Exemption from the Pension Tax

It is clear that the budget deficit this year and in future years cannot be solved only by pension reform. Even if the city stopped matching the employee contributions at the current rate of 250 percent to the average employer match on a 401K of 3-6 percent, taxpayers would still have a multi-billion dollar unfunded liability from commitments to current and future retirees already vested.

At some point, the Council will put forward to the voters a tax increase that will be labeled to pay for essential services but inevitably will be allocated to pay the annual required contribution to the pension fund laid out by the independent retirement boards. (A general tax can be allocated to anything, which is why I prefer a utility tax dedicated to police. This way the tax revenue can only be spent on police and nothing else. Why? Again, only police enforce the social contract. A utility tax increase treats property owners and renters the same and it induces consumer conservation of electricity, gas and water, which is a positive externality.)

Why beat around the bush when we know taxes will have to be raised to afford the pension obligations and maintain bare minimum services laid out in the city charter?

Some residents tell me they are willing to pay more in taxes to solve the fiscal issues the city is facing. But these residents currently must wait until there is a ballot initiative that may or may not pass, most likely in the 2012 November Presidential election. However, the city can take donations at any time from residents. So why wait? Let’s extend a formal invitation for those who are willing to pay more to do so now. In return, these people should get credit on the tax equal to how much they have donated.

For example, if Jane Smith wrote a check now for $1,000, before the council placed on the ballot and the voters approved a future $250 annual parcel tax, then Jane would be exempted from the tax for four years. Or, if it was an increase in the utility tax or sales tax, the city could rebate Jane at the end of the year with her documentation showing she had paid the increased pension tax that year.

The “PhDs” at Stanford have reviewed the San Jose pension system and found the current pension system is fixable. It is only a matter of money. So, if each house, condo and apartment would write a check in the amount of $12,500 to $16,000, the unfunded pension liability could be paid and eventually the city services that have been cut would return. The Stanford dollar figure is based on an up-front payment (the range in the amount is based on what percentage of the unfunded liability to pay off). But, if household payment was instead spread out over 10-20 years, the total amount per household to pay off unfunded liability would be much higher due to the time value of money.

This concept is simply an exemption from the future pension tax if donations are received prior to the passage of a tax increase. We should not stand in the way of those willing to contribute more.


  1. “So, if each house, condo and apartment would write a check in the amount of $12,500 to $16,000, the unfunded pension liability could be paid and eventually the city services that have been cut would return.”

    Let’s see if I’ve got this straight—the 940,000 or so folks who live in SJ would have to pay $12,500-$16,000 per household to support the 5000 or so current city retirees.

    R U NUTS?!

    • The airport is funded through fees collected from passengers. No airport = no passengers. No passengers = no fees. You wouldn’t “save” a dime by closing the airport. Taxpayers do not fund airport operations, no matter how many exclamation points you use.

      • “No passengers = no fees.” While technically true, if you had no passengers, no airport, you’d have a windfall from the nearly $2 billion land sale at Mineta.  Not to mention the windfall from sales tax revenue of the new mixed-use development at Mineral.  But I digress: lower passenger levels = greater burden on San Jose to pay off expansion debt, and that’s something that could happen soon.

      • Doesn’t look passenger fees are paying this debt.  San Jose is.

        The airport’s “improvement program” costs $1.3 billion.  In August 2007, the city sold $725 million in bonds, the largest bond issue ever done by the City of San Jose.  The airport will begin paying debt service on the borrowed funds “for the next 30 to 40 years.”


        San Jose Airport bonds are not considered a good risk.

        The Negative Outlook reflects the airport’s elevated risk profile due to the combined effects of multi-year enplanement declines, and the airport’s high leverage driven by the use of debt-financing for the recently completed terminal area improvement plan (TAIP). The airport’s leverage of $312 in debt per enplaned passenger or approximately 22-25 times (x) in net debt to cash available for debt service, including outstanding commercial paper, is not consistent with Fitch’s ‘A’ rated category airports.


        There is so much debt we had to hire even more lawyers to keep track of it.

        Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Attorney to negotiate and execute a Sixteenth
        Amendment to the agreement with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP for legal services related
        to the financing of improvements at the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and
        the City’s outstanding Airport revenue debt to increase the compensation by $75,000 for a
        total amount not to exceed $610,000.


        Obviously, passenger fees are not paying for this debt.

