Council to Discuss Smoking, Bike Lanes

Starting May 25, it could be against the law in San Jose to smoke a cigarette while sitting in a bar’s outdoor patio, standing outside of one’s apartment door or waiting in line.

On Tuesday, the City Council plans to vote on expanding restrictions on where people can smoke, and many at City Hall believe the item will pass with little resistance. According to Joseph Okpaku, Councilmember Ash Kalra’s chief of staff, the new ban would go into effect 45 days after the vote.

The council will also discuss installing bike lanes on downtown streets to work toward reaching goals for the Envision San Jose 2040 plan. The action would install eight miles of new bike lanes.

Discussion of an audit of the San Jose Police Department has been deferred to April 17. The report sheds light on a significant ethical problem for the department regarding officers taking on outside employment.

The audit has “30 recommendations—some of which may require the Police Department to meet and confer with the labor union—to address those problems.”

According to the report, last year “sworn personnel earned at least $6.1 million in supplemental income from uniformed pay jobs alone.”

Information provided by SJPD for the audit could not even be assured to be accurate, the report adds, stating that the “problems warrant significant reform.

“Various rules that are critical to sufficiently overseeing the program were not enforced including: tracking of pay job hours; logging onto to the Department’s CAD system from pay jobs; tracking vehicle use; Department-established pay rates for secondary employment; and the prohibitions against the use of sick and disability leave on the same days as secondary employment hours were worked.

“Ethics training, which has not been provided since 2002, should be reinstituted as soon as possible.”

We’ll be following up on this story next week.

Also on Tuesday, the council is expected to approve the Successor Agency budget from February through June of this year.

Click to read the full City Council Agenda for April 10, 2012.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

14 Comments

  1. Who titled this article?
    Bike lanes and smoking or mismanagement at city hall?

    “The report sheds light on a significant ethical problem for the department regarding officers taking on outside employment.”

    So pay and pensions are unsustainable yet policemen still have to work a second job???

    What do you think these cops are going to do if we don’t allow them to support their families through legal means?

    Obviously if they were compensated adequately , they wouldn’t have to spend all their off days working second jobs.

    I would hate to have to work two jobs, I don’t know about you all.

    Personally, I’m ready to hire my own policeman just to park on my street all day now that I know I can. My neighbors are ready to chip in too!

  2. LOL….Professor:  They dont care until it happens to them.  Its no longer the reality of a living wage. The issue at hand is that the City Council, Mayor and City Manager are willing to roll the dice.  They are willing to sacrifice people like you in order to further an agenda.  What agenda, you ask?  We still have no idea.
      The numbers you put up are stark reality.  The public has no idea.  The scenarios you described are also reality.  The public has no idea.  The fact that the Mayor has a close relative as Editor for the San Jose Mercury News. The public has no idea.  The fact that San Jose Bailed the Merc out of bankruptcy.  The public has no idea.  The fact that Mayor Reed went on the air, stating that a Firefighter could retire at 90% of their salary after serving 15 years (a bald-face lie).  The public has no idea.  The fact that Mayor Reed and his henchmen published a bloated $650 million threat (also a bald-face lie).  The public has no idea.  The fact that Pete Constant is receiving the very benefits from the City he is trying to keep others from getting when disabled.  The public has no idea.  The fact that the new rules for disability will deny disability to a Police officer shot and paralyzed on duty.  The public has no idea.
      The list could continue for many pages….but whats the point?

    • This mayor is a nightmare.  He has brought crooked Chicago politics to the once fine city of San Jose. 

      Pete Constant is a nasty disgusting hypocrite, who is an abomination of politics ‘do as I say, not as I do’. 

      The mercury news is a joke.  You ever notice how they will print every crime of every other city except for San Jose.  I recall a night a few months back where three people were shot (all lived) and two or three people stabbed.  Crazy violent night.  Not a word was mention in the Merc.  But I did see an article about a guy in East Palo Alto who had been shot in the foot.  Nothing about San Jose and its violent night in the so called “San Jose” Mecury news. This happens regularly.  Why?  Because the mercury is being controlled by the City in some way shape or form, and is being told not to paint the City as the violent place it really is.  Let the citizens think theres no crime here and the cops don’t do anything but hang around starbucks.  Oh and when the cops really are needed they just shoot people at random and make illegal arrests. 

      What a disgusting place this once great city has become.

    • Hey watchdog,

      I’m kind of lost myself.  Here’s a quick reality check..

      Why isn’t the city collecting fee’s at all the parks?  Not that it’s a huge amount of money, but Alum Rock Park hasn’t been collecting fee’s all year long.

