Statement from San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed Regarding the Civil Grand Jury Report ‘Cities Must Rein in Unsustainable Employee Costs’
San Jose, Calif. The 2009-2010 Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury today released a 33-page report titled Cities Must Rein in Unsustainable Employee Costs that says, “Employee costs are escalating in the cities of Santa Clara County, revenues are not keeping pace with these increases and cities are cutting services.” The Grand Jury looked at rising wages, health insurance, pensions, and vacation, holiday, and sick leave and made recommendations to control costs.
The report is online here: CitiesMustReinInUnsustainableEmployeeCosts.pdf.
Mayor Chuck Reed released the following statement in response to the Grand Jury report:
I want to thank the Civil Grand Jury for thoroughly exploring how rising employee costs have negatively impacted the ability of San Jose and the other cities in our region to provide services. The Grand Jury is correct. The current system is unsustainable.
Over the past nine years, employee costs in San Jose have risen 64 percent while the city’s revenues have only gone up 18 percent. As a result, we have had to cut services to our residents and businesses year after year.
These out-of-control costs are why we can’t keep all of our libraries, community centers, and swimming pools open. These rising costs are why we can’t fill potholes, trim trees, or maintain sidewalks or landscaping to the level our citizens expect.
San Jose is facing a $118 million deficit in the year ahead and will have to close libraries and community centers and lay off hundreds of employees – including police officers and firefighters – unless we get concessions from our employee unions. Those concessions need to be ongoing, not just for a year or two, or else we will be facing the same difficult decisions next year.
I urge all San Jose residents make your voice heard as the City Council votes on this year’s budget. E-mail me at [email protected] and get involved.