Potential City Ballot Measures

On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the City Council will decide on five possible ballot measures that would go before San Jose voters in November. So far, the Council has budgeted money to place two items on the ballot; therefore the council must choose two of the five. However a group known as Baseball San Jose has offered to pay for the cost of putting the Downtown Baseball Stadium question on the ballot, so three ballot measure may go before voters.

Below is each proposal in alphabetical order:

Baseball Stadium
(This will be considered at the Rules Committee on Wednesday, July 28 at 2pm. The Rules Committee would need to support placing this item on the Tuesday, Aug. 3 City Council agenda.)

Ballot Language:
Shall the San Jose Downtown Ballpark and Jobs Measure be approved to authorize, but not require, the use of Redevelopment Agency funds, with no new taxes, to acquire and clear a site for a baseball stadium, fund related off-site improvements, and lease the site for a professional baseball team where the team would pay all on-site construction costs, operation and maintenance costs, generating new tax revenues for City operations?

Binding Arbitration
(This will be considered at the Rules Committee on Wednesday, July 28 at 2pm. The Rules Committee would need to support placing this item on the Tuesday, Aug. 3 City Council agenda.)

Ballot Language:
To provide fiscal stability, control costs, and help maintain the level of services being provided to residents, shall the Charter be amended to require outside arbitrators to base awards to City employees primarily on the City’s ability to pay and to prohibit creation of unfunded liabilities, increasing police and firefighters’ compensation more than the.rate granted to other bargaining units or more than the rate of increase in General Fund
revenues, and granting retroactive benefits?

Tax Medical Cannabis
(Already on the Tuesday, Aug. 3 City Council Agenda.)

Ballot Language:
In order to provide funding for essential City services such as police, fire, emergency response,street maintenance, pothole repair, parks, libraries and youth and senior programs, shall an ordinance be adopted to impose a tax at the rate of 10% of gross receipts on marijuana businesses in San Jose, subject to existing independent financial audits, with all revenue controlled by the city.

Pension Reform
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/district6/documents/7-19-2010PensionReformVoterApprovalMemo.pdf

(This will be considered at the Rules Committee on Wednesday, July 28 at 2pm. The Rules Committee would need to support placing this item on the Tuesday, Aug. 3 City Council agenda.)

My proposal is to change the city charter language so the city can offer new employees some degree of lower pension the taxpayer can afford. Current employees and retirees will continue under the current pension system and will not be affected in anyway. Pension reform includes public safety, non-public safety, city management, RDA and Councilmembers. Official ballot language will be provided by the city attorney.

Sales Tax
(Already on the Tuesday, August 3rd City Council Agenda)

Ballot Language:
In order to provide funding for essential City services such as police, fire, emergency response, street maintenance, pothole repair, parks, libraries, and youth and senior programs, shall an ordinance be adopted to enact a one-quarter percent tax on retail transactions in San Jose, subject to existing independent financial audits, with all revenue controlled by the City?

Rules committee members are:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

I think it is important that major issues should go before voters to validate Council direction or let the Council know something different.

In addition to the city of San Jose proposed ballot measures, there will be at least two other countywide ballot measures that raise approximately $14 million each.  One is from VTA for $10 per vehicle annual fee for road repair. The other is a $29 parcel tax per property by the County of Santa Clara to fund children’s health insurance. Are these items what you would choose to fund with new tax revenue?

Since the City will most likely choose two of the proposed ballot measures (baseball proposal excluded) due to budgetary constraints, which do you believe are most important to be placed on the ballot if any? For me, I believe the most important two are Pension Reform and Taxing Medical Cannabis.

Here is a link to a brief survey on the November Ballot Measures that I will share later on San Jose Inside.

 

68 Comments

  1. We spend millions for a full time council and mayor.

    All they do is write blogs and pass on the decisions to the voters.

    Shall the citizens of San Jose abolish districts and return us to a part time council with a rotating mayor?

    Yes!

