Calls for San Jose Mayor Gonzales' resignation grow
Mayor Ron Gonzales, right. (File photo)
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
June 22, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) - Both of the San Jose City Council members
running to succeed
Mayor Ron Gonzales called for his resignation or possible
removal from office this afternoon.
Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez and City Councilman Chuck Reed said that
in light of the six count indictment against Gonzales and his
budget director Joe Guerra, presumably criminal charges in connection
with what has become known as the Norcal Waste Systems scandal,
that the mayor should step down.
"My hope is that Mayor Gonzales does what he knows is right
for the city and steps aside,'' Chavez said.
Cindy Chavez. File photo.
Reed, who along with City Councilman David Cortese called for
Gonzales to resign back in December, said he believes the mayor
should step down or be removed from office.
"I thought there were sufficient facts at that time and
I still believe that,'' Reed said.
Councilman Ken Yaeger also called today for Gonzales' resignation.
Cortese re-affirmed his belief that the mayor "needs to go.''
San Jose City Councilman Ken Yeager
City of San Jose
"The dark clouds over City Hall have become a storm. He
needs to fight this from his living room, and not from the 18th
floor of City Hall,'' Cortese said.
Both Chavez and Reed called for the City Council to appoint an
interim mayor for the remainder of Gonzales' term, which expires
on Dec. 31.
Both also said they do not want the job because of their mayoral
campaigns. They were the two top vote-getters in the June 6 election
and are facing one another in the November runoff.
"I think it ought to be somebody who's not going to be a
partisan,'' Reed said.
Reed suggested City Councilwoman Linda LeZotte because she is
termed out at the end of the year and her successor was elected
earlier this month.
Gonzales has been under fire for a year after a Santa Clara County
civil grand jury issued a report blasting him for a so-called
backroom deal with Norcal in 2000 that resulted in the City Council
raising garbage rates by 9 percent in May 2003. Gonzales has claimed
he did not break any laws and was trying to avoid labor unrest
among the city's garbage haulers when he agreed to increase Norcal's
contract to meet any wage increases.
Gonzales' spokesman David Vossbrink confirmed today that the
mayor had been indicted on six counts but said Gonzales had not
seen the indictment and would not comment except to maintain that
he has broken no laws.
"The mayor has said he has done nothing wrong. He intends
to finish out his term,'' Vossbrink said.
Gonzales and Guerra posted bail this morning pending a court
hearing on Monday, Vossbrink said.
The Santa Clara County district attorney's office announced plans
today to host a news conference on Friday to discuss the results
of a Norcal grand jury investigation.
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