City Approves Bond Financing for Convention Center

The San Jose McEnery Convention Center is in dire need of an upgrade to avoid losing business to rival venues in San Francisco and Santa Clara. The cost of just the most urgent improvement is $26.5 million. It’s money that the city doesn’t have—what the city does have is a $105 million deficit. On the other hand, the Convention Center brings in about $12.5 million to Downtown businesses, and this could be lost if no upgrade takes place.

The City Council tackled the problem last night, and voted unanimously to approve bond financing for a full-blown, $120 million Convention Center renovation. Two City Councilmembers, Ash Kalra and Pete Constant, were out of town during the vote.

Mayor Chuck Reed was among the first to recognize that the decision to approve bond funding was a gamble, but argued that, “the amount of risk we’re taking is less than the risk we take doing nothing.”

The bond funding is based on certain economic assumptions in uncertain times. If these assumptions and safeguards do not hold true, payments to bondholders will have to come out of the general fund.

For example, the assumption is that $88 million will be generated through the 4 percent hotel tax, but if that tax fails to generate the revenues, the city’s beleaguered general fund will be used to cover the difference. This could come at the expense of other vital services, like police and firefighters, education and libraries.

The City Council also approved $3.6 million in severance pay for the remaining staff members of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency in the event that the agency is closed. Another $2.1 million was approved for the Healthy Kids program.
Read More at The Mercury News.


  1. Our City is like a spoiled, high maintenance wife. Languishing comfortably at home, polishing up her own appearance, continually badgering her long suffering husband (the taxpayers) that he doesn’t earn enough money, yet somehow rationalizing her own out of control credit card spending.

  2. And we’re supposed to believe there is no money? And we’re also supposed to believe the money problems are solely because of City employees?
    This Mayor and Council have no credibility. And to make matters worse they put the airport guy in charge of the convention center expansion. Wow, has this guy pulled one over on the Council.
    This is the guy who “value engineered” out most of things that would make this a consumer friendly airport and now he plans to do the same thing with the convention center.
    It becomes more clear everyday that the Mayor and Council are just trying to squeeze every nickel they can out of their work force but they aren’t serious about really finding solutions to the financial disaster that THEY created.
    I am not a city employee or retiree but I am tired of those folks being blamed for something they did not cause. Spineless Mayors and Councilmembers are the cause of the problem and they seem incapable of really dealing with their mess.

  3. ” The bond funding is based on certain economic assumptions in uncertain times. If these assumptions and safeguards do not hold true, payments to bondholders will have to come out of the general fund.”

    “The bond funding is based on certain economic assumptions in uncertain times. If these assumptions and safeguards do not hold true, payments to bondholders will have to come out of the general fund.”

    San Jose City Council record of wasting millions taxes on downtown and having yearly budget deficit is 100% 

    Same good old boys and gals year after year vote to waste millions, more general fund. bond . capital and redevelopment taxes while building more underutilized public buildings downtown

    They are encouraged by politically powerful special interests that profit from no bid ( sports ) or insider favored contracts, union jobs, tax subsidized facilities and free or under market city paid services, city / RDA staff or improvements

    Public “gets it” that Council is wasting millions tax subsidies for ” money losing downtown ” 

    Good old boys and gals don’t care since they are rewarded by special interests and there is NO voter or taxpayer penalty or accountability for wasting our taxes and underfunding city services and city staff  

    City Employee Labor Unions are

    1) either ” Don’t Get It ”
    2) or are ” All right with Layoffs and Pay Cuts ” and City Service Reductions –

    caused by many millions general fund and City’s CREATIVE TAX REVENUEACCOUNTING – that DIVERTS 10’s millions taxes ( RDA, enterprise funds, capital project bonds ) or pays from General Fund wasted on most special interest economic development, community groups and downtown tax subsidies  

    Where did you think Tax Money came from for redevelopment, special or enterprise funds ?

  4. Of course.  More bonds to cover renovations… like SJC. While cops and teachers get pink slips.  Mayor (G)reed needs to rethink his position that employees are bankrupting San Jose.

