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She Loves Me Not: Tom McEnery may be keeping a public poker face, but mayoral hopeful Pat Dando is calling his bluff.

Dando's Inferno

With the Dec. 4 fundraising kickoff for the mayor's race rapidly approaching, unofficial candidate Pat Dando's patience with her old chum and ex-boss, Tom McEnery, is wearing thin. As Eye-watchers are well aware, Dando has said in the past that she will step aside if McEnery decides to recapture the municipal throne. But McEnery has dawdled, prefer-ring to preen in the limelight rather than make up his mind, putting Dando in a compromising position. Unlike McEnery, whose name San Joseans readily recognize, Dando needs to establish name I.D. early in the race and therefore must start shaking the money tree right away--as conventional wisdom dictates. ... Alas, Dando has chosen to play a fascinating game of political chicken with her mentor. Following last week's Redevelopment board meeting, she told Eye that she had to make a final decision soon, no matter what McEnery had or hadn't decided. "I have told him that I would hope he make his decision in a timely manner," Dando related. Then she dropped a bombshell. "So what if you decide to run, and then a couple of months down the road, McEnery announces he's running?" Eye asked her. "If I decide to run, I'm in. If he does, too, then people will have two good candidates to choose from." ... Meanwhile, Peninsula-based U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo is endorsing Ron Gonzales in next year's mayoral fracas. Eshoo is good buds with Mary Hughes, whom Gonzales just signed to run his campaign.


Power and the Gloria

With Margie Fernandes out of the running for mayor, SJ liberals are grumbling about the conspicuous absence of a progressive female candidate. A person Eye has its eye on is Dr. Gloria Duffy, the smart, svelte Commonwealth Club CEO and founder the World Forum of Silicon Valley, who helped put San Jose on the international map by bringing a parade of world leaders here. The downtown dweller hasn't had to disarm anything as explosive as Councilman David Pandori, but while serving as deputy assistant secretary of defense from 1993 to 1995 she persuaded Russian republics to trade in their nuclear warheads for economic aid. More recently she has spearheaded downtown's Guadalupe River Park support group. Duffy said she considers the chances of her running for mayor "highly improbable" but wouldn't categorically dismiss the possibility. Asked if she thought she might be the person to emerge in Fernandes' stead, Duffy boldly offered an ambiguous "No comment."


Like a Stone Rose

It hasn't come to blows, but the spat between county assessor Larry Stone and county auditor Roger Mialocq is escalating faster than a pre-Prop. 13 tax bill. Stone recently demanded that Mialocq (pronounced MY-lock) be yanked from the scheduled audit of his department, questioning the auditor's objectivity and qualifications. For good measure, he also called Mialocq a liar. Mialocq, in turn, complains that he's never encountered such a recalcitrant auditee. ... Privately, Stone tells Eye that he thinks Mialocq wants the audit so he and his San Francisco-based company, the Harvey Rose Accountancy Corp., can tout it when peddling their services to other counties. Mialocq says that's nonsense. "We're certainly not doing anything to drum up business," Mialocq professes. "We're extremely busy right now." Mialocq explains that he simply wants to do a comprehensive audit of Stone's office. ... The dispute boils down to whether the auditor should examine the assessments of 67,000 properties that received tax rollbacks during the recession. Stone, who claims he welcomes a "limited" audit, fears that the board of supes--specifically, Stone's bitter nemesis, board chairman Jim Beall--are using an "unqualified" agent to invade his tax turf. ... An interesting sidelight: Beall, itching to get the audit started, breached parliamentary etiquette and put an item on the board agenda authorizing Mialocq to get working right away over the objections of Joe Simitian, the chair of the finance committee, the body that has jurisdiction over audits. At the board meeting, however, Beall backed off, citing the absence of Blanca Alvarado, who was attending to a dying relative. Word is, though, that Beall wouldn't have had the votes to pull the trigger even if Alvarado had shown up. Keep an eye on whose advice the board heeds in December when the item returns: Simitian is siding with Stone.


Stuck in the Trenches

Claustrophobics beware: The elevators at City Hall don't always make it to their destination uninterrupted. Just last week, the fire department was called out to 801 N. First St. to help retrieve three passengers stuck in the building's freight elevator for a half an hour. A firefighter on the scene told Eye that there have been at least three other times in the past month when the elevators have gotten stuck. Francis McVey, deputy director of general services for the city, says he's not aware of any recently recurring troubles with the building's elevators, though he promised to check further. McVey estimates that on average, the elevators in City Hall get stuck only three or four times a year. ... One recent victim of elevator stoppage is Ben Tripousis, aide to Councilwoman Margie Fernandes and a potential downtown city council candidate, who spent an uncomfortable 15 minutes confined in the metal enclosure. "I didn't have a good book to read," Tripousis recalls. ... Someone exiting City Hall's elevators for good is Tripousis' colleague, Jim Anton, who resigned as Fernandes' chief of staff two weeks ago. Anton is moving onto a marketing job at Pacific Bell. ... A relatively new face around City Hall these days is wunderkind politico Dallas Lawrence, who's working in Pat Dando's office. If his name sounds familiar, that's because Lawrence managed the ill-fated Assembly campaign of Reep donkey-stomper Karin Dowdy and previously ran for Sunnyvale City Council. Eye-watchers may not be aware that Lawrence faced an impeachment investigation last year while serving as student body prez at West Valley College. Lawrence allegedly made sexist and racist remarks including, "I don't have a problem with black people. ... I think everyone should own one." He turned around and slapped complaints against his accusers, leading to the impeachment of another student senator.


Applied Paterials

You didn't hear this from us, but Wallflower Jakob Dylan and his dad Bob Dylan will play together in San Jose Friday night, if all goes according to plan. And while it's the hottest ticket, well, anywhere, you won't be able to get in, unless you happen to be one of the 7,000 lucky people to draw a paycheck from the right company--or date one of them. ...Our spies, who could tell us more but then would have to kill us afterwards, say the unprecedented pairing was arranged by Applied Materials wunderkind Tom Hayes, who dreamed up the scheme and broke out the company checkbook to celebrate his employer's 30th anniversary. ... In a parallel universe--Austin, Texas, that is--Stevie Wonder will entertain the Appliedniks there. ... Once the birthday party is over, major Tom will work on taking the Silicon Planet charity-entertainment event on the road to six U.S. cities.


Dry in the Rain

Felix Alvarez beat a drum in a steady rain last Tuesday and led 56 people in a blessing of the ground of the future site of the Mexican Heritage Plaza and Gardens. "Papa Dios," he said, "help them to recognize what is best for our community." Alvarez and his following of teetotalers are asking the Mexican Heritage Corporation, which is building the $30 million cultural center, to prohibit alcohol on the premises. That's right, no booze at any events the cultural center may host, including weddings, receptions, baptisms and quinceañeras. Alvarez took his group's request to the MHC board last month and also "advised" the board he would be present with his drum to disrupt the official groundbreaking Nov. 15. Sensing Alvarez and company's protest could put some flotsam in the proverbial punch bowl, the MHC postponed the official groundbreaking until Dec. 13.


Grin News

Eye notes with sadness the death of pianist Marina Gusak-Grin, Russian emigre and wife of SJ Symphony conductor Leonid Grin and mother of their two children. Gusak-Grin died of stomach cancer at Stanford Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon. Services are pending.


Public Eye welcomes tips. Leave messages 24 hours a day by calling 408/298-7818 and then pressing 2, followed by 412, to reach Eye's voice mailbox. Send email messages to eye@sjmetro.com.

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From the November 13-19, 1997 issue of Metro.

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