This week’s City Council meeting will split into two sessions, but only a land use item will receive attention in the evening. The daytime session provides the meat of this week’s meeting, and an audit of city services and accomplishments will take top billing.
As expected, the report rarely reassures that things are getting better. Library hours are down by an average of 20 hours a week from two years ago, potholes are eating away at the city streets, more police investigations came in while fewer were assigned, and the fire department is still missing response time reports.
The report notes that layoffs, resignations and position left unfilled in recent years are the key contributors to the drop-off in performance for most areas.
Also on the City Council agenda for January 15, 2013:
• Madison Nguyen’s reappointment as vice mayor ... or potentially a challenge to her holding on to that title.
An intriguing detail to Nguyen’s reappointment starts with the item’s placement on the consent calendar. If a member of the public wants to speak on the item, or a councilmember wants to give his or her two cents, it could go to a vote. With several councilmembers sizing up their chances at a run for mayor in 2014, the title of vice mayor could be a substantial advantage when it comes to ballot statements.
While former Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez saw her 2006 mayoral campaign submarined in part by her allegiance to Ron Gonzales, an unpopular outgoing mayor, Nguyen could be linked to Chuck Reed, who—for the time being—enjoys a favorable rating in opinion polls.
This item will also include council committee appointments, some of which will pay councilmembers a stipend to attend meetings.
• During closed session, the council will discuss labor negotiations and who will be appointed interim police chief as the search continues.
As some commenters have noted in other posts, the police chief search is taking longer than initially expected, in part because no one can agree on whether or not the next COP should be Gregory Peck, Hugh Jackman or Daniel Day-Lewis. All we can say to that is … for the love of god, please don’t let it be Hugh Jackman.
SJI betting odds have deputy chiefs Dave Hober or Larry Esquivel as the favorites for taking over as acting chief.
• Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation. He’s still not invited to Santa Clara, though.
• The council will likely accept a $675,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) that would connect midtown to Diridon Station with “safe pathways.”