UPDATE Oct 24, 2010 COUNCILMAN PIERLUIGI OLIVERIO CAUGHT TAKING CAMPAIGN SIGNS, NO ARRESTS MADE
COMMENTS BELOW SCROLL TO BOTTOM
A campaign debate over a San Jose measure heated up late Saturday morning when a councilman was caught taking down signs that urged residents to vote against a measure he supports on the November ballot.San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio said he took down four “No on (Measure) V” signs Saturday morning, saying he had seen “an incredible number” of the signs in San Jose while driving to an opening of a community center. Measure V would change the mandatory arbitration process for police and fire department employee disputes. It’s opposed by police and firefighters, who claim it will make it easier to lay off firefighters and police officers and to close neighborhood fire stations. Prominent supporters of Measure V include Mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Patricia Dando and Silicon Valley Taxpayers’ Association president Douglas McNea.They claim that the measure would rein in the power of outside arbitrators, essentially limiting the ability to increase pension plans of police and firefighters.”Right now, all the property tax that San Jose residents pay goes to pay for pensions,” Oliverio said.A “No on Measure V” lobbyist, Tom Saggau, yelled at Oliverio after spotting him taking a sign near Curtner Avenue and Almaden Road, according to both Saggau and Oliverio.”I grabbed it, put it in my car and at the same time I heard the lobbyist shouting,” Oliverio said in a telephone interview.”He saw me, closed his trunk, jumped into his car and peeled out of a parking lot,” Saggau said.Police went to Oliverio’s home, but the councilman said he was still at the community center’s ribbon cutting ceremony at that time. Oliverio then headed to another appointment on Lincoln Avenue, and when he exited, he said about eight off-duty firemen surrounded him.”They blocked my car. They would not allow me to leave, which you can’t really do to someone,” he said, adding that he called the police chief and city attorney for help.The incident ended in a parking lot at Lincoln and Brace avenues, where Oliverio gave the signs to officers responding to the altercation.Saggau and “No on Measure V” campaigners recorded the exchange .In the video, Saggau is heard saying, “Where’s our property? I want our property. I’m making a citizen’s arrest right now.”Oliverio is then seen opening the trunk to a four-door silver Saturn. Inside, there are several signs supporting Measure V, and the four “No on V” signs he said he took.The councilman said he didn’t do anything illegal, citing a municipal code. “It allows for the removal of illegal signs in the public right of way by the city and volunteers,” he said.Saggau, however, insisted the removed signs were taken from private property.A San Jose police spokesman for the incident said no arrests were made.”I don’t know if you want to call it stealing,” spokesman Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said. “Nobody was cited. Nobody was arrested,” he said.
Copyright © 2010 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.