    • Yes abolish all Council districts so the Council is only from a small geographic area of the city and less manipulated by special selfish interests. Vote no on sales tax increase until the pension mess is fixed.

  2. “In order to provide funding for essential City services such as police, fire, emergency response, street maintenance, pothole repair, parks, libraries, and youth and senior programs, shall an ordinance be adopted to enact a one-quarter percent tax on retail transactions in San Jose, subject to existing independent financial audits, with all revenue controlled by the City?”

    If this passes, I’ll be sure to shop outside San Jose.

    • JMO,

      Welcome aboard.  I started shopping beyond the city limits about a year ago.  It feels good to spend my money elsewhere rather than pouring cash down the SJ rathole.

      • Presumably you will both be moving out of San Jose then? You certainly don’t expect the rest of us to give you a handout while you suck up the city services the rest of us are paying for, do you? Your logic is mind boggling in its foolishness and selfishness.

        • Just,

          You should know that I likely pay twice the local taxes that you pay.  As paying sales tax is about the only way I can exert consumerism regarding how SJ pisses away money, I choose to do so.  BTW. I’ve probably been paying taxes a lot longer than you too.  But, in the face of your hurtful insults, I’ll stand tall and avoid treating you with the same degree of contempt.

        • 1. I don’t know how you would have the slightest clue about how much in taxes I pay compared to you or that you have been paying longer than I have. It doesn’t really matter but you would have to be psychic to make a statement like that;
          2. “…hurtful insults…?” Neither hurt nor insult were intended—simply questioning your logic and your using city services that you are not fully paying for. Sales tax is a major source of funding for local city services. Not sure what other local taxes you are referring to. Thanks for standing tall, though.

        • 1) Statistically, I am older than the median or mean or modal age of residents in SJ.  And, as I’m a native San Josean and have been working without interruption since I was sixteen, it’s my educated guess that I’ve paid far more local taxes than you. 

          2) Other local taxes and fees abound – check out your property tax bill, where all manner of fees and assessments and special parcel taxes are displayed.  As well, we lucky residents get to pay taxes on all utility costs.

          “Suck up,” “foolishness,” “selfishness,”  those are not insults?  Do you talk to your wife or your boss in that manner?

        • Just Wondering,

          Maybe it’s time you stopped gazing in wonder at the world like a newborn infant.
          Even though you may disagree with Greg’s assessment of the City as an irresponsible, out of control spending institution, it’s astounding that you fail to understand the principle of refusing to fund as a means of forcing reform. Would you continue to give cash to an alcoholic every time he asked for it?

        • I won’t waste much more time with this circular discussion, but your analogy is silly. The city provides basic city services. Everyone in the city avails themselves of most or all of those services. Nothing wrong in wanting those services provided in the most efficient manner possible—vote for better council candidates that will run the city more effectively.
          I understand perfectly the “principle of refusing to fund as a means of forcing reform.” Do you understand the principle of taking something you didn’t pay for? If you intentionally withhold funds for a service that you continue to use, that means the rest of us are covering your share. That seems fair to you? We’re all in this together but just what do you think will be accomplished by refusing to fund basic city services? It’s a hollow gesture. If you really want to effect change get involved in something more useful than SJI. Work with your neighborhood associations, get on a commission, etc, etc. Do something that will help the situation rather than make it worse.

        • You may pretend that this is a “circular discussion” on which you don’t wish to waste any more of your precious time. That is your prerogative. But it may turn out that this difference of opinion is representative of the fundamental rift between the way liberals and conservatives look at the world.
          If perpetuating the prevailing animas between the two major political ideologies is your objective then yes, by all means you should stifle the conversation by acting as though it is beneath you- way beneath you as you stand haughtily on the moral high ground that you have claimed as your own.

