A Tap on the Shoulder

The citywide Community Budget meetings started last week with the city manager and other city department heads in attendance to answer questions. Ten public meetings will be held with one meeting in each Council district.

This first meeting was held in District 2 with approximately 100 people in attendance. From my perspective of recognizing faces, listening to questions and subsequent applause, approximately 80 percent of those in attendance were city employees. The high ratio of employees is understandable, since most employees would attend a meeting if their employer was discussing layoffs.

Government has a much softer and proactive approach to layoffs than the private sector.  For example, I was laid off twice myself due to market downturns and in both cases I did not have advanced notification that I would be let go.  Instead, I, like many, got a tap on the shoulder from HR and a two-week severance check.  Although it is stressful to know that layoffs are looming, at least one can plan accordingly rather than having the HR shoulder-tap, which, unfortunately happens often in private sector.

The mayor spoke at the meeting and answered questions from the audience. After he finished, Ed Shikada, our assistant city manager, walked through a presentation of the budget deficit and some of the alternative cuts that might be selected by the city manager in arriving at a balanced budget.  The presentation was followed by Q and A. This week there will be meetings in District 5 and 7.

There was a survey card that was distributed at the end of the meeting that asked a few questions. I put the five questions on the internet for you to answer in case you are unable to attend the nine remaining meetings: 2011 San Jose citywide Community Budget meetings.

Also,  last week San Jose welcomed a new clean tech company to North San Jose. Wrightspeed Inc., designs digital drive systems to replace conventional power trains for commercial vehicles. Trucks that have Wrightspeed drive systems installed do not consume as much fuel, providing cost savings to the vehicle fleet. California spends $150 million a day on fuel, placing the state in third place globally for consumption of fuel, behind the United States as a whole and China.

Why would Wrightspeed, which started in Burlingame, move its 20-plus employees, mostly engineers, to San Jose? The company moved to San Jose because of our Office of Economic Development. Wrighstpeed was part of the Clean Tech Open that the City of San Jose sponsored (marketing). A connection was made by staff at the event (sales), who kept in touch with Wrightspeed.

When it came to looking for a new building, our staff facilitated a search and found a building within our Enterprise Zone which makes Wrightspeed eligible for state tax credits on hiring new employees. (Gov. Brown has proposed eliminating Enterprise Zones). In addition, San Jose has a foreign trade zone which allows Wrightspeed to import sub assemblies from Europe without tariffs, to put into their end product. Wrightspeed will also generate sales tax for the city of San Jose since they sell a physical object. 

It is important to always be focused on growing our economic pie but it does not always happen if a city does not have a sales team.

54 Comments

  1. Oh my God, San Jose ADDING manufacturing jobs? Who teleported us all back to the 1950’s? In all seriousness, props to San Jose for actually making this city business-friendly, and not just tract housing-developer friendly.

    • Brian,

      Actually The City has had several wins with Atheros, Maxim, Microchip, Sunpower and others. Manufacturing however still is tough as most companies outsource their manufacturing to focus on their core competency which is engineering, marketing and sales shared with their sales channel(s)

      Pierluigi

      • I understand that manufacturing is leaving not just the Bay Area, but most of the country as well for a variety of reasons. The reason why high tech thrives here is not on the manufacturing front, but on the R&D/intellectual property front; which I hope will continue to thrive. I was sarcastically commenting on the fact that it seems like (at least in my 20 years of living) the city has tended to focus on expanding suburban housing (leading to higher traffic congestion, lower tax base, and other problems) as opposed to bringing in, and retaining business.

        It seems as though most of the “big players” in high tech like Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, in high tech operate outside the city limits and San Jose is has many smaller players or is only used as everybody else’s bedroom. It’s nice seeing how the city is starting to get the message that it’s in the best interest of everybody that San Jose be a place where 1,000,000 people can both live, work AND play, and not have to travel to the 650 or SF to do so.

        It’s makes me nervous watching the city and its unions have to operate in this economy, and what future effects it might have on all the progress made on downtown, and the other parts of San Jose. In the long-term, I hope it’s a wake-up call for everybody (city, unions, businesses, citizens) that things need to change, and hopefully down the road we can come out of this situation stronger than ever.

