In the past, the San Jose City Government has been able to balance its budget every year without actually laying off workers. The city would often cut costs by not filling open staff positions. Apparently, those days are over. The City Manager recently announced that staff cuts will need to take place in the future to help offset the city’s budget deficit.
How and where should the City of San Jose cut staff and reduce expenses? Here are a few suggestions.
1) The City of San Jose should place a two year freeze on all raises and bonuses in an effort to minimize the number of layoffs.
2) Eliminate funding for the Cultural Affairs Dept.
3) Reduce staff in the Economic Development Dept. (The group responsible for the Grand Prix and other expensive misses)
4) Reduce the staff in the Housing Dept. (Shift affordable housing programs to the County…in the end, more people would be served!)
5) Allow the private sector to bid on city maintenance work (i.e. park maintenance and street repairs).
The math required to balance the San Jose City budget is rather easy. What’s difficult is finding the political will to disappoint the powerful interest groups and bureaucracy that run this place. Apart from the mayor, San Jose still suffers from a lack of leadership, an undedicated press, and an apathetic citizenry. Things will never improve until the people of San Jose break that troika.