  3. While we are at it why not consider a PART-TIME CITY COUNCIL? You and your staff, who obviously read the feedback here, continue to ignore this idea. With these critical decisions being hoisted upon the citizenry to decide, which is not completely illogical, why not move towards the obvious cost-saving conclusion. Perhaps we could avoid some of the less than wise decisions made by this and other councils that have contributed to our financial insecurity. Councilman Oliverio, as you so aptly stated a short time ago: 

    “It’s time to wake up, as we have reached a new level of fiscal austerity and there is no monetary candy falling from the sky. We have to make tough choices.”

    A PART TIME CITY COUNCIL. I believe that the time for this idea is now. The failings of this council really have brought us to this moment. And thank you for being so brave to understand that yes, no monetary candy is falling from the sky (except where the A’s are concerned). Think of it, you could take all of July off,…and more!

  4. The sales tax increase will never pass.  The discussion is realistically between choosing two of three from pension reform, limiting binding arbitration, and taxing pot.  I’m with you, Pierluigi.  Pension reform and the pot tax seem the most important.

  5. I’ll definite be voting “Yes” on binding arbitration & pension reform, and “No” on the baseball stadium.

    I have mixed feelings about the marijuana measure.  Does the retail sales tax presently apply to medical marijuana sales, or are they exempted for some reason?  And if the statewide legalization initiative passes in November, will such a potential exemption then (presumably) be removed?  Also, if San Jose is going to tax marijuana, is behooves the city to stop treating marijuana dispensaries as quasi-clandestine operations that are barred from setting up operation in all but a select few neighborhoods.

    I hate the idea of the sales tax going up another quarter percent, but something needs to be done.  Since the city’s answer seems to be “shut down libraries and parks,” and since those are the only real municipal services I utilize, perhaps it would be better for yours truly if the sales tax went up another 0.25 percent, with the parks & libraries remaining open.  But will they?

    I’m definitely voting against the countywide parcel tax.

  6. ..a group known as Baseball San Jose has offered to pay for the cost of putting the Downtown Baseball Stadium question on the ballot, so three ballot measure may go before voters.

    So, if you have enough money you can get anything you want on an election in San Jose.

    Glad to know our Mayor is in bed with these guys.

    And people thought Ron Gonzales was corrupt.  Hah!  He is a choir boy compared to the current clowns.

    • Um, that’s not corruption unless you can show that Baseball San Jose paid the mayor in some way.  If Chuck wants stuff on the ballot and can find ways to not spend city money to get it there, he’s doing us all a favor.

    • You’ve got to be kidding! The current group of City Hall dwellers are amateurs compared to the reign of terror of the Gonzales/Borgsdorf era. Reed and company don’t even come close to creating the type of wreckage that Gonzales and crew left behind. Reed is at least trying to clean-up the Gonzales mess—he’s not perfect but he is lightyears ahead of Gonzales when it comes to doing the right thing.

  7. I’m not crazy about any of the proposed ballot measures.  Binding arbitration should be eliminated in its entirety, not just watered down.  The marijuana tax measure, while advertised as funding such services as road repair, etc., will just wind up being pissed away on employee salaries and benefits.  As for pension reform, I continue to champion changes to the funding formula for current employees too.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no legal requirement to continue on with the existing plan.  Should the sales tax measure make it to the ballot, I trust that it will be DOA.

    • Um, exactly what does it mean to pay for city services?  The reason they cost money is you have to hire people to perform them.  So you don’t want to increase revenue unless it goes to city services, but not if it goes to salaries and benefits?  How does that work?

      • I should have been more specfic, you’re correct. I’m talking about city services where I can see or feel the benefits… e.g., road re-surfacing, police patrols, city tree trimming, etc.  I do not, however, want to see SJ piss away the money on the salaries of paper pushers and desk jockies who work for the dozens of useless or near useless city departments.

        • Besides the Office of Cultural Affairs and maybe the Mayor and Council staffs, which departments would you consider useless or near(ly) useless?