  2. Government has a responsibility to conduct themselves with transparency hence the advanced notice of layoffs. If government was a ‘for profit’ entity I’m certain they could play by different rules but you cannot when you use My tax dollars to do so.
    This whole game of decision through committee is bad. If you worked for me I would lay you off because you are supposed to be an executive but don’t execute.
    Why is it we are still pouring a billion a year (give or take) into a losing proposition (the airport….airpit) ? For that decision once again I’d lay you off.
    You tell us our home city is cutting services yet your own budget says over $500 Million is being loaned out, given aways subsidies and “other” items you won’t divulge.
    How about you and the council do the right thing and just be honest for a change. Tell the truth, you and the mayor are more interested in spending money on nonessential things than core services. That’s what the ‘budget in brief’ shows.

      • Now we are hearing that in 2015 the City of san Jose will no longer be able to hide its budget and it will be known that the City is doing VERY well and in fact by the year 2025 the City of San Jose will become the richest city in USA?  HMMMM 120 Mil for the Convention Center, 200 Mil to bring the “A’s”? HMMM budget problems? Really? Redevelopment is going away so where are you going to hide the money now? HMMMM?

        • We need to start a class action lawsuit to obtain ALL of our back pay and benefits due to the lies that would have been told to take them away.I hope you are right.

        • To Ex Employee,

          Its’ always good to check the facts and stay in reality.  The City has open books for all their budgets.  You can also check the revenue streams such as sales tax, property tax, construction and conveyance taxes all of which have taken a significant downturn.  I do believe that if the Redevelopment Agency Program is dissolved, the tax revenue will increase from those areas, however to state that by 2015 the City will be rolling in the doe is quite a stretch.  Expenditures still exceed the revenues and with the significant cuts last year and proposed for this year to the basic services, I doubt any influx from the dissoloving the Redevelopment Agency it will be enough to restore them.  Many of the funds you reference are not interchangeable as much as we wish they were.

          A general overview of the City Budget for last fiscal year 2010 / 2011 is at the following link;

          http://www.sanjoseca.gov/budget/FY1011/2010-2011AdoptedBudgetinBriefUpdated10-13-10.pdf

          This document provides a basic overview of the City’s overall budget.  The first three pages provide a basic overview and outline of the General Fund (about $950 million), the Capital Funds (about $918 million) and the Special Funds (about $1.3 Billion).  I hope this helps to formualte real questions and observations about the budget process.

        • If you just take the cost of the construction of the new convention center building, $62.8 million for 125,000 sq.ft., that works out to $502/sq.ft., which is exorbitant for a building that is mostly an empty shell.

          Add the HVAC, boilers, fire alarm and bldg. management systems, permits, plans, and contingency, and it comes to a whopping $729/sq.ft.

          Only a public entity would pay so much for constructing a simple building.

        • Of the $950million general fund budget, I believe about $200million is for the pensions of the existing 4900 employees, who make up one-half of one percent of the population of SJ (maybe a bit less, since some may not live in SJ any longer)

          SO, what we have here is .0051% of the population accounting for 21% of the general fund budget expeditures.  And Chuck said there will be another $50million or so added to that pension obligation next year.

          And do you REALLY think that you can solve the structural budget problems without reducing that huge, disproprtionate pension obligation NOW for current pension recipients?

          Any solution that does not immediately reduce current pension payments is unworkable, unrealistic, and unconscionable.

          And, probably the only way to reduce current pension obligations is to file bankruptcy.  Quit pissing into the wind and get it done.

    • The airport is a good example of a bad example. You are correct about the truckloads of dollars going into the airport with little return to show.
      You would think someone should be laid off, but not in this city. Here we commend the airport director and give him even more responsibility—now he is also running wild with the convention center expansion.
      This Council is asleep as the switch and will buy whatever snake oil the airport director chooses to sell them.
      It is simply amazing.

  3. Pier,
    Using your numbers, why do you think only 20 people would show up to such an ostensibly important community meeting?

    I personally think it is because you, your fellow city council members, the mayor, and the city manager are extremely arrogant and do not really want input from either the community or employees. I watch the city council meetings on streaming video, and those who want to add input are shutdown after just 2 minutes, and it is obvious nobody really cares what they have to say.

    Also, while it is wonderful that a company with a whopping 20 employees moved to San Jose, maybe you could take a lesson from your council counterparts in Santa Clara or Sunnyvale, who serve for just a stipend and no benefits on their respective city councils, and have added tens of thousands of jobs to their cities.

    The only claim to fame you will have had adding jobs to this city will be the explosion of retail marijuana locations.

