Politics

Politics

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...

New survey: Quality of life has ‘fallen’ in San Jose

A new city survey shows San Joseans say their overall quality of life has dropped to record lows and only 44 percent would recommend San Jose as a place to live. “While two thirds of residents expected to remain in San José over the next five years,” the report said, “ratings for the overall quality...

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...