Mayor Chuck Reed’s 2011 State of the City Address

Most of Mayor Chuck Reed’s State of the City Address, delivered at the Civic Center this evening, dealt—in sometimes painful detail—with the budget mess that the mayor has been forced to deal with since he took office.

“Today, I am giving everyone notice of what I believe we need to do now to save our City from fiscal disaster.
• We need to increase the age for full retirement to match Social Security, where those who retire earlier receive reduced payment levels.
• We need to eliminate guaranteed annual increases in pension benefits.
• We need to eliminate bonus payments to retirees.
• We need to reduce the accrual rate for pension benefits.
• We need to increase the share that our employees pay for their benefits.
• We need to eliminate spiking of benefits by using an average salary to calculate payments.
• And we need to reform our practices around workers’ compensation, disability retirements, sick leave payouts, vacation buybacks and overtime pay.

“All of these fiscal reforms must be taken to stop the cancer’s growth, avert fiscal disaster and put us on the path to rebuild our police force, fully staff our fire stations, maintain our streets and keep our libraries and community centers open.

“I’m not happy to be up here tonight delivering this message. I am sorry to have to write this unpleasant prescription. But this is our new reality, and no one can be shielded from it. It’s time to take our medicine and undergo some painful treatment. Not making these reforms puts everyone at risk; our residents, our retirees, and our employees.”

Reed made it clear that he knows he will continue to face a fight from the city’s labor unions, “who bargained for benefits that were approved by past City Councils.

“But fiscal reforms are strongly supported by our constituents, who put us into office, pay the bills, and are fed up with cuts in services.

“Our police officers and firefighters regularly take risks to protect this city from physical harm,” Reed said. “Now we are calling upon them to help save us from fiscal harm.

“Next year’s budget will have a shortfall in excess of $110 million because costs are going up and revenues are flat. The largest part of the increase in costs is for police and fire pensions, which will grow by over $45 million next year. No one wants to lay off police officers or firefighters, but it will take significant concessions to avoid layoffs.”

Reed also defended the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which, like RDA’s throughout the state, is under attack from Sacramento: “Governor Brown said that his ‘intention is to make California again a leader in job creation.’ The state legislature should embrace this goal, and they can start by rejecting the Governor’s proposal to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies and Enterprise Zones, which are our main tools for supporting job creation.”

The mayor addressed his pet project, the Green Vision plan, pointing out that 2011 will see several big projects: three “waste-to-energy” plants and a solar project that will power city facilities.

The complete transcript of Mayor Chuck Reed’s 2011 State of the City Address is here.


  1. That’s right! Mayor Reed that is what you are! You have a nerve to stand up there and talk about the need to create jobs while threatening to layoff police and firefighters.  You have a nerve applauding your developer friends for “pulling permits” for 1600 APARTMENT UNITS!!!! and hoping they pull permits for 4000 MORE APARTMENTS!!! 

    On your watch you acknowledged the police department was understaffed by more than 500 officers then cut funding to shrink SJPD by more than 200??? So the SJPD is currently understaffed by 700 officers!!! AND you threaten to layoff 237-349 MORE!!!! So the department might be understaffed by as many as 1049 on July 1, 2011? While you relish the thought of increasing the population by 10k? 20K? 30k? 40k?

    You think the temporary jobs associated to construction apartment buildings will fix SJ’s problems??? How many San Jose residents do you think were employed by Whiting-Turner (a company from Pleasanton!!!) while they were building the wonderful Brocade Campus???

    You think that the property taxes paid by “apartment” dwellers is going to fix SJ’s problems (renters don’t directly pay property taxes Einstein)???

    You are a piece of work that reminds me of common description of amateur art critics describing what Quetzalcoatl looks like.  I have to go barf before I can read and respond to anymore of your speech.

    • Wouldn’t the idea be to build more high-density housing, as high-density units are by definition more units per area, and can therefore be given fire and police services at extremely low, and oftentimes negative rates (negative rates means they pay more in property taxes than it costs to service them, and thus are a positive gain to the city’s tax base.)

      Likewise, the fact that they don’t “directly” pay property taxes is irrelevant to budgetary considerations. The renters pay the landlord (who himself takes the property taxes into account when setting the rent)and the landlord pays that money to the city. It doesn’t matter to the city whether the money is paid directly or indirectly, so long as it gets paid.

      • All of these apartment projects the Mayor referred to are in the North San Jose Redevelopment Area and all of the property tax collected from the new landlords will go directly to the Redevelopment Agency.  None of that property tax will be available to fund Police, Fire or any other City services required by all of these new residents.  All of that money will be available to fund a new ballpark in downtown, pretty neat huh.

        • That might change in the medium term as Redevelopment gets phased out (barring a sell-out by Gov Brown.)  As part of the repeal of the original enabling legislation their could be some direction as to how to sunset to agencies with all revenue collected beyond the min. required to service bonds would be split as normal. 

          There’s still something weird with property taxes all seeming to go to Sacramento and then being forwarded back proportionally among multiple agencies like County Government, local schools, community colleges and city governments. 

          Isn’t there something strange being done based on a court case (unequal school district funding) where the state pools it all and sends everyone back amounts based on enrollment/population and not what was actually paid in property tax from that area as a way of reversing past discrimination?

  2. Two thoughts: 1, the police and fire retirement system in SJ doesn’t allow for pension spiking.  2, do you really want 65 year old police and firefighters?  The injury rate would be huge.

  3. If only there was honesty and integrity. It would be easier to take the Mayor seriously if he addressed everything that got us into this mess instead of just trying to blame only employees. City employees accepted what they were given by the Mayor and Council. They did nothing wrong and did not take anything that had not been agreed to by both parties. Yet the Mayor places all of the “blame” only on city employees.
    If he were serious he would have talked about the millions of dollars being spent on the mythical “free” ballpark. He would have talked about the truckloads of dollars being spent on BART and High Speed Rail. He would not have been silent about our highest murder rate in years. He would raise, at least for discussion, the possibility of making the Council part-time. He would have acknowledged the extraordinary investment in our under-performing airport, etc., etc. To ignore all of these things as if they have no impact on our current situation is disingenuous at best.
    Keep blaming only the employees and the damage you have done to the city work force will deepen beyond repair.
    FYI—I am not not now nor have I ever been a city employee. I know an unfair fight when I see it, though.

    • Corrections to your post: “…he would have talked about the millions of dollars being spent on the mythical ‘free’ ballpark.”  San Jose has not spent one dime on the ballpark AND WILL NOT spend one dime on the ballpark!  They are however doing a land exchange (selling property to buy property) and will either keep the land or lease/sell it to Lew Wolff.  Infrastructure improvements to the area would be happening with or without ballpark, especially considering Diridon Station will one day be the transit hub of Northern California.

      County/VTA paying for BART to SJ and State paying for high-speed rail; both backed by a majority of voters in county and state.

        • OMG, can the Strawman explain where this “Rainman” was wrong in his post?!  Of course you can’t!  Let us review: city sells plots in downtown core, uses proceeds to buy other plots near train station (can you say land swap?), then either sells or leases plots to a private entity, which said entity then invests nearly $500 million in PRIVATE MONEY into those plots.  Can you say “no brainer”? (no offense Greg ;o)

        • Good gosh, I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in months!  The devil is, of course, in the details.  Can you say “less than fair market value lease?”  That is, after all, where the public subsidy will be passed to private hands.

