There is little doubt that if measures J and K, our local telephone taxes, do not pass on the current ballot, then the quality of life in San Jose is going to change a great deal—for the worse.
As in most elections recently, real estate interests and developers have put up a large amount of the money. That is not unusual. Yet it seems that some of those interests have not been heard from for some time, the casinos at the top of the list, and they are back in the fray. Along with the Irvine Company, Equity Residential and other big-name donors are two names that we have not heard lately except in court rooms, legal briefs and city accusations: Garden City Casino and Bay 101.
These two casinos used to be at the forefront of such efforts, until time, indictments, and new sources of money took their toll: our city matured in some very unpleasant ways.
Measures J and K have raised more than $200,000 and more is on the way, but there is a subtle attempt at rehabilitation afoot. Now, far be it for me to say I know how we replace $45 million in the budget—we can’t—but I still think the return of the “Big 2” is worrisome. While they still may not contribute to candidates in local elections, they seem to have found a seam. And they are very good at turning a seam into a chasm. We will stay tuned.
Just one modest suggestion to help out the city’s budget: Perhaps we could auction off the Lin Utzon tiles on the Convention Center entrance, market them as artifacts from an ancient civilization, etc., and reap a windfall of dollars. I think there are many that would gladly bid on such a prize—after all, thousands of us recently bid on a condo in the sky that didn’t seem to exist.