POA President George Beattie Resigns

UPDATE: The original posting for this article included inaccuracies regarding the resignation of George Beattie, president of the POA. San Jose Inside regrets the error.

With many people rushing off for Thanksgiving last week, the Police Officers Association came out with a surprising announcement that George Beattie, the union president, was retiring from his POA position. Beattie, a lieutenant with the San Jose Police Department, has never been a fan of the media, so he didn’t give an interview in the Mercury News’ report. But his successor, Sgt. Jim Unland, who was previously vice president of the POA, was quoted as saying that negotiations with the city over pension reform are still proceeding “one day at a time.”

How this changes the future of negotiations, if at all, is unclear. But one thing Beattie and Unland always shared was their mutual animosity toward Mayor Chuck Reed.

And on a completely unrelated note, the city’s top librarian, Jane Light, is retiring. Did you know she made more than $220,000 last year? Neither did we.

(H/T to The Daily Fetch for not letting the POA story slip through the cracks.)

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


  1. George did the best he could considering the circumstances that the city had no intention of fair bargaining.  Instead they voted down every proposal and are dead set on a ballot measure AGAIN.  They want blood and will not settle for anything less.

    People need to wake up and start doing some research instead of reading the corrupt mercury news who hates public safety.  A great officer dies in the line of duty protecting his community in Vallejo and no mention until after the fact. A san jose commits suicide and it is front page.

    I suggest readers go to this website and see the crazy spending that really goes on.


    In 2010 the city manager and staff were paid over 88 million.  I was so sick I did not add up the mayor, city attorney, council and their staffs.  And here they put city general funds into the RDA who is losing money and giving land away for pennies on the dollar to build a ball park?  How much did they give away to the same billionaire to build a soccer field?  How many ever go to see the Earthquakes?  The city needs to drop the idea that if they build it they will come!

    How about responsible spending!

  2. It was actually announced in a press release on TUESDAY November 22, 2011 and the Merc published the news online late TUESDAY afternoon. It was also picked up the same day by bay area TV and radio. Posters to this blog also mentioned it late afternoon/early evening on TUESDAY!  H/T NOBODY. In the digital age this is ancient infirmation.

    • Josh figured that nobody would notice his twisting of the facts to fit his smarmy little blurb. Why don’t you do a story on the flood of talented, experienced SJPD personnel who are leaving earlier than they want to due to their treatment by Reed/Figone/Moore? They have destroyed the once proud SJPD while the public drank in their propaganda. The brain drain continues as one of their best captains, Meynard Gamez, leaves to become chief of police in Redwood City on Friday.

  3. Oh please. The daily fetch? Whatever dog they have over there actually credits Webby with the scoop and for some reason wonders why the Protect SJ blog didn’t break the story?  Josh , you “new-media elite” have a long way to go towards earning credibility as e-journos. This combined with what the Fetch deposits on the WWW can’t be washed off ones shoes. Pathetic. 

    City manager and staff $88 million? There is a story for you H/T RETIRED! JOSH how few are taking home that $88mil and what benefits have they provided the tax payers of San Jose ?

  4. Hi Josh Koehn,

    In my opinion, Jane Light has earned every penny paid her by the City of San Jose. She has had to navigate horrific budget cuts while seeing a demand for services rise. Thanks to Jane and her staff’s efforts, libraries serve the public efficiently and offer helpful community programs. Jane has embraced the use of technology to strealine some library practices so that further library services were not cut. Is the library system perfect? Of course not, but it has been nationally recognized for being one of the best.

    I would invite you Josh, or any member of the SJI community to attend a Library Commission meeting or two, where you will learn more specifics about our libraries and how they are run. These meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month. (Please check the sjpl.org website to find the meeting location as locations can change.)

    Last, libraries are a great, pro-active entity which offer the community the opportunity to learn and grow, versus just hanging out and finding trouble. The people of San Jose have been well served by Jane Light and her terrific team.

    Full disclosure: I am a Library Commissioner and a San Jose State Student. I am an avid user of the library and am very proud of the San Jose Library system. (I cannot wait for the day when ALL our libraries are open and enjoyed!)


    • I’m sorry Tina but I disagree with you on what Jane should make a year. Her salary is excessive. 220K a year would allow us 2 more badly needed Police Officers, or could be used toward paying for programs like domestic violence, gang prevention, feeding seniors, or paying for community center staff members.

      I don’t doudt that she is an excellent employee, or that she deserves a decent pay check, but 220K a year, come on.

      • Hi Kathleen,

        No apologies necessary, we simply see it from two different perspectives and don’t agree. My priorities are keeping proactive programs (such as community centers you brought up and also pools, libraries, parks, etc.) operational.  In thinking about salary and how high $220K seems (IS!), I considered the fact that Jane Light was with the City of SJ for many years. I do not believe she started her salary at $220K. More likely what happened is, as with many employees, annual or periodic raises were received. The City of SJ employees enjoy(ed) annual, regular “step increases” (raises) as a result of collective bargaining agreements in addition to receiving generous benefits—in theory they did not have as high a salary as people in the private sector. (Note: It is important to acknowledge here that CSJ employees took reductions in pay/benefits because of the ongoing fiscal budget disaster. Some even lost their jobs.)

        I hope when the City Manager does her search for Jane’s replacement, she finds viable candidates who will accept less than a $220K salary. We could use a little altruism when it comes to salaries (especially in the private sector – CEO pay!!)

        But, we do need a Library Director and I would much rather live in a city with programs like libraries that are open to everyone. Yes, the Gang Prevention Task Force is important. Yes, domestic violence programs are important. Feeding our seniors is important. But none of them should be pitted against other services who are open to everyone.

        On another note, keep up the great work Kathleen with the programs you’ve been running (I went to one of them, remember?)/


  5. Being POA President is a really tough job. It carries a lot of stress with it because so many people depend on them for their livelihood. Being a POA President is not a job that many can do and do well given the economic climate, and the bad press. I wish Jim good luck, and I hope George gets some well-deserved rest, and family time.

  6. More silly stuff …..  Hey chuck have you walked downtown without your body guard lately. I was there today and saw three crack deals. A fight and a hocker asked me if I was looking for fun.  She did not have an ATM thing for her Iphone so I was out of luck for fun.  I think they City is missing out here if they impose a business license fee for crack dealers, hookers and an entertainment fee for street fights he could pay off the pensions.

  7. Yea it should read.  POA President leaves office after he and the VP (WITH KNOWLEDGE) went from briefing to briefing pushing an election for a CFO candidate.  The members were deceived into thinking that the “TEAM” was going to stay together.  Immediatly after the election President quits and POA attorney quits!  As an added Boner President thought he could retire.  He was just a couple years early.

    • George was given a dollar amount from Retirement that he beleived that he believed would meet his needs so he put in his papers. When he put his papers in he did the right thing – resign as POA President. Retirement came back after all that with a revised lower dollar amount that was well below what he thought he needed.

      Rather than lay the blame where it clearly belongs WITH RETIREMENT SERVICES, George allowed the wheels he set in motion to roll. 

      It makes you wonder – especially in light of the recently released actuarial numbers how competent the people at Retirement services really are. They work FOR the City and are paid BY THE CITY and not the Retirement fund though they do have a stake in the system – just following orders or not really knowing what they are doing?

      • Retirement Services staff are paid for by the Retirement Plan.

        But the city manager hires them, fires them, sets their salary, decides how many positions there will be, decides if positions should be left vacant, controls evaluations, controls merit increases,sets the benefit plan, etc..

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