Rose Herrera Expects Expanded Role in Vice Mayor Position

Rose Herrera has enthusiastically embraced her role as veem (vice mayor of San Jose), but City Hall insiders worry the second-term council member might be taking her post a little too seriously. Mayor Sam Liccardo had few options for No. 2 when he took over the office in January. Most council members were either too green or simply hated his guts. As an ally who’d been around long enough, Herrera got the job by default. But now people in and around the mayor’s office are shaking their heads at how adept Herrera has been in thrusting herself into the spotlight and pressing her own agenda. This week Herrera had to drop a poison pill memo she authored that would have favored smaller taxicab companies over the big wheels. Perhaps hearing the horns headed toward City Hall, sources tell Fly, former councilman turned mayoral consigliere Pete Constant told Herrera over lunch to lighten up. Herrera, who admits her new title has given her a “broader perspective than just a district council member,” disputes that the meeting was anything but personal. But sources tell Fly that she also recently requested that the mayor’s office consult her on all policy decisions, or risk having her go rogue. As one of several sources put it, “She honestly thinks being vice mayor is being the mayor.” Herrera dismissed such loose talk, noting that she is a "bridge builder" but some people may not like her style because she is a “woman and a leader.” How much the vice mayor leads is debatable, as the title is mostly meaningless except in cases when the mayor is out of town or has a medical emergency. But in some ways it could be a launch pad for higher office—just for someone other than Herrera. Madison Nguyen, San Jose’s former vice mayor, has said she will run in 2016 for the State Assembly seat currently held by Nora Campos. Herrera said she hasn’t decided on running, but with Nguyen likely to nab Liccardo’s endorsement, that would make for one awkward scenario.

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. All the vice mayor does is preside over the council if the mayor is absent. The vice mayor doesn’t even become mayor if there’s a vacancy. Herrera needs to get over her huge ego.

  2. She is an idiot just like the mayor who appointed her. And if the council gets the fire fighter grant well they take over payments or just let the new guys move on. Crying wolf, we don’t have the money for public safety and pensions can only go so far while the shameless claims that crime is down is a flat out lie.

  3. And sending Pete Constant to talk to her! Now that is a waste of our money. Really Sam this city council is a total joke, I will rub your back if you do a favor but of course I will pay you a good salary. Does Sam still have the retired Gang Consultant on staff? So he can tell us we do not have a gang problem. Holy crap.

    • Spot on ! its funny how the city “Claims” they don’t have the money for Public Safety , but has the money to pick up the tab for the already over the initial estimate (3times over) Patent Office. Our Public Safety can not even provide for the most basic of needs . Oh they’re trying they are just understaffed , over worked AND under paid , stuck at 2009 wages level.
      Lets get this straight , NO ONE left over form Reeds corrupt Posse is a Bridge Builder , they are demolition experts

        • “The office of Assembly Speaker John Perez also has provided the patent office with $500,000 in funding. Lee said some of the money will be used for education and outreach to entrepreneurs and innovators “to meet their needs and, frankly, help the USPTO do its job better.”

          from 2014

          Betcha Nora had something to do with it

      • The voters were lied to by Gonzales, Chavez, and crew when they were told that the new city hall–R2D2 guarding an ugly building designed by a famous architect–would house all city offices, including growth for many years to come. That never happened. The city still leases lots of space for city offices. Yet, the city is paying the feds to have the patent office locate in the Taj Gonzal, and the city’s share of that cost keeps growing, as do the lease costs for city offices that don’t fit in the Taj Gonzal. Shows us all what poor negotiators the city has, and in what low esteem the city is held by the feds. And yet, almost every incumbent keeps getting re-elected as they play musical offices. When they are termed out of one, they get elected to another. So, how stupid does that make the residents of SJ and Santa Clara County?

  4. Rose Herrera is an elected council person and now a vice mayor of city of San Jose. On fly article what concerned me is “Herrera drop a poison pill memo that would favored smaller company over the big wheels” Why is she against two successful companies who is been around 30 years , and why she want to punish these companies who gave job opportunity for over 550 citizens of San Jose ? It seems like she is doing lobbying job than her duty as a vice mayor and would like to thank fly for exposing the fact .Herrera should do the right thing she doesn’t like the Rfp that was why she was trying to come up with new memo she still have time to come up with a new memo to fix the problem with further study on the Rfp

  5. gosh, this is very surprising…she is just awful as a councilperson, but who knew she would be awful as a vice mayor?

  6. So typical. If Rose were a man, this wouldn’t even be a story because it is okay for a man to flex his muscles but not a woman….

  7. Herrera has been heard chiding people at meetings for not referring to her as the Vice Mayor. Get a grip lady.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *