lastly, from reading the rules (thanks to whoever posted them) the City’s intent to control citizens removing signs is obvious, defining them as “volunteers on behalf of the city.” The implication is that these volunteers would first come forward and make their intentions known, so that the City could educate them on safety considerations, liabilities, and the law. Mr. Oliverio is a council member, he is not a city worker at large—free to man a street sweeper, repair a street light, trim a meridian tree, or remove illegal signs, and there is no evidence of his being an educated and authorized volunteer acting on behalf of the city.

    I think he broke the law.

  49. We, the citizens of San Jose, must look past the orchestrated responses on this blog by union folks who care only to protect their out of control benefits. This is now a battle of the “haves vs the have nots.” Ironically, the “haves” are the very people who were originally protected and supported for their public service. They are no longer have nots. Their benefits betray and belie their true lifestyles.
    Cudos to Pierreluigi Oliverio for standing up to and presenting alternatives to a broken system. Therein lies the true story here. NOT three illegally placed signs picked up by an involved councilperson.

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