  5. Big Big Big Mistake City Council….

    During these times of layoff’s and a massive deficit why would you do something like this?  This amounts to one of the worst moves council has pulled in the last few months. 

    To push for the further expansion of the Convention Center under the incompetent leadership of TEAM SAN JOSE. 

    Not a great track record to boast about, Now $30 Million in the hole with tax payers money, oh what lets change the terminology and call it 536 fund…. If it looks like a pig, smells like a pig, taste like bacon, then it’s a pig. 

    Special fund 536 is really your tax dollars no matter how you dress it up. 

    San Jose does not have a draw for large companies to hold their shows here.  What is there to do with the family after you have been at the Convention Center all day or week and your from Toledo Ohio? 

    Hmmmm?  Lets go to the Winchester Mystery House?  Valley Fair, which is partly in Santa Clara?  City Subsidized Santana Row?  Wait I know…  Lets go hang out at St. James Park and watch the hoeless guys drink and do drugs asa police cars drive by, or go to the San Jose Giants Game.  That was so fun, wow all of those aren’t worth seeing and do NOT bring in any tax revenue for the the City to support the expansion of the Convention Center. 

    San Jose is at best a second or even a third rate city.  San Jose will always be the “Half Assed” Kmart type of City, as there is bad management, there is nothing to do here, it is no longer the Capitol of Silicon Valley and never was. 

    San Jose only took credit from it’s neighbors Sunnyvale and Santa Clara and ripped off the title. 

    Is Lockheed in San Jose? NO!  Is Apple in San Jose, NO!  Is HP in San Jose, NO!  So where do they get the idea that San Jose is the Capitol of Silicon Valley? 

    All the damage has been done by TEAM SAN JOSE who has run off all the big shows by over pricing,changing the contracts and lying about everything. 

    The Convention Center is a “Dirty Pit.”  I was just at the Home Show this weekend there, only reason I went is because it was free with a coupon. 

    That place was dirty and very dingy, it’s the worst I have ever seen it.

    Lights were burned out, the A/C wasn’t working, or at least you couldn’t feel it if it was on. 

    There were smells of urine from the garage to and permeated throughout the building.  It did also smell of old rotting food in some areas. 

    Don’t get me started on how bad and dirty the bathrooms were. 

    I couldn’t find any Security people on duty other than the San Jose PD Reserve “Pay Jobbers” standing around with their hand in their pockets, one Officer reminded me of the King “Elvis” Presley, I think it was his Eye glasses that made me think that. 

    We’ll see how bad TEAM SAN JOSE screws this up… 

    As Dan Fenton is a Partner at Strategic Advisory Group, and again be a part of the Convention Center and sucking off the funds of the City and the Taxpayers.  Don’t believe me?  Just look below:

    San Jose Convention Center
    San Jose, CA  

    Components: Convention & Conference Center
    Project Value: $300 million

    SAG managed the renovation and expansion study of the San Jose Convention Center, representing the facility manager, convention and visitors bureau, and hotel community. The existing center offers 142,00 square feet of exhibit space and 50,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space.

    SAG began its role by researching the market and creating a customer-focused renovation and expansion program. Services continued with formulating a development strategy, analyzing master plan site issues, developing a conceptual design, estimating development costs, developing an organizational and management plan, and preparing a funding and financing plan. Following the creation of the strategies, SAG continued its management role, representing the client group in project design, development and financing. Following a failed voter referendum (by 2%) to fund the project, SAG created an alternative financing strategy that combined a unique Mello-Roos District with downtown redevelopment area tax increment financing.

    Have a LOOK:

    Pete must be out of town “Sport” fishing again… with a blind eye as he is a big TEAM SAN JOSE REP.

    Corruption at it’s finest!

    Old Frank.

      • Bugsy,

        Thank you Sir or Madam.  I know I could do a better job than the current Mayor.  I recognize corruption from my days growing up in Chicago, and working around the Unions there. 