        • Well then Greg, I’ll end our rant session with this.  I support the “public subsidy” if it means Lew Wolff will spend his own $462 million on the ballpark, peripheral private investments occur around the ballpark like restaurants, bars, retail, residential, commercial developments (Petco Park in downtown San Diego attacted over $5 billion in private investment to their core), and over two million patrons annually spend there hard earned cash in downtown San Jose (which equates to serious sales tax revenue for the city).  Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

      • I don’t think I’ve ever read such a naive post. “San Jose has not spent one dime on the ballpark.” SERIOUSLY! You should do a little research before you make a statement like that. Do you have any idea how many thousands of staff hours have been spent on the ballpark. Or how much money has been spent on consultants, architects and plans??? Do a public records request and see how San Jose has not spent one dime. Then post an apology. Get your head out of the sand!

        • “Do you have any idea how many thousands of staff hours have been spent on the ballpark.  Or how much money has been spent on consultants, architects and plans???”  Wow, just WOW!  Talk about a pathetic REACH of an argument against the ballpark.  Yes, using RDA funds, the city has planned for the future Diridon Transit Center, including possible ballpark and surrounding future development, much of what will consist of private investment…AND?!  Some here simply don’t cease to amaze with their “world is flat” logic.  Oh well…

        • You get me wrong. I am actually in favor of a ball park. Just don’t be so naive as to think the City is not already spending millions of dollars on it. Speak the truth as to what has been spent and what will be spent using City dollars.

        • My apologies.  I did say RDA funds (city dollars) WERE USED in the planning/design work around Diridon Transit Center, including proposed ballpark…didn’t I?

  4. Mr. Mayor and City Council,

    I will not concede an penny of my negotiated wages, nor increase my benefit contribution, nor agree to adjust my pension that YOU agreed too.

    You are arrogant and ignorant if you think I would want to help you. After the way you treat the employees as a whole? Go ^%$* yourself.


    A really pissed off employee.

    P.S. -Citizens of San Jose, get ready for degradation in service and major cuts. Your workforce has been pushed to it’s limits and it is time for us to stand our ground for our families. I hope you know, this is not personal between us and you. This is personal between us and the Mayor/Council.

    • I know I have heard the mayor/council talk about how hard they believe city workers are, but from my viewpoint, I have encountered rude, cold customer service served with an air of entitlement from city employees I have encountered.

  5. If the Mayor is truly serious about reforming San Jose then he will balance the city’s jobs housing ratio by slowing down the approval of more and more housing.  We can’t afford to support more residents when we can’t provide the basic services for those who already live here.  Jobs provide revenue, services for residents consume revenue—they need to be balanced.  1,000,000 residents to 400,000 jobs is by far the worst ratio of any top 20 city in the nation, and one of the primary reasons that we can’t afford to provide services to our residents.

  6. Chuck’s message might go down easier if he wouldn’t keep fighting to keep the redevelopment agency. As much as it pains me to say it, I agree with Jerry Brown on this one-get rid of RDAs and spend the money on regular city services.

  7. I just want to say to all of you employees that I am really sorry you have to go through this. I feel really sorry for anyone having to work for the City of San Jose. What a blow. I really don’t think you deserve this. I wish you all well.

  8. This address should not come as a surprise to anyone.  It is simply one more part of an overall game plan to completely dismantle public employee unions.  While this will make some far right conspiracy theorists giddy with excitement, most moderate educated folks realize that west coast unions are not nearly as evil as portrayed.  Good luck Chuckles, I see a fight coming.

    • >  most moderate educated folks realize that west coast unions are not nearly as evil as portrayed.

      I’m educated and moderate, but I DON’T realize that west coast unions are not as evil as portrayed.

      What’s wrong with me?

  9. The statement ” do you really want 65 year old police and firefighters?  The injury rate would be huge. ” is a simplistic misleading statement since many younger officers are not on patrol or fire trucks

    Less than 1/2 total officers are on patrol or fire trucks

    Now go down to Police or Fire departments and look at the age of officers who staff headquarter desks and training – many are health 25-45 years old’s who as many street officers have complained should be reassigned to street patrol or fire trucks getting experience as they were hired to do and staying physically fit.

    Not sitting at desks jobs all day playing politics or brown nosing brass for promotions or another desk job

    Not a complete solution but having older experienced officers and those on limited duty staff desk jobs could we a partial solution

    • “Less than 1/2 total officers are on patrol or fire trucks”

      Fire Dept staffing has been taking cuts for ten years, the 40 hour positions have been drastically eliminated to the point that their job tasks are nearly impossible to meet.  Why do you think they cut 5 fire dept companies last year?  There is no more fat to cut, the city is cutting into the bone.  You need to look at FD and PD injury rates vs age – there is a reason they retire earlier – they physically cannot handle recurring injuries and extended rehabilitation as they age.  Ask a MD, physical therapist or workers comp case worker.  Just stop making arbitrary statements about things you know nothing about, please.

      The citys disregard, vilification and contempt for employees coupled with the slash and burn policy make it nearly impossible to negotiate a fair and honorable deal for employees and taxpayers.  In the FDs case, concessions are being offered by labor and fire administration to try and save positions and fix the pension fund, including finding alternate sources of funding through federal grants.  Already, we have councilmembers making statements dismissing these alternate funding sources without giving them enough consideration. Mayor Reed needs to start spending more time finding solutions instead of blaming city employees for his broken budget.

    • Who do you want pulling you or your kids out of your home when it’s on fire? The SJFD has a training staff of about 4 captains.  The SJFD doesn’t have “desk jobs” for “older” firefighters.  The men and women of the SJFD work 56 hours a week.  How many hours a week do you work?

        • Yeah Please

          The continuing ignorant responses like this in an attempt to stereotype or pigeonhole firefighters and police officers doesn’t really deserve a response, but I’ll bite – even though I doubt it will make much of a difference.  Working out has been a mandatory hiring requirement for every employees of the fire dept since 1986 – not optional – but subject to discipline if not followed.  Every single day.  Realistic people, unlike yourself, must ask themselves – When you can’t do it, and you need help, do you want an unfit firefighter responding to your neighborhood to help you when your neighbors house is on fire?  Or would you prefer an unfit firefighter to just let the fire consume your house as well, because after all, that’s what insurance is for?

          In your opinion, take a 24 hour period.  What do you think the required amount of sleep for any normal human is?  Look at sleep studies and see how cognitive function deteriorates if a subject goes without sleep for extended periods of time.  At 4 am, when your spouse wakes up gravely ill with a heart attack or stroke, do you want a firefighter who has been awake and physically/mentally active for 22 plus hours coming to your house and making life or death medical decisions?  Decisions that could potentially worsen or kill your spouse?  Firefighters work 24 hour shifts because traditionally, this is the most cost effective way to staff a fire department.  If cities/municipalities decided to eliminate 24 hour shifts, they would need to hire 25% +/- more employees(another shift).  For the San Jose FD, this would be in excess of 160 employees.

          Any other stereotypical nonsense I can clear up for you?  By the way, the person you responded to was mislead by Darryl into believing he had a secure future with the city of San Jose – he left his secure job and was promptly laid off within less than a year.  What a shame.  I guarantee you, this guy and most of the firefighters laid off will be shining stars in the cities and departments that are honest and appreciate good employees.

        • Reality Check,

          I must take exception to you line about the firefighter being misled by me as to job security.  You are right as the Fire Chief I make the selections and am responsible for the final budget recommendations.  I can assure you Fire Administration did everything we could to keep these valued employees with the significant budget constraints we were faced with last year.  After 10 years of budget reductions with most occurring in the Administration positions, reductions in emergency response resources were unavoidable and it is being seen across the state.  8.9% in concessions by the Union would have kept the 49 employed and the 4 Engines and 1 Truck in service.  The decisions are no easier this year from what I read. 

          You are right, the 49 individuals are the best of the best and I certainly hope Brendan and the rest can be hired back.  I look forward to when the San Jose Fire Department can get back to the staffing levels we had in 2008 that we fought so hard for.


