Budget

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Takes Long View in Final State of the City Speech

Chuck Reed spent much of his eighth and final State of the City speech thanking his predecessors while noting that a mayor’s work goes on long after he or she leaves office. Noting that he and past elected officials in San Jose have stood “on the shoulders of giants,” Reed said the work he and the council have carried out in recent years must be viewed outside the prism of four-year term limits. “We have to think in much longer timeframes,” he said.

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The False Narrative in Assemblymember Nora Campos’ Damage Control

Assemblymember Nora Campos is apparently that rare politician who just knows what the people want without asking. So, when she relinquishes half a million dollars to the state, rather than having a properly staffed office or conducting outreach services to her constituents, she’s bucking her budget allotments out of a noble sense of duty. That’s the message Campos’ communications director, Steve Harmon, trotted out during an interview with local radio station KLIV 1590 in response to a report Metro/San Jose Inside published last week. A closer inspection of Harmon’s comments, however, show that they don’t pass the smell test.

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2013: The Year in Review

The year 2013 will be remembered for its political turmoil, local and nationwide. A former county supervisor went to jail and the spotlight subsequently landed on his political buddy, a San Jose councilman. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to get married, and the president lied to the nation about domestic spying. San Jose Inside runs down the list of stories that caught our attention this year.

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Early Education on the Way?

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, recently wrote a column for Huffington Post, arguing that America has “a moral obligation to provide a great education to each and every child, and we must create a new majority to make this happen.” I couldn’t agree more, and the time is now. We cannot afford to wait another three decades. Waiting patiently for change will cause the US to become a second-tier nation.

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Team San Jose Doubles Revenue Goals

Team San Jose, the city’s tourism and facilities management agency, vastly exceeded gross revenue goals last year. In 2012-13, the decade-old nonprofit generated $23.8 million—more than twice the projected target, according to an annual audit up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Also on the agenda are plans to bring a music stage to St. James Park, a citywide financial audit and a discussion about changing building height requirements around the San Jose airport.

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County Child Abuse Hotline Still Failing

Despite calling it “a humanitarian issue,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said he doesn’t want to assign blame to the the county’s Department of Family and Children’s Services, which has failed to answer thousands of calls to the local child abuse hotline—the public’s first point of contact with welfare services.

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San Jose Rep Rights its Course, Again

Ever since Rick Lombardo took the reigns and imprinted his vision on the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the performance center has had excellent seasons. But until recently, a behind-the-scenes drama was playing out—one that would test Lombardo, Managing Director Nick Nichols and the Rep’s Board.

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Shikada Will Face Moneyball-like Challenges

Every winter, Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane has one hand perpetually tied behind his back, as he tries to rebuild his rosters for the following season. Frugal ownership, a decrepit stadium, and multiple run-ins with raw sewage make the A’s one of the least desirable Major League Baseball landing spots for top free agents. So, Beane, the man profiled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller Moneyball, does his best to cobble together lineups with bargain basement prospects and aging journeymen. And because he’s exceptionally good at his job—and a little lucky—he manages to field competitive teams year after year. The city of San Jose faces similar obstacles in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest minds to run the day-to-day operations of America’s 10th largest metropolis.

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