Reed Named Top 10 Mayor in CA

Despite having strong support from voters, Chuck Reed does have his critics. Capitol Weekly in Sacramento is not one of them. The publication recently picked its 10 best mayors in California, and for what top 10 lists are worth,  Reed made the list.

The newspaper’s glowing review picked up on Reed’s nickname, Captain America, and added that “his resume is a wonder to behold.” And to be honest, it really is quite impressive.

But what made Capitol Weekly sign up for the Reed fan club is his work on the thorny issue of pension reform. Here is what the paper wrote:

“He hopes to put a measure on March ballot cutting pension benefits for current city workers, raising the retirement age, increasing the rate of accrual of benefits, using average salaries instead of the highest 12 months to calculate benefits, but leaves already accrued benefits unaffected.

If the measure holds up in court, it will set precedent as California’s first successful challenge against public employee ‘vested rights’, and could have national implications for cities facing similar fiscal challenges.”

The Top 10 list said it selected “mayors who we thought were interesting, talented and, amazingly, seem to be having fun.” If Reed does take pension reform to voters, whether it’s March or November of next year, it’s a safe bet that the process will be anything but fun.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. > From:Debra Figone
    > Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:41 AM
    > To: #All City Employees
    > Subject: Picketing at the Water Pollution Control Plant

    > DearCityEmployee –

    > This morning several employees at the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) have walked off the job.  Union representatives have informed the City that this action is not being taken against the City, but rather is against a privatecontractor doing work at the plant.  However, we are now hearing rumors that some other employees are considering similar actions.

    > I want you to know that due to health and safety concerns, the City is taking and will take legal steps to return any essential employees to their work.  I ask all of our employees to refrain from similar actions.

    > I continue to be impressed with the fact that despite recent budget-related decisions as well as challenging discussions ahead, the vast majority of City employees maintain their strong commitment to providing their best professional work on behalf of the community.  I urge all of our employees to maintain that commitment and to refrain from taking any job actions at this time when it is so important to strengthen public perceptions of us as public servants.
    > Debra Figone

    • The erosion of respect of Public Employees in San Jose is directly caused by the toxic vitriol of Mayor Reed and his media cheerleaders, not by the actions of any of us who make this City viable.

      How is that workers who take action based on moral conviction at great risk to themselves against the invasion of non-union (scab) workers in positions formerly held by union blue collar workers are considered negative impacts on themselves, when City leaders are to raised to the highest esteem for trashing the compensation and security of those who provide these essential services?!

      • It is not the basic City worker who as you state do a good job that are the cause of the problem.  It’s because of the sleeze ball union leadership and the political power they weilded for years and have lost under this current city administration.  I applaud the Mayor and Council for standing up to teh poeer hungry union leadership.

        • The union membership fully supports all the efforts by their leadership.  What a horrible thought, having a union leadership that represents the rank and file in trying to obtain better pay and benefits for its members.  And why do people continue to labor under the delusion that the city is somehow held over a barrel and have to give the unions everything they want.  Anything the city gives the unions is done through negotiation and willingly signed onto by the city. Rarely have any of the unions actually gone on strike and very rarely have any of the public safety unions actually invoked binding arbitration.  Each contract has been voluntarily signed by both sides.  Some people need to come into the current century and quit living in the east coast past.

        • Stick with facts. In the last 25 years, what has gone unchanged for non-sworn workers?  Pension accrual, pension age, medical benefit, dental benefit, sick leave payout, vacation time. What has resulted in reductions? COLA’s less than the increase in the local CPI and constantly frozen step increases, increased share of medical expense, and an inexplicable increase in total City and worker contribution to the pension plan (while paying annual bonuses to current retirees!). This is the net impact of those oh so powerful Union leaders. Note the pension changes obviously had absolute zero non-sworn union influence.