    • You’d think that sounds like a simple proposal…yet you fail to understand how SJPD really works.

      1) Factor in seniority in knowing that those “younger” officers working the front desk more than often have the crappy days off, and being the junior guy, get assigned to that duty since it’s less than desireable. They aren’t there by choice..sometimes its the only spot left for a junior officer.

      2)If you speak a foreign languange, you’ll get that assignment too so there will be an officer to communicate in all the wonderful languages in San Jose except English…kinda like the DMV. Again…that has nothing to do with age, it’s what the “public” demands of us.

      As for training, those officers have to be able to physically perform the trainings that they teach. I don’t think you’ll see a 65 year old doing SWAT style training anytime soon! It’s also an assignment that not a lot of officers want due to days off and unpredictable schedules.

      You can’t just “assign” someone to a desk job due to their age…old or young, healthy or not. Thats discrimination my friend, and thats why seniority counts at the PD, so you can go work at, or where best suits you and your abilities as you so choose. It works that way in every PD in America…

    • Your math is funny, Kinda like Reed’s math…

      “Less than 1/2 total officers are on patrol or fire trucks”

      There are approximately 648 Firefighters in the San Jose Fire Dept., of that 623 are on the line…. That is 96% of the Fire Department that does not sit behind a desk….

      Would you like to try again….??

  10. Work untill I’m 65 as a cop. Not me, when I turn 50, I’ll fake a back injury like Pete Constent and milk a tax free disability retirement. Only I’ll play it smarter to hide it like not wrestling a kid on you tube!

    • POLICE RESPONSBILITY-ACCOUNTABILITY.  What I write is here is terribly important for the future of our nation or the destruction of our nation.

      Here’s what’s critical before the rest of this article.  There’s a plan for the upcoming NAU (N. American Union), the plan to merge:  Canada, the USA and Mexico together.  The E.U. (European Union) was first, we’re next with the NAU (which is being piggybacked onto Reconquista-Aztlan)-the plan to reclaim the former Mexican territory from the state of CA to CO-TX.

      There is a plan for an upcoming GLOBAL GOVERNMENT and to do this, the planet’s nations’ borders are being erased and set up in blocs.


      There is also a plan to reduce the world’s population down to 500 million people (from the billions of people now alive).  Please check out the GEORGIA GUIDESTONES (Elberton, Georgia, USA).  This says:  “Humanity must be maintained at 500 million.”  There’s a whole lot of people who are going to die to fullfill this statement.

      It’s time the police had the backbone of SHERRIF ARPAIO!  Unfortunately so far though, our police seem to be out to lunch.

      The police have turned a completely blind eye to ILLEGAL ALIENS long enough.

      What was even worse was when they were allowed to march through our streets (proudly waving their Mexican flags) and demanding Amnesty and the DREAM ACT.

      The DREAM ACT (is when Illegal aliens) get the cheaper in-state college rates whereas any legal citizen moving to another state has to pay the
      higher out-of-state college rates.

      I think it’s time to demand that our immigration laws be enforced and the Illegal aliens be cut off from everything!

      I think it’s also time to arrest some politicians (in this city, state and at the Federal level) and “legal” people like Zoe Lofgren, the SPLC,  Madisen Nguyen and other S’Jose city council members (who thinks AZ should be boycotted for actually having the adacity of trying to enforce immigration

      While we’re at it, Napolitano should also be arrested.  She highly supports Illegal aliens, especially Illegal alien students and the DREAM Act and she has NOT secured our borders or enforced our immigration laws yet!

      Yet, it we the citizens who get subjected to Napolitano’s TSA airport, Chertoff’s Rapiscan strip-search machines and molestative groping.

      We also face a direct threat of an upcoming NAU (N. American Union)-the plan to merge Canada, the USA and Mexico together and

      RECONQUISTA-AZTLAN, the (plan to reclaim the former Mexican territory from the state of CA to TX-CO).  Most politicians support this. 

      That’s why this Illegal Alien problem is completely ignored.

      Again, the police should grow a backbone like Sherrif Arpaio and when our economy does finally collapse (thanks to BANKSTER Shenanigans,

      Again, the police should grow a backbone like Sherrif Arpaio and when our economy does finally collapse (thanks to BANKSTER Shenanigans, terrible trade policies and perpetual war), are the police going to turn against the citizens or against the people who actually caused the problems?

    • I too saw the video of Pete Constant wrestling that kid who “SLAMMED” Pete to the ground.  Pete looks pretty good for being disabled.  I am disabled with a severe back injury and can’t even think of wrestling anyone. 

      I would assume that Pete had one too many Donuts that contributed his out of control morbid obesity, causing his fake injury.  One would think that if you have for many years have made a point of complaining about you bad back caused by a work injury , you wouldn’t wrestle someone on camera…

      Not a smart move on his part.  He should have politely said I can’t do this but will have one of my staffers do it for me.

      Sam I approve you faking a back injury and it will be money better spent on you than on Constant.

  11. Over 85% Fire calls are medical calls, so San Jose could contract for civilian paramedics in 2 person smaller EMS trucks to cover a lot of EMS calls at lower cost

    Contract paramedics would free up firefighters, providing better emergency response times and more coverage while lowering public safety costs

    • Not a bad idea…. SJFD didn’t get into the Paramedic service until 1995… Prior to that it was 2 Paramedics on every ambulance in the county but even then the Firetruck came on all critical calls with EMT’s. 

      The county contract with the EMS agency states there must be 2 paramedics on every EMS call, So when Fire went to Paramedics on the fire truck then the private ambulance company was able to save money by going to 1 paramedic on the ambulance. That was a savings to the Private Ambulance and a cost to the taxpayers….

      It costs the city a little over $3 million a year to provide paramedic service, unfortunately this is a political topic and not a fiscal issue…. but, 3 million could save quite a few jobs.

      While the idea has merit it is not realistic, sure, on a simple twisted ankle or something akin 2 people are sufficient. However, on anything more (heart attack, stroke, vehicle accidents, trauma…ect.) you need more body’s to assist in multiple aspects of patient care so it’s not just about the Paramedic service.  We will always need more able body’s to provide adequate service and the only place we have that is the Fire Truck…. Unless we’re forced to work until we are 65 and then maybe not so able…

  12. I well remember Reed’s campaign for re-election to the city council in 2004, as well as his campaign to be mayor in 2008, when he lavished praise on both the firefighters and the police in order to secure their political support.

    Reed’s nature was clear to us in Berryessa at least since 1990, and it does make one wonder why the police and firefighters were so eager to embrace the man whose record made it clear that to support him was to support a political enemy.

    Dale Warner

  13. Why didn’t Mayor talk about consolidating very bloated expensive City management with double and triple number of needed $150,000 -$225,000 senior managers, directors , deputy and assistant and departments heads


    San Jose only needs 6-8 City Departments now.

