Chuck Reed's first year in office

December 31, 2007 7:47:44 PM PST
The mayor of San Jose was elected to office in a landslide victory. He promised voters he would clean up city hall with the mantra, "honesty, fiscal responsibility and open government."

San Jose voters sent Chuck Reed to City Hall armed with his 34 Reed reforms.

One year later, he says he's followed through on his campaign promises.

"I said I would change the culture at city hall, we've done that: honesty, fiscal responsible and open government. I've delivered on those issues. Things are different in San Jose and you can see it in many different ways," said San Jose mayor Chuck Reed.

Chuck Reed surprised a lot of people in October by launching an aggressive green vision for the city. He laid out a ten goal plan to improve the environment and grow the economy.

Key components of the 15 year vision include installing 100,000 roofs in San Jose, reducing per capita electricity use by half and creating 25,000 clean tech jobs.

Mayor reeds proposal got unanimous council approval and is widely hailed as a bold move.

"It's not only a green vision, it's really a vision for the economy and a vision for social equity and it will enable San Jose to be one of the great cities of the world in 15, 20, 30 years time," said Rick Row from sustainable Silicon Valley.

Not all of the issues have been easy. The city faced its first strike in 20 years when building inspectors walked off the job.

While the dispute was resolved, the mayor took a hit from unions.

"I don't think he has managed to deal with the labor movement at all and I think we're disappointed," said Ellis Lamkins from the South Bay Labor Council.

San Jose also lost its coveted "safest big city" title to Honolulu. The slide was based on 2006 data showing property crimes up 25 percent.

"We're going to work to get back the title of safest big city but it's not about the title, it's about reducing the crime," said Reed.

The city has approved the hiring of 15 new police officers and given budget constraints, the police chief says he gives the mayor high marks for his leadership.

"Obviously I work closely with him and to be quite candid with you, I would give him an "A"," said Rob Davis from San Jose Police Department.

The outstanding report card is not universal. Private disputes with senior council member Nora Campos have at times been quite public but there is an olive branch going into 2008.

"I'll tell you one thing Karina, I am going to try to try everything I possibly can and I hope he takes this as an invitation to start fresh," said San Jose city council member Nora Campos.

The mayor has bonded with the business community. He says he's talked with thousands of company executives in group settings and met with 76 CEO's in an effort to encourage job growth and expand city revenues.

The mayor delivers his second state of the city address on January 16th. He says to expect more good government ideas and an attack on the budget deficit.

One thing the mayor says voters won't get in the coming year is any racy headlines.

"I've learned a lot of things from other mayors around the country. No lying, no cheating, no stealing, no adultery, no swearing in public and no drinking in public. I'll follow those rules and if that makes me a boring person, that's okay," said Reed.


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