        Last summer, the city unveiled its $1.3 billion airport makeover, which includes a splashy new terminal and parking structure. But airlines have retrenched amid a sour economy and high jet fuel prices, cutting into SJC’s business just as debt payments on the makeover come due.


        Why are we doing this if passengers are paying off the debt?  Looks like San Jose is responsible for the debt.

        San Jose, California, the 10th- largest U.S. city by population, plans to restructure as much as $550 million in airport debt this year as it weighs whether to declare a state of fiscal emergency, municipal officials said.


        • None of your citations explains how you generate $1 billion in annual savings from closing the airport. In fact, none really support any of the arguments you make. But, ok. I’m convinced. Let’s sell the airport. Great idea.

        • Go to the city of San Jose budget. It’s all there. It’s money you pay in taxes every year.
          One billion dollars a year go to the airport, out of a budget of 2.5 billion. The city does not tell how much money it makes, because it makes NO money.

          Close it for three years, save three billion dollars. Then reopen it when things are back to normal.

        • The airport statesmen said, that the ANA officials are going to spend one day in San Francisco and two days in San Jose, “That’s encouraging.” Are you serious, where going on gut feelings now! What a joke, and they like the rotunda? While your at it, maybe we can sell them city hall and make it there headquarters. These are the people that running the city. No wonder San Jose sucks so bad.

        • “The city does not tell how much money it makes, because it makes NO money.”

          This is true.  As hard as it is to believe, San Jose can not make one penny from the airport.  This is due to accepting FAA money.  The terms of this grant, which is effective for 20 years, is that an airport sponser (San Jose) has to put any and all profit back into the airport.  None of this money can be used in a manner that benefits San Jose residents.

          However, San Jose can get a few dollars here and there from any sales tax or car rental tax, etc. that occurs.  The FAA has not yet gotten their hands on that money.

          Without a doubt, the airport is one of the biggest boondoggles ever forced onto San Jose residents.

  2. If the unfunded liability could be amortized over thirty years as suggested, why is the ballot proposal for pension reform requiring it be amortized over ten years and all on the backs of the employees—to inflate the numbers and make it appear that the crisis is greater than it is?

    If a tax is a possible solution, then why should the current employees bear the entire burden of the unfunded liability that the City created years ago and for the benefit of those already retired? This is what the ballot measure also requires.

  3. I would suggest an Adopt-A-Retiree program. Concerned citizens could choose a retired city employee- a firefighter for instance- and write them a check for $10,000 each month and send it to them at their vacation home in Tahoe.

    • 10K really wish I got that.  Retirement home?  NOT!  How about a single story average home but not in San Jose which I could never afford and had to drive 86 miles round trip to work.

  4. PO,

    another manifesto, only problem is I think you have been visiting the local pot club WAY too much.  My check for 12K will be in the mail today.  Damn pensions.

  5. How about this. Since almost none of the residents of San Jose will receieve anything like the pensions that they are expected to pay a minimium of $12,000 to support, we demand that the pension recipients take a 20% cut at the same time. They will still receive far more than us. If you think you’ll get a vote passed by the public to raise taxes without a cut in pension benefits, you’ve been spending too much time at the collectives you support so strongly.

    And if we have to go bankrupt to get a reduction, so be it.

    • Hey WGDad “they” signed up to do a job that most wouldn’t do. “they” agreed to to the job for the pay, the benefits and the pensions. All “they” want is to collect what “you” agreed (through a majority of your elected reps on the council) agreed to compensate “them” with.

      The City has a huge bill coming due. “They” know that and have made concessions to decrease that bill. “They” are continuing to come up with cost savings and more concessions including pension reductions. “your” city council, mayor and manager are choosing to go down a road with more ballot measures knowing that even if voters approve , will be ruled illegal after a lengthy and very costly court battle.

      “they” are being reasonable, “your” council/mayor/manager are being reckless and irresponsible with “your” trust and “your” money.

      What are “you” going to do about it? Continue to buy Reed/Figone/Oliverio’s BS or are “you” going to hold them accountable?

      Despite the constant Anti-Fire Anti-Police agenda pushed on “you” by Reed/Oliverio/Figone…. “they” are still saving llives, putting out fires,  and hunting down murderous crooks like the guy who shot a man in Willow Glen then killed a woman after carjacking her are arrested after a 3 day round-the-clock manhunt using almost every resource in the City   while “you” bbq’d with the family, watched a little NCAA/NFL football, enjoyed the beach .  “They” did it all weekend,  and “they” will be at it all noght while “you” and “yours” are snug in your beds, on Thanksgiving , Christmas Easter….