    Not bloated, very expensive, inefficient city management now that city workers are fewer and fewer

    It would save Tens $$ millions tax dollars while retain city workers actually doing city services not city bureaucrats adding little  


    1) First look at City Manager staff who tell Department Directors and Deputies what to do and when

    City Managers staff –

    2) Now Look at 6 City Service Areas that manage City Departments but could directly manage Department Divisions elimination duplicate expensive management overhead

    3) Then look at 28 listed Departments that could be consolidated into 6 City Service areas and eliminate much of unnecessary duplicated department overhead and management

    28 listed Departments –

    4) With less workers San Jose can easily eliminate many highly paid unnecessary duplicated senior managers, Directors and deputies eliminate 28 departments overhead and renaming 6 City Service Areas to 6 Departments with Division under them

    5 ) An Example – Transportation & Aviation Services Service Area would consolidated, downsized and renamed

    Transportation & Aviation Services Department:
    by consolidate Airport Administration in fewer Divisions eliminating duplicate admin jobs with Transportation Division admin

    Director of Aviation would become Aviation Division   William Sherry

    Assistant Director of Aviation   Kimberly J. Aguirre

    Deputy Director, Finance and Administration   Terri Gomes

    Deputy Director, Planning and Development   David Maas

    Deputy Director, Airside/Terminal Operations   John Aitken

    Deputy Director, Facilities & Engineering   Patrick Tonna

    San Jose Police Department, Airport Division   Captain Jeff Smith

    Director of Information Technology   Diane Mack-Williams

    Director of Government Relations   Jim Webb

    Director of Customer Services   Vicki L. Day

    Director of Air Service Development   Ed Nelson

    Communications Director   David Vossbrink

    Department of Transportation Department is organized into four Divisions so downsize Transportation Admin Disision overhead and have 3 existing Divisions report to Reorganized
    Transportation & Aviation Services Department:

    Infrastructure Maintenance Division – maintains the street pavement, traffic devices and streetlights, sanitary sewer and storm drainage systems, manages the City’s street sweeping program, manages non-point source pollution, and maintains fire hydrants, manages the street landscape including city street trees and undeveloped rights-of-ways, inspects and repairs sidewalks.

    Transportation and Parking Operations Division – optimizes the traffic flow, installs traffic improvements, and promotes traffic safety. The Division also manages on-street parking, City garages and parking lots, and parking compliance.

    Transportation Planning and Project Delivery Division – works with other City divisions and departments as well as with regional transportation agencies in order to offer viable transportation choices that are multimodal and provide a safe and efficient commute.

    Eliminate or significantly downsize by combining with Aviation admin – The Director’s Office/Administrative Services provides leadership and management for the department and works with the City Manager as needed on high-level Transportation issues. The Division also manages personnel, employee safety and training, the Department’s budget/fiscal program, and the information technology needs of the Department.


    Why hasn’t City labor unions proposed cut bloated expensive city management saving tens millions,  now that there are less city workers to manage which would avoid or reduce worker layoffs while retaining city services for residents ?

  14. The talking points from the post and Merc coverage suggest he’s looking at the fine detail now of what it will really take to fix a broken system.

    SJ’s Pension system was a great tool for retention.  Not only did it provide a recruitment perk, but once hired, most sought to max their retirement at SJ which they could start drawing fairly young.

    Seems like EVERYONE else uses CalPERS (except San Diego?)  Seems like the liability is too much for the city to handle.  The pension fund turned into a ponzi scheme (kind of like our Social Security system) where the payouts are dependent on the income from young workers.  Only they increased the payouts way faster than the income could keep up, and played with the books to make it all look kosher.

    Raising the retirement age makes sense, but I’m still kind of pissed off that I’m already expected to work until 68-70 to get any retirement (SS,etc)

    BTW – There was an op-ed somewhere about combining two issues into one to create a public sentiment tsunami against public employees.  There’s a recession.  The stock market crashed a few times and the real estate bubble burst.  Tax revenue is thus down…a lot.

    That’s one problem, which forces immediate action to address.  Spending the reserves and acting like nothing is wrong doesn’t get you more than a year.  We’re in like the 3rd year of this. 

    The pension system is broke and promises more than it can deliver honestly.  Insufficient money was invested to provide for the lifetime benefits at the levels promised.  Everybody knows this…and knew it at the time (this goes back to the 1980’s) and was a national trend as underfunded pension funds became an expedient “best practice.”

    The op-ed identified the underfunded pension systems as a second, separate problem, that the author felt should be kept separate as we should have 30 years or so to fix it.  I actually think CalPERS might be alright and have time to do a little housecleaning, but SJ does not.  They gambled on sustained growth fixing everything and it didn’t work and they just have too much liability to handle.  I think they could actually shut down everything but police and fire and still have a deficit.  Not good.

    Attrition…the opposite of retention might be the answer.  Stagnant wages encourage folks to look for better jobs.  If the public safety labor market is as competitive as negotiators suggest, folks will be leaving for better pay as quickly as they find jobs.  Those leaving will have less paid into the pension system (part of the problem) but will also have less entitlement (payout expected at retirement).  SJ could become the training ground, like NYC, where a lot of people start their career before moving to smaller towns for higher pay. This might work in not just public safety but other departments as well.  You’d have a lot of turn-over in mid-career as people cashed in on their experience for higher pay elsewhere.  Those leaving could transfer into CalPERS retirements thus saving SJ from the huge pension liabilities it cannot and will never be able to afford.

    There’s also some national movement on this issue, but California is California and not Wisconsin so there’s no help in Sacramento on this one and probably never will be (I think Sacramento is actually a big part of the problem, pushing up pensions in ‘99 and causing a chain reaction.)  And while the once and future Gov Brown has shown courage on RDA, it’d be political suicide to touch the public unions, so don’t expect anything positive.

    I still think Bankruptcy has to be on the agenda this decade.  There just may not be another way out of some bad deals like the pension promises made with funny math and bad faith.

  15. “The mayor addressed his pet project, the Green Vision plan, pointing out that 2011 will see several big projects: three “waste-to-energy” plants and a solar project that will power city facilities.”

    What’s the premium that SJ taxpayers will be paying for these boutique energy sources?

    • “They don’t pay much if anything toward the unfunded liabilities which remain the taxpayers’ obligation, but that may change quickly as the bills come due and financially stretched public employers begin to demand cost-sharing of the unfunded liabilities. Instead of stretching their facts, the pension proponents should work harder to require public employees to bear one half of the total costs of their pensions and retiree medical benefits. That would put an end to the debate about who foots the bills.”

      That’s a quote from the article, but actually SJ has been getting concessions where some unions are allowing additional employee contributions towards the unfunded liability.  That’s good.  I’d like to thank the unions that have agreed to this kind of liability sharing in the negotiations.

      I’d also like to suggest that rather than 2nd-tier pensions (kick the can down the road), we keep the pension system but amend the charter to require 50-50 employee-employer contributions.  It would be rough and kinda unfair to make this radical change over night, but it could be phased in over ten years, which would make the pension system into a more sustainable hybrid system that could serve as a model for others in the country of how we can keep excellent benefits in the public sector while sharing the liabilities and costs more fairly with the beneficiaries paying a “fair share” of the huge costs.  I’d also consider an “opt out” clause so that short-sighted workers who wanted bigger take home pay checks could opt out and choose Social Security plus a 401K type of system.

      That’s actually the 20 year old federal reform plan that replaced cushy pensions with 1) Social Security + 2) One percent per year of service pension + 3) The Thrift Saving Plan which is basically a 401k kind of system.

  16. What Mayor Chuck Reed doesn’t tell you is that public employees are not paying into and will not receive Social Security for their time in public service. They pay into public sector pensions instead of SS. So When he and others on the council talk about how “generous” the pension benefits are, they don’t realize they need to be subtracting the SS benefits that everyone else receives from the total. Most public employees actually get paid less that private sector workers and with the same education and experience as well, so many work hard in public service jobs and are relying on the pension benefits to make up for cash that they did not receive in payroll and so could not invest themselves. The idea that public sector workers have it too good is largely based on this misconception.

    This is actually very bad policy, the decision to leave the public sector out of SS was made decades ago and doesn’t make much sense now, but that’s the way it works. Slash the benefits and you will reward many people for a career in public service with a retirement in poverty. Good idea?!

  17. There is no way in h*ll I will stay with this City. I will have just less than 15 years if/when they pass the upper age retirement requirement. I have now decided that I will just complete my 15 years and take my skills elsewhere. When I turn 65, I will collect my retirement from the City. This city sucks and I am sorry I ever applied. If they pass the upper age requirement, they are going to lose so many good, highly skilled employees. What a mess.