        • Thanks for clarifying.  It’s not an unexpected response.  “City services where *I* can see or feel the benefits” (emphasis added).  I understand that to mean that city services of which you do not avail yourself should be eliminated.  Which libraries and community centers should close?  Which parks do we not need?  How about the city pools?  What about anti-graffiti efforts?  There are all kinds of city services.  As is the nature of government, each service is vital to someone, but no service is vital to everyone.  Who’s to decide which services are vital and which ones aren’t? 

          And you know very well based on your years of being in the work force that every business needs people who do paperwork and management.  Are the folks who work in the finance office or the safety office or the IT department at the high tech company on First St “paper pushers and desk jockies?”  Should Intel only employ those who make the product you use?  The trends in industry are the exact opposite of what you are suggesting.  Minimize the number of folks doing manufacturing and keep more of the management and paperwork functions.

          While companies can ship manufacturing and manual jobs overseas, government can’t ship road work and firefighting jobs overseas.

        • Pissed Away,

          Okay, sure, let’s just leave things as they are until SJ is forced into bankruptcy.  You must realize that local taxpayers will never approve a one-quarter percent sales tax hike. Neither will the marijuana tax amount to much, if it passes. 

          Eventually,the public employee unions will,like dead ticks, fall off the backs of taxpayers.  I’m fine with that, if you are too.

  8. NO on the sales tax, VLF tax/fee increase and parcel tax. We pay more than our fair share of taxes already in this state.

    How about cutting some of the fat out of our government instead of constantly nickel and diming hard working taxpayers.

  9. The consensus list, which all intelligent and public spirited citizens should agree with:

    Yes . . .

    1. Pension Reform
    1. Binding Arbitration

    SOMETHING has to be done.

    No. . . .

    2. Baseball

    Let the Big Sports Entertainment tycoons pay for this out of their Anti-Trust Exemption obscene profits.

    HELL NO!  Get out of my office . . . .

    5. Tax Marijuana – – it’s illegal, you lunkheads.
    5. Sales tax increase – – more slop in the trough for the government employee unions.  Not necessary when we pass pension reform and control government costs.

    • “Let the Big Sports Entertainment tycoons pay for this out of their Anti-Trust Exemption obscene profits.”  Privately financed ballpark = THEY ARE!

      • > Privately financed ballpark = THEY ARE!

        Tony D-student:

        Once again, you’re not paying attention.

        The question on the table is:  who pays for the city ballot measure, not who pays for the ballpark.

        • >The question on the table is:  who pays for the city ballot measure, not who pays for the ballpark.

          I don’t get it.  Baseball San Jose is paying for the ballot measure.  You have something against Michael P. Mulcahy or Susan Hammer (http://www.probaseballforsanjose.com/partners.html)?  Did one of them give you wedgies in high school?  Swirlies during recess?

        • > I don’t get it.  Baseball San Jose is paying for the ballot measure.

          Oh, really.

          Sayeth Pierluigi:

          “However a group known as Baseball San Jose has offered to pay for the cost of putting the Downtown Baseball Stadium question on the ballot, so three ballot measure may go before voters.”

          “. . . has offered to pay . . .?”

          This is the era of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  “Truth” is kind of squishy.  There is quite a gap between “. . . has offered to pay . . .?” and “. . . is paying . . . .”

          Show me da money!

        • Oh, I see… you think this is all a cover-up for Lew Wolff who is actually paying for the measure.  Let’s say you’re right (just ‘cause you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you).  What’s the problem again?

          I know it’s surprising that a desirable business wants to invest in this city, but that doesn’t mean we should reject a reasonable deal.

        • We faced the same type in Santa Clara.  Bailey, the king of N on J, was another wedgie king of the past.  He was such a great organizer that his precinct carried 66 percent for the stadium. Now Bailey is recruiting Smeagole looking guys to sit on the citizen’s
          advisory committee to whine about a matter that 14,600 votes!

  10. “Let the Big Sports Entertainment tycoons pay for this out of their Anti-Trust Exemption obscene profits.”