        Once you have seen the real political “corruption” machine firsthand it’s easy to spot it anywhere else.

        Old Frank

  6. Say, this is a little off topic, but since the name was mentioned in this article I just could not resist.  Wasn’t there a big brouhaha about renaming the San Jose Airport and getting rid of the name “Norman Mineta”.  Lots of folks weighed in about how any landmarks should not be named after living persons. True.  So, then, what’s with this “McEnery” Convention Center?  And the “Diridon” train station?  Oh.  I forgot.  Those people are ‘special’ and exempt from such rules.  Rules are for the “little people”.

  7. >“The City Council also approved $3.6 million in severance pay for the remaining staff members of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency in the event that the agency is closed.”

    This group has spent years looting current and future taxpayers and doling out the proceeds to politically favorable enterprises, all the while siphoning off their own livelihoods.

    Under the fraud of “public benefit” they facilitated the outright theft from our middle class citizens and gave the fruits of their labor to the rich and well connected.

    Now we’re thanking them for their deeds with a severance package.

  8. This action can only be considered as laughable, given the state of SJ finances. 

    Yet another reason why I try damn hard to do all of my shopping beyond the city limits.  To starve the beast is the only way to kill off SJ politicans and their cohorts.

  9. Greg, I think it would be easier to cut the head off the snake…  This was an extremely “IDIOTIC” move on the part of “His High Ass” and the Council Jesters. 

    They go from one CORRUPTION COVER UP to another.  Wasting millions of tax dollars along the way. 

    Remember these numbers and statements made by the Mayor…. When the project takes a colossal dump! 

    And Old Frank Will be there saying , “I TOLD YOU SO!”

    The all mighty Mayor says, because he knows so much about EVERYTHING! 

    Here is what was said:

    “The renovation project will include $26 million for badly needed upgrades and allow the city to create a maintenance fund for future upkeep, he said.

    “The amount of risk we’re taking,” Reed said, “is less than the risk we take doing nothing.” When we can be shoveling money into Dan Fentons pockets.

    Of course there was “No opposition” among City Council members surfaced Tuesday. Councilmen Pete Constant and Ash Kalra were out of town on city business Sport Fishing and Body Surfing in the Baja Gulf, Mexico.

    Reed and others noted that hotel operators will not be footing the bill for the project. The bond financing is expected to be covered by an additional 0.4 percent hotel-room tax, which hotel property owners approved in 2009.

    The city will use two sets of books as they did with Team San Jose, totaling up to $150 million for the project. Of that, $30 million will pay for financing costs and a reserve fund as security for the bondholders. The hotel tax bond will generate $8 toward the $120 million project cost. A city lease-revenue bond will generate the balance of $32 million to be paid by the taxpayer.” 

    Old Frank

  10. Mr. Oliverio:

    In your past article, “We Pay Twice for Affordable Housing”

    Greg Howe says:
    “In examining the Capital and Special Funds, it appears that about 3/4 of a billion dollars goes directly to the airport.” “I truly think the Mayor and Council need to get more creative in unlocking the vast source of riches fenced into those two funds.”

    Oliverio replies:
    “State laws like Prop 218 do not allow transfers of money to the general fund.”

    San Jose City Memorandum dated March 11, 2011:
    “With respect to significant changes, Appendix A will be revised to (1) correct the total amount of paid from Airport funds to the City for City services using the City’s indirect cost methodology over 6 fiscal years ($59 million and not $41 million as set forth on page 43 of Appendix A”


    Side note: However, in the event CCFD special tax revenues fall below projections and there are insufficient funds in the RSR, the General Fund could bear some or all of the lease payments.

  11. Pretty funny I say.  We have an International airport with really no International flights.  Billions spent billions lost.  Why we cannot even have a real airport.  You can only fly in when Andy and Barny are in the tower.  They go home at 11.
        Now we want a convention center when we really have no conventions.  We have nothing to offer anyone in the city who visits.  We have no downtown activities and on weekends it’s dangerous. 
        But gosh darn were gonna build anyway and figure out a name for it.  Then were gonna surrround it with subsidised housing and were gonna live happily ever after.
        I have an idea…how about we invest city money for a future shortage of cash.  Stop the spending!