          The last strike in years was over arbitrating disciplinary actions, not money, yet the City sued (and lost at great expense) the union for picketing construction sites out of spite. Yes, it is true, it takes money and media to wield power, whether from unions or legislators. Who has the Merc, the Metro, AM news radio, the Chamber, the Leadership Group, Housing Developers, the Wall Street Journal on their side? And without it, would be just what they truly are.  A simpleton, one size fits all, over his head man who has demoralized the rank and file in the most disgusting manner of twisted rhetoric.

      • This is a town of 18,000 that is poorly managed and has no tax base, they were due to fail. You can’t compare them to the city of San Jose, yes, both poorly managed, but San Jose has a tax base of 2.5 billion dollars.

        The city of San Jose claims that we have no money, however, driving around the city, all the bar’s, restaurant’s, shopping center’s are packed. People are spending money, but the city we have none of it, I call B.S.

        Time to close the airport. I just recently flew in on a Thurdays at 4pm, GHOST TOWN!!

        • It’s funny how all the pension systems across the nation were fully funded up until the great recession 2008. That’s when we found out that cities were not contributing there share. The city of San Jose did not pay into the system for years! The politicians gave employees raises in retirement form 75 percent to 90 percent, when employee’s wanted pay raises.

          Who’s fault is it? Banks, wall street, politicians.
          Now they want to take it all away with no negations, not so fast my friend!

          Is there a problem with the pension system, yes. Is it my fault, no. I have been contributing my share for 19 years and never said a word, the city of San Jose should have done same.

          Now close the airport and fund those unfunded liabilities.

  2. Yup, he’s Captain America alright… his decade plus in office, mayor or councilmember, is littered with his votes that put into place all the measures he now finds distasteful.

  3. Captain America in reference to our lame mayor was suppose to be a joke.  Didn’t you read what it said, ” if the measure holds up in court” ?  Any pension reform made by this major or council will be ‘shot down’ in court because it goes against the California Constitution,  which states it is illegal to change pensions because a pension agreement is essentially a contract between the city and it’s employees.
    It would be the same thing if The Mayor took out a contract with a ‘service type company’ and then after completion, decided not to pay.  “But I don’t have the money.  I’m broke.  I have an emergency”  ” Please voters,  see my plight.  I know I made a contract with them,  but I @#%$-up”. 
    This major should be indicted,  just for being an idiot.

  4. Hopefully Kaptain Amerika can hold back the wave of sewage when he successfully chases off every state certified operator working here at WPCP. Currently there hasn’t been one application worth checking out in the past 2 years since the city of San Jose has had an open recruitment for a wastewater operator. As I said before the City of San Jose is poison for workers in our field and those skilled professionals they try so hard to recruit will go to browner pastures elsewhere in the state. In some cases they may get paid less than what SJ offers but at least they will have the respect from the communities they work in.

    • Remember 1980? around 1 billion gallons of sewage spilled into SF Bay from the WPCP. Cause:

      1) The City of San Jose cut WPCP staff in order to move money to the Council & Mayor’s “Pet Projects”.

      This led to a cascade effect on Plant staff:

      – Lack of qualified Operators and Maintenance staff; Not enough people to staff the Plant for safe operation.

      1980 here we come!

  5. Chuck Reed is the Best Mayor San Jose has had for last 30 years he is hones , open and has a very difficult job made worst by those who object to not getting tax money they do not deserve

    He faced up to special interests taking city taxes while city services are cut again and is trying to reform budget and pensions to reasonable levels

    Same Special interests that created city budget problems have offered No Solutions other than higher taxes and more debt   – both bad for San Jose’s future but good for special interests

    Pushing problems into future while that get their tax dollars and saying Reed is worst while voters and taxpayers are saying he is Best Mayor in 30 years

    Time to quit crying blues, being selfish, get real and help solve San Jose problems

    • You are truly not paying attention. Reed has championed preserving the RDA overall all else despite the additional hardships this position has caused the City.  For example, he agreed to have the City, out of the general fund, pay off tens of millions of RDA debt the RDA owed to the County—despite the fact the RDA had and has the assets to pay off this debt on its own. These are funds that could have helped save police, keep libraries and community centers open etc.  Yet rather than use general funds for general fund purposes when they are desperately needed, he gave it away to the RDA simply so it would not have to sell its assets to pay the debt.