  6. For past15 years and next 25 years San Jose business taxpayers, home owners and less so renters are getting scr*w*d by last 20 years of labor majority controlled Council politicians that gave billions political paybacks city taxes to city employee unsustainable pensions and excessive benefits and unnecessary city construction contracts to construction unions

    Vote all labor politicians out of office unless you want to get scr*w*d again and be careful of Chamber and labor politicians who give tens millions each year city taxes away to housing developers, downtown property owners, sports team owners and mismanaged wasteful arts and museums

  7. Voters should put a proposition on ballot to revoke Gov Davis and Democratic Legislature’s politically passed 75-90% pensions and retroactively granted government employees billions in unearned pensions that caused state and city budget crises

    Very high taxes to pay for politically passed high pensions will continue to drive jobs and businesses out of California and decrease real estate prices while Californian’s get fewer services for higher taxes

    By the way, government employees should stop whining about reducing pensions that do not pay for or earned but got politicians to give them

  8. I would encourage all government retirees (current and future) to prepare for significant cuts, at best.  Worst-case scenarios are even more difficult to fathom.

    Once the apathetic 1 million member public realizes they are being taxed to support the retirement benefits promised to a few thousand gov’t workers 10, 20 or 30 years ago, backlash will be imminent and harsh.  There is a tipping point.

    • Thanks Joe for the update.  Most just want us to die and go away! Only tried to protected San Jose citizens for 30 years.  Saw 7 officers killed, shot at once, 9 surgeries after chasing suspects through our fine streets. But now we are the bad guys.  Wow, made eleven dollars an hour when first hired.

      Most will be happy to know, average life span after retirement is 5-7 years for public safety officers.  Not like we are going to live to a 100 and suck up retirement funds like the city wants you to believe.

      • we could all just stop responding to anything. No calls, no service, no nothing. I would like to let this city go rampant and let them take care of their own selves. Let them put out the fires with a water hose. Let them defend their homes with a kitchen knife. Let them perform their own CPR and emergency medical procedures to save their loved ones. I’m so glad I do not have to work for this city much longer. These people who can’t see past the snot coming out of their noses make me absolutely sick.

        • I can send you my check when I made 10.40 an hour to protect the citizens when I got hired.  Of course I did not elect a disability retirement like some council member who is now double dipping.  Do your research before posting angry comments.

    • If even a portion of the suggestions made by disgruntled private sector people who’s own gravy trains pulled into the station come true, you won’t have an SJPD to thank.  Of course that would be a dream come true for many in the community who would prefer to prey on their neighbors as well as those who erroneously think that having a small underpaid police force is somehow good for the crime rate and the community.  You get what you pay for plain and simple Don’t want quality officers, don’t pay for them.  Other communities have managed their finances better and value a low crime rate over fancy glass and steel edifices.

  9. I say take the 2.8 billion currently in the pension system and disperse to the current and retired members.  End of story.  No more funding No more Pension.  No more problems.  Let the members find the type of retirement they would prefer.
        Before people start telling me all the employees will quit, your right!  Let the sheriffs department come in a county fire department and let them decide what they want to keep.  They can rent county services.  Who cares!  The city will fire you anyway.  Time to move on from this give away city.

    • You evidently have not paid close attention to county properties/pockets. What a mess! It takes 8-10 sheriff’s units to stand by while VTA does a coordinated fare inspection on the light rail. What a waste of taxpayer money! You think it would be better? I think you are really wrong, but it takes a hard head to make a soft behind, so you say do this, take away that, not really knowing what the full consequences would be. More power to you.

  10. > At some point, the Council will put forward to the voters a tax increase that will be labeled to pay for essential services but inevitably will be allocated to pay the annual required contribution to the pension fund laid out by the independent retirement boards.


    I commend to you the following article in today’s Noo Yawk Times:

    “Retiree Benefits for the Military Could Face Cuts”

    So, you and the other high-minded solons on the city council envision that I, a military retiree living in San Jose, benefitting from the wonderful level of public services provided by the insolent and arrogant San Jose Police Officers Association, expect me to eat a pension cut and a tax increase to make good on the worthless pandering election promises of past San Jose politicians?

    Three words: NO EFFING WAY!!!!!

    It’s not my job to make good on the lies that past politicians made to the unions to get elected.