  18. ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THE BUDGET:  Again, there is NO mention of ILLEGAL ALIENS and the myriads of services they get such as FREE births, WIC, food stamps, housing, legal services, language services and FREE school (including FREE breakfasts-lunches) and in some cases, the DREAM ACT.

    Remember this every time you go to Napolitano’s TSA airports and face Chertoff’s Rapiscan strip-search machines and molestative groping.

    BANKSTERS:  The BANKSTER role is not mentioned in deliberately causing the Housing Bubble and Derivatives Fiasco which has caused a great deal of pain.

    TRADE POLICIES:  We have the disasterous trade policies of NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and the WTO.  This is why we can go into just about every store in this valley and find that just about everything is MADE IN CHINA.  It’s so bad, we do NOT even make our own thread anymore.

    Q:  Why are these 3 key issues totally ignored (like these critical issues do not exist)?

    GREEN: Please BEWARE of this Deception!  All this talk about “Sustainability” and going green, CLimate Change and Global Warming is really about AGENDA 21.

    AGENDA 21 and the U.N. and an upcoming GLOBAL GOVERNMENT.  This AGENDA 21 is really about giving more money to the upcoming GLOBAL GOVERNMENT and Rationing and controlling the people (through technology). 

    Beware of the Fast rail and SMART GRIDS that CARL GUARDINO is constantly trying to push.  AGENDA 21 is really what is behind all this.

    Funny, how these so-called “Climate Change” people never notice the CHEM TRAILS that mar our skies with blips, grids, parallel lines and giant Xs.

    Funny how these “Climate Change” people also Never talk about WEATHER MANIPULATION via Chem Trails or H.A.A.R.P. either.

    I’ve emailed the mayor at least 3 times on the issue of the budget and the impact of ILLEGAL ALIENS and all 3 times, he never responded.  Hmm.

    I’m only stating the blatantly obvious here, but it continues to be ignored like the proverbial (Elephant in the room or the Bull in the China store).

  19. I’ll repeat this regarding the budget and pretending these issues don’t exist doesn’t make them go away!

    There was NO mention whatsoever of ILLEGAL ALIENS and the services they get.  When I mentioned this on KLIV on one of Reed’s Monday Night Hometown events (after another of the ILLEGAL ALIEN MARCHES last year-proudly waving their foreign flags), I got laughed at by the KLIV handler and Reed arrogantly said, “It was a free country.”  These people are NOT supposed to be here in the first place.

    And what’s up with CORTESE being at these events?  I learned he was even a member of the La Raza Round Table at one time.  Boy, groups like La Raza make accusations of anybody being racist if they want their borders secured and our immigration laws enforced, but please look at their name, La Raza (the Race).

    2.  The BANKSTERS deliberately created the Housing bubble and Derivatives Fiasco.  They should be in jail with MADOFF and stripped of everything they own, better yet, they should be swinging from lamp poles.

    3.  GLASS-STEAGALL should be reinstated.

    4.  The terrible trade policies of NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and the WTO have to go.  This is a such a one-sided deal.  What do we make anymore to trade?  Also, here’s the scenario into any store I go into.  I looked at the labels and just about everything is MADE in CHINA and elsewhere and very seldom in the USA.

    This is dangerous.  We need to be self sufficient and not dangerously dependent on other nations and besides, we would be employing our own people again.

    5.  Businesses must be made to use E-VERIFY to weed out ILLEGAL ALIENS. 

    They must lose their tax breaks if they:  Outsource, offshore and hire Visa Workers and Illegal Aliens.  Send all Visa Workers and Illegal Aliens home.

    Lastly, if we already have so many unemployed or underemployed USA citizens, why on earth are the businesses still actively passing out GREEN CARDS and promoting more immigrants into this nation (with no end in sight)?

    The actual goal is:  Businesses want to drive down wages and they are not loyal to this nation.  They want OPEN BORDERS and ILLEGAL ALIENS.  They want NAFTA and the NAU (N. American Union).

    Again, ignoring these critical issues won’t make them go away and they play such an enormous role on our budget, so Mayor and City Council, stop sweeping these issues under the rug.

  20. Sam

    Wondering why you don’t retire early like everyone else who doesn’t want to work until you are 65.

    Just save 30-40% of your money while you work and take a reduced retirement or social security payments when you have enough to live on rather tahn scam taxpayers for false disability claim

    If Pete Constant, who seems to have more enemies than friends, is not really disabled as many claim.

    Then why hasn’t anyone turned him into SJC Retirement Board, California and IRS for false disability claims ? 

    Could it be, that the many saying he has false disability claim is not true.  Or is it ?

    • The reason why the city is turning a blind eye on Pete’s fraudulant disibility act is because he is one of Chuck Reeds boys willing to destroy the current pension . Chuck needs Pete’s vote. Judge for yourself, look at the youtube video of pete wrestling with a kid and see if that looks like a guy with such a severe back injury preventing him from doing police work? I know a lot of fellow officers with worse injuries coming back to full duty.

    • “Then why hasn’t anyone turned him into SJC Retirement Board, California and IRS for false disability claims?”

      Isn’t Pete Constant on the retirement board? So would you turn him in to himself?

  21. Less than half of officers are on patrol or on fire trucks?  Not at SJFD.  About 90% are on the trucks.  Not sure where you got that number from.

  22. In the world according to Chuck Reed, the traditional career length of a police officer (roughly 30 years) owes its existence to nothing other than the cunning of greedy, all-powerful police labor negotiators. This absurd idea, one for which he has found a willing audience and lapdog media here in town, is perfectly representative of his no-credibility campaign, in that it is a product of his propaganda factory, without benefit of statistical, medical, or historical evidence.

    Outside of the fictional town of Mayberry, circa 1950, street police work represents a steady assault on the psychology and physiology of the police officer, a fact for which there is evidence both anecdotal and medical. The psychological impact of seeing humans at their worst—the inebriated, the hostile, the hateful, the berserk, the murderous—coupled with the often horrific results of their handiwork, is a regular and sometimes overwhelming challenge to the maintenance of a healthy outlook. The physiological impact of the job, other than the obvious and unavoidable physical injury, will be present in the cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine systems, where the effects of prolonged stress, shift work, and aging typically become apparent after two decades of service. The stress that thrilled the bright-eyed officer in his twenties will slow him down in his thirties, and grind him to a halt about the time he exits his forties. 

    Leave a cop on the beat too long and besides physical infirmities he will eventually experience the low tolerance, quick temper, and adrenal imbalance that marks the worn-out system. He will meet a new danger on his calls for service: that of his own physiology, and he will, if he has any sense at all, recognize that his time is up and realize that he is shortening his life with every additional day on the job. Should he or his mayor have any doubts a definitive answer is never further away than the neighborhood cardiologist.

    Hiring cops in their early 20s makes sense for the same reason that football teams and armies draft young men, and like football teams and armies, cops who are hired young will retire young. It’s a reality that has nothing to do with greedy unions, fiscal policies, or a public made resentful. And that the mayor seems to believe he can alter human capability by fiat must be viewed for what it is: political ambition gone mad.

  23. Speaking of the police, it’s time the police had the backbone of SHERRIF ARPAIO!  Unfortunately so far though, our police seem to be out to lunch or on the planet Mars.

    The police have turned a completely blind eye to ILLEGAL ALIENS long enough.

    What was even worse was when they were allowed to march through our streets (proudly waving their Mexican flags) and demanding Amnesty and the DREAM ACT.

    The DREAM ACT (is when Illegal aliens) get the cheaper in-state college rates whereas any legal citizen moving to another state has to pay the higher out-of-state college rates.