    Yeah!  And that goes for you too Adobe, Cisco, Brocade, Ebay, and all your cohorts!  I don’t care how many jobs or tax dollars you bring in.  We the city of San Jose refuse to sweeten any land deals for you ever again!  You can take your business elsewhere!

    • > Yeah!  And that goes for you too Adobe, Cisco, Brocade, Ebay, and all your cohorts!

      I don’t get it.  Why would Adobe, Cisco, Brocade and Ebay be getting federal anti-trust exemptions for baseball?

  11. Ballpark Ballot Language: “Shall the San Jose Downtown Ballpark and Jobs Measure be approved to authorize, but not require, the use of Redevelopment Agency funds…”

      BS Monitor: “Authorize, but not require” ranks right up there with “smoked but did not inhale.” The project’s dependence on those very funds is why the issue is on the ballot.

    Arbitration Ballot Language: “require outside arbitrators to base awards to City employees primarily on the City’s ability to pay… and to prohibit creation of unfunded liabilities…”

      BS Monitor: The “City’s ability to pay” has always governed an arbitrator’s decision—it’s a huge part of what is weighed. Including this language creates a smoke screen of reasonableness, masking the reality that the second part of the passage will award the City, which dictates what gets funded and what doesn’t, veto power over any arbitration ruling.

    Marijuana Tax Ballot Language: “In order to provide funding for essential City services…”

      BS Monitor: Chicken Little must write this drivel. Essential services—which have anything to do with youth programs or senior care, are not, as is claimed here, dependent upon our ability to tax dope smokers. If I’m wrong, however, then lets solve our fiscal problems by moving potheads into our city and shipping the illegals out.

    Pension Reform Ballot Language: “… so the city can offer new employees some degree of lower pension the taxpayer can afford.”

      BS Monitor: It’s city hall, not the taxpaying public, that determines the affordability of these benefits. Case in point: had taxpayers been consulted back when the Gonzales administration was trading benefits it was not going to fund for political endorsements it desperately wanted, I doubt this issue would be on the ballot. Nice job of finger-pointing, though, Mr. Oliverio. Bet you didn’t even consider a proposal that would mandate that the city fully fund its annual obligations—even in those years when the incumbents want the money to buy votes.

    Sales Tax Ballot Language: “In order to provide funding for essential City services…”

      BS Monitor: Our leaders seem to be selling “essential services” from every pulpit and lemonade stand in the city (“In order to provide essential City services… DRINK THIS!”). I suggest taxpayers vote no and instead spend the money on front-end alignments, home alarm systems, plastic grocery bags, and their own July 4th celebrations.

    • > BS Monitor: Chicken Little must write this drivel.
      . . .
      > If I’m wrong, however, then lets solve our fiscal problems by moving potheads into our city and shipping the illegals out.

      Excellent work, Citizen Monitor.  I admire a taxpayer with a sharp pencil who can think outside the box.

      You da man!

  12. We can raise the money to recall Reed who went back on his word about this baseball election.  Victor must have called him and told Chuck that it was time to pass the by playing a little solitaire.  The Four of Clubs has worked its wonders on Reed since Hanoi.

    • I see little point in recalling Reed (assuming we could, and we couldn’t), at a time when any likely replacement would be worse.  Reed’s not great, but he’s close to being the best of a bad lot.  If recalling Reed meant we’d get someone solid in office, that’d be one thing.  More likely, we’d get Mayor Madison Nguyen.

  13. I don’t follow how Reed went back on his word regarding Baseball.  Someone please elaborate on that.

    My priorities on ballot measures:
    1.) Baseball
    2.) Pension Reform
    3.) Marijuana Tax (Except I think the tax should be at least 20%)
    4.) Binding Arbitration
    5.) Sales tax increase (The reason why this is 5th for me is that I don’t think it will pass, but 0.25% is nothing… most of the countries in Europe have a 15-20% sales tax.  You’re talking $2 on a thousand dollar purchase).