    To borrow a phrase from Lavrenti Beria, the one-time head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police:

    “Someone has to suffer, so it might as well be you.”

    In this case, if someone has to suffer, it needs to be the public employee unions.

    • Your next.  Read the news.  Military pensions under attack!  Your tri-care program one of the best free medical programs in the world will be your first cup of “No Effen WAY” Make sure you have your former military uniform on when we are in the bread line. The idea is take from the haves to give the have nots.  This is not about pensions it’s about reforms and allowing the city to give, spend and disperse money the way they want.

  11. Most just want us to die and go away! Only tried to protected San Jose citizens for 30 years.  Saw 7 officers killed, shot at once, 9 surgeries after chasing suspects through our fine streets. But now we are the bad guys.  Wow, made eleven dollars an hour when first hired.

    Most will be happy to know, average life span after retirement is 5-7 years for public safety officers.  Not like we are going to live to a 100 and suck up retirement funds like the city wants you to believe.

  12. Chuckie cuts gang intervention funds, then local mayors show up for convention.  And there is the mayors gang puppet Jose making 120K on top of his county retirement.  PLEASE where is our money going.

  13. CalPERS of course has to figure out actuarily how long their employees are expected to live in order to calculate retirement formulas and how much and for how long they will have to pay to retirees. 

    Their findings pretty much –  – debunk this myth once and for all as they find absolutely no difference in the life expectancy of miscellaneous members versus public safety officials. —-

    Look at table and you will see either

    1) gross misunderstand about public safety lifespan repeated over and over again


    2) intentional misleading information by those defending excessive public safety pensions


    Are’nt facts fun in a public discussion to rebut false or misinformation

    In addition, CalPERS found that the average safety member retires at the age of 55 while the average miscellaneous member retires at age 59. 

    One question unanswered is whether all jurisdictions have gone to the 3% at 50 formula for their public safety employees.  But for the purposes of these findings, we know that a 55 year old safety employee can expect to live to the age of 81.4 (or 85 if the happen to be female!).

    Thus they receive benefits for –  26.4 years after retirement, –  a little bit longer than the 7 the safety officers claim.

    The miscellaneous employee who retires just before 60 will live another 23 years (26.5 if they are female).  Thus the bottom line here is that public safety employees will receive benefits for a longer period of time and at a higher rate than other employees.

    Police and Fire officers did not earn excessive pension,  they lobbied Gov Davis and Legislature for inflated pensions – Voters need to do same to reduce pension back to the generous reasonable pension levels pre Gray Davis

    Get your facts right, then argue with over taxed public and upset voters many of which are unemployed again or building back lost savings and saving for retirement at 70+

    • My uncle passed away 6 years after retiring from the Fire Dept. , from Cancer attributed to smoke and other Hazardous chemicals from all the fires that he fought for 25 yrs. Dont you Dare tell me , that these numbers are padded.He worked his butt off protecting this city so that people like you could sleep at nite knowing they were safe. Regardless of what you think……….he earned his way!

  14. so if I understand the proposal “you want the 4000 retirees and the 4000 active employees to pay into this so they can recieve retirement” active employees already pay and so have the retirees, so this sounds like a double penalty for being a city employee. doesnt make sense to me unless you dont have to pay into it like council members dont.

    can we put a better proposal together, this time use your brain.

  15. I want to know who put us in this mess? Constantly we hear how we have to pay public employees “top dollar” to get the best.  and then these “professionals” negotiate deals like this pension nonsense.  Why can’t we have investigations?  are these people, many now retired living on yachts and drawing swank pensions above reproach?  has anybody or the media done an investigaton, gone back through meeting transcript, requested public information inc emails as to what/who negotiated what?  Billions in debt and no one wants to know why/who?

    How do we “fix things” and move forward if we don’t examine the history.

    Heres another example.  The “professionals” (now living on the public dime, who sold us that ugly box of a building at 5th/Santa Clara.  We were told that it would pay for itself in 50 years.  We all know that bureacrat barn will not last 50 years – yet we are paying for it and the pensions of the “professionals” that stuck us with that crate.

    Why no examination of what led us to where we are?  Mistakes are covered over with more mistakes.

    • “Mistakes are covered over with more mistakes.”

      The new city hall was WAAAAYYY more than a mistake.  The voters were outright lied to re cost/benefit.  We were screwed by the politicians.  Gonzo thinks this is his legacy.  It is…but for the wrong reasons.  He and the rest of the labor union dominated council raped the public re the city hall, and re the city employee pensions.

