A phone survey found that San Jose residents wouldn’t mind paying more taxes if it improved public safety and city services that have been cut in recent years.
City-hired firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates conducted the multilingual phone survey over a weeklong period last month, dialing up 908 residents older than 18 to get an idea of the public’s attitude toward tax hikes. City leaders will hear a report of those findings at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Most survey respondents said they’d support restoring city salaries if there was enough in the budget to do so. A high priority, though, was increasing pay for senior officers to improve retention and hiring more officers overall to make the city safer.
If the polling numbers remain consistent, the city could successfully pass some new taxes in 2014, the survey says. Sixty-four percent of voters said they’d support a new sales tax; 70 percent would OK a quarter-percent tax increase; and 57 percent a half-percent increase.
Sixty-three percent of voters said they’d put their names behind a measure to up an existing city business tax and continue it indefinitely, increasing it every year to adjust for inflation. Seventy-two percent wouldn’t mind extending a library parcel tax.
Here you can read the entire budget priorities survey report.
Also on the San Jose City Council Agenda for February 12, 2013:
• Team San Jose, the nonprofit that manages San Jose’s event and entertainment venues, missed one of its goals for the year but wants city officials to hand over a $350,00 bonus anyway. The company’s contract with the city says Team San Jose gets the bonus if it meets 90 percent of its goals, which covers performance and hotel bookings. Team San Jose only reached 84 percent of its goal on performances.
Team San Jose says circumstances out of its control led to below-bonus metrics and that the city should take that into consideration. The group’s revenue grew to $19 million, which is $7 million more than projected. There were also 239,848 hotel rooms booked—up 10 percent from the prior fiscal year. The city’s tourism fund grew another $2.7 million.
Councilmembers Sam Liccardo and Pete Constant noted these positives and put forward an idea to reimburse Team San Jose for expenses in the amount of $350,000, which would in affect be the same as awarding the bonuses.
• Councilmembers Ash Kalra, Xavier Campos, Kansen Chu and Don Rocha want to add San Jose to San Francisco’s amicus brief going before the Supreme Court in support of gay marriage.
In an interview with San Jose Inside last week, Kalra said the memo has nothing to do with Reed’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
“This has nothing to do with the mayor,” Kalra said. “I can’t help the fact that we have a mayor who is against marriage equality. But it has nothing to do with him. It’s about making a statement that makes it very clear that we believe in equality for all.”
• Five people, including an incumbent, applied for two vacancies on the city’s Elections Commission. The applicants include: Research assistant/Parks Commissioner Jose Castro Jr., retired poet Doris Frank-Liu, stay-at-home dad Chris Peacock, retired engineer/incumbent Michael Smith and CPA Michael Whittington. Candidates require six votes from the council to serve on the commission, which is tasked to deal with election and ethics complaints.
• The council will consider a $150,000 contract with Chevron to have the energy giant audit city facilities to pinpoint ways to save energy.
• The city plans to wave traffic impact fees for some major developments in north San Jose to encourage expansion. A few companies took the bait: Cisco Systems, Samsung Semiconductor and Ellis Partners all took advantage of the price break to go ahead with construction that could turn into $400 million of new investment in the area. But lessening the tax, which would pay to expand roadways and otherwise prepare the city for the added traffic these developments bring, will cost the city more than $2 million. The council will hear an update about the fee discount and how the city will manage the immediate loss.
• A project to repair public walkways and parking lots will cost $260,000 for another year. The council will decide whether to award the contract to Wattis Construction Co.
WHAT: San Jose City Council meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: Office of the City Clerk, 408.535.1260