In the past dozen years, San Jose struggled through $670 million in shortfalls—half that total between 2010 and 2012. Layoffs shrunk the city's workforce by a quarter, service reductions closed libraries and community centers and remaining employees took a series of pay cuts. Now the city's looking at a small surplus, $8.6 million, or less than a percent of the total budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
In his budget message going before the City Council Tuesday, Mayor Sam Liccardo proposes opening libraries to six days a week, hiring more community service officers and having the Fire Department take over ambulance service.
We outlined the details of that plan last week—click here to read it.
As usual, the budget message named public safety the top priority. Liccardo says he wants to settle the city's protracted legal fight over Measure B pension reforms, which unions blame for scaring away the San Jose Police Department's new hires and forcing cops to leave for cities with more attractive benefits. Meanwhile, Liccardo suggests hiring 26 more civilian community service officers, allocating $5 million for police overtime and setting aside one-time funding for body cameras.
Other ideas in the budget message include funding incentives to attract new manufacturing companies to San Jose, an office of immigration services, micro-cottages for the homeless, $50,000 for Fourth of July fireworks and adding recycled water programs.
Residents can also expect a tax measure on the 2016 ballot to pay for street repairs and public safety.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for March 24, 2015:
- The city will consider updating its code to grant more authority to the director of Public Works to streamline procurement and management.
- New federal regulations require cities to speed up approval of wireless phone towers. The city will consider updating its zoning code in response to the guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission.
- To qualify for federal funding, San Jose has to make sure that a certain number of businesses contracted with Mineta San Jose International Airport are woman- or minority-owned.
- After closing the Blank Club for good, owner Corey O'Brien is ready to open a new live-music venue at the long-shuttered building that housed Angels in the SoFA district. He's asking the city for a permit to open up the new club at 400 S. First St. The building, which has sat empty for eight years, was constructed in 1913 as a car showroom, then converted into a movie theater in 1938.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260