      And now, all the whiney city retirees and soon-to-be-city retirees say: “We got a contract and you can’t touch it”.  They subscribe to the notion that if rape is inevitable, we should all lie back and enjoy it.

      What has happened to the taxpayers of SJ goes WAAAYYY beyond misfeasance.  It is absolutely malfeasance.  And it’s probably too late to do anything about investigating and prosecuting them.  However, those agreements need to be unwound.  And if it takes filing bankruptcy to do so, that is what should be done.

  16. Look into the light …..Look into the light !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  listen to me I will save you. Say Reed is good and only speaks the truth. Reed knows best do what he says. Build chuck a ball park for a billion dollars !!!!!!! we don’t need no cops only criminals get mugged or murdered just stay way from the bad areas.  now build my ball park .. you lemmings Reed is good greed is good .. say that 100 times a day and vote my way. !!!!!!!!

  17. How many of you listen to KGO. There is a commercial on it’s airwaves advertising an opera at the ” California Theater” on First St, it’s called ” The King of Crete.” The commercial goes on to tell us that it was Beethoven’s first symphony.

    Heres the catch, it’s sponsored by HP and a grant from the “Cultures Affairs” of the City of San Jose.

    So if we are in a fiscal emergency, per Chuck, why are giving out grants to operas. I just don’t get how we let these politicians get away with this stuff. The waste that goes is unbelievable.

    Give that grant to a local food bank and feed a family that has it hard times.

  18. I’m ready for an increased utility tax for public safety AFTER pension reforms are in the books.  Otherwise, all the extra money will do is extend the year of bankrupcy of our city a year or two down the road.  Better to reform pensions or go bankrupt earlier rather than later.  That will make the pension and bond haircut less severe.

  19. Know one in San Jose lobbied anyone in sac.  It’s just a lie made up to make the voters believe the employees cheated. Your mayor and city manager approved pays rates.  Your ok paying these officials huge salaries while crying it’s not them.  Reed said just because he votes for something it does not make it right?????  Is that who you plan to support? This is why this country is a mess. If I could get my money out I would take it and leave. There are plenty of third world countries that offer a better living.

        • no doubt gonzo/chavez/guerra… played a part in the mess but, lets not overlook the fact that Reed was a council member from 2000-2006 and Maayor from 2007-present. Lets see, that’s nearly 11 years worth of “voting” work right? Prior to this latest budget (2011-2012) there were 10 (TEN) consecutive budgets voted on and passed with affirmative votes cast by???? If you said “Chuck Reed” then you are correct.

          I dont have a count on the number of labor contracts ratified by the Council in the last 11 years which includes Reed as both a concilman and mayor but, it doesn’t really matter.  Reed voted to ratify every single one of them knowing full well that he had also voted in favor fo all those budgets and their included deficits.  He knew there was no money and still he voted for the contracts ??? Y

          You can’t put that on anyone but R-E-E-D .

          What do you think of his stock answer to what I stated above?  In case you havent heard it REED says, “Just because I voted for it doesn’t make it right.”

  20. Chucks proposal effectively says that city employees will take an 85% wage cut after taxes to pay the unfunded liability that they created from years of wasted and mismanaged projects. And the citizens would vote yes on this? I cannot believe educated citizens would tolerate city hall’s lies and BS for this long. Also how is that multi million dollar south substation coming along??

    • 92 million empty police sub-station building, bet tax payers love that one.  Go visit it, looks really nice behind a chain-linked fence.  But PO said no one will buy a police sub station. Maybe since it has never and will be never used maybe some company would jump on the building for say…………70 million and pay taxes.

  21. “It is clear that the budget deficit this year and in future years cannot be solved only by pension reform.”

    Right.  That’s because you haven’t finished cutting all the non-essential crap from the budget.

    Family camp.  Opera.  Affordable housing. Living wage.  All social engineering related BS.  Lightrail.  All the green energy crap needs to go – all of it.  And on and on.

    When that’s all done.  Come back and talk to us.

    Until then feel free to put it on the ballot.  Snowballs, hell, et al.

    • Interesting how you blame the Council for the decision of the unions to go on strike.  Typical union double speak and not accepting responsbility for their actions.  If you really want to blame someone / something, as Clinton said, “its the economy stupid”.  Let’s put our heads together, using the real facts and find solutions.

