In just two weeks, the election placards that clutter lawns and highways will be gone, and the city will return to its normal self. Some people thrive on campaign fever, while others can’t wait for it to end. The San Jose Firefighters and Police Officers unions are among the former, especially when it comes to Proposition V, the ballot measure that would repeal the unions’ right to have outside arbitrators make final decisions in contract negotiations with the city. They are even offering a $10,000 bounty to anyone who provides information leading to the prosecution and conviction of people who have stolen or vandalized their “No on V” signs. They already have one suspect in their crosshairs—City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio.
Randy Sekany of the Firefighters Union claims that Oliverio illegally removed a “No on V” sign from the intersection of Curtner Avenue and Almaden Road. Oliverio admits taking the sign, which he says was on public property, not private property as Sekany claims. The sign, says Oliverio, is one of many that are littering public spaces. Though he admits that the sign may have some value, he compares it to a quarter dropped on the street, and him coming to pick it up an hour later.
Sekany disagrees: “He took it off a private property, completely illegal. Then decided rather than accept the responsibility, he ran from those who witnessed him doing it.”
Certainly, Proposition V is one of the hot button issues of this campaign, pitting public-employee unions against the city. By next Wednesday, no one will care if Oliverio took the sign or not. Instead, another group of municipal workers will be grateful to him for helping them clean up.
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