Waite: The right candidates for San Jose City Council

Prior to the 2022 San Jose mayoral runoff, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility opined that “Mahan …is a vocal advocate of measuring results and holding government accountable. He recognizes the failures of more than a decade of pouring money into affordable housing complexes, now costing up to $1,000,000 per door…”

We are pleased that Mayor Matt Mahan has stayed true to his campaign promises. He gave ground in his attempt to direct some of our Measure E funds to quick-build transitional housing, but he has made significant progress in addressing the inhumane treatment of our unhoused residents, resulting in an 11% reduction of San Jose’s unhoused residents last year. Rather than forcing them to wait years for “affordable” permanent supportive housing to become available, he is pushing for creative ways to fund quick-build units.

Mayor Mahan clearly recognizes that our unhoused population is a today problem, while constructing permanent supportive housing is a very expensive tomorrow solution.

We bring this up because San Jose’s labor interests chose not to propose an alternative to Mahan in the upcoming primary election. Rather, they are focusing their support on labor-friendly council candidates in an effort to make the mayor’s agenda irrelevant. Lacking five consistent and reliable allies, Mayor Mahan will have a difficult time moving our city in the direction that he, and a majority of voters in 2022, believe is right for our city.

Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility has chosen to evaluate the current crop of San Jose City Council candidates through this lens. If voters think, as we do, that Mayor Mahan’s agenda is right for San Jose, they should support candidates who will work with Mahan to move his agenda forward. Based on that premise, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility is endorsing the following council candidates:

District 4

David Cohen has proven to be an independent thinker, which is a breath of fresh air in what has increasingly become a “two bubble” world where neither end of the political spectrum takes the time to listen to those on the other. He has served the residents of District 4 well and deserves a second term.

District 6

Michael Mulcahy is a longtime District 6 resident. He has significant experience as a businessperson, neighborhood leader and community volunteer. He understands the need for creative today solutions for our unhoused population and we believe will work diligently for the residents of his district and our city.

District 10

George Casey is clearly the superior candidate for District 10 voters. He has significant experience, both as a businessperson and as a planning commissioner. He is an adept coalition builder and understands the urgency behind our unhoused situation.

Finally, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility typically focuses on San Jose city government. However, we have seen an increased blurring of the lines between the core service responsibilities of our city and Santa Clara County.

The county has the mandate to provide mental health services, as well as taking the lead on affordable housing. As evidenced by the increasing need for cities in our county to spend taxpayer dollars on these county core services, Santa Clara County is failing to provide the core services it is responsible for.

Madison Nguyen understands the imperative of focusing scarce taxpayer dollars on core services, as evidenced by her votes while on the San Jose City Council. Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility believes she is singularly suited to help guide Santa Clara County back to fiscally responsible decisions focused on delivering excellent core services, and urges residents of District 2 to elect her to the Board of Supervisors.

Pat Waite is president of Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility.

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