Update: San Jose Mayor Leaving ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ Calls off of Calendar

The update comes after a larger investigation found that the council was also leaving meetings with lobbyists off of their public calendars.

So, Mayor Sam Liccardo has a standing Saturday morning call with a group consisting of two registered lobbyists, two former city councilmen, and a San Francisco consultant. All of them are known to have longstanding ties to the Mayor. Surely lots of officials have a brain-trust of sorts in order to float ideas and the like, but eyebrows are raising in San Jose City Hall.

The registered lobbyists that sit in on the conference call have lucrative business interests with the city, yet have not filed the meetings on their own reports. Both lobbyists said that they did not disclose the calls as no business relating to their clients is discussed.

Mayor Liccardo explained that he checked with City Attorney Rick Doyle said he was in the clear because Doyle did not interpret “political advice” as “city-related business.” He continued, describing the nature of calls, saying that they discuss "big picture issues and politics," like public safety, use of technology, and community engagement.

They also chat about Liccardo’s relationship with the media over issues like labor unions. The Mayor pulled no punches about the colorful past he has with Saggau & DeRollo and their representing labor unions during some contentious pension reform settlements.

While it was found that a handful of the City Council did not know about the ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, Liccardo said he chose "smart and trustworthy" people with the “self-confidence to be able to disagree with me and accept when I don't take their advice."

Further reading on the Mayor’s weekly call can be found here.


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