    • I can remember when the sales tax was six percent in this county, and if it still were, a 0.25 percent increase would seem pretty reasonable.  But we’re on the verge of crossing the ten percent threshold.  And I consider ten percent unacceptable high.

      I’m not sure what public policies in Sweden and Belgium have to do with what is or is not a good idea for San Jose.

      • Sales tax in this county is extremely unreasonable. Every time the politicians want to do something, they convince the voters to pass a “harmless” sales tax increase of a quarter or half cent and people buy it because it’s such a “small amount.” Guess what, those “small amounts” add up over time.

  14. Pierluigi,

    Yes;
    Pension Reform
    Binding Arbitration (but would rather see it replaced by a ballot initiative changing San Jose to a “right to work” City)

    No;
    Baseball Stadium (I don’t care what Tony D. says, RDA funds ARE tax money)

    Hell No;
    Sales Tax
    Marijuana Tax

    You’ve got to be kidding me;
    Parcel Tax to enrich nurses union. (Children’s Health Insurance)
    VTA. More money for the 2nd most corrupt local government agency?

    • Mr. Galt,

      On the use of RDA funds for the ballpark I think of it this way:
      1. We know RDA money has to be spent on RDA projects.
      2. We know the history of what the RDA chooses as projects.

      So what are the odds that the RDA will spend that money on something better than land to lease to a baseball stadium?

      • For those that think that RDA projects are “always” wasteful, I would suggest that they look up the history of the HP Pavilion, and to ask themselves if they would have preferred that the 525 West Santa Clara site had remained the site of the old, abandoned Downtown Datsun (“We are the DEALIN’-EST!”).

        Putting the stadium advisory vote on the ballot comports with San Jose’s current law not to spend public dollars over a certain threshold on athletic facilties without the consent of the voters.  I see very little wrong in asking the question.

      • Wrong. The data clearly shows, that while some of the children in the SCHIP program have illegal parents, the majority are just kids from poor American families.

  15. ” most of the countries in Europe have a 15-20% sales tax.  You’re talking $2 on a thousand dollar purchase). “

    So – that is a poor argument to raise taxes since most European countries have better social services, national health care and retirement plans

    California spends / wastes billions taxes on specioal interest groups priorities

    1) lowest rated (2-4 ) from bottom public schools – poltically powerful California Teachers Assocition

    2) largest number prisoners per population most expensive mis-mananged state prisons – Prison Guards Union

    3) most excessive government employee benefits and pensions – – Prison Guards Union

    4) 3rd-6th highest tax state even after Proposition 13 Democratic controlled Legislature want to raise taxes higher, kill more jobs and waste more taxes

    5) 2/3ths legislature passed bills are written by Special Interests

    • You guys just make this crap up. California is ranked 20th for tax burden in the US. Just go to CNNmoney and look it up.

  16. Got to love the race to the bottom… Because private corporations have stripped their employees of their pensions and benefits, everyone should suffer the same. Instead of fighting to improve the benefits of all working Americans, most of you have decided to just strip the benefits from public employees. Genius!!!

    Are some SJC public employees overpaid? Yes! Get rid of the Office of Cultural Affairs, the city council staffers and reduce the retirement eligibility for some others.

    Common sense appears to be in short supply around here.

    • Similar to what I’ve already posted:

      Here’s why we in the private sector are angry:
      1. Public employee retirement plans are hugely out of sync with the private sector. 
      2. This is not because the market requires these benefits to find and retain applicants, but because public employee unions have used their political might to place pawns in leadership positions and bully everyone else to get what they want.
      3. Our tax dollars that are funding these retirement plans.  As we watch our roads deteriorate and libraries cut hours, public unions are still getting disproportionate matching and a guaranteed return on their retirement investments.

      This is unsustainable.

      The “you’re just jealous” argument doesn’t fly.