  22. Chuckie,

    you were on the councils that voted for these retirement issues instead of pay raises for public safety.  Now your crying wolf.  Are you having a lapse of memory?

    Now you want to take away what you agreed too?

  23. Why does the mayor keep on the payroll a retired double dipping county Lt/ Jose C. as a gang adviser when he just cut the mayors gang task force funding in half.

    How bout we lay him off and safe payroll and pension?  Come on lets make some smart decisions for a change.

    • Ask Jose about the speeding ticket he received from San Jose Police. Got caught in speed trap, and then made some phone calls to take care of it. Sorry Jose, please pay at the next window.

  24. City can not close Main MLK library with San Jose State and will anger voters if they close more than 1/2 libraries

    Vote no on all new city taxes by mismanaged and unaccountable city government who gives city taxes away to their political friends year after year

  25. Your ok cutting some city employee who worked for 30 years but are not bothered by the salary and performance of your city manager.  What if all the people who did not vote for Reed vote to have your taxes raised.  You did not recall Reed or your council. Year after year you were to busy to be bothered with their corruption.  Reed voted for all the pay and pensions all of them never once voting no. So can we raise the taxes of the tax payers who supported Reed and the council?
      I know it sounds silly when we start attaching blame but you voted for a leader he and his friends abused the money and were well paid for their dealings.
      Maybe it’s tine to get rid of greedy self serving millionaires who want more and more.

    • To Willow Glen Dad , Thank you ! You got to the root of the problem, Nobody ever looks at /or says anything about the city manager. She is as much to blame as Reed,McEnery,current & past councils.Gee, I wonder what her pension is gonna look like??? Im positive it will be much bigger than any other city employees,but i also sure we wont here about that

  26. WTF? 

    Office of Cultural Affairs is looking for artist(s).  The budget is $480,000. 

    Fiscal Emergency? Hello!!!

    The San José Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, a division of the Office of Economic Development, is seeking an artist or artist team to design, fabricate and install an artwork as part of the renovation and expansion of the San Jose Convention Center.  With over half a million conventioneers and community members moving through the facility annually, the San Jose Convention Center offers a key opportunity to reflect bold thinking and vision and reinforce San Jose’s place as the Capital of Silicon Valley and the world’s leading region for innovation. The facility is a gathering place for people from all over the world, many of who are involved with high-technology and research-oriented business. This is an opportunity for a large-scale iconic artwork representing core San Jose values such as sustainability, communication and technological innovation.

    Budget:                      $480,000

    Submission Deadline:      September 14th, 2011

    Installation:                  Spring 2012


  27. By targeting public safety worker pensions, the Mayor and his supporters on this are going for low-hanging fruit and the kind of issue they think they can whip voters into a frenzy over. Very sad really, that they are doing it as the expense of public safety, preying upon emotions like voter envy and dissatisfaction with their own jobs and retirement funds, so they can keep on doing business as usual.
    They don’t want to do the heavy lifting of evaluating all the city’s expenditures.
    Sadder still is Pierluigi, who keeps saying that only cops enforce the social contract. Pier is a man who proves the adage that a little knowledge is dangerous.  If firefighters who pull people out of crumpled cars on the freeway, who get stroke victims (including, ah, two former Mayors) onto gurneys, and clean up chemical spills that waft into the air in our business parks are not working for public safety, who is?

    • City is stating they will have to close all libraries and community centers, have fewer officers, etc, if they can’t get taxpayers to vote to raise taxes and reform pensions. This is how they work. They start off with a statement and then that statement gets worse and worse; more dire and scary until the public is riled into a frenzy. I thought the library was an essential service? Close every single library? I don’t think so.

      • Why is it they always have to threaten to do this or that if you don’t do what they want? First it was the employees, now it’s the citizens and I’m damn mad about their tactics. Just for the fact that they have used threats to try to scare people in to doing what they want, I will vote against it. It’s so blatant.

    • Sorry no comparison. Police risk their lives daily while firemen light up the siren to call on a sprang ankle, rarely spray water on a house but spend most of their time sitting around cooking chili.

      • Sorry to say Mom but you are out of touch.  Police and fire both take on risk each and every day they arrive for work.  Sure it’s not every day a cop or firefighter faces imminent death but the potential is there whether it be a felon looking to shoot a cop or a fire looking to take the life of a firefighter.  Your statement is pathetic and ungrateful.

