Prioritizing Services That Touch Residents

Hope your Fourth of July holiday was fantastic. On June 29, prior to the holiday the Council made the final vote for a balanced budget. More than 20 people spoke at the Council meeting and all but one advocated that the Council not outsource janitorial services but rather keep the janitorial staff employed, since they provide an incredibly valuable service. You would have thought janitorial was listed in the city charter by the speakers’ comments.

All but one of the speakers advocating for the janitors were affiliated with a labor union or religious congregation. The religious leaders ranged from Methodist to Lutheran to Jewish to Presbyterian. I understand the brotherhood and sisterhood concept of labor unions uniting to advocate for spending taxpayer money to help another union member. I also understand the calls for social justice from the clergy. However I wonder if the janitor at the church or temple makes approximately $55K a year plus a 250 percent pension match and free lifetime medical (minus co-payments) for themselves plus spouse/partner. My guess is no.

The Council was called, “shameful” and criticized for “picking on the most vulnerable.” There were undertones of racism, since the majority of janitors are not caucasian.

The notion that janitors make the least amount of money is incorrect, as I have stated for months. A recreation leader in our parks and community centers makes in salary only $38,001 and a senior recreation leader makes $54,496. A library clerk makes $50,897 in salary only while a senior janitor makes $54,787 in salary only.

So since all three of these positions come from the same pot of money and around the same dollar amount, then it is a trade-off. If the Council chose to not lay off and outsource the janitors we would have to make those same cuts elsewhere to lay off staff that work in our community centers, or lay off staff that work in our libraries.

I chose and will choose to keep services that actually touch the million-plus residents of San Jose over services that do not add value for our residents. The ability to have a community center or library open is more valuable to our residents then who cleans City Hall.  The new janitorial staff will be paid like janitors at Cisco and Apple but possibly more with the city of San Jose’s living wage requirement.

A big thanks you to the Alameda Business Association and Larry Clark for another great Rose, White & Blue Parade on Sunday! Congratulations to Cleveland Ave for winning 1st prize in the parade (three years in a row) for their creative float.

Finally, as an observer early this morning it was quite a sight to see six out of 35 stations working on suppressing the fire at Trace Elementary. Thank you to our Fire Department—fortunately there were no major injuries.


  1. Lifetime medical? Its time for you and your kind to just step down, enough of your “unionitise” baloney. The reason we have expanding costs is due to the sworn officers gravy train. And we have insufficient revenue because Council prostitutes itself to developers selling the General Plan to the highest bidder. As the most cliche ridden member of Council, it is sad you are to represent the most well educated SJ District (build Olone Towers to reduce lawn watering etc.). THE CITY REDUCES MEDICAL WHEN MEDICARE KICKS IN. THAT IS AGE 65. THE AVERAGE JANITOR RETIRES AT 58. WOW! That is 7 wopping years. How long does the average retired janitor live? And did you know, they do not make co-pays when retired! I strongly believe in Outsourcing. Start with Outsourcing Council, then the the City Manager. Now we are getting somewhere.

    • The replacement for the city employed janitors is a union shop.  They pay the city prevailing/living wage.

      If you could get something for 40% less, you’d buy it at the cheaper price too. Why should a public entity be any different?

    • Joe

      Sounds like your another envious non-public safety union member that dislikes public safety unions members benefits?

      From the Berryessa perspective (District 4 has smart people but we do not brag about it) the city has a multi billion dollar unfunded medical insurance liability for its employees that sits on the taxpayers neck. Also San Jose building almost all of the affordable housing in the area has brought this city down both in property tax revenue, lower income people that spend less money in our stores and those same residents who demand more city services then long time residents.

  2. I’ve said it a dozen times or more, and I’ll keep harping on it—dump the entire Office of Cultural Affairs.  It’s nice to have; but if my income goes down, I’ll dump my opera tickets and Jazz Society membership before I’ll stop paying PG&E , my mortgage, etc.

    Sixteen people making money for a civic nicety.  We need the necesities taken care of first.

  3. Pierluigi,

      I understand a school in your district caught on fire, and sustained some serious damage, as well as several apartments, and a business.

