Author: Brian Howey (Brian Howey)

Disgraced eBay exec wielded power at San Jose City Hall

A disgraced ex-eBay employee helped make high-level decisions for former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo three months after he lost his job at the tech giant for his alleged part in a stalking campaign. Boys and Girls Club Silicon Valley CEO Steve Wymer, who was fired by eBay in September 2019 for his alleged involvement...

Why do San Jose residents avoid banks?

The number of Silicon Valley households without bank accounts has skyrocketed, a recent federal survey has found. According to a biennial survey conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the rate of unbanked households, or homes that do not have at least one bank account, jumped from 1.9% to 13.2% between 2019 and 2021...

Should Santa Clara stop electing its police chief?

A decades-old debate has resurfaced in Santa Clara: how the city should choose its police chief. The city is unique in California in that it elects its police chief by popular vote, but some Santa Clara councilmembers say the current system forces the public to choose from a shallow, underqualified candidate pool. They want to...

San Jose airport rebrand ticks off commissioners

The San Jose airport’s decision to rebrand has exposed a rift between airport leadership and the commission that advises on changes at the South Bay’s sky hub. In a Dec. 14 informational memo to the San Jose City Council, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Director of Aviation John Aitken announced the airport will...

Santa Clara County DA refuses to reinstate former employee

An embattled Santa Clara County deputy district attorney should be back at work after the DA’s decision to fire him last year was overturned. But his boss is putting up a fight. A Nov. 10 arbitration ruling between the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the Government Attorneys Association, the union representing Deputy District Attorney...

San Jose’s police dogs under fire

Santa Clara County Sheriff Sgt. Sean Allen has witnessed the results of about 200 police dog bites at the Main Jail infirmary in San Jose. Over more than two decades, he’s seen exposed and shattered bones, skin torn off faces and chunks of flesh ripped from limbs. “The dogs inflict damage similar to what you’d...

Santa Clara official cleared of verbal assault accusations

An investigation has cleared a Santa Clara councilmember accused of verbally assaulting the mayor and another colleague during a meeting. An investigator from California law firm Van Dermyden Makus has found there was insufficient evidence to support claims by Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmember Kathy Watanabe, who accused Councilmember Anthony Becker of making hostile, threatening comments...

Santa Clara County loses revenue from Stanford’s property tax exemptions

The largest tax exempt entity in Santa Clara County is depriving neighboring cities of much-needed tax revenue, local leaders say. Stanford University received more than $16.8 billion in tax exemptions last year for its various campus properties, nearly half of the $35.2 billion of property tax exemptions in the county, according to the Santa Clara...

UPDATE: San Jose council votes to give police auditor more power

San Jose is moving forward with tentative plans to expand the city’s police oversight powers, despite claims by the police union that the changes may violate the city charter. In a unanimous vote, the San Jose City Council agreed Tuesday to accept Mayor Sam Liccardo’s call to add an investigative branch to the Independent Police...

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