Monday, February 2, 2009

Morning News Round-Up -- 2.2.09: Groundhog Day Edition...

The most interesting story in a while was in the Merc. this weekend about Mayor Reed's friend/advisor/confidant Vic Ajlouny. Tax Assessor Larry Stone calls the relationship odd and says, "Vic's style is kind of slash and burn, and it is very peculiar that Chuck continues to rely on him for political advice." Among Ajlouny's exploits, a failed attempt to fill Reed’s City Council seat with (less-than-qualified) Hon Lien. The real question is, why is this story with a byline from Josh Molina coming out now? Molina has been gone for a long, long time...

The Merc’s Scott Herhold picks his top 10 powerbrokers in San Jose... Herhold’s unsurprising list includes Bob Brownstein, Pat Dando, Chuck Davidson, Carl Guardino, Zoe Lofgren, Bobby Lopez, Tom McEnery, Chuck Reed, Bert Robinson, and Barry Swenson. He also includes the next 15 folks and a group of folks under 40...Watch Dog will revisit this list later today or tomorrow with some additional analysis...

The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, not to be left out, is hosting a luncheon for 100 Women of Influence in March and is also seeking your thoughts on the top 40 Under 40...

They may not know how to party, but San Jose’s Drunk Task Force does know how to attack. While sending Councilmember Nora Campos to Sacramento to urge Speaker Karen Bass to change laws about drunk arrests, the Task Force urged a 6 month moratorium on the arrests in San Jose and put a host of options on the table. Latino Forum’s Pete Carrillo, a master of understatement, said "I believe there is a credibility and trust issue between the SJPD, the city administration and the city at large.''

The Tesla news keeps coming, Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said the company couldn’t raise $100 million in venture funding to make the move to San Jose and that, "It's not exactly clear when, if ever, the headquarters will leave San Carlos." So, it’ll be interesting to see what sites the Mayor’s spokeswoman, Michelle McGurk, means when she says "Our team is working aggressively to find a site that meets these new priorities here in San Jose."

Santa Clara County’s head lawyer Ann Ravel is gunning for the County’s top dog seat... Acting County Executive Gary Graves was hoping to get “acting” removed from the title and may have been surprised to hear who the competition was to replace Pete Kutras. This will be an interesting play with the new Board of Supervisors...perhaps Supervisor Shirakawa would like the job to go to Eddie Garcia?

The Merc’s Editorial Board weighs in on the recent negotiations between San Jose City Council and the Police Officers Association. Lots of numbers get tossed around but the bottom line is, don’t hand out any raises for the next contract negotiation.

Last year, San Jose’s Councilmember Nancy Pyle wanted to make it easier to bring on volunteer crossing guards, her colleagues didn’t share her spirit of volunteerism. This year, colleagues Pete Constant, Pierluigi Oliverio, and Rose Herrera want to take funds supporting dozens of non-profits to hire more crossing guards. Pyle said, "I just really think we need to do a fair process here." What’s really surprising here is the switch by Herrera, last week supporting her labor-backed friends when discussing the competition policy and this week supporting Council contrarians Constant and Oliverio.

Los Gatos Mayor Mike Wasserman will give his State of the Town speech at tonight’s City Council meeting. On deck, a look back to his previous Mayoral incarnations and a look forward at belt tightening.

In Cupertino, Mayor Orrin Mahoney will give his State of the City at a lunch meeting Wednesday. Mahoney is proud of the City’s low crime rate and says, "Basically, things are stable or have decreased. The only area that has increased is auto burglary." Mahoney will be arguing a refrain heard around the Valley -- people and employers choose places that have something to offer...

1 comment:

Jeeper said...

I wouldn't view Herrera's support of Constant & Oliverio's proposal to use tobacco fund money for crossing guards. During the budget advisory task force, moving the money from the restricted fund, where it provides services for homework centers and senior services, to the general fund (where labor can grab ahold of it) was one proposal that was publicly unpopular.

Herrera's support represents an attempt to breach the dike protecting $9-10M/year from labor paws. Consider this, in the past 5 years the only city service area suffering from absolute budget reductions is PRNS. Guess who currently administers the tobacco fund?