  12. Until SJ gets back on sound fiscal footing why can’t the city lease out the convention center to Costco or an indoor GoKart racing company?

  13. Is what got us where we are, today, and the public STILL lets him pull the wool over their eyes. First downtown, which wasted millions and was a big flop…and now the convention center. Yet, he still blames the employees. He doesn’t give a sh-t what he is doing to the employees and how he is going to ruin many lives and families. All I can say is what goes around comes around. What he and his minions do to others, they will get back. Karma. I wish I had a genie.

  14. You have got to be kidding!?! 120 million for a Convention Center when the City is in debt just about that same amount (give or take a couple of million). Just how for are your heads up your hind quarters, Chuckie and Council cronies? How can you have the gall to blame City employees for the Cities financial problems when you all pull stunts like this? You people get to keep your wages and benefits and never have to worry about paying your bills and mortgages, while hundreds of City employees are now on the Unemployment lines thanks to tards like you folks. You are actually going to allow Team Sam Jose to be in charge of that much money after they have already squandered millions of City tax dollars? Changing a few faces does nothing, TSJ is still the same bunch of monkeys that have no clue on how to run the circus; but Chuckie and the Council gang keep funding them and screwing City employees to try and foot that bill.  Pay off the City debt before you try to fix up the Convention Center, use the brains God gave you, don’t sit on them………….

      • This is true.  It will be sorry to see the MLK building go.  That building is a real historic place, it was a terrific learning ground for many.  Including City Council Members who went to High School locally and San Jose State and studied many hours at MLK.  To me it’s like burning down the long time family home intentionally.  A very sad thing to do for “GREED” 

        Old Frank

    • Jeffie,

      Nice post, I agree with your views as again TSJ is going to be in control of untold millions of dollars for this remodel.  I know TSJ has lost $20 million so far.  Wow, I’d just like to have a million to subsidize my retirement.  This news is horrible. 

      Old Frank

  15. The San Jose Mayor,City Council Motto and I’m only going to say this once everyone…

    Don’t do as I do, Just do as I say!


    Don’t question me, Do what I order you to do!

    Old Frank

  16. San Jose has for 2-3 decades electing the same good old boys and gals special interest politicians with different names to Mayor and Council

    Council year after year with no accountability or shame wastes more taxes on “tax losing downtown”  buildings, events and economic development subsidies

    Why because special interest benefits with labor jobs and high profits for developers

    Taxpayers lose because projects do not payback city with decent new jobs or increased city tax revenue that Council promises with each new project approval like $120 million for San Jose McWorthless Convention Center

  17. Things I’d like to see the mayor and council do.

    No more trips.  I’m sure Japan was very expensive (at least enough to pay for a major portion of a fireworks show)

    No more shopping for big budget projects. Voters would have ever approved of a $220m “pod” car solution for the airport.  When our budget is this devastated, I want to see 100% focus on now, not forward looking snake oil monorail. 

    Stop giving anything with “McEnery” in it money.

    Get downtown under control.  Do what it takes.  We spend so much money every weekend on babysitting drunks (that’s what it amounts too) Our safety force has been cut, don’t make it harder for the ones that are left.

    Work on bringing more dining downtown.  Opa! in Willow Glen should open up shop. Mini Gourmet should be downtown, Try and get a Denny’s downtown if you can. Shoot for more fine dining.  It’d be hot if we could get Mount Hamiltons Granview a sister restaurant on top of a tower.

    Also, get a drunk train together.  If there was a drunk train that 75% of the crowd in downtown hopped on at 2am, that’s 75% of the problem riding off on electric rails at 2am. Ask Budweiser if they’d want to vinyl it, and disco it out inside. Make it hip, something late night party goers want to get on to go home.