    I think it’s time to demand that our immigration laws be enforced and the Illegal aliens be cut off from everything!

    I think it’s also time to arrest some politicians (in this city, state and at the Federal level) and “legal” people like Zoe Lofgren, the SPLC,  Madisen Nguyen and other S’Jose city council members (who thinks AZ should be boycotted for actually having the adacity of trying to enforce immigration law).

    While we’re at it, Napolitano should also be arrested.  She highly supports Illegal aliens, especially Illegal alien students and the DREAM Act and she has NOT secured our borders or enforced our immigration laws yet!

    Yet, it we the citizens who get subjected to Napolitano’s TSA airport, Chertoff’s Rapiscan strip-search machines and molestative groping.

    We also face a direct threat of an upcoming NAU (N. American Union)-the plan to merge Canada, the USA and Mexico together and RECONQUISTA-AZTLAN, the (plan to reclaim the former Mexican territory from the state of CA to TX-CO).  Most politicians support this.  That’s why this Illegal Alien problem is completely ignored.

    Again, the police should grow a backbone like Sherrif Arpaio and when our economy does finally collapse (thanks to BANKSTER Shenanigans, terrible trade policies and perpetual war), are the police going to turn against the citizens or against the people who actually caused the problems?

  24. Many valid points were brought up in this discussion.

    I cannot imagine a 65 year old man/woman showing up to my home
    on a call for service. It’s almost like a pro football team having 65 year old cheerleaders. (unsightly)

    On the other hand it is my understanding that the Police Department has many able bodied youthful Sergeant’s and above who hold clerical positions and even perform duties of a:

    -chauffeur |ˈ sh ōfər; sh ōˈfər|
    a person employed to drive a private or rented automobile.
    verb [ trans. ]
    drive (a car or a passenger in a car), typically as part of one’s job : she insisted on being chauffeured around.

    At a recent appearance of our new beloved Police Chief it was brought to my attention that the position comes with a human shadow. I thought this person was a Silicon Valley political juggernaut at a glance as he held the red phone informing the chief of important incoming calls, smiled and would frequently whisper into the top cops ear. I later found this person to be assistant to the chief, and a Police Sergeant.

    Both sides must be reasonable. The Mayor and City Council must continue to provide a generous wage for an expensive Valley and the Police and Fire Department could put more of it’s resources back into the front line.

  25. Mayor Reed presented one version of how to solve the budget crisis.  Many obviously disagree.  What is missing is any viable alternative long term budget solution.  Does the POA, firefighters union or any other employee union have a website where San Jose residents could read about alternative ways to permanently solve San Jose’s persistent budget deficits?

      • Officer Z,

        Could you provide a more direct link?  I spent some time looking around the POA’s web site and did not find any proposals for the city’s 2011 budget.  Many San Jose residents want to support SJPD during this budget crisis but without a viable budget alternative, what can they do?

        • Steve0-
          I wish I had drafts of proposals to give to you. This is part of the problem with the city refusing open negotiations. They do not want the public to know just how “flexible” we are as a bargaining collective. As we have stated all along, we are willing to concede some issues and work toward fair reform. However as a group we have to realize that there is a point where we have to say no. The mayor and council find it easier to point fingers, call us greedy, manipulate the press, and blame us, when the negotiations are kept in the dark. There is no arguing that I make a decent wage, but there is also no way that I deserve to be bent over a barrel due to misinformation from the top management.

  26. Jeff said “About 90% are on the trucks.” 

    Good numbers if Fire Department has about 10% upper management / admin staff to 90% workers it is very cost efficient

    Except for:

    * 80% emergency medical calls when 4 firefighters and large fire truck go to calls where 2 contract paramedics and small truck and AMR ambulance could take care of most medical emergency calls at lower cost

    * 4 firefighters per truck when other cities have 3 per truck that could staff more trucks for faster response times


    Area 51 said “On the other hand it is my understanding that the Police Department has many able bodied youthful Sergeant’s and above who hold clerical positions ” 

    * Reassign these officers to increase street patrols and public safety at no additional cost


    Anyone know what is % percentage of city upper management / admin staff to workers in many other city departments ?

    Any bets that city has too many managers / admin for workers

    * Cut excess high paid managers and save many worker jobs

  27. “This absurd idea, one for which he has found a willing audience and lapdog media here in town, is perfectly representative of his no-credibility campaign, in that it is a product of his propaganda factory, without benefit of statistical, medical, or historical evidence.”

    You hit the nail on the head. Chuck has been planning this for a while. He started going on the radio and got the public turned around and against the public employee. Once he got them turned against us and on his side, he uses them. Look at his speech. What does he threaten? He states that if he can’t get concessions from the employee, he will take it to the public. Are we suppose to shiver? He lives comfortably and PLO was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and Constant collects City disability payments, which are suspected to be improper and then collects a second salary from the City as a councilman…yet the employee is the one who is punished and subjected to take aways that will undoubtedly wreak havoc in their lives, cause them to lose their homes and who knows what else, while the mayor, the manager, the council people sit back and live very comfortable lives. There ARE other ways he can help this City, without hurting the employees so badly. A LOT of great ideas have been put forth in these blogs, but he is so focused on damaging the employee that that is all he can see. He can’t see to the left. He can’t see to the right. All he can see is causing that pain to the employee who he so despises. A man with no soul. Scary.

  28. South Bay Labor’ s Working Partnerships USA ( ) Community Budget Working Group proposed last spring San Jose Budget Alternatives after city proposed budget came out but have not heard about 2011-12 budget alternatives

    ” Community Budget Working Group (CBWG). When the San Jose City Manager proposed a budget that included drastic cuts to city services, Working Partnerships USA led the effort to create the city’s first Community Budget Working Group (CBWG). 

    Led by a diverse team of grassroots community leaders, the independent CBWG worked to help solve the city’s significant budget problems while maintaining vital services, including fire and police services, library hours, and park ranger positions. The CBWG prepared an $11 million plan to spare many of these popular services through the use of accounting best practices, city worker union concessions, and other creative ideas developed within the group. “

    The Community Alternative Budget – My Budget Idea Frequently asked Questions

    You can suggest alternative budget ideas at Suggestions and Priorities ( bottom right web page )

    Please also comment on San Jose Inside so everyone can see your budget alternatives   Thanks

  29. Im an analyst. I also used to be a citizen of San Jose who lived my life like most of you, trusting my elected officials would act responsibly. The stated purpose of government is to provide core services (public safety, then if possible social programs). Everything else is an extra.
    In my industry I advise the decision makers when they are wavering off track. I look at the info they maintain and provide, then I base my answers on common sense, market trends and long term sustainability of the programs.
      Recently all of the back and forth piqued my interest. Ive never seen an innocent man complain so loudly…as does our Mayor. Made me curious, so I looked up and linked to the City’s budget info. After a couple hours I began to take notes. Next I checked the 10 largest U.S., then California cities. What I found was unsettling. Not only has the City of San Jose’s management decided to obscure the honest numbers (unlike almost every other major U.S. and Ca. city) but their fiscal policies are non-sequitor at best. Irresponsible is another word that comes to mind. With all of the economic downturn effects they claim (although the private sector has rebounded and quite strongly at that) this city still has an enormous budget…about $3.4 BILLION and change. Over 1/2 Billion is hidden in savings and another $1.2Billion+ is plugged into “Special Projects”. None of this serves to provide core services. So before we dig any further it becomes quite clear that our Mayor is not being honest, or he is completely inept.
    If a city as large as Los Angeles can focus on core services and scale down capital improvements, and even smaller ones like Sacramento can do the same, why can’t San Jose get their act together? The only answer I can come up with is that this budget “problem” is largely due to the mayor making poor choices on where to spend the money he has. If I can’t make my mortgage payment, I don’t go on vacation this year…pretty simple.
    P.S. I would not feel comfortable knowing a bunch of geriatric cops and firefighters were on-duty if I ever needed to call 911.

