Mayor Reed Not Interested in Yeager’s ‘Deal’ on Healthy Kids Funding

Call it a preemptive strike but Ken Yeager deserves a little credit for trying to get something while knowing he’d probably get nothing. Last week, the president of the county Board of Supervisors sent a letter to San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and the City Council proposing a deal on how to continue funding the Santa Clara Healthy Kids Program.

San Jose currently shells out $2 million a year to provide health and dental care for 2,000 kids in the area, while the county spends $3 million a year to cover 3,000 kids.

In his letter, Yeager suggested the city gradually draw down its Healthy Kids funding over the next three years: $2 million this coming fiscal year, $1.5 million for 2014-15, and $500,000 for 2015-16. From there, the county would take over the whole program while trying to expand its reach.

“Should the city agree to such a proposal, I will request that the Board of Supervisors fund the balance of the cost of insurance premiums for San Jose children in each of the next three fiscal years, as well as the full cost of insurance premiums for the following seven years that Measure A sales tax revenues are available,” Yeager wrote.

There’s just one problem. The city of San Jose has no obligation to continue making payments when it’s broke and the county just got a sales tax increase passed through Measure A.

“I don’t think we should keep funding it, because the county has gotten a lot more money out of the taxpayers,” Reed said in a phone interview Friday. “And we need to the money to do things, like (pay for) our police officers.

“The Children’s Health Initiative has always been important to me. I think it’s been money well spent by the city of San Jose. But the county has more money now.

Reed said he found the letter to be a little “unusual.”  He added: “They figured out that we need to phase this out. The timing of that, there’s a difference of opinion.”

The phase-out will likely begin in earnest in two weeks. The five-year forecast from City Manager Debra Figone’s office comes out no later than March 1, and the mayor’s budget message is due on March 8.

Yeager is in Sacramento on county business, according to his staff, and was unavailable for comment.

Read Supervisor Ken Yeager’s Health Kids Letter.

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

5 Comments

  1. Do any other municipalities, like Santa Clara or Sunnyvale, contribute to this?  If we’re the only city that does, then let our County taxes pay for it.

  2. Notice how Reed is trying to show the people that he is pro police, although it is sick and twisted. He wants to use the money saved for police service. HAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA What a crock!!!!!!!!  This man is beyond delusional its truly scary. The crime reports are out Mr Mayor, Ms Nguyen and the rest of the rag tag crew…. Guess what total crime is up 27%! Murder is up 15.4% Rape up 23.9% Robbery up 9.7% Aggravated assault (the driveby shootings and stabbings where the trauma centers save gangsters from death) up 9.5%! Burglaries up 23% and Auto theft up 71% !!!! What person with an IQ of 10 or higher would not get that crime is skyrocketing. This city government has sent this city on a course that will take decades to recover. Its done now! Hang on for a wild ride. The Reed backers will be telling you different for the next few months at the most. But by then it will have taken such a bad turn that even the other council will start looking to save themselves and distance themselves from this mad-man! It will all play out in true SJ political form. Already there are news sound bites of Pete Constant chiming in on ways to get more money to fund police and attempt to stop officers from fleeing the sinking ship…… Too late the ship has taken on too much water and will only be visible for a short time. What now Chuck? How will we get out of this? Perhaps with Measure B it will allow you to hire more cops! Even the new recruits in the academy know that their time here may be very short lived. What a total disaster.

  3. If we don’t have the money, we don’t have the money. One thing I know about Mayor Reed is that he does love and care about children and their well being. The County is charged with providing for the needs of the people, it now has the money, we don’t. The State also provides funding for children’s health care services too, but there is a limit to every budget. It’s just a fact of life.

    Any way, I’d rather the money that we do have goes toward public safety because that needs to be our top priority.

  4. Save it , nobody is buying that San Jose is Broke . Is it hiding money for Mayor Greeds pet projects ? Is it hiding money for a ball park that will never come ? is it hiding money to benefit Greed & his Developer Buddies ? is it stockpiling money to fight the 13 different lawsuits facing the City over Mayor Greeds Illegal Ballot Measures ?  Time will tell

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