    The bar/club scene should start moving along the rail stops as well. Start moving venues to the fringes of downtown and reducing the number in downtown.  Japantown has it’s scene that I’m a part of.  Burbank has Red Stagg, Alex’s 49er, Long bar off Keyes has it’s own little divey scene.  East SJ has a few places, La Baron Rojo off McKee and Capitol. There are spots in every district where the rail stops, that wouldn’t be affected negatively if another venue or two popped up. 

    If you do have to open things up downtown, make sure a high portion of the floor is seating, not dancing. Also make sure there is a kitchen running the entire time the venue is open.  Any new venue downtown’s main focus should be dining.

    Downtown has too many bars to service downtown residents.

    • How fascinating that SJ can transfer the old City Hall, valued at $10 million, to the County in partial payment for an RDA debt obligation. 

      Gee whiz, every time someone asks about transferring money from the RDA or the capital budget to the general fund, our Councilwhores tell us it’s illegal to do so. 

      If one of them told me the sun would surely rise the next day, I wouldn’t believe him!

  18. City transferred the old City Hall at $10 million to RDA as part payment for RDA debt to Santa Clara County

    Isn’t it magical how Council / RDA Board can ” find ” $10 million dollars to pay off RDA debts

    So when RDA transfers $10 million to city ( not General Fund ) for old City Hall what will RDA’s $10 million be used for

    1) to settle State RDA audit for illegally paying City Council and city staff with RDA taxes

    2) keeping $10 million from Gov Brown’s RDA money grabb since RDA paid city $10 million but which will magically go to city improvements around Diridon Station ( baseball stadium ) that Lew Wolff won’t have to pay for to sweeten up his and San Jose local baseball owners partners sweetheart baseball deal

    3) another Mayor and Council hidden political payback maproject or if asked the Mayor magically ” find ” the $10 million dollars in 1 of city’s many hidden from public reserve funds

    4) to pay for some of millions in hidden city costs for the Council claimed $120 million Convention Center remodel like MLK demolition, city street and sidewalks, other Convention Center or downtown projects

    5) for Baseball Stadium project costs that city doesn’t have to go to voters for approval by city using city creative accounting and attorney legal opinions since city already has $10 million

    6) for $50 -100,000 bonuses for City Manager, her deputies and city’s Labor ” tell them no, city manager wants more givebacks ” Negotiators for doing great job of reducing city employee costs

    7) for you pick where Mayor and Council will hide or speed $10 million from RDA

    • RDA,

      Lots of good questions with no answers forthcoming from the Councilwhores.

      Meanwhile, avoid generating any taxes that will be paid to the City, directly or indirectly.  For your weekly shopping and any big ticket items, buy them in other cities or towns.

      Screw SJ politicians and management out of the budget they so willingly waste.

  19. 1)  Vacation sell-back eliminated for Contra Costa managers

    a) Stop – Sick Leave and Vacation Buybacks

    b) Stop Crediting Sick Leave and Vacation Buybacks towards total Final Pay for calculating pension

    for 300 top management employees ( Non – Union can be changed with just a vote ) and will negotiate with it’s unions to do the same

    ” While Tuesday’s decision involved only nonunion managers, the board’s vote delivered an unmistakable message to its unions: Vacation sell-back is on the chopping block.

    Not every ( CC ) county employee is eligible for the perk. It’s largely reserved for managers and professional staffers, including those represented by unions such as the deputy district attorneys.”

    2) City Council can immediately save $2-4 million General Fund budget by eliminated Vacation and Sick Leave buy back for all management employees not in labor unions

    Additional $10 -15 million can bke saved by eliminating all city employee sick and vacation buy backs

    3) Council can immediately cut crediting all termination payments as counting for pension calculations saving city 100’s millions in future pension costs paid from General Fund

    California state Court of Appeal has been clear that termination payments need not count toward pension calculations. Public agencies should stop giving away this money.

      • Damn right all 1457 hours (to-date) and rising. The contract that the current Mayor and council and all mayors and councils before them approved laid out the conditions that their side and mine agreed to.
        They said “come to work, do your job and this is how we will compensate you.”

