'Little Saigon' will cost city thousands

February 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It would cost the city of San Jose up to $300,000 dollars to add a measure to the November ballot to allow voters to choose the name for the city's Vietnamese business district. However, one city leader is offering yet another peace making alternative.

A one mile stretch of Story Road has caused three months of controversy in San Jose and it may continue until the November election. That's the mayor's plan for resolving the issue after the council named the area Saigon Business District. Many in the Vietnamese community prefer 'Little Saigon'.

"I say let's cut to the chase and resolve this issue once and for all," says Dave Cortese, Vice Mayor.

Vice Mayor, Dave Cortese sent a memo to the Rules and Regulations Committee, asking them to consider his compromise instead.

"I think we can resolve that question ourselves, sitting as a council. There's no reason legally we can't just ask that question do you support it or not before you go to a ballot measure," says Cortese.

A ballot measure, as the Mayor and Councilwoman Madison Nguyen suggest, could cost the city $300,000 dollars.

Cortese wants the council to re-vote on March 4th. He wants a multiple choice option to be given to San Jose voters only if they can't choose a name.

"To be wasting all this time over a silly issue, there's far more important things the city has to deal with than what to name a business district," says John Vigdal, San Jose resident.

Public relations strategist, Dan Orloff doesn't think the voters will support the city spending anymore time on the matter.

"It's likely to be divisive. It could also perhaps backfire. Those that didn't prevail are pushing, which the council is responding to. That's likely to frustrate people. Sort of like, there was a process, now we're doing it again." says Orloff.

Today's protest and demonstrations isn't helping public perception. It was only yesterday that this group of Little Saigon supporters backed the mayor's idea and wanted the issue on the November ballot. Now they've changed their minds and they're back to protesting.