Pete Constant

Pete Constant

Posts by Pete Constant

Got Milk? Maybe Not in San Jose.

UPDATE: The proposed “soda ban” did not make it out of committee Wednesday.—Editor

What’s the most pressing issue facing the City of San Jose? Is it following through on pension reform to reduce unsustainable sky-high pension liabilities? Paving our streets? Hiring more police officers? Restoring library hours? Unfortunately, some at City Hall believe that telling you what you can and can’t drink trumps all of these other pressing concerns. Today a City Council committee will discuss a proposed ban on “sugary drinks” at all city properties and all city events. Just what is classified as a “sugary drink,” you ask? The answer may surprise you.

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Will San Jose Voters Finally Get a Say on Pension Costs?

Putting a pension reform measure on the June ballot is critical to restoring the fiscal well-being of our city. Whether the projection of future annual pension costs are $300 million, $400 million or $650 million, we know for a fact that these costs have more than tripled in just ten years, going from $73 million in Fiscal Year 2001-2002 to $245 million this year. Please join me in supporting the retirement reform measure on today’s council agenda.

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Taxpayers and Residents Must Become the Largest Special Interest

During my first four years on the San José City Council, I have been lobbied and visited by many who hope to influence the decisions that I make as a councilmember. There seems to be an endless line of special interests that form to ensure that I know their concerns. This is particularly so during budget negotiations when everyone thinks that the cuts are necessary, but that their project, program or need is the exception to the rule.

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Prioritizing City Services

The City of San José is facing yet another year of budget deficits. The projected deficit for FY 2010-2011 is over $100 million. We have cut the fat out of our budget and have laid off City and Redevelopment Agency employees. Our situation has been further exacerbated by the terrible job the state legislature did of closing their deficit by taking funding from local municipalities. Unfortunately for the City, we cannot do the same. We must make difficult decisions and have the courage to change our approach to budgeting.

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Give the System a Chance to Work

By now I am sure you have heard, seen or read about the recent allegations of excessive use of force against four San José police officers. I know that many community members are outraged and demanding answers from the Police Department and the City Council. As a former San José police officer, I find myself in a unique position.

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The Viewing of Pornography in Public Libraries is a Problem

Over a year ago, an ABC 7 News I-Team report exposed San José’s failure to protect children from pornography and those who would openly view pornographic material in their presence. The investigation revealed that there have been a number of individuals arrested for viewing child pornography in libraries, and still others have been arrested for performing lewd acts such as masturbating in public while viewing pornographic material. Please take the time to see the reports here and here.

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Restoring Balance to City Hall

In life, many events occur simply to maintain the balance of nature. No matter what disturbances may influence nature, nature always seeks to return to equilibrium. In physics, balance is possible only when a body is stable, that is, with equal forces influencing it from opposing sides. In economics, financial markets work best when they have achieved equilibrium.

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