    I am looking forward to the results of the salary setting commision survey on how much city council members should be, or should not be paid. I doubt that will get much sunshine from you though.

    • Most people do not care. The overwhelming majority go about their lives and roll with what life or government throws their way.  Most people do not even vote so why should they care if a community center they never use is going to close?

    • Most people do not attend meetings. That is why we have a representative democracy. Let me know which meeting you attend. I listened to testimony at District 5 meeting tonight.

      Pierluigi

      • Weren’t you in the back corner at the MEF/CEO gathering, today? Why were you there? I was wondering who chuck’s spies were going to be, but did not think it would be so obvious. you’ve got big ones.

        • Hey,

          Yes, I attended the gathering to listen to gentleman from AFSCME who flew in to San Jose to talk about pensions.  It was interesting to hear a different perspective however I would have preferred a dialogue/discussion that included the Director of Retirement services or the City Auditor.

          Pierluigi

    • The “community input” is a dog and pony show, just like the public comment portion of council meetings, which takes place AFTER the decision has been made.  It’s a sop to those who really think that what they say will change your minds.

  4. The Council already knows what services are most important to the citizens of San Jose. All that you can think of is taking away services that almost everyone wants. Instead, publish a list of ALL city departments and agencies plus a detailed list of where the money goes. Let the people recommend which are essential city functions, which may be nice but not critical and which they would like to get rid of even if there were no budget crisis. There are whole departments which serve no useful function and are a pain in the ass. The Council gives away millions to various associations and other so called public service entities. Why not ask someone besides other Council members who should get financial support and which should get the AXE?
    Quit blaming the unions and City employees for the mess that the City Councils have created over the years!

    • This past Sunday San Pedro street was closed for hours while two city employees installed a Sharks banner and jerseys over the street.  Hopefully no tax dollars were used for such a frivolous project when both the city and redevelopment agency are having severe financial problems.  Anybody know who paid for this?

    • To think of laying off even one cop or firefighter while retaining depts. such as The Office of Cultural Affairs is nothing short of gross malfeseance.

      To continue to support politcally correct non-profits with tax dollars while laying off cops and firefighters and failing to maintain streets is gross malfeseance.  Artists and well-meaning charitable organizations should not get a cent as long as we have lousy streets, and a police force less than one-half of that city to the north with a lower population than SJ.

      Don’t terminate lower paid underlings while keeping higher paid “managers” who just push paper upstream and downstream.

      The mayor and the council truly DON’T GET IT.  CUT THE FRILLS until we can pay for them.

      And stop this annual placing of the bandaids on the STRUCTURAL budget deficit.  It’s STRUCTURAL, stupid!  If we can’t for legal reasons cut the pensions of the 4900 currently getting them from us, stop delaying the inevitable.  FILE BANKRUPTCY, and cut whatever it takes to close the STRUCTURAL deficit.

      4900 current recipients of city defined benefit pensions foolishly granted by prior administrations are choking the life out of this town of 945,000 folks.  4900 vs. 940,000???!!!

      You are trying to put out a forest fire with a single garden hose.  You CANNOT make this right without cutting current pensions.  And it seems that the only way that can be done is by filing bankruptcy.  And while you’re at it, preempt Moonbeam and get rid of the RDA.

  5. That’s awesome, Pierluigi! Despite all the vitriolic blah, blah, blah by grouchy old men on this blog, I appreciate you keeping us informed about the good and the bad (or not so great) news.

    OK, now the rest of you can chime in and tell me how wrong I am and how much the city doesn’t respect the cops or whatever…

    This is an interesting blog, but it’s next to impossible to find a constructive comment that has any potential of making our city a better place.

  6. Our local park is no longer being maintained (no lawn mowing, lots of weeds)  Anybody else notice the same?

    • They are not maintaing the drug emporium park of the homeless DT—St James Park.  But they are spending a lot of money tearing down the senior center that was there, and replacing it with some concrete and more lawn that will look like sh*t within a month after it’s done, just like the rest of the park.

      Jos. J. Albanese & Co. is making some bucks off the deal, tho.

  7. How do you know the City employees in attendance weren’t ALSO District 2 residents?  Is it because the City doesn’t pay enough for employees to afford housing in San Jose…?

    • “Is it because the City doesn’t pay enough for employees to afford housing in San Jose…?”

      And yet they are going to dog us into the ground until they scrape us to the bone. It is just sickening. They are all going to that place that’s REALLY, REALLY hot.