    • “it becomes quite clear that our Mayor is not being honest, or he is completely inept.”

      “The only answer I can come up with is that this budget “problem” is largely due to the mayor making poor choices on where to spend the money he has.”

      This is what we have been trying to get the citizens to see all along. WE KNOW IT, but he has THEM fooled and has turned them against us so that he would have them on his side for the fight. There has been mismanagement of the taxpayers money and to cover that up, he is doing everything he can to take it out of the employee’s hides. So, he and his minions come up with all of this hinky ideas to do whatever they can to try to fix this thing and the focus is on the employee. Their focus is to do whatever they can, no matter what damage it causes…just get the money.

      We are told to live within our means…and we did that. We lived within the salaries that we were paid, in order to make our lives comfortable. This valley is so expensive that it takes a decent salary in order to make ends meet. We were given that salary and earned every bit of it. Now, THEY come along and decide to take away those means, which are going to cause many people to lose what they have and not be able to make it in this valley. THAT will be on their backs. Their whole focus…just get the money so we can cover up this mismanagement mess we made. Chuck was handing out millions. What about the race car people who came to San Jose for three days, each year x 3? They were GIVEN $4 million, each year, just to come race their cars around our streets for 3 days. The people did not want that BUT CHUCK wants what CHUCK wants and he took the taxpayer money and did it anyway. All of those millions. We were having money problems then, so why did he do that? That money was mismanaged. WHY AREN’T PEOPLE LOOKING IN TO THESE THINGS???????

    • CalPERS cities (almost everyone else in California except San Jose and I think San Diego) have much less pension liability.  When the stock market and such problems caused slower growth in CalPERS they added a surcharge to member agencies, which was a moderate amount.

      SJ owns and operates its own pension plan and is liable for all its obligations.  Poor performance of investments – taxpayers make up the difference.  Increase benefits but don’t increase contributions sufficient to cover this – taxpayer makes up the difference.  In SJ, this is absorbed by the General Fund which normally is split between core services which must be tapped to cover pension plan shortfalls.  SJ is unique, but not special.  It’s like the canary in the coal mine signaling that there’s a problem with the system so the miners can get out alive.

      SJ might make it through this, but probably not gracefully or easily.  The liability is too great and the chances of getting help so slim (Sacramento?  DC?).  We’re talking about people’s retirements and no one, even the most empathetic, compassionate civil servant is going to voluntarily give up retirement income.  They might trade more take home pay today to keep that intact, but since the courts have already rules that we’re liability for the benefits offered when hired, the pension liability is not going down except in the long term with 2nd tier pensions with new hires.  That’s a 30 year fix for an immediate crisis (sort of like the baby boomer retirement is supposed to be for Social Security).  The feds can borrow or print unlimited money it seems but that don’t cut it at the state and local level.

      • There was a time when many of us in the SJ retirement system looked at CalPERS and thanked our lucky stars that we were not part of it.  Why was this the case?  Because our retirement system was far more solvent.  What then changed?  The inept managers at San Jose began viewing the money headed into the retirement fund as another funding source for other projects.  While the employees continued with their normal contributions the City of San Jose stopped putting in their part.  Had the City simply over funded the retirement fund knowing a rainy day was coming eventually, none of this would be on anyone’s radar. 

        However, we now are discussing the pension ad nauseum.  The sad thing is, the City could afford to live up to its pension obligations with money they have hidden away for other uses but they just do not want to.  Chuckles and his gang have identified a villain in their own employees and it is working.  Reed and his ilk want to eliminate the unions completely and so there is no motivation to solve the budget crisis until the unions are all gone.  Then miraculously the budget problems will diminish and Fuhrer Reed will do the Rocky dance…

  30. If the budget is underfunded, and the mayor lays off the people who pay into it….wont that just make it even more underfunded? If people are drawing retirement checks, dont you need current employees to pay into the system? If we follow Reed’s logic, ofcourse the pension system will fail just like social security is. Am I the only person who sees how obvious this is???????????

    Plus how can the budget be coming up short while the mayor is spending on things like land for a baseball team (which we dont have)? And for the person who said, ‘we are traded land for land” you are a dolt. We are selling (at a HUGE loss) land to over-pay for different land.

    Redevelopment was a great idea 30 years ago. Since then things have changed so much that Redevelopment has become a way for politicians to hook up their business buddys. But don’t take my word for it, just look at the projects and decide for yourself.

  31. Mayor Reed continues to have to face folks like Cindy Chavez who have no interest in taking care of the constituents.  While although people like her demonstrate loyalty to those who ensure she can keep her mouth full of food, she has no behavioral characteristics that lead anyone to believe she is out for the greater good of society.  Mayor Reed demonstrates discipline and patience, Chavez demonstrates pettiness and slander.

    We need to run out the false prophets to ensure a better way for our children.

  32. “I cannot imagine a 65 year old man/woman showing up to my home on a call for service. It’s almost like a pro football team having 65 year old cheerleaders. (unsightly)”

    I can’t imagine a 65 year old ANYBODY, who does field work, to be able to be efficient in the field at that age. They wouldn’t be able to run. They won’t be able to see well, to stoop well, to react well. Their legs and backs are going to be failing. That is just crazy to make that requirement. I see a lot of workman’s comp injuries and work related retirements for any employee who has to work in the field. Just more money they will have to pay out.

  33. Why with the layoff in previous years is mid level and higher management not subject to pending layoffs?  There are fewer employees now and I am tired of hearing from my Deputy Director ” We have to do more with less”. I have been doing more for the past two years to try and make up for fellow employees’ that we laid off, left for other jobs or went to retirment-some earlier than expected due to the pending cuts.

    Also, why doesn’t Deb Figone look into a Division Manager who is the Mayor of Santa Clara who comes into work maybe 1/2 the time, does City of Santa Clara business while at work for San Jose but can still cash in over 9,000 dollars for their vacation sellback.  Obvioulsy this person is doing less for more!

      • Discuss your concerns? LOL,….is this a joke?! CSJ employees are being runned through the shredder repeatedly and “Jamie Matthews” wants to pat you on the back and tell you it’ll all be OK? Really, Mayor Reed cares about you sooooo much, he really does. 

        OK,…somebody plz tell me the above with a cell# is a joke.

      • Well Mayor Matthews, if you respond to the above here in “our” forum we may all benefit from you’re answer?  Do you have the courage and integrity?  Aren’t you our Mayor and the head Code enforcer in San Jose?