      In addition, he will have this City bound up in years of multi-million dollar litigation regarding the pensions. Other mayors have figured out ways to work with their unions cooperatively to come up with solutions. Reed simply created an adversarial relationship that is likely irreparably harmed and which will ultimately cost significantly more to resolve as the employees know they cannot trust nor work cooperatively to reach an agreement.

    • THe only thing Reed has done in office besides ruining the livelihood of his employees is to line his pockets. The majority of the properties sold for redevelopment in this city were either owned or partially owned “Captian Crooked”  and former Mayor McEnnery.Not to mention that the majority of the lands that are to be sold for development of the “Super” Bart station (that will just make it easier for the criminals to come to San Jose and sell their drugs)and the baseball stadium are own by the crooked Mayor and former Mayor.  When it comes to Pentions, the mayor who is a member of PERS alnog with council will be getting his full retirement after his meager eight years of “work” and since its in PERS his will be at its full amount.  OH, And dont forget about his LIFE TIME medical benefits paid for by the citizens of San Jose.  HE IS A CROOK! Nothing more.

    • And who hangs with Special Interests? City employees? Tell me how much a City Electrician knows about the Chamber or the Leadership Group, or the Bellarmine Syndicate for that matter. The “interest” of housing developers continue to ruin any chance of balanced books. As we speak, thousands of new housing units are under construction or about to before the end of the year. 1 million residents, 400k jobs, doesn’t work, period. Never in my observation of San Jose politics over the last 35 years have I seen a respected man become so corrupted by the inflation of his own ego caused by the sickening stream of media adulation.

      • Bellarmine Syndicate? please do tell more, this sounds intriguing…any relationship to the Trilateral Group? Do their members attend the Bohemian Grove? Could they be Opus Dei members? very sinister indeed…

  6. Yep he is a super if you believe superman really flew in from space to save to world.  What a bunch of bull.  Reed is doing what big business wants fight unions to defund Obama in 2012.  A few very rich powerful people have a plan. They own most of everything. Reed hopped on the plan because he is getting paid big bucks to give $200 million for a ball park.  How can a city be broke while buying millions of dollars worth of land planned for a ball park.

    People are like sheep afraid to speak out afraid to take control.  Reed is a con. His right hand man scammed the city and still is every pay day. Reed allows it because he owns his vote.

    I have an idea have reed post in public place a list of all the money he has collected, from whom and where it went. Right now it’s hidden good luck finding it.  Ask him about the bonus program known as cost recovery.

  7. With all that education and degree’s, he forgot to take one class. How to deal with PEOPLE!! Employee relation!

    Like Duh! said, he can claim the Air Force all he wants, I’m sure they don’t claim him.

  8. He’s the worst mayor San Jose has ever had!  Downtown is falling apart with no progress.  He abandoned the core of our city and making this city fall behind.  His green initiatives for the city has failed so badly, and LA is way ahead of San Jose.  Who knew this was going to happen?  Pity this city, thanks, Mayor Reed!

  9. Talk about one sided! Only 15% of City employees are job satified. 95% have low morale! My burgular alarm sounded from a break-in and it took 2 hrs and 35 minutes for SJPD to respond! What a joke! As a City resident I am tired of crappy service! This Mayor has destroyed SJ. He should be called Captain Destroyer with a stone face! That is more fitting!

  10. I suppose if scapegoating the unionized workers in this city is Captain America-like, then he must be the guy. I, for one, believe he took a volatile situation with the police and fire departments, threw gasoline on it, and invited his campaign contributors to toast marshmellows over it.

    For their part, the SJPD hasn’t demonstrated it cares a whit for the citizens who support it with their (meager) tax dollars. Does anyone know if police response time has increased since that vote on pension reform?

    • I’m guessing response times have gone up, but if they have it’s because they used to have 1400 cops and now they have about 1100 .When you have long response times it means nobody’s available to answer the call. Fewer cops = longer waits. All of you out there who were beating your chests behind Reed better hope you’re not on the short end of the stick if you need the cops.

