In a sign that the city of San Jose has no immediate plans to aggressively add to its workforce, an item on Tuesday’s City Council agenda suggests permanently eliminating 12 positions and adding a new job: Risk manager. Also on Tuesday, the city plans to accept an audit of the police department that says urgent reform is needed regarding the secondary employment of officers. Discussion on the city’s top five priorities in its Economic Strategy Workplan have been deferred to next week.
A memo from Kim Walesh, the city’s director of Economic Development, which will be taken up April 24, suggests that staff should spend 80 percent of its time focusing on the following five priorities:
1. “Work at the speed of business on major development projects that can have a measurable impact on job creation or revenues within the next l8 month [sic].”
2. “Adopt Sign Code Ordinance Update within 90 days.”
3. “Complete the Airport competitiveness plan and execute the air service strategy to bring additional domestic and international carriers in partnership with the Silicon Valley business community.”
4. “Pursue plans to develop soccer and baseball stadiums.”
5. “Develop an Implementation Plan to facilitate the goals of the Envision 2040 General Plan.”
The police audit, which was presented to the Public Safety, Finance and Strategic Support Committee on Mar. 15, raised eyebrows last month when city auditor Sharon Erickson’s report called for urgent reform. The report states that until recently the department had little accountability in its oversight and many officers were abusing the program. (This is not the audit we wrote about on Friday.)
“The secondary employment program has lacked substantive management oversight until very recently,” Erickson’s report states. “This, combined with problems identified during the audit as well as the program’s highly decentralized system of coordination, results in a culture susceptible to the risks of fraud, conflicts of interest, and inequity. The audit identified specific problems (including overlaps in reported time and long working hours) that create risk for the Department and the public and, therefore, add urgency to reforming and gaining control of the program. Taken as a whole, these problems warrant significant reform by the Police Department and a reconsideration of the purpose and priorities of the program.”
Police officers are believed to have earned a total of $6.1 million in secondary employment last year. The report also notes that the SJPD has not conducted ethics training since 2002.
Other items on the council agenda include: granting the city manager authority to form agreements with the county on the collection of hazardous waste; extending the contract with the San Jose Sports Authority through June 30, 2015, which retroactively includes $338,073 for this fiscal year; and beginning the process of accepting a grant to make improvements at the South Bay Water Recycling facility.
Click to read the San Jose City Council Agenda for April 17, 2012.