      • That place that is really really hot?? Why don’t you just call it “Hell”. Don’t beat around the bush and act like someone is going to wash your mouth out!

        I have said it once and I will say it again. I have no shame nor do I apologize for choosing a profession with a pension. You don’t like it now that the economy has soured. I get it. Don’t expect me to bend over and give you everything I bargained for easily.

        You see mutual respect is a two way street. You can take your hot place and hold your breath, because when I get there, I am taking over!

        • “Why don’t you just call it “Hell”.”

          Because a few times I have made comments and they do not get posted because of a few choice words. So, if I want to be certain that it gets published, I have to be careful with my words. I actually did have the word “hell”, but changed it. In a sense…I get my mouth washed out and my post is wasted.

        • “You don’t like it now that the economy has soured. I get it. Don’t expect me to bend over and give you everything I bargained for easily.

          You see mutual respect is a two way street. You can take your hot place and hold your breath, because when I get there, I am taking over!”

          Evidently you read my post incorrectly. My statement was directed to the statement that the City does not pay employees enough to afford housing in San Jose. No they do not. I am a city employee. If you did not have such a huge defensive chip on your shoulder, you would have taken the time to read and comprehend that post. It was not directed to employees but to admin, in agreement about the pay and affordability of homes. I hope you don’t bend over and give me ANYTHING. There would not be a THING I would want from your posterior.

        • “Yea maybe. I make a decent living. I do not want to be rich. I do not want to keep eating the same crap the city feeds the rest of the masses.”

          I know where you are coming from, so I certainly understand that. There is only one income in my household…mine. When my salary gets cut, I will only be able to allow myself $50/week for food and essentials and I will still be short…I HAVE to eat. There will be nothing left over for clothes, entertainment, savings or anything else. That is a sad way to have to live. I don’t know how I’m going to make it. The City ought to be ashamed of themselves for treating their employees this way. I wonder if they will think about us when they sit down at their rich dinner tables and eat their steaks or put on their $500 suits. Hell bound, ALL of them.

        • You are right. My comprehension skills obviously need a make over. Defensive chip? Yea maybe. I make a decent living. I do not want to be rich. I do not want to keep eating the same crap the city feeds the rest of the masses.
          As for posts being not published, I have found that if you email back and for with the site moderator, you might see where he is coming from.
          Trust me, I had chili for lunch. you don;t want anything from my posterior. smile (That was a joke. I actually had a 1/2 salad & Sandwich.)

  8. I agree with Pierluigi most of the time. I disagree with him some of the time. But I ALWAYS appreciate that he is interested in finding out what the people think.
    That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say about my D9 ‘representative’, Donald Rocha.

  9. When the Office of Economic Development is mentioned all I can think of are “tax subsidized give aways” that are bad financial decissions. And the enormous budget outlaw to retain those over paid Bozos and Bozettes.

    Did “Wrightspeed” recieve any “taxpayer subsidies”? If yes, how much?

    David S. Wall

  10. ” This is an interesting blog, but it’s next to impossible to find a constructive comment that has any potential of making our city a better place. “

    I very much disagree with Jon’s comment about the lack of SJI’s constructive comments which shows he misunderstands the purpose of political blog discussions

    Why do you find suggesting that the city cut “nice to have” but not required and unnecessary city Tax spending not constructive comments like

    – stop spending 10’s millions on non government tax subsidies given mostly for political paybacks not for benefit of public or that does not increase tax revenue or jobs when essential services are badly under funded

    – eliminating city’s Cultural Affairs and Economic Development offices

    – reducing 100’s of highly paid unnecessary managers and supervisors not needed for smaller number of city employees rather than layoff the lower paid workers delivering services,

    – actually using city’s competitive bidding policy and authority in city charter to contract out city services defined where employees and outside contractors competitively bid on city work like airport policing, fire, park maintenance, office supplies warehousing, vehicle maintenance, city tax and fee billing, call center etc that could significantly lower city costs

    – consolidate of city departments back to only those defined in ” The following Charter departments are hereby established: A Police Department, a Fire Department, a Public Works Department, a Parks and Recreation Department, a Personnel Department, a Planning Department, an Airport Department and a Library Department. ”  saving 10’s millions in unnecessary admin costs

    Reducing or eliminating spending for most or all non essential services, excess management or departments to properly fund charter defined essential city departments seem not only reasonable in 10th year of budget crisis but the Council and City Manager have an charter and legal obligation to do if they were doing their duties for the public not special interest political groups and ego projects they have been funding with our taxes