      • And, on another note, based on the fact that SJPD is hiring back 7 officers and re-promoting a sergeant, I think it is fair to say that one of my predictions from a few months ago is playing out: unanticipated attrition. If we are hiring that many and promoting a sergeant, then it is safe to say that we have lost exactly that number in the time since the layoffs occurred. This is about one position per week, and, while that’s hardly an insurmountable number, at some point, we are going to run out of recently laid-off officers to re-hire. And then what will happen? Do you think even for an instant that we are going to be able hire like we used to? Who would want to come here, especially if it means leaving a more responsibly run city?

  11. !)Why would a Air Force Grad who intended to have a military career leave ?

    Could be poor people skills, bad reviews, wasn’t going to be promoted, bright student but no people person so wnet into law and politics   Got his big break when voters were mad at Ron and Labor

    Cindy Chavez ignored angry voters, thought she knew better, over confident and lost because Polosii and Clinton’s who though Chavez would go to higher political office (LT Gov, Gov, Senate etc ) gave her money advise and sent their “we know better that you ” campaign team who with Chavez ignored voters anger and Chavez lost Mayor’s office

    2) You can look at Reed’s political contributions – Who Who of developers, corporations, political insiders, former politicians and city contractors paying to play and wanting city taxes, cheap city property for millions housing profits ( Brandenbery property, golf courses, Diridon Baseball land etc ) or Council multi-million dollar profit land rezonings

    See Reed’s and other Council members ” Pay to Play ” political friends contributions:

    Reed’s Economic Interest -Form 700

    3) Reed will make tens millions after leaving Mayor’s office to Mayor Liccardo ( Reed and McEnery’s boy ) when he asks Council to rezone his clients (McEnery, Swenson, KB Homes etc) land use to homes, sport team lawyering, lobbying and consulting with cities who want to reduce employee’s pay and pensions ( who doesn’t need to cut )

    Look at former politicians ( Tom, Manny, Ron, Pat, , Council and city staff ( too long list )

    for list of Reed’s future clients

  12. The advisory board of Capitol Weekly is made up of many of the same people who have been giving Reed counsel (direction) all along. It’s always been about making a name for himself as a union buster and pension reformer. Tragically, in his zeal to do so, he demoralized the city workforce and sent the City’s flagship (whether you like to admit it was or not), SJPD, into a death spiral. That will be his legacy. It certainly wasn’t a list of the ten best leaders. Leaders don’t pick a needless fight with their troops just when they are needed the most. I guess that’s why he didn’t make a career out of the military.

  13. On the same page with Joe Cerebral…

    Parenting 101 warns against one parent undermining the authority of the other for a very simple reason: certainty is the bedrock of parental authority. Certainty, in the authority, meaning, and gravity underlying a parent’s instructions, provides a child with something Nature didn’t: well-defined, reliable boundaries. Parents who properly wield authority provide an environment their children can comprehend and adapt to, no matter that submission sometimes leaves them angry and frustrated. Absent effective parental authority children will comprehend and adapt to the outside world relying on their own immature brains, and make choices that leave them ripe for victimization and tragedy.

    Civilization 101 warns anyone empowered under one set of laws against undermining other laws for a very simple reason: certainty is the bedrock of a society of laws. Remove from the common man the certainty that the law is, by definition, embodied with meaning, purpose, and value, and you deprive him of his faith in the agreed upon social contract. The law, like a set of good parents, provides needed restraint and facilitates civility, more so by the respect with which it is held by the public than by its brute power to punish.

    Mayor Reed apparently believes that he can treat the legal code as if he were king, using a pen supplied by the city attorney’s office to edit it at will, all without damaging its sanctity or being held to answer by those victimized. His announced intention to use the taxpayer-supported office of the City Attorney to attempt to, for lack of a better term, invalidate an existing legal contract between the City and its employees, constitutes a direct assault on the very legal system from which his administration derives power, and from which he claims position. It is a remarkable display of chutzpah draped in ignorance.

