Mayors, CEOs meet in San Jose on California economy


via Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal

Mayors of seven big California cities met privately with corporate executives at Morton’s steak house in San Jose Monday night to discuss how to rebuild California’s economy, make the state “more business-friendly” and create more jobs.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino, a co-host of the meeting, said the attendees decided to “work more closely together in Sacramento and D.C.,” to help improve the state and national economy.

Two specific ballot measures were discussed, Guardino said.

One was the Open Primary question in June which would have candidates for state office run against each other in the primary, regardless of party, with the top two going on to a final election.

The other is a November ballot measure which would end state “borrowing” of local funds, otherwise characterized by some as raids, on local tax revenue to balance the state budget.

The group did not make any formal decisions but discussed if, and how, they’d act, said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, one of the attendees.

Reed was joined by Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Ashley Swearingen of Fresno, Mayor Bob Foster of Long Beach, Mayor Curt Pringle of Anaheim and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.

Corporate executives included the CEOs of Adobe Systems Inc., Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Luxim Corp. and Trimble Navigation Ltd., as well as VeriFone Inc., Webcor Builders and Wyse.

The group met for 2.5 hours and discussed a range of governance and financial issues, such as supporting the open primaries ballot initiative this year and working to “protect local revenues,” Reed said.

“We don’t really have an organized process,” he said. “We have 10 mayors, we work together, and if we could come to a consensus on issues, then we’ll act together.”

The meeting was billed as a gathering of the “Big 10 Mayors,” representing California’s 10 biggest cities. It’s unclear why San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom did not attend, but Oakland’s mayor, Ron Dellums, was giving his State of the City address Monday night, and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders could not attend because he’s speaking to a Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

San Jose-based Adobe (NASAQ:ADBE), a co-host of the summit, was planning to pay for the dinner, said Michelle McGurk, spokeswoman for Reed. McGurk said her office arranged for the mayors to attend, while the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, another summit co-host, arranged for the CEOs.


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