    On Saturday night, some friends and I went to the Capitol Drive In. We saw illegal fireworks being set off in the hills. A short time later we watched in horror as the hills caught on fire. The Fire Department did a great job putting it out. Watching how quickly the trees and grass caught fire was terrifying. What was worse was the LACK of patrol cars out in the neighborhoods.

    I am deeply disappointed in the PD’s response, or should I say the lack of it last night. I have lived in D9 for 13 years now. Every 4th of July a group of guys get together and LAUNCH illegal fireworks behind Farnham School on Woodard. Last night this show lasted some THREE hours. My neighbors and I called 311 and were asked: Are there any fires? Is anything burning? We answered no, but explained that they were being set off over dry trees, lawns, and over people’s homes. We were told someone would be out. No one ever came out.

    What is worse is that two Sheriff cars passed by during the show, and didn’t stop even though the school parking lot was packed, and cars lined the streets blocking traffic. Would you mind telling me what is going on? If you are going to ban fireworks then you need to enforce the law. And if you are going to cancel safe, public fireworks shows then you better protect our neighborhoods from the idiots who consider themselves above the law~

    • “I am deeply disappointed in the PD’s response, or should I say the lack of it last night.”

      Kathleen, we are spread so thin on the normal nights that there are many calls we do not respond to. Last night being the 4th of July, it is impossible for us to respond to all the fireworks calls, or even just a fraction of all the calls. Your disappointment in the PD’s response is not because we would not like to respond, it is just physically impossible given the volume of calls versus the amount of officers. My apologies in not being able to get to the fireworks calls. As far as the Sheriff’s cars passing a school, do you know if they were responding to a prior call they had been dispatched to?

      • Joe,
        I completely understand why you didn’t come out, and that is the point. Your department IS too understaffed! If the Mayor and Council are going to cut our PD and our Fire Fighters, they dam well better know the serious consequences of that decision.

        The fireworks display I called in about wasn’t some small illegal thing; they had a professional fireworks launcher! It lasted for more than 3 hours! The parking lot and the street were crammed with cars and people. If they had caused a fire it would have been a nightmare to get everyone out safe. 

        I saw the Sheriff cars pass by twice. They probably were on a call or looking for someone. I know THEY are understaffed too.

        I also have to wonder why the school its self didn’t take any precautions. I know they must see the debris left behind. This has gone on for the entire 13 years I’ve lived here. This display is only getting bigger, longer, and attracting more people. These idiots had CHILDREN sitting near the launcher!

    • Normally I am sure our distinguished council leader would take the opportunity to “find out what happened” and “get to the bottom” of your firework complaint. However in the interest of being honest and making sure that as a city worker our distinguished council member doesn’t begin to make promises he can not keep.

      You can call 311, 911, or any other combination of 11’s and you will not ever get a response to a firework complaint unless:
      1. It is gunfire and not fireworks.
      2. There is a visible fire as a result.
      3.Hell freezes over.

      People of San Jose. Get used to getting less with less. The days in which you were graced with workers for every little small issue that got under your skin are gone.

      Neighbors having a loud party? Too bad. That car stereo or alarm sounding? Sucks for you. The guy at the end of the block that likes to park in front of the hydrant? Bummer. Your house was broken into? Wait until the cops can come.

      I may sound mean but this is the new reality. No cops = less service. No firemen = less ability to respond when they are needed in multiple areas at once.

      But remember. This is what the council wanted. This is going to be a classic case of you reap what you sow. I will be working hard as the city falls apart little by little. It won’t be noticeable at first, but in a few years we will wonder what happened.

        • Greg,
          Get ready for FUD to find its way to your neighborhood soon because City Worker is right. You should have seen what we did over the weekend. I think it would have changed your mind.

        • Christian and Kathleen,

          I have become accustomed to not asking for or receiving any city services.  Our bloated city staff folks have pretty well managed to cut out darned near every visible neighborhood service in favor of glitzy capital projects and higher and higer compensation for themselves. 

          As I’ve indicated in prior blog entries, I have taken to doing all of my shopping – for both goods and services – in locales beyond the SJ City limits.  I refuse to fatten the city tax coffers any more than absolutely necessary – just my small attempt at exercising consumerism, much as I would avoid a restaurant that served rotten or rancid food.

        • “As I’ve indicated in prior blog entries, I have taken to doing all of my shopping – for both goods and services – in locales beyond the SJ City limits.”