    Besides the fact that his actions threaten to degrade the credibility of this city’s name to that of Bernie Madoff’s—reducing its list of potential business partners to only fools and scoundrels, Mayor Reed’s blatant disregard of a rock solid rule of law promotes the growing perception that our elected officials have perverted the legal process into a sledgehammer to keep the masses in line. With our so-called peace dividend squandered, our troops fighting wars that cannot be justified, our national treasury looted, our streets full of foreigners we didn’t invite, our Congress spending us into bankruptcy, and our president calling for the confiscation of more of our paychecks, how much longer before the public decides to free itself from the great fraud of self-rule?

    This is a society that regularly sets murderers free in defense of the rule of law governing search and seizure, so deep is the commitment of the common man to the cause of justice. The people have proved themselves willing to abide by the rule of law, endure its imperfections, and invest their labor and assets upon its promise, so how is it that Chuck Reed can be celebrated for treating the rule of law as if it doesn’t matter? Is that what constitutes a leader these days? A fool so caught up in his own ambitions that he comprehends nothing about the tenuous nature of civil rule?

    When the people finally get the message that the law does not protect them from government, the law will cease to protect government from the people.

  14. A Father tells his son who lives a mile from his School that his mother will drive him every day but will put away a dollar each day he rides his bike. Now the responsible parent would put this money in an account for his son to see as it grows. Now the Father upon his son’s graduation admits during hard financial times that he never put the dollar away in the first place and will renege on his promise. Poor Charlie Jr. gets screwed. Immoral? Of course.

    A Mayor and City Manager who wipes out an obviously vested contractual agreement on sick leave payout to the MEF union, is taking his hand and robbing the employee of something that should have been continuously funded incrementally during the employees career. Remember vested benefits are not negotiated up or down.  The percentage and cap have never been enhanced for non-sworn.  This is Grand Theft, worthy of jail time.

  15. I love lawyers who betray their own area of expertise for personal gain. California Constitution: “A public employee’s pension constitutes an element of compensation, and a vested contractual right to pension benefits accrues upon acceptance of employment. Such Pension right may not be destroyed, once vested, without impairing a contractual obligation of the employing public entity.”

  16. Let me see…. First I have to get up off of the floor from laughing so hard at the “Captain America” Title for Reed. 

    Reeds title should be more like Pancho Villa a renegade bandit who robbed innocent victims of their money, possessions and lives.  Reed is the most CORRUPT local politicians we have ever had in this valley. 

    One thing I would like to state to Reed is if you served our country in the military and have been “Discharged” That word means you are no longer associated with the military and are a Civilian.

    Reed WAS an Air Force Officer, but is “NO LONGER” paid by the Air Force as an Officer.  He is and has not been in the Air Force for many decades, so a word to Reed, Stop with the militaristic attitude, you are NOT in the military and stop referring to the Air Force.  You are a disgrace to an honorable and noble career. 

    They discharged you, that means they are done with you.

    In the real world Chuck Reed lives the life of a scallywag, cutting the throats of those who oppose his way of thinking, this guy doesn’t have a sympathetic bone in his body for anyone.  Reed can only understand only one word, “MONEY” that’s it! 

    If you can’t provide him with money he does not want to hear from you.  Hence the ” Stone Face” during Council Meetings.  Reed hates the City workers, he hates the Tax Paying Citizens of San Jose, He hates retirees, he hates injured workers, he hates anyone who is not a crook like himself. 

    Reed is all about himself, that’s it!

    Reed’s Mini-Me, Pete Constant is running a close second… By the way Pete, you too are “NO LONGER” a Police Officer, so get over the sense of entitlement.  All the cops and citizens in San Jose think your a FAT JOKE…

    Old Frank

  17. He may be “Captain America” to the folks at Capitol Weekly, but he will always be “Generalissimo Paiaso de Nalgas” to those who know him well. 

    …and we always call him “Sir” which rhymes with “CUR!”

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