San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos says he cast the wrong vote for a planning commissioner appointment and wants a do-over. He also says he's not the one to blame.
“I feel that my ballot was mislabeled at the [City] Council meeting last Tuesday and does not reflect how I actually voted during the Planning Commission Appointments,” he wrote in a request for reconsideration.
Nick Pham, a real estate agent, beat five-year planning commissioner Hope Cahan by a single vote, 6-4 (the 11th vote, by Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, went to attorney Cameron Day). Cahan, a policy aide to Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, has been a strong advocate for labor interests in her role on the commission. It appears Campos, who a week prior to the council meeting lost his re-election race to Magdalena Carrasco, realized he voted out of line with the will of his backers and is scrambling to get a second chance.
Campos’ request for a re-take is not only awkwardly written—he "feels" rather than thinks the ballot was mislabeled, and he also says the vote doesn’t reflect how he "actually voted" rather than intended to vote—it also attempts to throw City Clerk Toni Taber under the bus, blaming the ballot's labeling for the way he voted.
Taber diplomatically deflected the implied criticism of her office's drafting of the planning commission ballots.
“In my opinion the ballots were marked correctly, but the councilman is entitled to his opinions,” she told San Jose Inside. “If that’s the way he feels, that’s fine. I’m not offended.”
Requesting a re-vote isn’t entirely unheard of either, Taber added, although this is the first time it's occurred during her two-year tenure as clerk.
“Sometimes motions to reconsider might come up because [council members] feel they were misled,” Taber said. “I don’t get into the ‘whys,’ I work with the fact that they’re allowed this option.”
Come Tuesday, the council will decide whether to grant Campos’ request to vote—again—how he feels best.