        I come to work, I do my job. The few times I have been sick over the last 17 years I stayed home. I missed once in a lifetime family events and lots of holidays because (1) more senior employees got the benefit of their tenure , bid for time off and was granted it and/or (2) I didn’t request the time-off early enough and/or (3) the City has willingly chosen to keep the department woefully understaffed and refused all attempts to minimize daily staffing needs by permitting overtime. So not only do we work short when all availible are present, but we work short when heaven forbid someone calls in sick.

        Sorry folks you can’t have it both ways. What I earned is mine and I will get it plus interest if the crooks running this city try to take it away.

  20. Paid Sick Leave is not earned it is granted to those who are sick or injured so that they and their families are provided for when they are sick

    It is illegal and morally wrong to take paid sick leave when you are not sick. It is taking money that you are not entitled or stealing if proven you can be fired and should be

    Fortunately most city employees understand that even though many are upset at having to giveback pay and pay more for benefits and pensions that politicians gave them that if all the financial fact were know would not have been given in the first place

    City employees have benefited and many will in future benefit at taxpayers expense for flawed excessive pay and benefits that came from political lobbying not what was fair or due governmemt employees

    Public will suffers from low services, closed facilities and have to pay high taxes for years to pay for political mistakes of past politicians

    ” Brown’s been walking a path to contrition for a few months now. In a Chronicle column on Jan. 3, Brown wrote:

      “The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private-sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life.

    But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.”

    “I asked him ( Brown ) when he had concluded that public employee unions were out of control. After he became Mayor of San Francisco, Brown said.

    Politicians gave and now Politicians will take away

    • “Paid Sick Leave is not earned it is granted”
      “It is illegal and morally wrong….”

      Oh I guess that is why we have to work so many hours to EARN so many hours of sick pay. Like I said…it is mine. I EARNED it and will take it. You don’t even have to take it when you are sick. You are allowed to take it to care for ill parent or child. Try proving I’m not sick. I have a migraine. Like you’ve never done one thing wrong in your life. Give me a break, Mr/Ms perfect.

      If they decide to reduce it or take away the pay, I say TAKE it, TAKE it TAKE it all. Headache, backache, flu, toe ache.

    • This man was supported by his parents for a long time

      “But we politicians, pushed by our friends in labor, gradually expanded pay and benefits to private-sector levels while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages that pay ex-workers almost as much as current workers.”

      How can retirees be getting almost as much as current workers when their top retirement pay is 75% of their highest salary, with 30 years and only 37.5% of their highest salary, with 15 years. If they retire at 15 years, as many do, they retire in poverty.

  21. “The bond funding is based on certain economic assumptions in uncertain times. If these assumptions and safeguards do not hold true, payments to bondholders will have to come out of the general fund.

    For example, the assumption is that $88 million will be generated through the 4 percent hotel tax, but if that tax fails to generate the revenues, the city’s beleaguered general fund will be used to cover the difference. This could come at the expense of other vital services, like police and firefighters, education and libraries.”

    So, in other words, WHEN this thing fails, as every other project has, then the employees are going to have to suffer further. What? Give up another 10% on top of this 10%? The money is going to have to come from the general fund. He is betting this whole project on ASSUMPTIONS that the upgrade will keep people in San Jose. Yeah, I guess just like it did in downtown SJ. That was also an assumption. This administration does not know how to manage this city and they are taking the City down and everybody with it. They should have taken care of the budget first. If your house was going into foreclosure and you found enough money to bring your mortgage payment back up to date, would you take that money and remodel your house, ASSUMING that you can sell it and get more money or would you take that money and save your house? 

    If this mayor is looking for his legacy, it will be:

    1. That he brought this once wonderful city
      down and just ruined it.

    2. That he alienated an entire workforce.

    When he looks into the mirror, I wonder if he sees horns?

    • If you look closely you can see in Council meeting and press bits that he takes the horns off.  So he doesn’t look so evil to the public. 

