Category Archives: Open Government

City Beat: Councilman Mike Soubirous Investigation, Bogus Or Blunder

Open GovernmentThirty Miles Of Corruption had a well documented post regarding the way politics is being played at City Hall and why we should be storming the castle to get this sorted out.

One of the points brought up was a Charter amendment to put some transparency and process back in the public spotlight.

As taxpayers, we expect our elected council members have a right to speak to any department, any employee or any City employee about any matter of interest to their voting public.

That’s one reason we should be getting our meeting agendas and notices two weeks, or ten business days in advance.

Reed Reforms

While running for Mayor in 2006, then-Councilmember Chuck Reed introduced his signature Reed Reforms – a comprehensive strategy to build a more honest, open, accessible, and fiscally responsible government. These reforms include numerous measures designed to improve public access to city records and information, promote ethics and accountability, and maximize the participation of San José citizens in the city’s decision-making process.

Mayor Reed enacted two of his Reed Reforms during his inauguration, when he added the following pledge to his Oath of Office:

“I further pledge to uphold the San José Charter, to always place community benefit before personal interest, and to exercise the power of the Mayor’s office honestly and ethically. No Lying, No Cheating, No Stealing.”

Overall, 32 Reed Reforms have been adopted by the City Council, including new policies that:

  • Have led to the creation of a sunshine ordinance that increases transparency in our local government.
  • Require the Mayor and Councilmembers to make important disclosures before the Council takes action.
  • Publicly disclose the offers made to City unions for pay or benefit increases.
  • Plug loopholes in the campaign financing and lobbying ordinances that reduce the influence of paid interests.
  • Require the calendars of the Mayor and Councilmembers to be posted online.
  • Have implemented a more inclusive, community-based budget process that ensures proper public input when defining the city’s spending priorities.

The adoption of these reforms has been a critical step in changing the way City Hall operates and has helped build the foundation for a government that San José residents can be proud of.

Read more about the Reed Reforms