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Our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we've already made.
President Barack Obama – State of the Union – February 12, 2013


Mayor Chuck Reed's Legacy is that of Divider-in-Chief

by Bob Brownstein
Director of Policy and Research at Working Partnerships USA

Unless problems are recognized, they cannot be fixed. Worshipful praises such as those presented by Dave Fadness and William Baron (Opinion, Nov. 9) do nothing to heal the deep divisiveness that Reed incited or reverse the declines in public safety his mismanagement has generated.

Think of Reed as San Jose's divider-in-chief. For decades, San Jose had been blessed with a pluralistic and collaborative political culture. The city's mixture of business, labor and community groups arranged and rearranged coalitions to get things done. Reed brought the era of mutual respect and cooperation to an ugly end.

Numerous San Jose mayors had been opposed by police and fire unions. Only Reed treated the well-being of police officers with such disdain that hundreds have left the force. To low wage families struggling in our high cost region, Reed's strident opposition to a city minimum wage increase seemed to send a contemptuous message: Live on $8 an hour, and like it.

He tried to force city unions to work without a contract even after they agreed to 10 percent cuts in pay. By using wildly inaccurate fiscal projections, such as the phony $650 million projection of pension costs, he created a climate of alarm and a politics of scapegoating enemies rather than solving problems.

The results can be seen in the precinct maps for the recent mayoral election. The city is split in two. The more white, affluent west supported Sam Liccardo. The lower wage, more diverse east rallied to Dave Cortese. Reed built this wall. It is his legacy. He has left us facing many long years to restore the spirit ofteamwork that once prevailed.

Reed's defenders highlight his role in achieving pension reform. But his reforms are an abject failure. Most of Measure B has been overturned in court. The police force has been decimated, and crime agonizes countless neighborhoods.

San Jose once selected the best of the best to be its employees. Now its recruiters return empty-handed whether they are seeking detectives or specialized technicians. Reed has left us with virtually insoluble staffing dilemmas. How does a city reduce crime without police? How does it hire talent without paying competitive compensation? Finally, Reed has made a mockery out of the open government reforms and high ethical standards that were supposed to be his trademark. He delayed adopting the city's Sunshine Policies as an ordinance for seven years so they could be waived at will while he was in office. Is that a commitment to open government? He signed ballot arguments for Measure W with claims so dishonest that the courts ordered them deleted. Is that a commitment to ethics?

When a sunshine complaint was filed against him over the Independence Branch Library construction contract, he failed to declare a conflict of interest and presided over the hearing at the Rules Committee. Is this a commitment to opposing corruption? Reed championed a multimillion dollar subsidy to the San Pedro Square Market project, a development proposed by former Mayor Tom McEnery, a political ally, and estimated to generate less than $50,000 a year in city tax receipts. Is that opposing cronyism?

San Jose residents are left with the task of turning Reed's rhetoric into actual, functioning reforms.

Facing the truth of Reed's years as mayor will be painful. But as Nelson Mandela has shown, truth itself can be a force for moving forward from a time of discord.

Source: San Jose Mercury News - November 30, 2014

PERB: City Engaged in Unfair Labor Practices with Measure B

Retiree Healthcare Funding Tentative Agreements: MEF & CEO

San Jose 911 Dispatcher Center Decimated

San Jose Cuts Endanger Public Safety - 911 Dispatchers Forced to Work Thousands of Hours of Overtime

Tier 1, Tier 2A, and Tier 2B Retirement Benefit Summaries

San Jose Pension Reform Failed – Let's Fixt It Right This Time

Chuck Reed's Incompetence Cost $94 Million Dollars

What’s Next for Public Employee Pensions?

How Chuck Reed's Pension ‘Reform’ Scheme Doesn't Add Up

Meyers-Nave Absurd Opinion Damages Council Mayoral Hopefuls

Who Will Benefit from Reed's Pension Plan? Lawyers, Not Taxpapers

Judge Rules Retiree Healthcare Protected Like Pensions

Click here for more NEWS.

Discipline and Grievance Issues
For discipline and grievance issues contact the following Union representatives in the order listed:

1) Your Department Steward.
2) Chief Steward Andy Paul at 408-476-1174 or email
3) AFSCME Business Agent Charles Allen at 408-386-9915 or email

Watch the “Pensiongate” Videos of Mayor Reed Lying

City Council Leaves Unconstitutional Pension Measure on the Ballot
San Jose Officials Caught Lying about Pensions
Unions Call for Pension Investigation
City Manager Fires Back on Pension Projections
San Jose Council Says Show Me the Math
KGO 810AM Interview with Councilman Ash Kalra
SEC Complaint Filed Against Mayor Chuck Reed
Lawsuit Accuses City of San Jose of Breaching Fiduciary Duties
San Jose Pension System Questions: Does a conflict of interest exist in the Retirement Services Department?
State Lawmakers Order SJ Pension Audit
Deputy City Manager:
“The number of 650 has been used by our mayor.’
San Jose Unions Sue to Block Pension Reform
$650M San Jose Pension Projection “Unsupported”

Download the State Auditor's report of the City of San José showing that retirement cost projections were unsupported.
Download the ETHICS COMPLAINT against Mayor Reed & Retirement Department Director Crosby.
Attorneys Recommend Election Commission Take NO Action on Ethics Complaint.
Download the
Information Request Regarding Pension Cost Estimates memo that
Councilmembers Kalra, Chu, Campos, Rocha, and Pyle sent to the Rules and Open Government Committee
on February 23, 2012, asking for details about how the $650 million figure was calculated and who developed it.
Download the SEC complaint against Mayor Reed.
Download the complaint for breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit.
Download the
City's lawsuit against MEF.
Download AFSCME's lawsuit against the City.
Click here to read more about what's happening with Measure B.
Download the POA's lawsuit against the City.
Download the
Firefighter's lawsuit against the City.

Municipal Employees’ Federation
Local 101
District Council 57
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

1150 North First Street, Suite #101
San José, CA 95112
(408) 998-2070
fax: (408) 998-0451

Business Agent


Charles Allen


AFSCME District Council 57

Office Hours 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Monday - Friday

510-777-7703 or 800-244-8122, ext. 703

email the business office at
Click here for discipline and grievances.

Today in Labor History

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Municipal Employees' Federation, AFSCME Local 101 • 1150 North First St., Suite #101, San José, CA 95112 • 408-998-2070 • fax: 408-998-0451
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Created 13 February 2009 • Modified 30 November 2014