Politics & Government

Politics & Government

‘Spotlight Series’ features robust debate over height limits

Above a noisy jazz cafe in a small, packed room, a crowd sat attentively Thursday evening as a panel of experts –an advocate, a policymaker, and an industry professional — spoke on raising building height limits in downtown San Jose. The first-of-its kind educational forum, hosted by San José Spotlight, touched on the hot policy debate dividing...

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office requesting $8M for overtime

Citing much-needed jail reforms implemented over the past four years, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office is asking county lawmakers for more than $8 million to cover growing overtime costs. The request, which will be considered at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, would allocate $8.1 million from the Special Programs Labor Reserve. With little discussion, a county supervisors’ committee last week accepted a report from...

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is moving to Colorado

After three decades in San Jose and leading the city through some of its most pressing fiscal challenges, former Mayor Chuck Reed is saying goodbye to San Jose —  sort of. Reed confirmed to San José Spotlight that he’s moving to Monument, Colorado, where his daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids live. “My wife wants to...

Mayor Sam Liccardo unveils plan to strengthen local gun laws

California is home to some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation, but San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo says they don’t go far enough. The mayor on Tuesday announced a plan to strengthen the city’s decades-old gun safety law to fight straw purchases and stop black-market gun sales. “A significant percentage of guns are entering our community from legal gun...

Santa Clara to appeal court decision forcing district elections

After a lengthy legal battle costing more than $3 million in fees, Santa Clara is appealing a court decision forcing district elections after it was sued for allegedly violating the California Voting Rights Act, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys. City officials are appealing despite previous unsuccessful efforts from other cities in similar California Voting Rights Act cases. “The city is appealing...

A sneak peek: San Jose City Hall unveils its new six-figure website

San Jose City Hall is spending $350,000 for a new website, but city officials say the “Capital of Silicon Valley” was long overdue for a high-tech digital makeover. Despite being the hub of tech innovation, San Jose’s website hasn’t been upgraded in nearly six years. “I’m excited about our beta product,” said city spokeswoman Rosario Neaves in a...

San Jose pensions: Unfunded liabilities expected to soar

The money that San Jose is paying to fund pension plans for employees is on a major upward trajectory that’s taking a larger share of the city budget, largely because depressed investment return forecasts have city retirement plans lowering their expected rate of return. Payments to retirees of the two pension plans, the Police and...

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