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Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The flogging of the mayor

Ron Gonzales

Mayor Ron Gonzales of San Jose admonishes a heckler at a special city council meeting called to discuss the mayor’s indictment on charges including bribery.

How much of a dork am I? Here’s a clue: I spent a fine summer afternoon at a city council meeting. See, our mayor just got indicted in a scandal involving garbage and Teamsters (I thought I was out West!?), and the city council held a special meeting about it. I thought it might be interesting to photograph, and I was pretty sure the new city hall had air conditioning, so I went.

The meeting wasn’t so fiery that I need to relate every detail, but here’s the jist of it. COUNCIL TO MAYOR: GET LOST. MAYOR TO COUNCIL: GET BENT.

A fair number of people turned out, and they were exactly who you’d expect would have the time to come to something like this in the middle of the day: Retirees and the unemployable. I really liked this guy’s overalls next to all the suits — kind of sums up the spirit of public comment.

San Jose City Council

Members of the public take turns addressing the mayor and city council during the public-comment portion of the council meeting.

In the end, the mayor stood his ground, won the battle, and set himself up for a stunning defeat in the upcoming war.

Ron Gonzales

“I’m sorry to interrupt, sir, but I thought you should know — your political career was just spotted. It was on fire. And jumping from the 18th floor. And headed toward a kiddie pool full of kerosene.”