      I always learned if you’re broke, you hustle (not in a, oh I’m going to rip people off sense, I’ve done everything from deliver papers to shining shoes)

      I think there’s use fee’s we should be collecting that we aren’t. My question is why aren’t we hustling so you guys don’t have to get your salaries/pensions cut?

      My theory is that the “dried up revenue” and “fiscal emergency” was engineered.  We can not charge park use fee’s, yet we magically find a $10m surplus so PLO can open that library that his citizens are ready to vote him out over?

      Really odd.

  3. Speaking of a livable wage.

    My buddy is a Journeyman Union Carpenter/Drywall.  He makes $38 dollars per hour, Plus his retirement, health care, are paid for.  Thats around $6080 before taxes plus benefits.  It took him 4 years to get to top step.

    San Jose cops make about $50 dollars per hour (top step).  In June they will be paying approx. 22% of every dollar they make before taxes into their retirement.  They pay on average $200 dollars bi-weekly for their healthcare.  They pay approximately 200 dollars per month for their union dues.  A top step SJPD Cop makes about $5640 before taxes, and it takes 7 years to reach top step.

    Thats $440 dollars less per month than a union Carpenter/Drywall hanger. 

    A top step Union electricians make around $55 dollars per hour plus benefits.  That about $8800 dollars per month before taxes. 

    Thats $3160 less per month than a union electrician currently.  (Plumbers, and HVAC guys make around the same amount as electricians)

    If Chuck Reed’s Ballot goes into effect a top step Cop will be making $50 dollars per hour and paying .44% into their retirement.  minus $400+ dollars in health care premiums, and $200 dollars in union dues.  That leaves around $3880 per month before taxes. 

    That around $5000 dollars less per month than a union electrician. 

    So ask yourself this:  Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a Cop in San Jose?  You can make thousands more per month without wearing a bullet proof vest and being grilled in court by some attorney.  You can forget the graveyard shift, and working Holidays and weekends.  You can forget the fights and danger and pissed off angry crooks who like to run their mouths.  You can forget the risk of a civil lawsuit if you screw up at work.  You can forget the nasty Domestic violence call where the kids are crying and momma is defending her husband who just broke her nose and eye socket, and then he wants to fight you in front of his kids.  You can forget the bloody spit in you face cause someone doesn’t want to go to jail.  You can forget all the Know-it-alls who will second guess your every move, God forbid you have to end someones life.  You can forget the nasty vehicle crash that kills the mother of three, because some idiot decided to drive drunk without a license.  You can forget all the dead bodies and murder scenes and the nightmares that come with them. 

    The reality is,,,,,,,,,it isn’t worth it.

    • > That around $5000 dollars less per month than a union electrician. 

      > So ask yourself this:  Why would anyone in their right mind want to be a Cop in San Jose?

      A. Cops don’t know anything about electrical wiring.

      B. The electrician’s union won’t let any more people be electicians.

      That wasn’t so hard to explain, was it.

      • Why do you dodge the point Lou?

        I guarantee you it is way harder to become a SJPD cop than a union electrician.  Background check, Psych exam, Physical agility, written test, oral board, college education.  What do you need to join the electrical union as an apprentice?  Not much, i don’t think you even need a HS diploma.  Normally SJPD will get around 3000 applicants for 30-50 positions and can’t find enough qualified people out of those 3000. 

        “Cops don’t know anything about electrical wiring.” True Lou!
        And Electricians don’t know much about plumbing.  Electricians also don’t know much about case law, and the Penal Code or the Health and Safety Code, or the Municipal code, or the California Vehicle code, laws of arrest Etc……

        “The electrician’s union won’t let any more people be electricians.” Not true Lou!
        There may not be very many companies hiring apprentices by there is always people joining.

        I’ll make it simple for you Lou, since you claim to be a caveman who believes the earth is flat.

        What incentive is there to be a policeman in San Jose especially now that the pensions are going away?  You can make way more money pounding nails or running wire with a lot less stress than being a cop.  Or even better you can take your masters degree and get a job at a high tech company and make 180k per year with stock options.

        • > What incentive is there to be a policeman in San Jose especially now that the pensions are going away?  You can make way more money pounding nails or running wire with a lot less stress than being a cop.  Or even better you can take your masters degree and get a job at a high tech company and make 180k per year with stock options.

          Dear Econ Professor:

          This is how the marvelous and efficient market system balances labor resources.

          If there are too many cops and not enough nail pounders, the market bids up the price of nail pounders and bids down the price of cops.