      Plus, you have to remember that Vampires can’t see their reflection in the mirror you should have known that.  Of course his mirror is the evil mirror from Cinderella and it tells him what he is doing is the right thing. 

      He will also tell you that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but unfortunately that gold is in our pockets that he is “Pick Pocketing” us for the gold.

      Old Frank

  22. “I Say” ‘s angry “we are owned our entitlements ” and vocal city employee attitude and lack of any other budget deficit solutions are 2 reasons why public and voters will continue to support Reed’s benefit and pension reforms

    ” Like I said…it is mine. I EARNED it and will take it. You don’t even have to take it when you are sick. You are allowed to take it to care for ill parent or child. Try proving I’m not sick. I have a migraine. ”

    ” If they decide to reduce it or take away the pay, I say TAKE it, TAKE it TAKE it all. Headache, backache, flu, toe ache. ”

    What are city’s balance budget solutions that are large enough that would allow city to continue to pay very high employee benefit and pension costs ? 

    None have been proposed solutions that are large enough, so we will see more and more Council proposed pension and benefit reduction reforms with majority voters approving reforms.  ,

    Sorry, that is city budget reality since taxpayers prefer service reduction not higher taxes to make many city employees pension millionaires

    • ALL of the employees are and will not be “pension millionaires”. Very, very, very few will be or have been. Those employees who received those high payouts were all administrative staff…chiefs, managers, etc. The “little person” will retire with nothing near that. As someone, somewhere on this blog stated, all other employees, except police and fire will retire with only 75 percent of their ending salary. Those who retire at 15 years will retire in poverty, with only 37.5 percent of their ending salary. The public is focusing on the salaries of police and fire and their salaries are higher than the other employees, yet you are focusing on them and taking it out on all employees. Most employees do not even work the whole 30 years, so they are not getting those great pensions. So The public is faulting ALL employees for what a few have done. Tunnel vision.

    • ““I Say” ‘s angry “we are owned our entitlements ” and vocal city employee attitude and lack of any other budget deficit solutions are 2 reasons why public and voters will continue to support Reed’s benefit and pension reforms”

      Knock yourself out. You were going to support it, no matter what. You are absolutely blind to the fact that the mayor that you are supporting has lied to you and made a fool of you to bring you to his side in taking down the employees. Then he goes about trying to build his ballpark, remodel the convention center, put a billion dollars into an airport that is virtually empty, millions into a downtown that no one wants to visit, etc. They say that part of the funds for the convention center are coming from a 4% tax from hotel guests. Well, guess what??? That tax is money coming out of the public pocket. Who do you think are paying that tax? The public who visit the hotel, so you are STILL paying. Ole slick chuck got another one over on you all, who are so blind. They are trying to point fingers to previous councils for creating this mess, yet the mayor was on the council in 2000 and has been a part of creating this mess, all along. Go on and support your mayor. He has made a fool of you and used you to support his agenda. He could not have done it without the support of the public, so he filled you with lies and pitted the public against the employee. Yeah, ole slick chuck. You go ahead and do what you think you have to do. In the end, there will be frantic on both sides; the employees who are going to have to figure out how to pay their mortgages and feed their families on less money than they were depending and on the other side will be the public, who will be frantic when they can’t get the services they are use to because of the layoffs and mass amount of employees who will be leaving for other cities that DO take care of their employees. The City is going down. No doubt about it. And yes, I WILL take my sick leave if the pay is eliminated. The sick leave was given to us, with stipulation that we had to work so many hours to earn so many hours. Same could be said about your vacation. Your employer gives it to you with stipulation that you have to work so many hours to earn so many hours and when you leave, they will pay you for the hours you earned but did not take. If you can honestly put yourself in our shoes, honestly, how would you feel if you had some left over vacation hours and your employer decided they were no longer going to pay you for them. I am sure that you would use your vacation.

