San Jose

San Jose Continues Discussion on Power Shift to Mayor's Office

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San Jose city leaders on Tuesday discussed in length making the mayoral election coincide with presidential elections and giving the Mayor's Office more city management power, but fell short of a vote on the issues.

The council meeting included an extended public comment session and went past midnight. It was continued to 9 a.m. Wednesday.

If the election issue goes to the ballot and passes, Mayor Sam Liccardo would get two more years in office, until 2024.

San Jose voters also would decide on the shift in power to what's known as a "strong mayor" government structure, in which the mayor would have the final say on a number of city management decisions that are currently the responsibility of the city manager.

The current impetus seems to be to put pressure on San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia to fire officers involved in a recent scandal involving racist and Islamophobic posts on social media.

"Currently, I don’t have that power under the city charter, and we have advocated, several of us have, to change the city charter, which of course involves taking this matter to the voters in November," Liccardo said.

A decision on whether to move forward with the proposal and bring it before voters in November may take a while during Tuesday's meeting because there are five different proposals on how to make the change.

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