          Isn’t that biting your nose to spite your face?  If lots of folks took the actions you did, sales tax revenue would decline even further, thus worsening the structural deficit.

        • JMO, it might be a blessing if SJ went the BK route.  Perhaps only then, could we start with a clean slate and rectify decades of fiscal irresponsibility and union gluttony.

        • Greg,
          Wouldn’t it just make more sense for you to move to a different city where you would be happier? It seems like you are going through an awful lot of your own time and effort just so a few dollars of sales tax goes to a different city. Do you think other cities do not have unions too?

        • Greg,
          I agree with JMO, I don’t think your protest amounts to much. If it makes you happy then go for it.

          As to the City going bankrupt, you just might get your wish. As unfriendly to business as San Jose is it is no wonder we have a HUGE lack of revenue. This City sends business running and screaming into the night with all its ridiculous regulations, and fees.

          They make having events here dam near impossible! By canceling events they take away revenue! You should have seen the crowds in Campbell, Los Gatos, and Santa Clara over the 4th of July weekend! Take a hint SJ!

          In case no one was paying attention the Mayor said, employee’s benefits have increased 64% while revenue has only gone up 18%. Well duh, yeah! I wonder why?

          Funny, that I never heard one very important thing from the Mayor, HOW MUCH OVERSPENDING they’ve done on pet projects, forgiving loans, funding the arts, non profits, money loosing venues like the MAHC, golf courses etc.!

        • Steve,

          Actually, it’s no effort whatsoever on my part.  I work in Sunnyvale and pass through Santa Clara on the way home from work each day. 

          As well, I believe that Sunnyvale and Santa Clara are very well run municipalities.  Their mayors and councilpersons have historically exhibited fiscal prudence and sound business practices, even with the union influence.

          As for being happy, I’m just fine, thanks.  I’ve adopted a “no expectation of any city service” attitude and I, therefore, am never disappointed by San Jose’s posture.

        • And who do you expect to show up when someone breaks into your house, when you have a heart attack or when your house catches on fire? Not that I would wish that on anyone, but tragedies happen. It’s utterly ridiculous that you would say something like that. Its ok to have different views, but your statement is nothing but ignorant.

        • Just,

          I’ll be fine, not to worry.  After all, I do pay hefty property taxes, as well as other taxes and fees that are inescapable. 

          As for calling me ignorant, it’s unfortunate that you must result to name calling and I won’t stoop to that level… at least not today.

    • I wasn’t deeply disappointed. 
      I wasn’t even deeply saddened. 

      In fact, in the zero-fun-zone known as the bay area where it’s pinched denizens have 311 on their speed dial and where you can’t even buy a Happy Meal – I was overjoyed to hear all the explosions going off around my neighborhood.

  4. Pier,

    I don’t disagree that cheaper janitors would help the city.

    What I find strange is how much space you devote to your weekly blogs to this matter and your fixation towards the janitorial staff. Despite your sarcastic and caustic comments, janitors do provide a valuable service.

    The City Council has done virtually nothing to bring new business into San Jose and bring in new sales tax revenue. The city is also extremely top heavy with management who has escaped much of the staff cuts.

    Those in the high tech industry have for the most part done well not because they provide such a valuable service, but because they were in the right place at the right time. Nobody gave janitors a second thought. It is funny now that times have changed someone like yourself devotes so much time ripping on janitors.

    • 1. Janitors are a commodity and should be outsourced
      2. Government does not create jobs
      3. Steve thank goodness you speak for yourself.  In high tech we must perform all the time as you are judged on performance with zero job security. Even a suck up that was able to get a job through a friend can’t be protected forever so when the first downturn hits they get laid off. Much different then a union shop job for life.  I do think that a few people got lucky being in the right place at the right time but that is the minority versus the majority that made a companies like Intel, Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor and Novellus successful.

      Pierluigi thanks for the common sense.

      • “Janitors are a commodity and should be outsourced”.
        Figuratively, the throat you cut is your own. Pack your bags for India. The “majority” you refer to for making the above companies a success are to now be screwed by these companies who are moving their best jobs to other countries.