          If cops are unhappy with their wages and benefits, by all means, they should respond to society’s incentives and offer their nail pounding skills to eager and grateful employers.

    • Ya, the job can twist cops pretty badly.  Why, just 2 weeks ago I had an old friend stop by. 

      I hadn’t seen him in years, and he had become a cop.  He told me how a guy murdered his friend, and his friends mom.  How much it infuriated him.

      So he says he got in touch with a corrections officer up at Pelican Bay.  He bribed the officer to give the leader of the Aryan brotherhood money to rape this guy, “SO HE CAN BEG FOR HIS MOMMY AS SOME BIG, WHITE, TATTOOED SKINHEAD REAMS HIM EVERY NIGHT FROM BEHIND”

      I saw the madness in his eyes. The job totally changed this man into something twisted.  I thought meth was damaging to a personality, seems like being a cop can be just as bad.

  4. A few questions about these new bike lanes…
    —will the lanes be smoothly paved, or must bicyclists suffer like the rest of us?
    —will cigarette smoking be allowed within the lanes, or will bicyclists be protected from secondhand smoke?
    —will bums be allowed set up shop in the bike lanes and panhandle?
    —will the lanes be adequately marked, including prominent signage in Vietnamese?
    —will the lanes be straight and narrow, or will they be designed to accommodate our growing population of medicinal marijuana patients?
    —will the use of much-despised, otherwise-banned plastic bags be okayed for rainy day shoe protection?
    —will bicycling busboys have amnesty from immigration enforcement?
    —have parts of the proposed routes been previously given away to Lew Wolff, and if so, how much will it cost the city to buy them back?
    —how many text characters will drivers be allowed to type while swerving into bike lanes?
    —will our police officers be allowed to pursue lawbreaking bike riders, or have such pursuits been deemed too dangerous?
    —and lastly, is the inevitable poor upkeep and fading of lane markings destined to be blamed on budget problems caused by greedy public employees?

  5. You know, I quit smoking for 2 solid years.  Down side, I got really fat (as everyone could see from the pictures taken around the time of my campaign)

    Losing a race takes its toll on you, as well as checking ID’s at the back door of a bar where EVERYONE smokes.

    Guess who’s last name means “Courtesy” in Italian and is smoking cigarettes again.. <—This guy.

    I’m watching the monthly drain on my money, which has cut into my activities.  Not that it matters much, life is either watch kids or work these days, but I haven’t really gone to the movies as much as I did when I was not smoking.

    Another part of the reason I restarted was one particular customer made it a habit to blow smoke in my face after I quit.  He wouldn’t show up often, but when he did he’d chat me up and blow it right in my face.  After a few months of this I started craving again, and before you knew it I was smoking like a train again.

    Customers generally don’t care, even if you put a sign up.

    While some folks might see this as YANL (yet another nanny law) I see this as something hugely beneficial for other nicotine addicts like myself.

    Oh and I agree with Plain Truth up there.  When I stop working nights at 7b in September, we would love to have a couple of off-duties working doorman.  To me, it’s better to have someone trained in the appropriate use of force and law enforcement interaction, than someone who isn’t.  My SJPD friends tell me bouncer/doorman jobs are strictly forbidden.

    Also, I know police in the past have worked as “Security” guards at various places.  The Safeway on Almaden and Camden used to have a uniformed officer patrolling.  He wasn’t on duty, but since it wasn’t a problem at the time, he’d wear his full uniform.  I don’t have a problem with that.

  6. Its a disgusting display of spiteful, destructive politics.  The Mayor has had an axe to grind for many years.  Look at his record in San Diego….then look at the shape of San Diego Police and Fire.  They have become a training ground to better positions.  Jumost like San Jose will become.
      Confusion aside, until the East side of San Jose, the South side of San Jose, the middle Class and the Poorest people in San Jose vote….Almaden Valley, Willow Glen and the Corporate slime will run San Jose.  The ones who need the improvements, the middle class Firefighter and Police Officer losing their homes, will continue to take the financial pounding by these criminals until they cannot (or will not) take anymore.  Unless we can mobilize the Hispanic population, the middle class and the struggling homeowners to vote, we are at the mercy of these special interests. 
      The truth isnt somewhere in the middle on this subject, its completely missing.

  7. A. Cops don’t know anything about electrical wiring.

    B. The electrician’s union won’t let any more people be electicians.

    That wasn’t so hard to explain, was it.

      Got news for you neanderthal……most cops have to know electrical wiring, construction, concrete….etc just to make ends meet.

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