Rocha Considers Calling it Quits in 2014

While everyone and their mom-in-law weighs a run for mayor of San Jose in 2014, Councilmember Don Rocha is considering calling it quits at the end of his first term. He insists no decision has been made, but the Cambrian councilmember has publicly and privately voiced his displeasure with some of his colleagues and their constant focus on pension reform, as opposed to public safety, libraries, community centers and street paving. If things don’t change, Rocha says, he would be willing to walk away in two years from public service—as well as a four-year, $320,000 contract; assuming he’s re-elected as most incumbents are. One would think Rocha knew the score back in 2010, having worked six years in the city’s now-defunct Redevelopment Agency as well as serving as a chief of staff to former Vice Mayor Dave Cortese and a district staffer during the mayoral terms of Susan Hammer, Ron Gonzales and Chuck Reed. But council divisiveness has increased in recent years, and Rocha’s distaste is so fierce it has started to have physical manifestations. According to a few of his council colleagues, Rocha makes a point of sitting apart from the group during closed session meetings, choosing a small desk over the boardroom table. Rocha admitted it’s true with a laugh but blamed the tight quarters and a lack of legroom. But to prove distance doesn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder, Rocha goes as far as walking out of the room any time Councilmember Pete Constant gives a verbal update on retirement boards. Apparently Rocha wants these reports written while Constant likes to deliver his reports off the cuff. If Rocha does decide to call it quits, he’ll have no shortage of career choices, having built up a strong resume and numerous connections. But selfishly, we would prefer he goes back to male modeling.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

11 Comments

  1. It’s great that a council Rocha has the fortitude to speak out about how the mayor and other council members are ruining the city of San Jose, especially Pete Constant, the most hypocritical of them all. 

    Is some kind of pension reform needed?  Of course, everyone knows that, including the union members themselves.  However, instead of going about it in such a dictatorial manner, the mayor and council could have chosen to negotiate instead and we wouldn’t be in the situation that we find ourselves today.

    • Rocha can complain about the Council majority all he wants, but when it comes down to it, he sides with the Mayor on the most important votes of his time on the Council such as laying off police officers and Measure B.

  2. Rocha wanted the title, not the associated work.  It says a lot about his character that he thinks his colleagues are focusing on the wrong priorities, but instead of doing the work to advance his ideas, he contemplates quitting.  He is not a strong voice for anybody, preferring to straddle the middle and fly under the radar without reaping any benefit for his constiuents.  Good riddance, but it would have been nice if he thought things through before running for a position for which he is not well-suited.

    • Mr. Rocha, stay the path we need your voice!  Even if one or two on the council stick to your fight.

      I am retired from SJ but appreciate you views on pension reform which is needed.

      Don’t be bullied by the other clowns of Chuck.  Tell PC if he loses a few, well a lot of lbs., his back well heal.

      You speak the truth, keep it up.

  3. Cry me a river Council Person Rocha, I guess I’m not as forgiving as some of the other posters here.

    Measure B.  You supported it, you voted yes for it, you own it.  As you sow so shall you reap.  Enjoy the continuing downfall of our once fine City and the role you played.

  4. Mr. Rocha

    I did not vote for you . I was not a fan of yours. BUT you have proven me wrong . You , Sir are the only person sitting on Council who looks at both sides of a problem . you are the only one who is willing to ask the hard questions . You are the only one that stands by their convictions. you are the only one , who truely has the best interest of the city as your priority . I thank you for proving me wrong and not being a sheep like the rest of the council . please do not give up the fight . San Jose needs real leaders like yourself. If given the chance , I will definetly vote for you