      • “Zero job security” is bad for our society, whether within the high-tech portion of the local public sector economy, or otherwise.  The mere fact that something unfortunate does occur to some people is not an argument for expanding it throughout the larger society.  Unless we’re going to have all janitors be teenagers who live with their parents, we have to pay them enough to live on.  Out-sourcing municipal janitorial services to a bunch of illegal aliens who will work for eight dollars an hour might relieve a very small amount of pressure off our municipal budget, but its not good for our local community overall.

        • How did you come to the conclusion that the outsourced janitors would be illegal aliens earning $8 an hour?

          It seems that any time ANY issue becomes controversial these days, somebody immediately concludes that illegal aliens will somehow benefit, despite the absence of any evidence whatsoever.

        • It would seem that teenagers do not have the same job opportunities they did in the past. The paperboy on a bike has been replaced with paperman in car. Fast food used to be almost all teenagers and college kids and is now mostly recent adult immigrants.  We make room for one we displace another. We keep a janitor we fire a librarian.

        • There is a difference between outsourcing low skill set jobs to people in the private sector that live in your city versus outsourcing jobs where people do not live in your country.

          Companies outsource to please the shareholder like a union pension fund that guarantees a abnormal rate of return. Cities outsource to benefit residents who fund the city with their taxes.

          In the end this is a global economy and the invisible hand moves faster then government and around government.  I may suggest for those that long for something different then perhaps you move to Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Belarus etc….otherwise deal with the reality of the world in 2010.

        • I am sure Pier is all for outsourcing until his job at Arena Solutions is outsourced. At what point does outsourcing jobs stop in either the private or public sector? Every time a good job is sent to another country it lowers the standards of living for all of us. How low are we all willing to go?

        • Steve,
          You make a very interesting point. You asked, “How low are we all willing to go?”

          I was talking to Robert Cortese about the low voter turn out, and why people don’t become active in their communities. He made a statement that really stuck with me. He said that we have so many immigrants who come from countries that never had what we have in this country, that they think they have it good.

          I think that applies to jobs as well. Workers overseas don’t know they’re being underpaid compared to what we are used to earning here in the US, and because they are desperate to earn a living anything above what they get back home is considered better. That mentality truly does lower the standard of living and pay rate, especially to workers who are receiving outsourced jobs in impoverished companies like India and Vietnam.

          A friend of mine was sent to India three times to teach people how to do her job. (She said that country is so poor kids beg for food.)  She is now unemployed and terrified because not only can’t she find a job at her age, her unemployment benefits have run out.

        • Because I’ve worked at several places that had out-sourced janitorial services, and their workers were all illegal aliens from Mexico (or some Spanish-speaking nation) who made minimum wage, or very slightly more.  I gather that’s rather the local industry standard for out-sourced janitorial services, as it were.

        • You really nailed it, Wyckoff.  Only perfidious agents of Bolshevism question the wisdom of out-sourcing our municipal janitorial services to illegal aliens being paid minimum wage.

          Long Live Comrade Kim Jong-Il!

  5. “However I wonder if the janitor at the church or temple makes approximately $55K a year plus a 250 percent pension match and free lifetime medical (minus co-payments) for themselves plus spouse/partner.”

    Great stuff Pier.  So how do we unwind/reset this lunacy? 

    Can the city convert these pensions to 401k’s and be done with pensions? 
    Go nuclear and declare bankruptcy?  Can declaring bankruptcy be put on the ballot?

    If nothing is done, those who need services the most,  will be squeezed more and more as the city budget is consumed by the increasing costs of these god-awful union pensions.

    Here’s a PSA to all the drones around here – be sure to check to see who’s in the back pocket of the unions the next time you go to vote.

  6. Thank you for standing up to the unions that are strangling the city and the state while feeding off unemployed taxpayers.

  7. Why doesn’t the City just hire the illegals in East San Jose?  They will work for less than minimum wage, and no medical insurance, social security, etc.

    It is a win/win for the City and the workers.  Costs are reduced, and people have a job.  This is what businesses do, so run the City like a business.

  8. P.O.

    There is a lot of talk about about structural budget deficit but what is total San Jose city, RDA, airport, finance authority, and all other city agency debt and legal obligations by category:

    1) city, RDA airport and other city agency bonds
    2) employee pensions and benefits obligations,
    3) deferred city streets, building, facilities maintainable
    4) any other current or future legal obligations

    Why stop with Janitors!
    Here is a partial list of other City Departments that could be considered for Outsourcing:
    1. Police Department
    2. Fire Department
    3. Planning Department
    4. Housing Department
    5. Code Enforcement
    6. City Off-Street Parking
    7. Redevelopment Agency
    8. Cultural Affairs
    9. San Jose Airport
    This is a starter list. Others may have additional suggestions.

