Politics & Government

Politics & Government

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...

Mayor Sam Liccardo failed to disclose property near Google development

Over the last two years, the San Jose City Council has held a series of votes to pave the way for Google’s move downtown. Now, records show that Mayor Sam Liccardo voted twice on the project without disclosing that his wife owned a rental property less than a mile away from the future development. In four state-mandated Form 700...

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...

Santa Clara County makes major investment to fight wage theft

Santa Clara County officials on Tuesday voted to add an additional half million in funding to the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, a move that was applauded by all across the political aisle. Labor activists and former victims of wage theft, sexual harassment and human trafficking were among those in the crowd advocating for the...

Santa Clara County sees spike in whistleblower complaints, expands office

Improper hiring, employee or employer misconduct, corruption, favoritism and misuse of public resources. These are just some of the cases the Santa Clara County Whistleblower Program has taken on since it was established in 2010. But now the county’s watchdog office is expanding by adding new staff and updating the intake system for complaints, many of which are filed anonymously by county employees...

Ann Ravel joins the Senate race to replace Jim Beall

After months of speculation, former FEC commissioner Ann Ravel on Monday jumped into the race to replace Silicon Valley Senator Jim Beall next year. “I care a lot about California, and I want to do things that are in the public interest,” Ravel said in an interview with San José Spotlight on Monday. “I’m interested only...

Silicon Valley advocates push for funding to combat wage theft

Victims of wage theft and workplace sexual assault and harassment are calling on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to fund partnerships with local nonprofit organizations to expose violators of workers’ rights in the South Bay. The board on Tuesday will determine whether or not to allocate up to $1 million in county funds to...

Measure T funding plans top San Jose City Council agenda

From 388 miles of street repairs to two new fire stations, flood protection and an emergency operations center, San Jose elected leaders on Tuesday will discuss projects funded by a newly-passed bond. Measure T, a $650 million bond for infrastructure, public safety and disaster preparedness, was approved by nearly 70 percent of voters in November....

San Jose says goodbye to longtime city auditor

Sharon Erickson, the city leader tasked with keeping local government honest through independent audits, announced she’s retiring next month. Erickson served as the city auditor for more than a decade, probing into controversial topics such as the city’s billing systems, lack of oversight in environmental services, rent control, taxi regulations and towing services. Her office...