      • SOUTHSIDE MOM! obviously you dont know how to say “NO to DRUGS”! you must be high as a kite to not recognize that BOTH POLICE OFFICERS & FIREFIGHTERS,put their lives on the line Daily! that doesnt mean that they are in danger every minute of everyday.But they are ready to risk life and limb to save others……even a hater like yourself.

      • Southside, you fail to recognize that are other risks to life besides criminals with guns—like contracting Hepatitis C from bloody victims at a crash scene, getting electrocuted by a downed power line in the dark, falling through a charred roof, or breathing in toxic fumes at a chemical spill. Also, God forbid, there are sometimes mass emergency incidents, like this event called 9/11, or when a gas line explodes in a suburban neighborhood.

        It’s easy to say you don’t need a fire department when you haven’t had a fire at your house, a child at the bottom of your pool, or awakened in the middle of the night to find your spouse not breathing. Cracks about chili and sitting around are thoughtless and disrespectful of the lives they’ve saved, the lives they have given, and the 24 hours a day they are ready to respond.  You wouldn’t win the agreement of cops who work with them day in and day out.

  28. PO.

    got hired 30 years ago as a police office making 10.40 ann hour.  Gave up numerous pay raises so we could defer our pay into retirement.  Now you want to take it away.  Where were you 30 years ago?  I do not live in Tahoe or other great places, just want to make our house payments and pay bills like everyone else.

  29. Sell the 92 million police sub station that is moth balled and will never be opened!

    That is a true waste of our money.  I hope the citizens of SJ enjoyed paying for that building thru a Council bond measure.

    More taxes to come.  I hope you can gig into your pockets.

    • That police sub-station is a state of the art building built specifically for police use.  A much smarter move would be to move the PD down to the sub-station and sell off the current police administration building to the county or someone else.  Sell it to the county and they will own that entire two blocks.  The only caveat is that the dispatch center would have to be expanded in the new building but there is land available close by to do that.  The present police administration building is a dinosaur that needs major upgrading anyway.  We moved City Hall, we can move the PD.

  30. OfficerD

    You and other SJI bloggers and residents have told us many times where thee was millions wasteful non essential ( grants to arts, bailout non profits,  city spending that should not have been spent during budget crisis and most importantly who got our city taxes that should have gone to pay for essential city services ( police, fire, streets, sewers, parks libraries etc )

    Many voters / residents know city government has spun city spending or don’t believe City Hall / City Manager has not been 100% truthful but don’t have time or ability to go through years city budgets to pull out millions in wasteful spending examples to help everyone understand where millions city taxes have gone  

    Mercury only spins City hall press releases,  doesn’t have ability and sold their integrity for city ad revenue   Checking / publishing that city or politicians are not truthful could cut off city’s ad revenue which Mercury badly needs.

    1) Why doesn’t POA and other city unions put together a large list of last 6-8 + years to show voters / residents where millions city taxes have gone and how Council or senior city staff politically connected friends benefited using campaign contribution, lobbyist or city contract awards records and show how other well managed cities do not politically give away millions taxes

    2) Show voters/residents what otehr police forces are getting in salaries, benefits, buyback programs pensions to include employee contribution so we can all see what you are talking about in actual numbers so the he/she said not that is not true accusations stop and we can see well documented facts not more accusations / partial spun data to support 1 side or the other story

    It is only a matter of time before Council and City Manager tries to take issue to voters and then it will be too late to publish facts or they will not be believed because groups or people will not have time to check / verify web site links references

  31. why is it PO puts a rambling manifesto on this site every week then we don’t hear a word back?

    To “a better idea”, after the next round of police cuts we will be able to fit the entire PD in the new sub-station.  As for the dispatch center why don’t we just go back to contracting with the county again.  It would save a lot of pension money and salaries.

    And why does the mayor need a 120K a year retired county Lt. as a gang consultant when he just cut the gang task force money in half including all the school intervention money.  Guess he doesn’t trust real SJPD command staff to give him real gang answers.

    • The SJPD has dwindled down to much lower staffing figures and probably could fit into the sub-station.  This would be the smartest move.  As for the dispatchers, I say reverse it and offer to contract to the county for dispatching services for them.  Create a regional dispatch center using the existing building and dispatch SJPD, SCSO, SJFD and county fire all from the same center.  Each agency would pay for their portion of the use.  That way dispatchers all keep their jobs and all the agencies share the burden.  The dispatch center is already built after all.  They could even expand it and offer the ambulance companies services.