      • > Other cities have done exactly that and it hasn’t been the money saver they thought it would be.

        Who is “they” and how do you know it hasn’t been a money saver?

        I think you’re just making up your “facts”.

        • Rather then making smart remarks on a topic you clearly know nothing about, do some research Bro. You just might be able to contribute to the conversation with something intelligent to say.

        • > Rather then making smart remarks on a topic you clearly know nothing about, do some research Bro.

          How about if I continue to be smart, and you can continue to be factless.

          Live and let live, I say.

          > You just might be able to contribute to the conversation with something intelligent to say.

          And you just might be able to contribute with something factual to say.

        • Well Bro, I’ve got to admit that all your posts certainly do reflect your intelligence level.

          Enjoy stirring the pot while the rest of us enjoy respectful dialog.

        • Kathleen Fact Check,
          I have but you certainly haven’t! wink

          “Speaking of the numbers, San Carlos should be aware that outsourcing public safety doesn’t always lead to huge budget savings. After it chose to dissolve its police department and contract out in 2004, the city of Sonoma found it saved money – for the first few years. In the long run, said Sonoma Mayor Steve Bardose, it’s not a money-saving proposition because the city doesn’t have any control over officer pay and benefits.”

          ““The issue for contracting out for public service to me is once you contract out for public service, to try to get it back for your community is not going to be easy,” Councilwoman Althea Polanski said.”

        • Kathleen please stay focused.
          The article is not about public safety but park maintenance. The city of San Carlos will reduce how much they spend on park maintenance from $719,000 to $281,000 by outsourcing park maintenance to private company. That is $438,000 that San Carlos can use to close their budget or hire 2-3 police officers.  ?

          A private firm will take over parks maintenance in San Carlos after the city council voted Monday to approve two contracts that officials say will save hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to what the city currently spends to keep its green spaces tidy.

          The one-year agreements with Gachina Landscape Management and Echo Landscape, approved 4-0 by the council, will result in the elimination of six maintenance worker jobs, though only three of those employees are in danger of being laid off, officials said.

          Officials say Gachina and Echo will maintain the city’s open spaces, medians and 15 parks for a total of $281,000 per year, less than half of the $719,000 the city currently pays for maintenance. Officials say the savings will likely be even greater, as the contractors will assume other costs like vehicle replacement and insurance.

          Council members said the city’s parks employees do excellent work, but the savings from contracting out were too great to ignore, especially given that the city is facing a $3.5 million deficit in next year’s $28 million budget.

          “This is a time when we are doing things that are unprecedented in so many ways,” Council Member Bob Grassilli said. “To have people lose jobs, to me … it goes against everything I believe in. Having said that, we have a situation in our city where we don’t have the money to run it the way it was run yesterday. We have to do it differently.”

          read the rest online

        • Kathleen Fact Check,
          There is absolutely no difference in the problems we’d face for any job when it comes to outsourcing. The problems remain the same. Cities have ZERO control over the quality or price of contracting out services. This is simple economics 101; it is called supply and demand. The more demand you have for anything, the higher the price becomes to attain it!

          Don’t be so short sighted and eager to win an argument that you over look ALL the facts before you.

        • Kathleen,

          “We hear what we want to hear”
          The facts were just shared with you however your belief system is so one sided that you will not accept them. What did you not understand about the cost savings in outsourcing park maintenance that San Carlos has accomplished? You may disagree with the concept but the cost savings are clear.

        • Long Term Debt,
          “We hear what we want to hear”

          Your comment is absolute proof of that. You don’t want to consider anything outside your viewpoint. You want to lecture me by showing ONE situation that YOU think proves your point. You want to be right, so Okay, you can be right. I don’t agree. Period.

          Have a good day.

  10. > The religious leaders ranged from Methodist to Lutheran to Jewish to Presbyterian. I understand the brotherhood and sisterhood concept of labor unions uniting to advocate for spending taxpayer money to help another union member. I also understand the calls for social justice from the clergy.