    Rightous anger maybe uncomfortable for those defending the special interest non essential wasteful spending that does not benefit the public but is justified for taxpayers if it ” has as its source the desire for the well-being of all ” 

    Yes occasionally a few get carried away with angry or accussatory comments mostly from frustration that Council restricts to 1 or 2 minutes their free speech and ignores their well meaning comments at city public meetings since the decision or “ deal was done “ in violation of the Brown Act was made before the meeting and Council does not want to listen to people as they are required to before making public decisions

    The residents should in a respectful but clear manner discuss with the Council, City Manager and Department Heads at the community budget meeting and at Council budget meetings:

    1) Why are they continuing to spend our taxes on non essential services and projects not authorized by city charter or state constitution when they are not properly funding essential city services ?

    2) Why are these non charter non essential services not clearly shown in city budget documents but hidden so the residents and taxpayers either can not find spending or it is very difficult to total taxes spent for non essential services ?

    3) How is does hiding millions in city tax spending meet the charter and city’s open transparent city government requirement for public accountability for tax spending ?

    4) Council and City Managers have city charter and state defined responsibilities and duties to properly fund essential city services, can they explain how they are fulfilling that responsibility and providing full accountability to public when they hide funding non essential services and projects and do not properly charter defined essential city services ?

    .

    Personally I find Pierluigi’s public discussion of city issues very refreshing in a city where for years the Councils and City Managers play this well known game where they talk about listening to people but they do what they already decided to do before the public meeting and mostly ignore public’s expressed priorities and comments which is why we are in budget deficit

  11. Ha yea I’ve noticed. Been in san jose my whole life and everything is falling apart. The roads are terrible, and I agree steve0 the parks are all starting to look like crap. This whole city is going down the crapper BUT at least we are spending tax money on getting a Ballpark. Thanks Pier and Chuck

    • Mike,

      Given the ever-dwindling array of city services, SJ is ever so appropriate for those pioneer types who choose to live off of the grid. 

      Such a contrast – on the one hand, weed-filled and overgrown parks, a paucity of street lights, and potholed roads reminiscent of a war zone versus a multi-billion dollar, sterile wasteland known as downtown.

      Priorities, priorities… tsk, tsk.

  12. Any news about roads?

    Our street is crumbling. I wrote to the road dept and he said it is too expensive to pave our street as it is in “poor” condition…too expensive to fix poor roads. Instead he said they pave some fair condition roads..much cheaper per mile.

    Our street is returning to gravel and weeds.

    Almaden country club street!

    Thanks for all you do to inform us.

    Ps get rid of Rda, Econ dev, etc etc

  13. 1st, Great to see my son who’s been in LA going college for the last 2 years be the first to post on this topic – let’s hear it for community involvement!

    2nd-Pierluigi, I very much appreciate you giving us a way to give input without attending a meeting.  I have a lot of meetings including vollunteer boards and business travel, so sitting and listening to 70 other people talk about which sacred cow they want saves before I get my 3 minutes is an experience I’d rather avoid.

    3rd (my 2 cents).  I agree I’d have loved to see a full list of “services” we could cut.  I’m tired of paying for public art I would not put in my basement.  I’m tired of paying for marathons.  I’m tired of paying for the mismanagement of the Heritage Plaza.  I’m tired of paying for street banners instead of pot hole repairs.  I’m tired of the City deciding it needs to fund school programs (I already pay for schools).  I’m tired of paying for benefits and retirement packages that are better than what 75% of the people paying for them make (be clear, if a private company used the same accounting for pensions that city and state governments can use the CFO would go to jail,  We have to fund and insure our pension committments, which is why almost no private companies use definied benefit packages anymore).  There is a HUGE list of places to trim, cut and slash before deciding not to fund polics detectives to investigate non-violent propety crimes.

    And I am tired of us bending over backwards to get 20 employee companies to move to San Jose while making is dang near impossible for existing small businesses to operate.  Do we need to give $1 million to PF Chang while we make a local owner run through 4 years of zoning and permit hoops to open their restaurant?  Do we need to make the parking meters switch to $20 event prices 3 hours before a game when I would like to stop by Poor House Bistro for a quick dinner and then get home to watch the Sharks before the crowds hit?  My goodness, City Hall is the only building in America that could not get a Starbucks to move in because of the “Labor Peace” hoops you required. 