      PS- when you quote me, make sure you get the quote correct. I didn’t say this and you have it quoted as if I did. Get it right: “we are owned our entitlements ”

  23. Mayor Reed and his political advisers “Get It” and understand politics a lot better than city employees and South Bay Labor Council who have many political losses and few wins since Reed was elected  

    Reed is paying back his political supporters by expanding and remodeling the San Jose McEnery Convention Center “Get It” he does

    City Hall will continue to blame greedy city employees for budget deficits and public believes him

  24. Do the retirement math for all 40-45 ( 20/25 – 65 ) working years not just 15 years working for city

    Working 15 year and getting San Jose city retirement (vs 75% for 30 years ) for next 25-30 years with 3% automatic COLA and health benefits most people would say is great since many have no employer paid retirement

    If they add 25-30 years social security for their other employers ( working for total 40-45 years minus 15 years with SJ ) and save retirement money in employer matching 401k or individual IRA they will be better than many retirees

    If they reply on only 15 years retirement out of 40-45 years working they are in trouble and really foolish

    • “…most people would say is great since many have no employer paid retirement”

      But whose fault is that??? Had they made better choices, got a better education, chose an employer who did offer retirement benefits, they WOULD have a retirement. Don’t fault the City employee for making the wiser decision. ALL of this public angst points to nothing but envy and jealousy of what the public employee has that the private employee does not have. BUT at one time you did…and you said NOTHING of what the public employee was getting. The public employee has been getting the same kind of pay and benefits for a decade and you NOW want to complain??? It all sounds to me like a bunch of little kids complaining because Johnny got a bigger piece of cake than they got. But yesterday, when their slice was bigger, they didn’t say anything. Answer this. The economy is coming back. My stocks have doubled what they fell to in the 2008 crash. When the economy is booming again and you have all of your great salaries and stock options and great benefits back, are you still going to want the public employee to be in line with the private employees? That would mean nice, big juicy salaries and great benefits for them; OR are you going to want the public employee to remain suppressed, just because?

  25. “You are absolutely blind to the fact that the mayor that you are supporting has lied to you and made a fool of you to bring you to his side in taking down the employees. “

    No, many residents and frequent SJI commentators. are not blind to many spending abuses at City Hall which they DO NOT SUPPORT and have OBJECTED to for years

    City Hall’s wasteful political driven spending which primarily benefits BOTH Labor, city employees and Chamber not public as it was intended

    Taking public taxes away from overall benefit of residents and spending taxes for benefit of special interests IS THE ISSUE not supporting
    a) Labor
    b) Chamber and Mayor Reed
    c) City Administration has a duty to balance political interests and inform public of abuses hich they have FAILED TO DO and are ALL responsible for budget deficit mess

    If someone brings up Labor, Chamber or City Administration’s wasteful spending the individuals or groups are accused of being anti-labor, ant-city employee, anti-city administration, anti-Chamber, anti-residential developer etc rather that anti-wasteful tax spending which is the issue

    Both Chamber and Labor constantly present very long one sided lists of wasteful City Hall’s political spending that benefited other side while ignoring their own political wasteful spending

    Many times deals were struck to get both Labor and Chamber support for unjustified wasteful spending like airport, convention expansions and downtown if you look at who voted for spending and all continue to lose money for years in future

    City and RDA tax money should have been spent on needed core services, infrastructure improvements and increasing number of businesses and decent jobs which produce excess tax revenue to pay for city services and public improvements rather than building excessive housing for rest of Silicon Valley that requires more city services

    SJ politicians have for their own and their special interests supporters benefit made fools of all of us by

    a) overpaying city employees which is not sustainable and is largest cause of budget deficit

    b) wasting millions / billions on very long list of unnecessary political or ego projects – airport, convention center, City Hall, many downtown projects, Mexican Heritage etc that year after year drain budget rather than projects that increased tax revenues and better city services

  26. For as much work as I have to do to get that salary, they need to pay me more. You have NO idea. If you REALLY knew, you wouldn’t be talking about anyone being overpaid. Just does not cease to amaze me how people sitting on the outside can make so many dumb comments, not knowing what is going on on the inside. No idea whatsoever.

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