    The clergy who are plumping for “social justice” need to have their heads examined and their clergy diplomas revoked.

    “Social justice” is a Marxist formulation for “justice” based on collective consciousness.

    It is the polar opposite of traditional Christianity based religious doctrine which is founded on the principle of free will and individual morality and responsibility.

    Christian salvation is individual and personal.  It’s not a collectivist undertaking.

    One gets to heaven by virtue of their PERSONAL behavior and good works.

    One does NOT get to heaven just by being a member of a collective farm that exceeds its production quota.

      • > Watch a bit too much Glen Beck do we?

        Too much substance for you to deal with, Glen?

        Nothing in your talking points to tell you what to say?

        Keep checking your mailbox.  I’m sure your stimulus check will show up any day now.

        • > Beck was actually referring to his discussions with his own “followers.”


          Conservatives have “followers”.

          Liberals are always “community leaders”, but no liberal is every identified as a “follower”, only as a “member of the community”.

          Yet another example of liberals’ “alternate reality”.

        • Interesting. Based on your comments it is difficult to determine just whose reality in the “alternate” one. Good luck trying to put a label on everyone though.

        • > Interesting. Based on your comments it is difficult to determine just whose reality in the “alternate” one.

          Not difficult at all, Beckling.  If you’re struggling to determine what reality is “real” and what is “alternate”, then you are clearly in the alternate reality at least some of the time. 

          This is a bad sign.  Very likely, you are in the alternate reality all of the time.

  11. I had a friend at Stanford Hospital that told me that Stanford does not check the status of workers.

    Workers apply under fake ID
    Some have felony records but the felonies do not show up as they are using false ID

    There needs to be some kind of check as you certainly have felons working in your hospital room—

    I talked to another person applying at Stanford Hospital

    I said, aren’t you worried about the felonies?

    He said, No, they will not show up as i’m using “different” ID

    He said that Target etc checks you very carefully and you can’t use false ID
    Why is Stanford Hospital allowing false IDs???

    • If we’re not going to let felons get jobs, then we might as well just execute everyone who ever commits a felony.  Or lock them up for life (even if we were otherwise just going to give them a year in the county jail).

      Keep in mind that a lot of crimes which used to be misdemeanors have been upgraded to felonies over the last 20 years or so; we’re not just talking about murderers, rapists, molesters, robbers & burglars.

      It should also be noted that one of the reasons our society can afford to have such a cavalier attitude towards felons (just don’t hire them – ever!) is because of their being shunted aside by illegal aliens…many of whom are felons in their native land.  And in Mexico, a felon is almost certainly a guy who committed a crime that should be a felony.

      • “If we’re not going to let felons get jobs, then we might as well just execute everyone who ever commits a felony.”

        Get back to us again if a friend or a relative gets raped by a felon hired by Stanford Hospital.

        • JMO said, “Get back to us again if a friend or a relative gets raped by a felon hired by Stanford Hospital.” Or if your sibling gets raped in a nursing home.

  12. > I strongly believe in Outsourcing.

    Joe! Joe! Joe!  Cease fire!

    Put your blunderbuss down and start picking the buckshot out of your backside.

    I think Oliverio is on your side!

  13. Here’s an idea. Outsource policing to Atlas Security! At $12/hr imagine the millions in savings!! Of course crime will skyrocket but who cares. Crime is minimized on this forum and pensions for public safety have become the villain of the day. Nevermind ACTUAL villains. And those self-sufficient need not call 911 at all. Of course mayor, cty mgr, and council would retain VIP protections and service. Of that’s right, no change there, that’s how it is now. Speaking of saving, how about a part-time council! The money is pouring into the budget. Think of how much we can give to MACSA and the dozens of other pet projects that have been black holes of taxpayer dollars?! Maybe they failed because we did not give enough.

    BTW Q for P.O.: How much are you paid and will you be sacrificing your vehicle and other luxury items? I mean we all drive to work on our personal vehicles. Why do you require a city vehicle? Have you given up 10% of your salary? Increased co-pays,…so much to ask. P.O.,…response?

    • Lowly officer,

      First, thanks for the great job you guys do. 95% of the public is very supportive of you, though only the vocal minority ever gets heard.

