However, after careful considerations and reviews of the city-wide ballot proposal by the Mayor and council member Nguyen, it appears that the proposal will create a significant financial hardship to the City of San Jose and does not address the central issue of the cultural impact of the name to the Vietnamese American community in District 7. To conduct a city-wide ballot on a localized issue, with cultural significance only to the Vietnamese American community and at an expected City’s expense between $300,000 to $600,000 from taxpayers, during the recently announced budget deficit and financial hardship is fiscally irresponsible.
The proposals from Vice Mayor Dave Cortese and council members, Kansen Chu and Pete Constant appear to provide a viable solution to this extremely sensitive and cultural issue, while being respectful of the City’s financial constraints. In addition, the matter will be addressed and potentially resolved much sooner instead of lingering until June or November. By resolving this issue at an earlier date, both sides will be able to move on and hopefully work cooperatively on future issues.
While the City Attorney Rick Doyle has indicated “it was unclear whether a Brown Act violation occurred, the perception is there, and we need to make sure it is cleared up.” The fact that the City Attorney cannot unequivocally said “There is no Brown Act violation by council member Nguyen” says volumes to the way she gathered votes for the issue prior to the public meeting. The Council must take it upon itself to restore the integrity, democratic process, and to address the perception of the Brown Act violation publicly. Without addressing this issue and a public reprimand to said council member, this type of conduct will continue and will be viewed as acceptable by the same council member.
The expressions of individual members from our organization at the Rules and Open Committee meeting on February 13, 2008 is not the official policy of the San Jose Voters For Democracy.
We strive for a speedy and win-win resolution to this conflict in order to bring back the good relationship between the City and the Vietnamese community and to restore the honor, integrity, and transparency government that was the central theme of Mayor Chuck Reed’s election campaign and has been adopted since he came into his office.