  34. Let’s clear up a popular SJI misunderstanding – Mayor is political leader of San Jose, only if he can get majority Council votes and public support

    Difficult to be political leader if no one follows you but Mayor Reed has been able to get majority Council and public to support his budget and pension reforms with City Manager providing budget and pension numbers, revised policies, spending cuts and layoff recommendations  

    Mercury News last 3 years of almost daily negative city employee and public safety news stories and editorials were important in getting public support for City Managers and Mayor’s budget and pension reforms

    Many on SJI argue that Mayor and Council members Constant, Oliverio etc along with City Manager and Mercury have mislead Council and public about city budget , where taxes are spent and pension reform but so far Mayor has Council votes and popular support

    City Manager, not Mayor or Council, runs city government, hires and fires Department Heads, is responsible for providing city services, issues city’s financial reports, presents City Manager budget recommendations to Council which includes city budget spending, layoff, pension cuts and city service reductions recommendation to Mayor and Council

    City Manager recommendations are almost always adapted by Council as recommended with few or no substantial changes. Then City Manager implements her budget, layoffs, spending and service reduction recommendations

    The only 3 areas when Mayor has much say other then Mayor budget message, telling public they get to speak for 1 or 2 minutes and time is up is:

    1) spending redevelopment taxes since it is political slush fund for campaign contributors, lobbyists, political friends and insiders

    2) rezoning commercial / retail land to residential for $1-2 million per acre immediate developer profits

    3) giving out tax subsidies, under market city land, free or very low city leases, sweetheart, no bid contracts, free city services, tax credits or waivers and spending city or RDA taxes for insider land improvements ( streets, sidewalks, utilities, permits , planning, environmental impacts etc ) that non political insiders have to pay for before getting city approvals  

    Mayor spends millions city and RDA taxes to pay back campaign contributors and get elected in future but City Manager runs city and spends billions

    Mayor can sometimes influence City Manager but mostly City Manager directs and influences Mayor And City Council by information provided, not provided or omitted in department or RDA ( Note RDA Head like former retired RDA Deputy is now on City Manager staff and payroll ) reports and recommendations

    Bureaucratic Rule #1 is that person that controls information and staff comments or answers controls discussion, recommendations and final vote

    Do you really believe that Mayor and Council runs city government after listening to their questions and comments after City Manager’s recommendations

    Bureaucratic Rule #2 make elected officials and public believe politicians make the decisions, and public will blame politicians but you know better,  are paid 3 times more than Mayor with great early pension plan and benefits to run city government.

    So keep believing the Mayor runs city as City Manager wants you to believe

  35. Hey Reed, You’re supposed to be a lawyer right? So when the City hires an employee there is a contractual agreement between that person and the City, correct?!. That contract spells out what that person will do for the City and it also lists what that person is given as compensation for this labor. If this hired employee fails to provide the labor he agreed to in this contract the City can impose punitive measures against the employee for breeching said contract, correct?! So, if the employee must by law, abide by his contract then the City is also under an identical legal obligation and MUST provide the compensation agreed to in that hiring contract or be held in breech of it as well. How am I doing so far Mr. Lawyer?!
    You and the Council may request for “give- backs” from current staff but thats about it. Sure, you can lay off hundreds more and have a short lived victory, but in the long run you will be dooming this City to ultimate failure. THAT, my arrogant friend will be your legacy and we taxpaying citizens will again be on the short end of the stick.

  36. Darryl,

    But didn’t you on two separate occasions guarantee them that they would not be laid off? With still no apology? Enjoy your maserati, the knife you left in all of our backs still hurts. Good riddance, there is a Fire Chief in charge now that actually sticks up for his firefighters.

    • Jo Schmo,

      Funny I don’t remember a Jo Schmo in the Department.  However and whoever you are, you are correct on one point; I did visit the academy on two occasions.  I informed them I would do the best I could but never provided a guarantee but believe I stated there was about a 90% chance of success.  I’ve always been an optimist.  Fire Administration did everything we could as the budget deficit grew and at the end, if the 8.9% concessions had been accepted, the 49 would still be San Jose Firefighters now and the 4 engines and 1 truck would still be in service.  The cuts would have been even deeper, but the Mayor and City Manger helped to save the 5th Engine when tax revenues came in about 2 million higher than projected near the end of the budget cycle and they were used to keep the 5th Engine.  These funds could have gone many different places but were used for the Fire Department, a small success and a saving of 14 positions.  This year’s budget appears to be as challenging as or even more so than last year so I wish you and the Department the best as teh Council works on balancing the budget by this June.
      I understand that with new Union leadership the Labor Management Initiative (LMI) may be moving forward.  I had requested LMI back in November 2007 and met resistance from the former Union President for 2 ½ years of trying to implement it.  I hope with the current change in Union leadership, the labor management relationship can get back on track after almost a decade of bad relations.  If anyone, the 49 Firefighters who I hope will be rehired or anyone in the Department, even you Jo, would like to meet and get answers to any questions, I would gladly sit down for the conversation.  I know we may not change each other’s mind, but I believe people would have a better understanding of each other and the issues.



    ***Plan For global Public=Private=Partnerships and Sister City Partnerships /California state sister states can also participate in San jose infrastructur Development Projects:***



    ****1.5 billion US $$$ Projects & More Projects in Pipeline for 2011=2015 and Beyond and we need The finance Dept/at San jose city/Santa Clara county Should work with California stae/Federal giv to Balance these Budgets with Onsite/Local Projects in infrastructure Development

    THE Bart eXPANSION FROM fREMONT tO SAN jOSE/tHE VTA eXPANSION FROM ALUMrOCK to eastridge++++The California high speed Rail Projects:

    Most Important due to Middle EastNorth Africa Violence/ We need To set Up Biodiesel /BioFuel/BioRefinery Plants in coordination with us dept of Agriculture and @ 250 million $ Grants from usda/Several Grants Program for Biodiesel Mnfg Plants are up For Submission and The Economic Deve Dept od San Jose and all the Ten districts of san jose should plan to have One /Business Incubator +++One Biodiesel Mnffg Facility +One EDD-California Sponsored On The job training Programs/Paid intership for Infrastructure Projects:at San Jose-CA

  38. Well, I still don’t see how completely ignoring the ILLEGAL ALIENS (providing services for people who aren’t supposed to be here at all), the BANKSTER role and ignoring the disasterous trade policies of NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT and the WTO are helping the budget of this city, council, state or the entire nation for that matter.

    Does the government at ALL levels think we’re really all that stupid not to notice the elephant in the room or the bull in the china shop? 

    Really, any fire fighter, police person, etc should be asking the same questions such as:

    1a.  People are getting laid off but the ILLEGAL ALIEN mother just dropped another baby (at taxpayer expense) and then will get WIC, food stamps, housing, legal services, language services and the kids will get FREE school (incluya gratis comida-including free food) and in some cases, ILLEGAL ALIENS are already getting the DREAM ACT as well.

    1b.  The ILLEGALS also want their Aztlan (the plan to reclaim the former Mexican territory) ranging from the state of CA to CO-TX.  This is dangerous and is being completely ignored!  And to maintain this separatism, if you notice, there is a proliferation of Spanish Media in all forms and the business community is making darn sure they also cater to the Spanish speakers.

    Q:  Shouldn’t people who come here to live and work be REQUIRED to know our language?  If they didn’t bother to learn our language, shouldn’t they at least be required to pay for any foreign language material?

    2. The BANKSTERS deliberately created the housing bubble and derivatives fiasco.  So WHY AREN’T THEY IN HANDCUFFS, eh?

    3.  TRADE POLICIES:  Walk into any store, (not just Walmart) and look at where just about everything is made.  In most cases, it’s NOT made here!  We need to be self sufficient and NOT dangerously dependent on other nations.

    So really, shouldn’t most people be hammering their politicians (BOTH PARTIES) and the various Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, Carl Guardino (Silicon Valley Leadership Group), etc? 

    This affects EVERYBODY (regardless of party)!  And remember this:  The R-L political paradigm is false!  They’re 2 wings on the same bird who serve the Globalist-Government-minded BANKSTERS and Corporations.

    This should be crystal clear when they bailed out the Banksters twice (without reading the bills-loaded with earmarks), they refuse to end our disasterous trade policies and they refuse to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws!

    Again, anyone with an ounce of common sense should be demanding that these critical issues be addressed immediately!  It’s not just our city, but the entire nation that is facing demise if these issues are not addressed!

  39. According to the post by Mr. Matthews it’s date and time stamped at 4:45 P.M. So was Mr. Matthews 1) conducting non city of San Jose business during his assigned work hours? OR 2) using city of San Jose equipment for non city business?

    Very interesting indeed!

  40. Try it Chuckie Boy. We have a contract. Try upping the retirement age to 65 for any CURRENT employees and we will have you in court so fast it will make you large head swim.

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