    Make it easy for ANY business to open and operate within the commercial zones.  Tell the city anything they do to make it harder for a customer to spend a dollar in San Jose needs to be approved by council vote instead if making every new business have to seek out council support in order to get through the hoops in under 2 years.  And make every city employee spend at least 5 years running their own business before they get to make decisions that financially impact residents and businesses.

    Now, for balance after my rant…I have found many departments in the city working their tails off to deliver great service.  Emails to streets and traffic get replies with quick updates on fixing signal loops at broken traffic lights.  The police working neighborhood beats are very polite and helpful.  The problem is that given the incentives and the contracts there is dang near no way to get rid of the weak/bad employees like Cops watching construction jobs for traffic safety who don’t actually direct cars to the detour but instead chat with buddies in the next car or on their cell phones or Event coordinators who don’t realize the Marathon reoute actually blocks all entrances and exits from a neighborhood and so wedding guests will have to plan to get to the church 2 hours before the ceremony or an hour after.  And so every few decades we get to a crisis and tax payers use the only tool they have (budget cuts) to beat all their frustrations out of the system.  To cut the incompetent inspector who doesn’t realize residential and commercial kitchens have different codes we have to try and strip the bulk of the budget from the building department so you can fire everyone and then we can hope you’ll only hire back the good ones when funds are available.  In the mean time some VERY good, hard working people get hurt.  The union members who are defending the benefits they negotiated (usually with the people they elected) need to realize that the biggest threat they face are their incompetent peers who inspire the majority to occasionally rise up use a machette when a scalple would have worked early on.

    • Good post.
      Here are my favorite parts:
          1) “…make every city employee spend at least 5 years running their own business before they get to make decisions that financially impact residents and businesses.”
          Here here. Government employees seem to have a real sense of entitlement about their jobs- a self righteous belief, reinforced by their liberal newspapers, TVs, Congressmen, Senators, and President that somebody owes them the comfortable living they enjoy. Many are totally spoiled and
      have never known a life other than that of the safe, secure 9-5 employee. They could use a little comeuppance. Let them walk in the shoes of their evil employer or their idiot supervisor they’re constantly blaming for their own poor performance. Let ‘em find out just how impossible it is to run a Department, let alone a City full of spoiled, griping employees.

        2) “I’m tired of paying for benefit and retirement packages that are better than what 75% of the people paying for them make…”
        Precisely. And there’s another fundamental difference. The rest of us don’t enjoy the advantage of legally forcing people to pay us no matter what we demand. If City Employee X feels I’m charging too much for my goods or service he doesn’t have to do business with me. Scott Walker has it exactly right. The only way to keep these public employees from ripping us off is to bust up their unions thereby compelling them to compete in the same economy that the rest of us live in.

      • Ill thnk about what your saying when im retired at the age of 50 collecting my 75% and drinking Mi Tai’s on the beach of Hawaii! Jealous? Dont cry to us about making a wrong career choice!

      • “Here here. Government employees seem to have a real sense of entitlement about their jobs- a self righteous belief, reinforced by their liberal newspapers, TVs, Congressmen, Senators, and President that somebody owes them the comfortable living they enjoy. Many are totally spoiled and
        have never known a life other than that of the safe, secure 9-5 employee. They could use a little comeuppance. Let them walk in the shoes of their evil employer or their idiot supervisor they’re constantly blaming for their own poor performance. Let ‘em find out just how impossible it is to run a Department, let alone a City full of spoiled, griping employees.”

        Jealous, jealous, jealous. You probably flip hamburgers for a living.

    • Dan,

      Thanks for writing and especially your insights since you are a long time San Jose resident.  We have lots to do and in some cases just, do no harm.

      Stay well.

      Pierluigi

  14. In the last couple of years I had the opputunity to see off hand how and the process of City Services are outscourced. It is not easy to see a Community, Youth Center or a Senior Center close or change the type of service. To witness off hand all the wonderful memories, programs and services that took years to estbalish be handed over to an outside agency.
    Looking back I can see that in some cases it helps the city in many cost savings. As I attended the first budget meeting, I was shocked that 5 of the remaining 10 centers were subject to closure. These 10 Centers represent the 10 Elected Councilmembers. It took several years to consolidate all the neighborhood and community centers – how deep does the cut have to go until the tree falls over.
    Sooo brings me to ask if the 5 Main Community Centers Close can we propose for 5 of the Council Offices and the elected officials be cut as well?

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