      I think your idea of making the council a part time position should be fully explored. I have said the same thing before. Other cities around us are much better run and only have part time councils. We have a strong city manager who essentially makes all the decisions. Als, there is no good reason why our council members should get 700 bucks a month for a car allowance, but Pier never mentions this. Also, don’t expect him to actually answer your questions. Probably too busy looking into cannabis clubs or banning platic bags.

      • Steve:

        Many thanks! We KNOW this to be true but it is often forgotten in times like this when we are villainized.

        A part-time council, like other cost saving ideas, should be explored. Unfortunately it would probably require a civil grand jury to even kick start a movement! The percs this council receives, especially in the face of janitor layoffs (just the most recent heartless example), is more than disturbing. This council lacks accountability for the decisions they have made that have exacerbated our budget woes. They would probably only say it’s in the past,…I’m pretty sure the janitors don’t think so.

  14. Mr. Oliverio:

    You have lost my respect.  To flat out fire janitors and to do it in such an economical environment.  Unlike you I’m sure, I spoke with a janitor the other day.  He spoke about how he has worked for the city for 13 years.  His shoulders lowered from the weight he bears from the pressure of not knowing how he will support his family.  They are good people and deserve better from an employer.

    They city touts their living wage and affordable housing.  For what?  Is it just to make you feel good or to help you get re-elected.  This means nothing when you fire people for making too much money as a janitor.

    There are other ways to do this.  Find them other places to go within the city as they open up.  You are a disappointment.

  15. Just a correction for you Pier! Not 6 of the 35 fire stations (soon to be 33) but here we go: Station 33(to be closed), Station 7 (closed maybe next year), Station 4, Station 1, Station 30 (closed Aug 1), Station 5, Station 6, Station 14, Station 29, Station 3 (truck 3 shut down on Aug. 1), Station 13, Station 9, Station 16, Station 10, Station 18, Station 2, Station 23, Station 22, Station 15, Station 25, Station17… Pier, that’s 21 fire stations that responded to the Trace elementary school fire…Not to mention the crews pulled in from Santa Clara City and Santa Clara County.  Just saying…

  16. Jack Hawksmoore,
    I’m not sure if I am remembering correctly but weren’t extra crews pulled in to put out the fire in the hills over by the Capitol Drive In Saturday?

    • Kathleen you are coorect.  That fire started in Station 33’s area!  It is slated to be closed on August 1st. This will be an interesting summer with the reductions in Fire and Police staffing. Staffing levels will be at pre 1990’s levels even though there has been a dramatic increase in population.

  17. Buck says when he calls 911 for fire or police he wants fire and police.  Buck knows people in County.  They cannot dial 911 for sheriff.  Sheriff not come anyway.  They have 4 cars on a good night for the entire East Foothills.  Those poor deputy’s have No support.  SJPD will soon join the No call list with cut backs.  Buck wants to know how Pete C gets two salaries.  One from Police and Fire retirement and one from current city position.  Why Pete No like hot dog man too?

  18. Also, I would think that a council member who has voted to close fire companies would be more informed about the actions taken during a 6 alarm fire in his district. Seems to me that if you are closing fire stations which will result in bigger fires and more deaths that you would be a lot more informed.  I know, FUD. but sometimes the truth hurts.

  19. How anyone can complain about the Sj cops is amazing to me

    as we speak..

    We had an incident out in my neighborhood and they were out here in a flash

    We are so lucky and we take it for granted that these guys are risking their lives to investigate what is going on in our neighborhoods

    Why are we not questioning the DA salaries (200k plus “county” car) or the salaries of the Evergreen College (or whatever community college) where the woman hires her girlfriend? and gives her girlfriend a huge job?
    Then the girlfriend says she is “sick” and draws disability but is working in another college district?

    We should be grateful that we have these guys (gals) who put their lives on the line every day for us


  20. Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio:

    If you’ve been reading these replies to your “article” you have some explaining to do. Will we hear from you re your car, lifetime medical, VIP police priviledges, etc…?

    So far the silence is deafening. Is this your Raj impersonation? Are you too busy on your vacation to bother with ignorant constituents?

    • How much do you make in total compensation?
      What is your rank and years of service?
      Interesting to see how much you make and compare that to the Council?

      The Mercury News database on public employee salaries the shows the Council gets less then the top 2500 salaries which are mostly public safety.

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