      • If the private sector would provide public sector-style wages & benefits, than we could actually afford to be taxed enough to pay for the public sector level of pay & benefits.  But until such time as that, we basically can not.  I don’t like having a privileged class of government employees who live better than most of us.  These people are not particularly talented; they just managed to finagle government jobs.  And a lot of the long-term employees were hired using an employment practice that is now illegal within this state’s public sector ie., affirmative action.  Nepotism (often euphemized as “networking”) probably covers a lot of the other employees.

        • I won’t comment on the quality of the employees, only the assertion that they are a privileged class that lives better than the rest of us.  (I do believe we need to do something about overly generous pensions, but that’s another topic.)  It does appear that during this economic downturn, government employees have a more stable and often better paying job.  However, during the boom years of industry, they were underpaid.  They were willing to accept that for the stability of the job.  That trade-off is paying off now as they are not suffering as much as those in private industry.

          The solution is not to take out our economic frustration on government workers, it is to strive to strengthen the private sector again so that they can improve their employment numbers and again offer better compensation.

        • Your comment is exactly on point. We are soon going to have a generation of jobs with no benefits or any type of pension. That does not bode well for our children or society.

        • “It does appear that during this economic downturn, government employees have a more stable and often better paying job.  However, during the boom years of industry, they were underpaid.”

          Contrary to popular mythology, most people in Santa Clara County probably don’t work in the high-tech industry (I don’t have exact figures), and certainly didn’t have access to vast sums in stock options and such during the boom times.  That was a privileged minority.

    • “Got to love the race to the bottom…”

      I had a friend in the 90’s who was, because of his nice compensation package, so content and secure lugging boxes for HP that he passed up an opportunity to pursue a line of work that didn’t require a strong back. But soon thereafter HP decided to cut costs by contracting out for raw muscle, leaving him with the option of finding a new job or staying on and doing the same job, but with a the new employer, a ten-percent pay cut, and no benefits. Without any warning the young man was suddenly on his own, removed from the bubble that was still comforting the rest of his former “family” at HP (none of whom had yet to be thrust into their own race to the bottom).

      No one at HP rallied to the defense of any of these unskilled beasts of burden; no one suggested trimming his own generous compensation packages to keep these boys in the family; no one worried about their health benefits, their lost wages, their futures. Concepts like fairness, loyalty, or belt-tightening were never addressed, at least not until the big bubble burst and, in an instant, made those things seem to matter.

      Today the stunned, broke, and disillusioned—raw and worn from trying in vain to scratch back to the top, have been reduced to merely yearning for some company at the bottom. Mayor Reed, keen to avert attention from the reckless spending of his past, and determined to sneak through the purchase of his pricy, big league crown, has riveted the gaze of these disheartened masses on our city workers, giving them a much-needed target for their anger.

      The labor contracts Chuck Reed today condemns as unjustifiable all bear his yesteryear’s signature, yet he eschews personal accountability as he calls for even more trust, so that he might engage in new contracts with a fellow wolf, clear away a few acres of city workers, and build his own field of dreams.

  17. 1) No Papers Needed said “Actually a majority of the recipients of this program are children of parents that are not legal citizens.

    AlumRock Reply to this comment “Wrong. The data clearly shows, that while some of the children in the SCHIP program have illegal parents, the majority are just kids from poor American families.

    Where did you get you numbers Please give web site ? Thanks

    2) Alum Rock where you got your tax burden number – 20th and what year ?  What is the web link with California ranked 20th ?  Thanks

    CNNmoney uses Tax Foundation numbers and the last year CNNmoney chart was for 2006   Search CNNmoney has no recent rankings

    http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/10/pf/taxes/taxfriendly_states_2006/index.htm#table

    Tax Foundation ranked California 4th in 2007 and 6th in 2008 last year that was ranked
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/443.html

    San Jose and Santa Clara County have higher tax burden because of high city and county taxes making us less competitive for jobs and businesses and more burden on businesses and residents

    I did not make up my numbers – did you ?