    • As a political payback to Vic Ajlouny, who just happened to be Salcido’s political consultant when he was president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Yeah, why would you hire Salcido who washed-out of the SJPD Field Training Program and spent most of his time working in the jails or union to consult you on street-gang crime in San Jose? Follow the money.

      • Reed and Figone also wanted to bust the PD union.  Who better to coach them on police tactics than an ex-police officer.  Ostensibly he was there to assist Reed with crime matters and perhaps sometimes he did.  Kathleen seems to believe he was useful in that regard and who knows, maybe she is right.  But, I have little doubt that behind closed doors Reed routinely asked Salcido how he could better fight the SJPOA and I am sure Salcido complied.

  32. I hope you at least read this stuff PO even if thou you don’t have the stones to reply to any of this.  And you wonder why we are disgruntled with SJ politics.

  33. Isn’t it the fact that the budget short fall is due to the lack of funds the city has been spending like fireballs from Federal and State grants they do not have to pay back.

    In fact the city has out-budgeted itself with a 2.5 billion dollar score card.  Meaning that they are complaining that the state took their funds away.  Now they want to get that money back, and the only way they can think of getting money back for special interests is to attach it to the taxpayer.  Not everything is in black and white like it seems.

  34. It is very, very short sighted to slight public safety.

    Every available dollar should go to public safety.

    Try living in Argentina where you are scared to death to go to the ATM machine, that someone will rob you and rape you.

    People are so terrified in Argentina, daily. There are daily car jackings and kidnappings.

    Nothing matters in my mind, but public safety.

    Take a trip to Argentina if you may, and get a grip.

  35. We are the envy of Argentina. They would give their eye teeth to be able to walk to the store! I am able to walk to the store at 8 pm at night in absolute safety.

    We need to study Argentina. They have lived thru the collapse that we are living through.

    We need to study what they went through.

    Then we will be grateful that we have the best possible police dept.


  36. The educated class (not the very rich) in Argentina would trade places with us in a second.

    We take it totally for granted that we can go to the library and not get mugged.

    We all need to study Argentina and their catastrophic collapse.

    The difference in San JO is that our collapse is in slow motion.

    If we lay off the youngest and brightest (guess what we already did this) we will pay in absolute fear and terror.

    The middle classs in Argentina lives in absolute terror. They would be sooo happy to have sjpd to help them. They have nothing becuz due to budget cuts etc the police are cut to the bone

    why are we paying millions for sj airport, airport art, frills here and there, they would think we are just crazy

    do a youtube search on argentina collapse to see our future

    we need every single guy/gal from sjpd to keep some kind of semblance of order

    everything else in my book can go
    we need to have safety above all
    what good is it to have frills when your kids are being kidnapped?

    this is a daily occurrence in argentina, in buenos aires, formerly one of the richest countries in the world..
    they envy us with our honest police dept and we need to be grateful instead of bitching

  37. Despite the rhetoric and fearmongering proffered by the Merc News, Reed and the council, there is a non-partisan, non-profit organization studying these issues. Their studies show that the rhetoric is simply that. 

    Anyone interested in these issues and learning why you cannot necessarily trust the numbers and information spoon fed to you should review the issue papers and studies from this organization. see, http://www.slge.org

  38. I never seem to read about the “bond tax” that the city pays. Remember the construction projects like the 2 billion dollars for the airport and the new “supposed to be free” city hall?  Are these net revenue generators or are we taxpayers paying for the stupidity and greed of the mayors and council members?

    The pensions are a problem due to all the giveaways to the police and firemen but there are other mistake that are never mentioned.

  39. Cheer on and hope that they mess with the government employees pensions cuz guess what???… when you vote in favor, you are going to be setting a precedent and your pensions will be next. Once they start messing with one sector, they will get bold enough to start messing with all. The whole county’s eye is on California. You are effen up your own selves.Don’t believe it? Just watch. I’ll be back to say I told you so.

    • If any organization can renege on a contract just by claiming they are short on money, no reason why HP, IBM, B of A, Safeway, or any other private corporation can’t do the same with their 401K setups.  Oh sorry, we botched up our investments and so you lose your 401K.  Banks have done it, why not everyone else?  But on the bright side, with a risky retirement and frequent lay offs, public service will be competing on a level playing field with the private sector for talent.  Given the low pay that most public sector jobs have traditionally had by comparison, only the bottom feeders will be working for cities and counties after the current talent flees to greener pastures.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *